When an Industrial Designer Takes Over a Gallery Space for a Weekend

Noortje Knulst

I was thrilled at the tail end of this summer when Øgaard Gallery owner Tessa Watson — over a brunch design-and-life-chat — offered me the gallery’s space for a bit of design experimenting. Since then, I’ve been collecting my thoughts and formulating a theme of how to manipulate the interior for a show. My goal is to not only create an installation that would act as an outlet for my own pent-up creative energy — but to also create a destination for visitors that is ideally not a one-sided experience.

Being an industrial designer, I default on problem-solving — and while there is no problem to solve within the gallery exhibition space per se, the framing helps me ground decisions. I’m interested in how we could reimagine the gallery-visitor relationship to dissolve the distance between the creative work and audience. Essentially, I want to figure out how to use the space as the showpiece itself, a composition one walks into and through one’s presence completes it in endless ways and configurations. My challenge is also to do this simply, with simple materials, relying on interplay of color, light, and texture to generate inspiring juxtapositions and spatial narrative journeys.

What will happen in Øgaard in November/December remains to be seen. What is certain, is that this is only but a start of this experiment. I’m pretty stoked.

I’ll be sharing my process here, so please do join in, and chime in.

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