This year Dutch furniture brand Pastoe celebrates 100 years of gifting the world with good design. In celebration of this momentous milestone, a panoptic exhibition has taken over the Rem Koolhaas-designed Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam. Like Pastoe: 100 Years of Design Innovation elucidates Pastoe’s impact on the design community with an archived collection of designs, publications, posters, sketches, models and photographs alongside special installations from Konstantin Grcic, Naoto Fukasawa, Claudio Silvestrin and Scheltens & Abbenes created specifically for the exhibition.
Luminaire’s enduring relationship with Pastoe can be traced to our mutual love for and commitment to design that is simple, timeless and uncommonly well-made. As the centenary events commenced in February, Luminaire co-founder and President Nasir Kassamali revisited Pastoe’s historical designs while contemplating its future with our close friends and the designers who collaborate with the company.
The newest work on display included Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin‘s Proposition, a bookcase as sculpturally clean as his emotionally-based architecture. A long, tall right triangle seems to be nothing less than a white ramp with a strong presence, until doors open surprisingly to reveal crisp shelving for books inside. Naoto Fukasawa‘s installation for the exhibition appear as line-drawings in aluminum against a black wall – a shelving system appropriately titled Outline. As with Silvestrin’s work, Fukasawa’s shelves sing to minimalism at its most beautiful. One the other hand, the bright orange cabinets Clouds by Konstantin Grcic ask us to contemplate the future of craftmanship as we travel between traditional woodworking and modern digital techniques.
Some of older design in the exhibition included a Shigeru Uchida cabinet once carried by Luminaire but no longer in production. One could also experience first-hand Maarten van Severen‘s LL04, a leather lounge whose sleek minimal line keeps it refined, pure and honest, and Karel Boonzaaijer and Pierre Mazairac’s Vision hanging system, which originated from the Pastoe Cube of 1967. Both of these pieces can be found at Luminaire showrooms today.
Because of their timeless quality, older designs like these can seamlessly sit next to contemporary Pastoe pieces. In fact, all Pastoe designs have even been produced in same factory for the past 100 years.
Bound together as kindred spirits, Luminaire is exceedingly grateful to Pastoe, not only for the many years of collaboration but even more for the beauty it has inspired, both in our souls and at home.