DesignMarketo, who brought popular pop-up bar and exhibition Bar Alto to Milan, asked Ariana Mouyiaris, Founder and Creative Director of Haptic Thought, a visual consulting group, to curate a presentation from their collection for Brompton Design District during London Design Festival. To embody what she calls DesignMarketo's "warm and welcoming" approach to design, the "communal nature of sharing and exchange" and their engagement with "food and design," Mouyiaris developed "Kopiaste," which comes from a Greek word traditionally used in Cypriot culture as an invitation to "take the trouble to come, sit down and share."
The large front room in the Brompton Design District townhouse has been turned into a relaxed communal dining room with books to browse, a small exhibition to view and a spread of traditional Greek foods to snack on. Not all the food on the large, rustic wooden table is meant to be eaten, however. Ye Olde Feta Cheese, for example, is the product design group Greece is For Lovers' "sarcastic attempt to comment on our countrymen's need of resorting to the safety of the familiar in times on uncertainty," like, say the European debt crisis, which is continually addressed to varying degrees in all the work on view here, none more pointed than Michael Anastassiades' €uro Bread.
Traditionally, wooden dough stamps for prosphora, a typical Greek bread, are used in bread baked at home or in a local bakery and offered at Sunday church services, where they're shared with the congregation. Anastassiades' stamps, however, veer away from the religious and toward the political with graphic patterns of the European Parliament symbol, a remix of the European Union flag or an image of Angela Merkel, "a controversial symbol of a faltering system."
The focus on bread makes up a large portion of the exhibition, which also features a bread-making workshop this weekend. On view is Alexandre Bettler's The Bread Workshop, a book that examines how each country's 'national' bread is a larger symbol for the way they communicate. It's shown beside Chop, by Harry Thaler, a wooden slicing board and knife in one. Next to that is the not bread-related but still wonderful Tie Jug, by Maria Jeglinska, a clever set of carafes and cups made from glass vials and plastic zip ties. See it when you stop by the exhibition for a negroni or sign up for one of the week's special events.
Kopiaste is on view at Brompton Design District as part of London Design Festival.