I had to google the word ‘Animism’ and that is exactly what Adorno did, I was told, to find the right word to describe the idea they had with their exhibition at Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, one of the two villas where Alcova 2024 took place this year.


Animism is the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork, and in some cases words—as being animated, having agency and free will. Animism is used in anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many Indigenous peoples in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organized religions.


The animist perspective

What if furniture could speak? We talk about pieces as if they’re alive as if they’re people – the sofa goes well with therug, the lamp has a lot of character,and so on – yet rarely do we entertain the notion that they might truly possess life. While Such musings may seem reminiscent of childish fables, throughout nearly all of human history, the animist perspective – that everything, from rocks to rivers, isalive –was the only perspective. Now, the realm of science is steadily expanding the definition of life, challenging our ability to delineate between what is sentient and what is not, beings and things, subjects and objects.

A banquet of design

Organized as a banquet of design, this exhibition features eight chairs seated around a dinner table set with curated treasures, ranging from crafted cutlery to hand-blown glasses. Throughout the room pieces are breathing with life; sassy vases are wearing jewelry, thoughtful mirrors reflect, humble tapestries hang, lamps singing silently, and cabinets are dancing,all engaging in a profound dialogue stretching beyond materials, colors, and culture. Animism invites visitors to engage with these pieces as fellow guests data
gathering. Engage Them in conversation, learn their preferences,and befriend them.

The exhibition hints at a path toward a sustainable future rooted in the wisdom of the past. By dissolving boundaries between the animate and inanimate were define our relationship to the material world. We Envision a future where objects aren’t just commodities to acquire and dispose of but beings that wecan know, befriend,and even fall in love with. Animism is an invitation to experience the world with wonder and reverence and to care for the objects that share our lives as if they were our kin. (text Adorno)

I will add more images to the post as soon as they are available for now enjoy this sneak peek! 



Mareike Lienau – Lyk Carpet

A special shoutout to Mareike, a carpet designer who I previously met at Domotex As a process designer, Mareike Lienau presented a selection of her outstanding objects and her latest design, the “Kailani” pouf, as part of the ‘Animism’ exhibition. The introduction of this new pouf character marked the beginning of a new pouf family, expanding upon Mareike Lienau’s unique sculptural quality and characteristic aesthetics.

The presentation of Lyk Carpet at Villa Bagatti Valsecchi provided visitors with the opportunity to experience wool material in a rich context, both visually and historically diverse. The contrasts between industry and craftsmanship, old and new, as well as practicality and aesthetics promised visitors an unforgettable experience that vividly illustrated the multifaceted world of design and craftsmanship.


images ©vosgesparis

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