In simplest terms, Rooted Design for Routed Living is a design-build project, where designers-in-residence developed, prototyped and built new furniture for their residency programs, to be used for years to come.
The idea for the project originated from the observation that many artists travel from residency to residency, developing their practice in a string of different contexts. Though the lives of these artists may be considered rootless, the places they travel to provide many historical, regional, cultural roots to anchor them during their stay.
The Nordic Artists' Centre in Norway and A-I-R Laboratory at the Center for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw have observed that this is often not true of the residences themselves, often generic and "too pragmatic." In response, the institutions arranged an exchange. Polish designers would take residence at the remote Nordic Artists' Center and Norwegian designers would visit the metropolitan A-I-R Lab, both designing furniture that reflected their experience and observations abroad. The results, produced between March 2009 and October 2010, are now on display at the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. True to concept, the furniture made for each institution is vastly different. In Norway, the outdoors are celebrated with simple but breathtakingly placed furniture. In Warsaw, interiors become lush, comfortable, social spaces and the grounds outside are dotted with moments of solitude.
We've included a selection of images below. You can see everything else online, from workshop documentation to final photographs to a list of participating designers here.
Finally, did we mention we'd love to see another pair of institutions follow suit and host an exchange of their own?