Product and material designer Linde Freya Tangelder (Netherlands, 1987). After her study at the Design Academy Eindhoven (2014) and work experiences at the Campana Brothers in São Paulo and Studio Unfold in Antwerp, she started her design studio Destroyers/Builders in 2015. Linde Freya Tangelder is also a member of BRUT collective – a practice of 5 Belgian designers with a focus on installations and scenography.
Guillermo Santomà (Spain, 1984) lives and works in Barcelona. He studied Design at Elisava Barcelona. Santomà places himself somewhere in-between architecture and design and creates complete environments for his work to act in. Santomà incorporates performance art into his practice with live design shows, one of which presented at Chart Art Fair 2018 in Copenhagen.
“I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me.
I am arch, gay, languid, melancholy by turns.
I am rooted, but I flow”
[The Waves, 1931]
A combination of two words, the result of two distinct – and in some occasions opposite – forces: the one that determines a rooted in place and the one that expresses the possibility and ability to move. “ROOTED FLOWS” is an expression-oxymoron through which to suggest a state of divergence between two defined polarities, but also an association of words referring to a hypothetical tension between different states: this inner tension – psychic and emotional at the same time – seems to relate with increasing intensity to contemporaneity, a historical moment in which individuals experience a continuous alternation between conditions of stasis and movement, real or figurative.
Rooted : tradition
Having roots: being “anchored” to a specific cultural system. Adhering to a set of codes, customs and practices: being tied to tradition. Tradition is a form of transmission, of transfer of values, norms, beliefs, styles, attitudes and behaviors between individuals or groups of individuals: a passage of witness that gives consistency to a collective memory, to a social memory connected to the concept of identity. Transmission however does not necessarily mean replication and reproduction. For an anthropologist like Bronislaw Malinowski, for example, traditions must always be understood in relation to the function they perform in the present time; the classical myths would be nothing but reworkings of the past in view of the present.
But the concept of tradition is also linked to that of transcendence, because it expresses the possibility for the individual to overcome the logic that imagines him/her and defines him/her like an isolated entity – expression of a solitary “I” – allowing him/her to project himself into a dimension in which to connect to history, to humanity that populates past and present generations. In this sense, tradition is a transcendent agent that allows escape from absolute subjectivism, allowing access to a collective feeling.
Flow: follow a flow, channel into a current. Being in movement, in continuous transformation, in perennial becoming. A condition that can be interpreted in a twofold sense: if on the one hand the flow can be considered in a passive sense – adapt to let oneself be transported – on the other it can have an active meaning – being understood as a disruptive force that defines by itself the path of its slide.
Liquidity, according to Zygmunt Bauman, is a liminal, intermediate, transitory and unfinished area where uncertainty is generated that undermines the concept of community and favors unbridled individualism; but placing yourself in a “fluid way” can also mean adhering to a shared, common vision, fueling the attitude to experience a continuous change and the intention to explore, to open up to novelty. It is in this direction that a point of contact with the idea of innovation manifests itself: being fluid to innovate, developing the ability to incubate thoughts that can identify new practices or create the conditions for defining new scenarios.
A single constant is defined in the flow: change.
Reflecting on these ideas, one wonders about the imaginary that the combination of the two words – “rooted flows” – can suggest. More specifically, one wonders if – through design-oriented practices – a new category of symbolic artifacts can be designed, functional or not, capable of interpreting the theme; these presences – in balance between past and future, between the time that has forged and sedimented the rites and myths of tradition and that which feeds the ideas and processes of innovation – are candidates to assume the role of “narrative objects” or, in even more ambitious way, of “cultural entities”.
What kind of stories can they tell? What cultural message can they formulate and transmit? And again: what kind of physical characters can they have? What kind of reflections can they stimulate or suggest?