Meet People | Discover objects | Enjoy Brussels...

B-collective is a Brussels-based design initiative by Sophie Laenen, architect since 1992. It is located in the Rouppestraat in the center of Brussels on walking distance of the Grande Place and the Sablon. The house is since 2008 the base for B-sis as well, the B&B of the two sisters Katrien and Sophie.

Platform for Belgian creatives. Bringing their fascinating work to be seen. The focus is on unique items and limited series. The monumental form and aesthetics are given priority over functionality. Experiments with materials and techniques lead to objects that surprises and moves. We are happy sharing these upcoming talents who are proud to be Belgian…

For B-collective it all started with the dream ‘bringing people together’ in a different context as at my office. After three previous editions, it still feels right to emphasize the connection between people rather than to focus -only- on objects. The recent collaborations between ‘vormen’ and ‘Lagadou’ or ‘Brukseilas’ and ‘Lagadou’ are the best examples that projects can arise where people meet each other.

Talking with designers about their passion, their way of thinking and working,… helps us to understand what it’s all about. There is nothing that brings us more directly to a creator’s thinking than his working environment. And luckily after the pandemic it was finally easier to visit their studio’s or home. The past period was confusing and hard for some. Inspiring for others. Usually the search for new ways is quite a challenge, mentally but in this case also financially.

I also had doubts about whether or not to start up… In the end it’s best to follow your instincts… The designers kept busy, they tried to reinvent themselves and to experiment on new things. Some took the extra time to carefully think out the smallest details. The tendency of using more natural materials is still gaining importance.

In architecture nowadays everything revolves around circularity. Because of the policy it is currently top priority. It makes me happy to see that Brussels became a forerunner on that topic (headline in the Brussels Times) But are customers ready for this direction? Or can we just convince them with strong ideas?

A project that got my attention straight away was ‘MultiFelt - Histories de pulls’ from Louise Richard. The two past years during her master in textile design in Brussels, she made an interesting research on how to revalorize forgotten wool. She developed an interesting technique by using a hybrid and multilayer felt. By using old sweaters and local wool from her home region a poetic piece of fabric arises… innovating and circular in the same time…. When I heard about Timon I was impressed about what a multi-talented designer he is…he seems to be a graphic designer, creating fashion, furniture and music!!! He can do it all. 

When I was talking with him he revealed that he went trough a rough period, the past two years meant a new start. As a graphic designer he was working way to hard, everything had to go faster and faster which choked him. The period of the pandemic gave him the time to return to his real passion: creating objects. By nature he is very pragmatic, down to earth…; no wonder he likes modularity. His objects radiate a harmonious simplicity. They are based on current topics as environment friendly and low waste. His table for example is conceived in such a way that she can be made perfectly out of one plate! For people who live small the table has also the advantage that she can be disassembled. Another way of thinking circular is to think local. That’s what Lies from Brukseilas understood well. As you know she is crazy about Brussels (well…, we have that in common:-). Last edition she worked with local marble, now she developed a new Penta out of Sonian wood. Every year a lot of wood from our Sonian forest is shipped abroad, with this project she (in collaboration with Sonianwoodcoop) tries to keep as much as possible in Brussels. Good for our local economy! Her objects shows how passionate she is about her hometown! And Brussels deserves it. Beautiful Penta’s fills her home (and also mine :-)

Designers who also got off to a flying start during the pandemic are Julie and Stijn from studio Fuho. I noticed their incredible professionalism and perfectionism. Everything is carefully figured out: the smallest details of their designs, but also their communication and branding. Humanity and craftsmanship are a main focus. Manon Clement her work…contains so many layers to discover… Although her work contains words, I became completely silent from the impression it made. Her work always starts from the word and will further develop in the space of textiles. Poetic words are always in search of a tangibility, for a place where they create meaning. By adding words to a material she involves her viewers in the conceptual meaning of her work, in this way an attempt at dialogue is created.

It seems that graphic design is an important aspect of this year's edition. Charlotte Thomas is a Belgian designer with a great interest in textile as in graphic design. She searches for an innovative overlapping of both. The patterns she makes are a result of an ongoing game with geometrical forms and characters. The bold patterns form together a continuously growing archive, which Charlotte uses to design different kinds of products.

For the first time at B-collective I’m happy to be surprised with a new creation resulting from the collaboration between Charlotte Thomas and Axelle Vertommen… I can’t wait to discover it together with all of you! All over the world everyone is trying to find not only a way to go back to normal but to go further. I feel honored to exhibit the work of these designers in an unforced environment. And there is an excess of young talent who wants to meet up with others and share inspiring stories. Background and language doesn’t matter, a fascinating mixture brings interesting dialogue about beautiful objects. Talking to the designers brought me into all kind of interesting stories and maybe it will carry you away. Stories about materials, techniques, about contemplation, about modularity, about international experiences, about beauty … And of course, about the passion for making! 

From 15 September 2022 till 22 October 2022:

Friday and Saturday free entrance from 01pm till 06pm.
Thursday's by appointment.

Rue Rouppe 1- Rue Philippe De Champagne 21 | 1000 Brussels
+32 476 39 7 137

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