Virgil Abloh has shown, time-and-time again, that he is not one to shy away from flexing his creative muscles wherever he sees fit. Abloh, who serves as the founder of the fashion brand Off-White and as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, extends his design prowess into the world of furniture for a show presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery in partnership with the Lombard Odier Group.
This is not Abloh’s first go at furniture design, he formally collaborated with Ikea for an assortment of indoor furnishing intended to tap into the millennial market. However, Abloh takes a much more purposeful approach for this collection. Abloh’s direction for the project was inspired by acqua alta, a Venitician alert system intended to warn civilians of potential high waters along the coast.
The chairs, benches and floor lamp in the Abloh’s ‘Acqua Alta’ collection stand at misaligned angles as if they are being submerged by rising flood waters. ‘That’s the message of the work,’ Abloh explains. ‘This land is not our land. We’re part of an ecosystem. With growing concerns about climate change, design is a powerful vehicle to explain that message to a broader public. Anyone can understand a chair.’
The exhibition, ‘Dysfunctional’, will be held during the Venice Biennale Arte 2019 and present works by established and rising artists seeking to break the thin boundaries between art, architecture and design.