2015 Grateful 8

My life is bursting with good intentions. I am forever making notes to myself to see, do, go, call, write, ask… and a good 7 times out of 10, I never get around to doing anything but rebuking myself weeks later for not having seen, done, gone, called, written, asked …

museum-applied-arts-budapest1For weeks now, I’ve been reminding myself to go see the Home Sweet Home exhibition at the Iparművészeti Múzeum (Museum of Applied Arts), which, incidentally, is the third oldest applied arts museum in the world (or one of the oldest at least, depending on what you read). It runs until November 15 and time was running out. So late this afternoon, I went. And was dutifully impressed. 

I was with three American friends, all of whom qualified for a concessionary ticket. Am not sure I agree with stuff costing more to be young(er). But hey – at less than €10 for a full-priced combination ticket that gets you into everything, it’s nothing to be sneezed at.

The Home Sweet Home exhibition is actually three exhibitions in one. Tickets also  include  admission to  the BID – Collective Imagination (Imaginación Collectiva) and the Hungarian Design Awards and Design Management Awards exhibitions.

I was particularly impressed with a range of clothing designed for those with autism, based on studies of behavioural habits and favourite poses/relaxed positions. There was also a set of black-and-white ceramic tableware designed for those who are partially sighted; shopping bags made from fishing line and wire; and shoes that can be worn on either foot and so are only sold in ones.

I love design shops. I love seeing how creative people can take thoughts and turn them into something tangible. I love the possibility of it all.

Globalization, technological revolution, environmental issues, sharing economy – concepts that have shaped our mindset in recent years. But how does an abstract concept take form? How does the world leak into our homes, how does our micro-environment transform into a mirror of the society, and how are designers inspired by the big changes of history? HOME SWEET HOME exhibition tries to answer these questions – mainly through items by Hungarian designers, in an inspiring way for both general public and professionals.

 

The second exhibition runs a little longer. Lifting the Curtain presents the birth of modern architecture in Central Europe from a rather different perspective. [PF and CM – thought of you both – you’d have loved it.] It’s not about architects or styles, but more about  the networks of modern architecture and the influences that transcend borders. I hadn’t known, for instance, that back in 1944, as the Russians were getting closer and closer to Budapest, an entire class from the Technical University (including students, professors, and admin staff – some 1600 in all) were put on trains and shipped out of the country. The idea was to save a generation of engineers and architects who would return to rebuild the country once the war was over. Most ended up in Denmark as POWs before eventually returning to Budapest where the architects among them brought back some influences of Danish modernism. Who’d have thunk it?

Stolen wallet aside, it’s been a good week, one that ended in fond reminiscences. It’s not often I get to sit people who don’t know each other around a table and listen to them discover (and marvel at) how they all have Alaska in common. Or get to visit a home on Csepel Island that might have been transplanted from Valdez. Or actually get to do something before the window of time snaps shut on me. Yep – lots to be grateful for.

And Rex, you’re here with us in spirit – we know. 

 

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