Lately, at design fairs around the world, one new trend has crept to the fore: the design jam, for lack of a better word. Resembling a cross between a church lock-in and Project Runway, the idea is to gather a bunch of creative minds, give them a challenge and set them loose. At the Milan Furniture Fair, we saw the Craft Punk exhibition; recently, at DMY Berlin, there was Open Process, an exhibition put on by Transalpino, a sprawling design collective whose members hail from Germany and Italy.
What’s behind the trend? Transalpino says the idea was to focus on the design process, rather than the actual products created. The entire thing was meant to be as close to a performance as design gets–no mass production, no copyrights. Still, the objects, all made from wood veneer which was shaped and then glued or sewed together, were pretty fun to look at. At the end of the event, the objects were stuck to the wall to form a “mind map” documenting how one idea for handling the material spawned various other designs.