Zaventem Ateliers recreates furniture collection in cardboard after customs delays

  • by

Belgian design collective Zaventem Ateliers has recreated a full furniture show in cardboard after the majority of the pieces it was to show at a Mexico City exhibition were stalled in transit from Europe.

Zaventem Ateliers, a collection of design studios that operates out of a 19th-century paper mill outside of Brussels, recreated a full exhibition after it learned that the 35 pieces it had brought for the Unique Design X exhibition taking place during Mexico City art week were not going to be released from customs.

The works by eight design studios, including members Krjst Studio and Serban Ionescu Studio, were replicated at a one-to-one scale using three square metres of cardboard gathered locally in Mexico City. The original pieces were made in a variety of materials, including metal.

Reproduction took 17 hours

To meet the deadline for the fair’s opening, the studios worked for 17 gruelling hours to create their reproductions.

“We worked, barely speaking or drinking, and then we set up everything and created the same scenography that we planned,” Zaventem Ateliers founder Lionel Jadot told Dezeen.

“The result was quite satisfying. The funny thing was that people passing by didn’t understand what we were doing until the next day when we opened.”

“We had nothing to sell. We were just there to show models of our pieces, to show the volume, and in the end, the absence of our pieces rounded the public’s astonishing curiosity.”

The exhibition (top image) was part of the Unique Design X Mexico City showcase (above)

The pieces on show ranged from chandeliers to sofas and tables and included a large woven wall hanging. They were displayed in a cloth-lined booth alongside the other exhibitors.

Jadot also told Dezeen that the impromptu nature of the solution resonated specifically with the Mexican visitors to the exhibition, leading to “honest and profound” exchanges with the public.

“We also had some extremely emotional reactions from the Mexicans,” he said.

“[They] were very touched to see how we had solved a problem that is very much in line with their daily lives in Mexico: resourcefulness, disruption and a certain resilience.”

Pieces to stay in Mexico

Jadot noted that the pieces were collected by architect and Design Week Mexico founder Andrea Cesarman, who will showcase the impromptu works in her home.

Other designers in the exhibition included Dim Atelier, Pierre Coddens, Grond Studio, Studio Élémentaires and Pascale Risbourg, along with works by Jadot himself.


Bolsón adorns Mexico City shop with recycled-plastic upholstery

Unique Design X was founded by Megan Morris Sans and has promoted Mexican design across the world through a series of exhibitions. This was its first Mexico City exhibition as part of the Material Art Fair.

Other exhibitors during the exhibition included local designer Manu Bañó.

The photography is by Moises Bautista. 

Unique Design X Mexico City was on show from 8 to 11 February 2024. For more events, exhibitions and talks in architecture and design visit Dezeen Events Guide

The post Zaventem Ateliers recreates furniture collection in cardboard after customs delays appeared first on Dezeen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.