Is it art or is it design? At times the line is blurred, and perhaps this resistance to characterization, uneasy at times, is why platforms for collectable design are few and far between. Therefore Brussels is the place to be this week for collectors in the genre, as recent contemporary design—one-off pieces or with limited edition runs—are the focus of the Collectible Design Fair, taking place March 5-8. Appropriately held in the Belgian capital’s historic, six-story Vanderborght building —a former furniture store with a striking atrium that debuted in 1935—the three-year-old fair draws together young and established designers and galleries from around the globe. From a burnt wood candelabra to a sofa with extra comfort thanks to lentil beans to a side table made of reclaimed CNC dust, here are 15 highlights from this year’s fair.
1. Ashes to Ashes candelabras by William Guillon
William Guillon burns the wood before varnishing it, then combines it with bronze for his Ashes to Ashes series of candelabras, limited to just 100 pieces.
2. Corrugated side table by Charlotte Kidger
The Corrugated side table by Charlotte Kidger is fabricated from a composite resulting from a study on the lightweight polyurethane foam dust that is a byproduct of CNC fabrication.
3. Willowy chair by Sayar & Garibeh
Wicker and clay form the throne-like Willowy chair by Sayar & Garibeh.
4. Distortion Series Object 1 table by Emilianova Studio
Among a collection of five objects, the Distortion Series Object 1 table by Ksenia Emelianova of Emilianova Studio channels rock ‘n roll and 1970s design aesthetics with its marble and silver-plated brass form.
5. Sofa Twist by Nea Studio
Traditionally-trained master upholsterers from Portugal realized the untraditional shape of the foam and wood-framed Sofa Twist by Nina Edwards Anker of Nea Studio.
6. BTRFL collection by Cedric Breisacher
Precise assembly gives the illusion that one piece of solid wood is used for a hand-carved oak console and stool in the BTRFL collection by Cedric Breisacher.
7. Lawless sofa by Evan Fay
The upholstered Lawless sofa by Evan Fay appears to be struggling out of its brass and steel frame.
8. Terra Collection by Llewellynn Chupin
To dream up the Terra collection—with its Tellus chair in oak and stone, the Ceres light in ceramic and stone, and the Ops light in ceramic and oak—Llewellynn Chupin studied the marriage soft curves makes with solid materials.
9. Odette lamp sculpture by Léa Mestres of Studio Mousse
“Odette” is a one-off lamp-like sculpture in plaster and metal by Léa Mestres of Studio Mousse.
10. Overgrown Chandelier by Mark Sturkenboom
Mark Sturkenboom employed a mineral-based fluid to grow the crystals on Overgrown, a chandelier in crystallized brass.
11. Horizon lamp by Gaspard Graulich
Horizon, a lamp by Gaspard Graulich, is part of the artist’s on-going series “Nostalgia of a Landscape,” a study on the emotions left behind at a cherished place. The lamp represents the line of light that is the tipping point between night and day.
12. Trilithon side table by OS & OOS
The natural beauty of preserved sediment formations distinguishes the onyx Trilithon side table by OS & OOS.
13. Luminaires I & II by JM Szymanski
Heavy texture characterizes both the blackened steel and cast glass used for lamps Luminaires I and II by J.M. Szymanski.
14. Trashformers floor lamp by Savvas Laz
The type of styrofoam in Savvas Laz’s Trashformers floor lamp—also made of fiberglass, acrylic resin, and pigment—is that generally used as packaging for large appliances such as washing machines. The artist reclaimed the material from dumpsters.
15. Alltubes collection by Muller Van Severen
The tubular aluminum Alltubes collection of furniture by Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen of studio Muller Van Severen plays on the rhythm and repetition of one round shape.