27.4.2012 > 3.6.2012

Emergenc(e)(y) is an exhibit conceived for Design City 2012 and produced by the CarréRotondes. Emergence, the first part of the exhibit, gives the floor to emerging designers from various European schools such as  l’ECAL (Lausanne) The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture (Copenhagen) and La Cambre (Brussels), while the Emergency part gathers Luxembourgeois designers and creatives around the theme of urgency. This vast subject covers social and environmental emergencies and analyses problems of (over) consumption and production, raising questions about our lifestyles. Emergency offers non-linear works that translate these different definitions, adding the physical notion of energency intervention, i.e. speed. The designers also playfully and poetically interpret the subject by modifying objects associated with medical emergencies, thus arriving at twenty very different projects/concepts. It is this committed vision of design that the exhibit hopes to reveal.


“Everything I’ve created is definitely useless. From a structural viewpoint, design is totally useless. A useful profession would be to be an astronomer or a biologist, or something like that. Design is nothing.”
Philippe Starck, Die Zeit, March 2008

In March 2008, the internationally renowned French designer Philippe Starck gave an interview to the German weekly Die Zeit, in which he rejected not only the entirety of his output produced up until then, but also the discipline of design as a whole, and spoke out against the source of objects and products devoid of any meaning, and making no real contribution to this world.

Starck’s statement reveals the way in which many people perceive design: the ultimate symbol of excess, consumerism and futility.

With regard to the stance taken up by one of the world’s designers best known to the general public, it is easy to understand how design has acquired the reputation of being useless when it comes to dealing with essential issues.

This, however, is not the whole truth about design, and we are seeing a real position being taken up by designers in relation to their ecological, social and cultural responsibility in terms of producing objects and putting them on the market.

While an increasing number of products and gadgets have been tagged with the “design” label, more and more designers have, on the contrary, taken up the challenge of devising meaningful objects and services, which can improve the quality of life.

Almost 100 years after the definition of the industrial aesthetician by Raymond Loewy and his book Ugliness Does Not Sell, what is the state of the debate between function and form? Craftsmanship and industrial production? Consumption and the preservation of our natural resources?

Ground floor – 350 sq.m/3750 sq.ft of the Carré Rotondes exhibition venue

The Emergence section takes the French word and focuses on introducing “Emergent” students of industrial design and products from different schools in Europe. Irrespective of their disciplines, design schools hide behind their walls creative people who are “emergent” as much because of their functional research projects as through the technical innovativeness of their propositions and ideas, without overlooking an aesthetic sense peculiar to each course and cultural setting in which they grow.

Because Luxembourg has no advanced schools of art or design, it seemed important to draw up a “report” about what is currently of concern to the generation of emergent designers.

This group of students, aged between 18 and 30, who are doing the European rounds and are the thinking heads behind our future consumer habits, will be introduced through a non-exhaustive selection of design schools surrounding Luxembourg.

Utopias, new forms, innovation, needs, poetry… these are the keywords, which will bring these future designers together in the exhibition Emergence.

Design schools in Emergence:
ECAL (Lausanne), ESAD (Reims), The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts-School of Architecture (Copenhagen), La Cambre (Bruxelles), Fachhochschule Trier (Fachbereich Gestaltung), Fachhochschule Aachen (Fachbereich Gestaltung), EESAB (Rennes)

1st floor (450 sq.m/4850 sq.ft of the Carré Rotondes venue from 27.04.2012-03.06.2012)

The Emergency* section brings Luxembourg-based designers and creative people together around the idea of emergency.

The idea of emergency is vast and can be extended to different underlying notions.

Medical: It may involve a literal approach (Emergency in the medical sense) aimed at analyzing existing factors and improving them, or introducing solutions in terms of logistics and transport (for example).

Consumption and contemporary habits: An analysis of the issues of (over)consumption and production in our day and age, which questions our life styles.

Social: The emergency attaching to finding solutions to improve our social/human/school/ cultural exchanges.

Ecology: The emergency attaching to adapting industrial production to a responsible and ecological modus operandi (recycling, eco-design…)

Also involved may be non-linear works capable of conveying a state of emergency by speed and thus the physical notion of intervention and, more abstractly, the feeling or sensation of speed.

*The correct English translation—emergency—does not  cover the combined idea of “urgency” and “emergency” in its entirety in quite the same way as French urgence does; rather, it is specific to physical and medical emergency.

Designers & Agencies in Emergency
Bunker Palace, DesignAid (Philippe Schlesser & Jean-Paul Carvalho), Claudia Eustergerling Design, Greeen Inc. (Claude Ballini, Serge Ecker, Eric Pigat, Philipe Nathan), Heart Hotel, Anne-Marie Herckes & Laurent Daubach, Mathias Hoffman & Jeff Braun, Nathalie Kerschen & Benoît Lagacé, Sacha Lakic, Luxluxlux (Dunja Weber & Cécile Feilchenfeldt), Les M, Mik Muhlen, Pomfluo, David Richiuso, Dunja Weber

Exhibition design: Tom Lipscomb

Production: CarréRotondes within the framework of Design City 2012 – LXBG Design Biennale

Curators: Anna Loporcaro et Steph Meyers


1, rue de l’Aciérie
L-1112 Luxembourg-Hollerich


With the support of:

Photos: Sven Becker