Serpentine Galleries has invited the influential London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper to curate a new exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Design is a state of mind will present a landscape of shelving systems, telling the story of design objects and their impact on our lives. This is the second major design exhibition staged by the Serpentine, following Design Real curated by Konstantin Grcic in 2009.
Martino Gamper said: “There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.”
An extensive display of shelving systems from the 1930s to the present day will form the backbone of the exhibition. Ranging from historic design classics and one-off pieces, to industrial, utilitarian, contemporary and newly commissioned work, the exhibition will include designs by Gaetano Pesce, Franco Albini, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol, Gio Ponti and IKEA. Each display system will also be used to organise and exhibit collections of objects curated from the personal archives of Gamper’s friends and colleagues as well as an extensive library of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues from around the world. Among the designers whose collections will be displayed are: Enzo Mari; Paul Neale; Max Lamb & Gemma Holt; Jane Dillon; Michael Marriott; Sebastian Bergne; Fabien Cappello; Adam Hills; Michael Anastsiatis; Andrew McDonagh & Andreas Schmidt; Daniel Eatock and Martino Gamper himself.
Design is a state of mind runs concurrently with an expansive exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery by American artist Haim Steinbach, which will include key works from throughout his impressive forty year career. Furthering the Serpentine’s commitment to contemporary design, both exhibitions highlight objects that have made a significant impact on our lives and offer new perspectives on material culture.