Chris Kabel

Placement at QUEST


In 2007 Quest 1 brought together nine designers from the UK and the Netherlands and two companies, BGB Engineering and Smith of Derby in the East Midlands. The aim of the project was two-fold, to enable the manufacturing companies to explore big picture issues through a process of blue sky thinking; and to support designers to develop extended portfolio experience within businesses.

Quest 1 - in which Arts Council East Midlands collaborated with the Dutch organisation Young Designers & Industry (YDI)  - was a knowledge transfer laboratory that travelled between the Netherlands and East Midlands.

It had a simple methodology. Following the selection of the businesses and designers, there were three workshops in the UK and the Netherlands. The first workshop introduced the businesses to the designers and set the ‘quests’.

The second workshop in Amsterdam showcased examples of designers working with businesses in new ways and saw the designers present their first responses and spend time in designers’studios. At the third workshop at The Hub in the East Midlands the designers presented their final concepts to the companies, who were able to choose one idea or concept each to take forward for further working. The designers worked in groups and presented collaboratively.

Two teams were selected to take their initial proposals forward. Chris Kabel and Fiona Davidson were selected to develop the BGB proposal to the next design stage. See Documents for a description of their ideas.

Chris Kabel (Netherlands)
Chris Kabel describes himself as a surgeon. He takes objects apart and dissects their meaning - one of his signature pieces is a parasol where the shadow is the meaning: giving shadow a new form. Rotterdam-based, Kabel’s designs leave the consumer to do a bit of extra work, such as finishing the piece, or working out how to use it. His designs are sold by Droog and Moooi and commissioned for projects such as Lille’s European Capital of Culture project.

His work is in collections of among others: the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Boijmans Museum Rotterdam, Hangaram Design Museum Seoul, the Fondation Nationale d’Art Contemporain in France and the Dutch National Glass museum. In 2006 he was awarded a red dot design award for his tablecloth Tableshapes that is in the Droogdesign collection.