Designer Martino Gamper has curated an exhibition at London's Serpentine Sackler Gallery featuring classic and contemporary shelving systems that display objects chosen by friends and colleagues including Ron Arad and Marc Newson.
Gamper's exhibition at the recently opened Serpentine Sackler Gallery includes shelving products dating back as far as the 1930s, which the London-based designer selected for their iconic status or to demonstrate how they relate to the objects they contain.
Among the products presented as part of the Design is a State of Mind exhibition are classic shelving systems by designers including Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol and Gio Ponti, as well as contemporary products from companies such as Ikea.
Gamper said: "There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale."
The prototypes and inspirational curios selected by the designers include a paperweight in the shape of a bird's foot lent by Enzo Mari and a collection of objects made at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, chosen by Max Lamb and Gemma Holt.
Practical metal shelving from Dexion displays objects from Ron Arad's personal archive, including a table he made from a Singer sewing machine base with a dartboard top.
Some of Gamper's own designs feature in the exhibition, including his rainbow-like arrangement of veneered modular units called L'Arco della Pace.
Gamper also chose to include a large archive of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues from around the world.
Two spaces at the centre of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery provide the setting for events organised by Gamper as part of the exhibition.
The designer identified a range of activities that demonstrate how people interact with furniture and products, including cooking, eating, reading, listening, writing, playing, drawing, dreaming and working.
Design is a State of Mind is running concurrently with an exhibition at the main Serpentine Gallery that showcases the work of American artist Haim Steinbach, who is known for including found and made objects in his art.
Gamper's exhibition, which runs until 21 April 2014, is the second major design exhibition to be staged by the Serpentine Gallery, following the Design Real show curated by Konstantin Grcic in 2009.
The Serpentine Sackler Gallery opened earlier this year following its renovation and extension by Zaha Hadid, who added a swooping tensile fabric canopy to a brick building that was once a gunpowder store.