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Jonas Vansteenkiste, Membrane (2021) Villa Gaverzicht / foto: Dirk Pauwels

MDD Talks #5 - Houses for art

19/06/2021 - 19/06/2021

Houses for art: how heritage homes interact with art and design

Natascha Drabbe
, founding director of Iconic Houses Network, Amaryllis Jacobs from MANIERA, and artist Jonas Vansteenkiste discuss what’s at stake in organising art and design exhibitions in private heritage houses. The domestic floor plans of landmark architecture – particularly modernist architecture – challenge artists, designers, and curators into finding innovative ways to show artwork. How to bring them into constructive dialogue? How to ensure that the architecture becomes more than mere decor? The talk will be moderated by Laurens Otto.

Natascha Drabbe is Executive Director and Founder of the Iconic Houses Network. She graduated in the field of architectural history at Utrecht University, and has published, curated, lectured, and participated in design and architecture juries at home and abroad. Iconic Houses is the international non-profit network connecting architecturally significant houses and artists’ homes and studios from the 20th century that are open to the public.

Amaryllis Jacobs co-founded MANIERA with Kwinten Lavigne in 2014. MANIERA commissions architects and artists to develop furniture and objects for use. Architects often have a close relationship with the visual arts and artists are often inspired by the spatial environment. MANIERA crystallises these affinities into new design proposals. MANIERA also organises exhibitions in locations of architectural significance, including at Hôtel Wolfers, Brussels (2015), De Beir House (Knokke, 2020) and recently at Roelants House, Sint-Martens-Lennik. 

Jonas Vansteenkiste is a visual artist and curator who works with and around spaces. After studying Media Arts at the KASK, Ghent, he obtained a postgraduate degree in research in the arts at St-Lucas Antwerp. Since then, Vansteenkiste has been investigating mental and physical space in his work. The concept of ‘house/home’ is a motif in his oeuvre. In his recent project Membrane, he recently explored the architecture and stories of the former and current residents of Villa Gaverzicht in Waregem and the importance of modernist heritage.

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