by Sunena V MajuSep 17, 2022
Morning banters, mid-day chatters, weekly jabbers and monthly gabs, what are these fleeting exchanges of words if not a glimpse into each other’s story, into another world? Surpassing the turn of centuries and dynasties, storytelling has remained one unanimous medium of sharing narratives and ideas – in our homes and beyond – that has aged elegantly. It is a way for us to make sense of the world, hope for a better future in times of despair, and to envision a utopian and more convenient life when sufficiently endowed with the required resources. Across time, the art of storytelling has manifested itself in various forms: sometimes through songs, dance routines and mimes, and at other times through enchanting visuals, imaginative recitals or cryptic artworks. This wide range of mediums used by creatives to convey their ideas, thoughts, interpretations and stories tells us that there is, indeed, no limit to expression. In an attempt to explore the processes of those who traverse new artistic paths with the objective of relaying stimulating narratives, Kartell is hosting the Art of Storytelling at the upcoming London Design Festival 2022. Curated by STIR, the event welcomes five internationally renowned storytellers to present their mediums of storytelling. The interactive talk programme will take place on September 22, 2022, at Kartell’s showroom in the Brompton Design District.
The five cross-disciplinary contemporary creators set to present their unique narrative styles at the event include Alexandra Walker, Morag Myerscough, Osman Yousefzada, Tim Marlow OBE, and Vadim Grigoryan.
Storytelling is a helpful tool when attempting to understand the ways of the world. It assists in building a better world, by answering the questions of “what if” and “how else”. For instance, what if primary resources weren’t scant in the Third World countries, what if wars did not disturb and ravage the diurnal routines and lives of inhabitants in war-torn regions, or how else can the technologically adept infrastructure of First World countries be adapted to become more sustainable. Stories become a route to imagine better and more, and the myriad mediums created to divulge these tales help keep narratives fresh and interesting.
The Art of Storytelling, an ode to the craft of reciting tales, also facilitates Kartell’s unique and enduring desire to engage in new creative endeavours. Founded in 1949 by chemical engineer Giulio Castelli, Kartell initially produced car accessories and homeware products made out of plastic. Forging ahead in the arena of experimentation, the brand opened a furniture design and interior design division in 1963. The brand’s deep passion for innovation, desire to explore new paths and engage in new experiences, drives it to engage in novel initiatives such as this.
During the event, immersive presentations by the five creators will be accompanied by various Kartell showcases, most of which were first unveiled during Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022. These include Re-Chair, built-in collaboration with Italian coffee brand illycaffè S.p.A; Philippe Starck’s Catwalk Mat, Eleganza chair, AI Stool Light, Khan chandelier and Goodnight luminaire; Rodolfo Dordoni’s K Factor upholstery and rugs; Piero Lissoni’s Thierry collection; Ferruccio Laviani’s Mini Geen-A lamp and FL/Y lamps in new colours; and the Kartell Eyewear collection, designed by the likes of Rodolfo Dordoni, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni and Fabio Novembre. All these sustainable design products are built using recycled materials or ethically sourced substances.
Re-Chair, designed by Antonio Citterio, is crafted using recycled illy Iperespresso coffee capsules. It is the first in a series of sustainable design products that will later make up a collection. FL/Y lamps and Mini Geen-A lamps, on the other hand, are old designs that were recently re-launched using recycled materials in new colours such as cola, bordeaux, oil, olive green, white, black, bronze and amber. Lissoni’s Thierry collection is a mix of colours and materials. The Thierry tables, featuring glass tops and metal legs, are washed in brilliant jewel-like hues, and available in various sizes, allowing their usage in various capacities.
The K-WAIT upholstered collection by Rodolfo Dordoni comprises two sofas and an armchair, which can be re-configured into a round pouffe by removing its back. K-LIM rugs by Dordoni, on the other hand, are made out of 100 per cent recycled PET yarn and are versatile enough to occupy both indoor and outdoor spaces. Another upholstery collection, Eleganza, designed by Philippe Starck, combines the worlds of haute couture and bon ton. The armchairs come in two versions, namely Eleganza Nia and Eleganza Ela, both of which are lightweight, and defined by soft curves.
The presentations by these five storytellers will offer glimpses into the varied modes of expression and of narration. Comprising a diverse line-up of presenters, the Art of Storytelling promises a night of immersive and thought-provoking experiences.
Production designer and art director Alexandra Walker, in a career spanning more than 25 years, has worked on various prominent films such as the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Fantastic Mr.Fox, The Avengers and Notting Hill. She designs both live-action sequences and stop motion animations. During the event, Walker is expected to give audiences a peek into her unique process, how she expresses different narratives through the same medium and how her understanding of the world translates into fictive visual expressions. Morag Myerscough, an artist based out of London, takes special interest in building larger-than-life art installations that can influence the experience of a space. Informed heavily by the context of the installation, her spatial creations tangibly express and enunciate elusive ideas and thoughts floating around. At the event, one can expect to get an understanding of Myerscough’s unique process of transforming obscure thoughts into physical entities capable of prompting future narratives.
Osman Yousefzada, a visual artist and writer born in the United Kingdom, employs both these mediums to merge his personal experiences with fictional and ritualistic influences. Through his visual and textual narratives, Yousefzada offers a vicarious experience of migration and other socio-political issues as encountered by those less privileged. Tim Marlow OBE is a writer, broadcaster, art historian and Chief Executive and Director of Design Museum, with an experience of over 30 years in the contemporary art world. Through him, one can expect to understand the transformational capacity that design possesses. Vadim Grigoryan, who is a luxury and culture brand strategist, founder of Spirit+Spirit consultancy, and co-founder of X MUSE vodka and LUNU crypto payment system, is presumed to present an alternate, more pragmatic approach to storytelling.
A Night to Remember
On September 22, 2022, the Brompton Design District was abuzz. Opening to a packed and captivated audience, the 'Art of Storytelling' was an exemplar of interdisciplinary conversations. Here are a few snapshots of the evening. Also, tap on the cover video to watch the highlights of the evening's conversations.
Read and watch the event highlights here.
Click here to know everything about London Design Festival 2022. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival takes over the city of London with installations, exhibitions, and talks from major design districts such as Brompton, Shoreditch Design Triangle, Greenwich Peninsula, Design London, Clerkenwell Design Trail, Park Royal, Mayfair, Bankside, King's Cross, William Morris Line, and Islington.