Alongside church steeples, high chimneys once dominated big industrial cities. Most are demolished now, but some still remain as nostalgic remnants of a long-forgotten industrial age, when factories were perceived by most citizens as vital signs of prosperity and wellbeing. Heating Stove 02 is by far the most literal adaptation of the industrial era and functioned as a centerpiece for the Modern Times collection.
The Modern Times exhibition that we presented during many different international design events is all about playing with time. We drew inspiration from the industrial era, craftsmanship and experience. With this collection, we wanted to react on society and the fast world of design. In a way, the collection is a tribute to the old days, in which everything was possible, nothing too crazy, and no problem unsolvable. It is a collection of hand-crafted work, consisting of an outdoor stove, an indoor stove, a cabinet and two lamps. Everything in thecollection has its own relation to time. It’s not merely a reference to the past, but also a reference to the timereal craftsmen take to complete their work.
On an empty plot of the Ketelhuisplein, between Strijp S and Klokgebouw – two buildings on the former Philips factory grounds –we presented our Modern Times show by mounting a mobile camp, including an exhibition tent and a forge. While dedication to the object was still at the forefront – as was evident in the small exhibition of the sublime Unimate series – we also showed our understanding of the rock and roll of design. With its oil-smudged make-believe buildings and set pieces, Modern Times referred not only to the industrial heritage of the location, but also alluded to the heroism of industry, mocked in Charlie Chaplin’s famous 1936 movie of the same name.