Subscribe to our newsletter

Highlights From the Previous Week, Partnered Events and Haikus. View our Newsletter archive

Werk It, Damien!

Apr 10, 2018

As part of our series on Die Werkstatt, the collective behind our seasonal exhibition at Spazio Nobile, we spoke with designer Damien Gernay about his work

Scroll right to read more ›
Text by Noëlle Gardener
Photography by Bruno Timmermans and Jonas Loellmann

At our sister gallery in Brussels, Spazio Nobile, the Season VII exhibition displays the work of Die Werkstatt, a collective formed by designers Damien Gernay, Kaspar Hamacher, Valentin Loellmann and Fabian von Spreckelsen and photographer Jonas Loellmann.

As part of our series on the group, we spoke with Gernay about material experimentations and how design is having a food moment.

TLmag: You’re a bit of a material polymath. What is the process of choosing one for a project?
Damien Gernay: I am really interested in material experimentation. Each material has its own language, and I appropriate them based on collapses, accumulations and confrontations. For me, the object gains its full sense through these acts —it evokes, it pretends, it demands.

TLmag: Is there, you think, a new appreciation for craftsmanship in the design scene?
DG: I often compare the design scene to the food scene, in the sense that I think —I hope— that everything is changing in terms of mentality. People are increasingly looking for local producers, healthy products, sustainable agriculture. I am on the quality versus quantity camp. For me, the exact same thing happens in the design scene, with the “industry is dead” thing —and not exclusively in the luxury field.

TLmag: What’s the piece in the Die Werkstatt exhibition at Spazio Nobile that means the most to you?
DG: The Glaz mirror, because as it is my latest piece, it reflects my current state of mind.

TLmag: What unlikely experiment do you think has paid off the most for your career?
DG: Around 2013 and 2014, I started throwing away some resin on leather leftovers. That was the starting point of all my experimentations with leather.

Die Werkstatt – Season VII is on display until May 13

die werkstatt damien gernay
die werkstatt damien gernay
die werkstatt damien gernay
die werkstatt damien gernay

Articles you also might like

Using various textile techniques like knitting, embroidery and tufting, Paris-based textile artist Manon Daviet transposes her drawings into tapestries, creating what she calls “volume paintings”. Here, she talks TLmag through her multidisciplinary practice, finding inspiration in comic books and her embracing of mysticism in nature.

Ever since he was a child, Mounir Fatmi has been curious about the transformation of objects – how, with a slight change of context or position, they can take on entirely new meanings. As a contemporary artist, he regularly goes back into the archive, transforming materials into a highly charged body of work with cleverly subversive reflections on contemporary culture.

Cape Town-based, multi-disciplinary artist Igshaan Adams expresses and unpacks his identity through his art. In ritualistic performances and through the use of handcrafts such as embroidery and beading, he delves into personal topics that look toward the environment in which he was raised, resolving conflicting identities in a quest for spiritual enlightenment.