When imagination and innovation meet, great things, and useful inventions, can happen.
Whether it is furniture generated by algorithms or a “living” lampshade made of genetically modified cells, the work of pioneering Dutch designer Joris Laarman redefines the boundaries between art, science and technology, according a news release on Laarman’s exhibition at the High Museum of Art.
The Midtown venue is now offering an in-depth look at his innovative works as the exclusive Southeast venue for a new exhibition, “Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age.”
The exhibition, which began Sunday and continues through May 13, features numerous Laarman designs from the museum’s collection of his work.
In fact, the High has the most examples of his innovative work in its collection than any museum outside the boarders of his own country.
The exhibition, which was organized by the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, is the first one designed to comprehensively explore Laarman’s creative prowess and curiosity through a range of his works dating from 2004, the news release stated.
“The exhibit blends emerging technologies with skilled craftsmanship and includes furniture designs, applied projects and experiments from every phase of Laarman’s career,” the news release stated.
They are presented alongside related videos, sketches and renderings that illustrate his creative and production processes.
Founded in 2004, the Laarman Lab is an engineers, programmers and craftspeople haven as it explores the possibilities of design through research, experimentation and groundbreaking technology.
In the news release, Sarah Schleuning, the High’s curator of decorative arts and design, described his lab as “design pioneers and idea detonators.”
“His intellectual, thoughtful and collaborative approach to design propels him to explore new means and methods for creating, resulting in remarkably, and beautiful, bodies of work,” she said. “We have been supporting Laarman’s work for nearly a decade through acquisitions and commissions, such as the Digital Matter voxel tables he created for our 2011 exhibition, ‘Modern by Design.’”
Schleuning said it is an honor to further the High’s dedication to his practice by presenting an expansive view of Laarman’s “landmark contribution to contemporary art.”
The exhibition is focused on the designer’s major bodies of work and includes groundbreaking projects Laarman created as a student in the early 2000s and continues through his most recent three-dimensional printing innovations.
Among his bodies of work being exhibited is a “Heatwave” radiator and “Ivy” climbing wall from Laarman’s groundbreaking thesis project, “Reinventing Functionality,” the news release stated.
“Heatwave incorporates baroque curves in a functional and beautiful wall radiator with the lavish curves providing greater surface area so heat is radiated more efficiently,” it stated.
Another exhibition item, Laarman’s “Bone Chair,” is in the form reminiscent of art nouveau furniture designs from the early 1900s, but “it is firmly rooted in the technology of the 21st century,” the news release stated.
Laarman created the design using computer software developed for the European automotive industry and based on scientific research into the structural growth patterns of bones and trees.
The software mimics their capacity to add, remove and redistribute matter in response to external stimuli, the news release stated.
The chair, which is part of the High’s collection, joins six other works from Laarman’s “Bone Furniture” series in the exhibition.
Tickets to the exhibition are included in admission to the museum, which is $14.50 for adults and free for children 5 and under and High members.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.high.org.