Chilling beauty


March, 2019

From natural element to art: in the journey from matter to magic, ice is much more than an element alone.

All objects begin as a sketch: some become masterpieces, others enter and become part of our daily life, however these dimensions can sometimes meet and produce something really unique and special. Ice, an element which makes time stand still, among reflexes and tactile sensations to enhance chrome surfaces; it exploits the static dimension of water to offer artistic visions of a meteoric charm.

In the striking exhibition space of the Verbeke Foundation in Kemezeke, Belgium, our products have been presented from a new perspective: in the display created by Desco, the overall sense of the representation is evident, that is, a synchrony between ecology, technology and the trends of the design world. After all, the appeal of ice has been used by many various contemporary artists to send a deep message and a clear invitation to reflect. For example, let’s take a cold drink, and observe how the ice behaves: it floats, supported by the liquid underneath... if this weren’t so, paradoxically, life on Earth would be impossible. Without this apparently simple exchange of energy known as convection motion, the surface of our planet would find itself totally covered in ice. Therefore, if indeed water is important, it is also just as important in its solid form and even more so during its process of transformation. This scientific reference alludes to an almost magical dimension, where texture and visual and tactile sensations make us think about the inconstancy of substance, so weak when faced with changes in the climate, just like the planet itself.

The concept of the ephemeral is exacerbated in various famous representations: we find clear examples of it in works by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo, who has conveyed her provocative point of view on several occasions, by filling stands and steps with «soluble men»: at first they have a crystalline appearance but deform over time, so sending a message about the paradoxical vacuity of life. For the public, the use of ice has another connotation: the preservation of something to be passed on to the future, by way of installations kept in climate-controlled environments, containing objects responsible for preserving the collective memory, often even with utensils related to daily life. In the same expressive current, mention should also be made of the «Iced flowers» by Azuma Makoto, Japanese visionary who hibernates blocks of beautiful flower bouquets using a sophisticated device, creating wonderful timeless gardens. There are many ways of interpreting ice: ice as matter, ice as an optical illusion, ice as a metaphor, ice as a habitable surface... The key to its interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.

The visit to the Verbeke Foundation generated strong reactions: the choice made by Desco to insert our mixers inside ice cubes proved original, offering different levels of interpretation and showing off the chrome surfaces and the designs of the taps using the irregular transparencies of the ice. The event, which engaged many experts, including Luc Dedeyne, energy consultant, and Damien Erns, professor at the University of Liège brought to light a question: how can the innovations of our field play a part in the creation of a lasting future? «People are asking themselves more and more questions about waste and glut. The consumer is ready for more efficiency and functionality and company need to be helped in this way. By favouring ecological projects and a collaborative economy - says ecologist Steven Vrommen, better known as Low Impact Man - today we will be capable of achieving a daily kind of wellness that will last until tomorrow and even further beyond».