With the Binôme project, the Contemporary Design Market encourages the exploration for more diversity from within, setting up a dialogue between a Belgian designer and an artist from a different cultural background. Pieter Bostoen and Gilles Mayk Navangi examine who they are, what sets them apart, and what values they hold dear. In this short conversation, we get to know both designers, and how they came closer to each other. At the Contemporary Design Market on 24 and 25 September in Tour & Taxis, you’ll discover the full series of objects they developed together.
Pieter Bostoen is a multifaceted designer working in the field of interior design, graphic design, product design and art. He believes that good design is a cross-over between those different disciplines. Gilles Mayk Navangi is a painter, illustrator and sculptor. His work focuses on the phenomenon of civilization, with a particular interest in African cultures and traditions.
Pieter: What is your favourite power?
Mayk: The power of time
Mayk: Are you religious?
Pieter: Not really. If yes, more spiritual like Shintoism connected to nature
Mayk: I believe in energy and vibrations
Mayk: What kind of shapes do you prefer?
Pieter: What is the thing that stimulates your creativity the most?
Mayk: Research and talk to likeminded people
Pieter: What is your favourite animal?
Pieter: What is most important to you?
Mayk: Friends and family
Pieter: Family and friends
Mayk: What are your most important principles?
Pieter: Freedom and justice
Mayk: Freedom, peace, equality
Pieter: Do you like to partner or work solo?
Mayk: I like both but I’m more used to work alone
Pieter: Both, but partnering mostly
Mayk: What skill would you like to have?
Mayk: I would liked to be multilingual
Pieter: What countries would you still like to visit?
Pieter: New Zealand and Australia
Mayk: What is your favourite food?
Mayk: Banana plantin
Pieter: What is your ethnic background?
Mayk: Congolese from Kinshasa
Pieter: Flemish / Northern French
Mayk: What is your favourite part of the creative process?
Pieter: The end result
Mayk: The reflection and the beginning of the formatting
Pieter: What do you do to clear your mind?
Mayk: I walk
Pieter: I go cycling
Pieter: What is the most important thing for you in a production?
Mayk: The relationship between content and form
Pieter: The client and my crew
How can we visualize what is close to us?
What material connects us?
What is our inspiration?
Mayk: Interaction between humans and animals
So what are we in need of?
So how do we get there?
The main themes that emerged were: spirituality, humanity, energy, nature, positivity, color and interaction.
This dialogue was used as the starting point to investigate what unites them, and to look for a common language that embraces both cultures. The idea emerged of making objects symbolising endangered animals, while being related to nature and vegetation. These objects are jars, totems, meditative sculptures, which advocate contemplation and benevolence towards the animal kingdom. Through this project, they wish to draw attention to the tragic fate of certain animals due to the profit and exploitation of biodiversity. They chose to work with clay, as a universal material across cultures, as a material that has traditionally been used in various walks of life.
At CDM, they will present the handmade collection consisting of 10 coloured objects. The collection will also go into production and will be released by Serax in 2023 with 5 objects made from different unpainted clay materials.