The 2012 edition of Interieur—the European Design Biennale taking place in Kortrijk, Belgium, October 20–28—is bound to become one of the top global design destinations this year.
Curator and Interieur President Lowie Vermeersch (former head of design at Pininfarina and now CEO of the Turin-based GranStudio), set out to reconnect with Interieur's avant-garde roots through a selection of 300 carefully picked international exhibitors and an extensive cultural program, 'Future Primitives' installations, custom-designed bars and a pop-up 'bistro.'
Crucial this year is the expansion beyond the Xpo fairgrounds, into the city center and particularly the Buda Island.
Together these expanded locations will establish a new DesignCity with a continuum of lanes, diagonals, piazzas and unexpected places where installations, actions and encounters unfold.
Seven specially commissioned Future Primitives project rooms by Nendo (JP), Troika (UK), Makkink & Bey (NL), David Bowen (US), Ross Lovegrove (UK), Greg Lynn (US) and Muller Van Severen (BE), will offer different investigations into our future living environment.
The 60 m2 installations will be placed at piazzas created at various locations within the Biennale. They will function as places for inspiration and confrontation, for meeting people, to eat and drink, representing the essence of the Biennale: conviviality, innovation and diversity.
On the Buda Island the main focus will be on the Buda Tower and the newly remodeled Buda Factory.
The Buda Tower will house pop-up presentations by top brands such as Established and Sons (UK), Hay (DK) and Piet Hein Eek (NL) and an exhibition by Alessi called (UN)forbidden, while the Buda Factory will present the international avant-garde within today's design scene.
The beating heart of Interieur's Day&Night activities is the Interieur Bistro, a hybrid restaurant/design exhibition located on the 1st floor of the Buda Factory, where visitors can pick their favorite seat out of 200 displayed chairs to meet and mingle.
Ventura Interieur is a platform devoted to emerging talent, design happenings and events, developed in partnership with Organisation in Design (NL), the team behind the successful Ventura Projects in Milan and Berlin.
It will showcase a selection of young designers, new brands, academies and institutions.
Interieur 2012 will bring a curated selection of 300 international design brands to 90,000 expected visitors over a period of nine days.
The Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk is conveniently located at less than 2 hours from four European capitals: Brussels, Paris, London and Amsterdam.
Mark Vanderbeeken is a senior partner at Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, based in Turin, Italy. He is also the author of the successful experience design blog Putting People First. Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications and worked in Italy, Denmark, the USA and Belgium. He was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Belgium).