The New Design Philosophy

An online platform for curated, collectable design has arrived – existing somewhere between a digital gallery and marketplace. But who are they and what have they set out to achieve?

The New Design Philosophy

In the 1960s, German philosopher Theodor Adorno set out his thoughts on the relationship between art and society in his seminal treatise Aesthetic Theory. The philosopher believed mass-produced culture threatened the beauty and sublimity of the arts, and he fiercely criticised the standardised aesthetic distractions produced by ‘the culture industry’.

Adorno – a design-focused online platform – was created from the belief that the market for collectable design plays an increasingly important role in today’s economy of mass production. 

And what have they set out to achieve? 

Inspired by Danish cooperatives in agriculture and fishing, where individuals prosper through collaboration, Adorno has set out to build an international collaboration that champions the work of independent designers, strengthens individual business and ultimately contributes to the world’s cultural diversity.

Troels Flensted, Perception Mirrors, and Stine Mikkelsen, The Art of Sitting. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery
Troels Flensted, Perception Mirrors, and Stine Mikkelsen, The Art of Sitting. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery

Adorno’s journey officially began in February 2017, with the launch of its first design collections in São Paolo, Copenhagen and Istanbul. It was a shared exasperation for the lack of diversity in design that drove Adorno founders Kristian Snorre Andersen and Martin Clausen to set up the platform. 

Existing somewhere between a digital gallery and marketplace, Adorno brings together designers, curators, collectors and enthusiasts from cultural hubs around the world to create a worldwide design community. The online shop enables people from all corners of the globe to discover and buy one-of-a-kind and limited-edition design pieces directly from designers.

Troels Flensted, Perception Mirrors, and Stine Mikkelsen, The Art of Sitting. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery
Troels Flensted, Perception Mirrors, and Stine Mikkelsen, The Art of Sitting. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery

Selected by a network of on-the-ground curators in major design cities, Adorno’s collections provide a unique insight into the world’s diverse creative communities – and it celebrates the work of the designers shaping them. Each city collection showcases only unique or limited-edition contemporary works, spanning the fields of furniture, textiles, lighting, ceramics, sculpture and design art. The curatorial approach varies from collection to collection, just as design culture varies from community to community, but every object featured is contemporary in style, experimental in approach, and is exceptional in material quality.

Hanna Whitehead, Mirror Object N.1 & Mirror Object N.2, and Stine Mikkelsen, Tactile Monoliths No 2 & Tactile Monoliths No 5. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery
Hanna Whitehead, Mirror Object N.1 & Mirror Object N.2, and Stine Mikkelsen, Tactile Monoliths No 2 & Tactile Monoliths No 5. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery

Adorno’s designers include both established names and emerging talents at the cusp of their careers. To create an even stronger collaboration strengthening the business of talented independent designers and curators, they are from all over the world. 

Therefore, Adorno contributes to a design culture that celebrates diversity and differences between cultures by providing designers with better opportunities to realise their own dreams and visions as creators.

Explore all items available at Adorno here

Cover image: Martine Mryup, Blue & White Pattern Vase, Large Pink Vase, B/W (Floral) Vase. Photo: Tommy Frost via Adorno Gallery

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