BRUT Collective : Bold Movements and Emotions Beyond Functionality
BRUT made its début in Milan during the Salone del Mobile 2018, where it has introduced the choices and concepts that define and depict the collective identity of the ensemble.
Raw, black coals covered the floor of the exhibition space. Together, the crude stones formed a landscape; an irregular field with an idiosyncratic relation to the location. The coals – with their massive materiality, subtle hues of black and their ability to both absorb and deflect environmental luminosity – engaged in a relationship with the tonality of the emotions, with the stratification of the mind.
This black landscape was regularly interrupted by plateaus – supported bases for the individual designs. They played with the architecture of the environment, create intermediate spaces and shades, rhythms and counter rhythms.
Furthermore, the coal attached itself to history and showed the way in which elements transformed into something new throughout time. At the same time, it referred to the way in which it has influenced Belgium’s industrial past as a resource. And yet it was, first and foremost, an ode to the beauty of untreated, primary materials.
The scenography delineated a (thinking) space and defined an atmosphere of contemplation and stillness, of devotion to matter and time. The tight geometry of the pedestals – the architectural organization which communicates with the wider environment – guided the concentration and gaze of the spectator. The works he encountered were always a combination of existing and new work, of realized and planned concepts. They mirrored six individual creative practices which coincided in part – in this case, explicitly.
This scenography with a combination of natural, untreated materials and architectural elements, was a constant throughout the current and future presentations of BRUT. By sharing the same scene, which has been organized collectively, the objects came together both visually and conceptually and visualized a collective narrative. The choice for charcoal functions as a prologue: a material introduction.
It allowed the six designers to – temporarily – detach themselves from personal trajectories and motives. Additionally, it served as a challenge, as it forced them to open and explore the perspectives and possibilities of a shared ambition – radical and vital.
BRUT is a new collective of six emerging Belgian designers - Ben Storms, Bram Vanderbeke, Cédric Etienne, Charlotte Jonckheer, Linde Freya Tangelder & Nel Verbeke - making its début during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, 2018. The junction of their practices is a natural consequence of the apparent similarities in imagery, concepts and vision. The six represent a young generation of Belgian designers which values the significance of collaboration and collective involvement within the contemporary design landscape.
BRUT, therefore, embodies the commitment to realizing a dialogue between designers and their design language: a visual and conceptual encounter which both reflects the common qualities of the designers and emphasizes the personal idiosyncrasies of their practices. This dialogue is always materialized with a co-decided scenography – a shared setting which visualizes a collective narrative.
BRUT has a dedicated attention for the architectural, sculptural and emotional potential of (contemporary Belgian) design. On the one hand, this focus is a result of the personal sensibilities of the participating designers – the corresponding characters of their practices. On the other hand, it creates a common ground and motive; it realizes and defines an environment where the designers can show, strengthen and challenge each other.