Virgil Abloh's ongoing fascination with acqua alta– and specifically the perilous flooding of Venice– is the point of departure for his latest furniture project. In the June 2019 issue of Wallpaper*, Abloh explained that the flooding served as inspiration for furniture he created specifically for his forthcoming ‘Dysfunctional’ show. The exhibition will take place at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in partnership with Lombard Odier in Ca’ d’Oro during this summer’s Venice Biennale.
The Acqua Alta collection comprises chairs, benches and a floor lamp that stand askew as if submerged by rising flood water. “That’s the message of the work,” Abloh told Wallpaper* “This land is not our land. We’re part of an ecosystem. With growing concerns about climate change, design is a powerful vehicle to explain that message to a broader public. Anyone can understand a chair.”
The article notes that Abloh is no newcomer to furniture design, studying the discipline as part of both his civil engineering course at the University of Wisconsin and his architecture master’s at IIT, where he also experimented with woodworking. He also revealed an upcoming IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration of homewares last year.
‘Dysfunctional’ is showing at Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro in Venice, from May 8 to November 24, and ‘Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech’ is at MCA Chicago, from June 10 until September 22.