Etage Projects is a gallery based in Copenhagen, the European centre of experimental furniture and product design. It specialises in exhibiting creative practitioners who traverse the boundaries between the closely related, yet ever separate, disciplines of art and design. Plenty of makers today work in ambiguous spaces that do not comfortably fit into clear categories. And yet, exhibiting such work can be a challenge, since many galleries, fairs, and festivals continue to adopt traditional divisions between disciplines. Places like Etage Projects provide much needed spaces for fluid exploration.
Their current exhibition, Home, presents work by Pettersen & Hein. Pettersen & Hein is an ongoing collaboration between Norwegian product designer Magnus Peterson and Danish furniture designer Lea Hein. While the two designers’ individual practices are situated in the commercial world, their joint venture allows them to experiment with more conceptually driven work. Home is an opportunity to question the meaning of this word through a series of bespoke objects. What does “home” mean to different people? How does a house become a home? What are the possibilities of what it could be, beyond the images we are used to? Pettersen & Hein make a proposition for a home that is a reflection of one’s style, imagination, and identity. But these qualities are expressed in more abstract form than we might be accustomed to. Mirrored surfaces and crude, rock-like constructions dot the space. Some appear to be purely decorative. Others display characteristics that point to functionality, but possess a somewhat fragile appearance. It is unclear whether the chairs will hold up the weight of a person. Their reflective surface may be responsible for creating a deceptive illusion of lightness. The tinted concrete tiles that cover the floor in a mosaic of pastels may be the most conventional part of the exhibition. Add a curled scribble of a lamp in the corner, and you have yourself a pretty unconventional home.
Home presents one vision of a living space that prioritises aesthetics over function. While this may not be practical, it’s an imaginative foray into what could be. The exhibition is on until April. Find out more here.
Photographs by David Stjerneholm