Designers Romain Coppin and Alexis Bondoux, who collaborate as Messgewand, have created a collection of surreal furniture made from collages of found objects.
Messgewand's collection of 10 pieces of furniture offers an alternative to highly polished products most designers develop for mass production.
Coppin and Bondoux, who met nine years ago while studying in France, favour an experimental creative approach.
Their latest collection of works was created during a month-long residency at ALFA – an atelier in the Belgian municipality of Zaventem that supports young artists and designers experimenting with new approaches to craft.
For the residency at ALFA, the designers created ten pieces of furniture using materials including wood, metal, foam and plastic gathered from the atelier's workshop.
They also sourced discarded furniture and objects from a flea market and secondhand store in nearby Brussels, which they used to produce pieces described as "a new step in the exploration of our process of collage."
"It took us almost two weeks to collect stuff and sort them out properly in the workshop," Bondoux and Coppin told Dezeen.
"After that, we started to compose things from this stock by testing combinations and contrasts, then we added ornamentation, paint, surface work and decoration details."
The designers explained that their creative process is informed by the physical and aesthetic properties of the materials they use in their collages.
They combine these materials intuitively in ways that prompt the viewer to reconsider their perceived value.
"We are totally influenced by the ideas of maximalism, over materiality, and over decoration," they added.
"These are the main tools we use to produce furniture or objects and to propose our personal investigation of the design field."
The pieces are intentionally ambiguous and often unfinished.
They suggest that the different stages of the design process – ideating, sketching, drawing, modelling – can be viewed as potential endpoints as an alternative to production-ready objects.
"We have a fascination for aesthetic ambiguity, our work is trying to be constantly in between, always oscillating between sacred and cheap, where cheap is often a pedestal for the sacred," claimed Messgewand.
"In our quest of radicality, this relation is helping us to mix mass culture and avant-garde in our projects."
The works created at ALFA formed the designers' first solo show exhibited at Everyday Gallery in Antwerp from December 2019 to January 2020.
Everyday Gallery founder Boris Devis set up the residency programme at ALFA to help a new group of avant-garde designers whose work crosses over into the realm of art.
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Anna Aagaard Jensen is also represented by Everyday Gallery.
Her project titled A Basic Instinct comprises flesh-coloured chairs with anthropomorphic forms, which encourage women to claim more space with their bodies.