The Design Center hosts ‘An Evening with Tord Boontje’ Wed., Nov. 18

The Design Center at Philadelphia University will host “An Evening with Tord Boontje,” a conversation with the internationally-renowned European designer in conjunction with exhibition, Lace in Translation, on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in The Tuttleman Center Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the University community and the public.

The discussion will explore Boontje’s artistic inspiration and creative techniques. Boontje’s work was commissioned by The Design Center for its groundbreaking exhibition Lace in Translation, which is on view now thorough April 3, 2010.

For Lace in Translation, Boontje created a multi-sensory, three-gallery installation featuring furniture, lighting and laser-cut fabrics in themes of black, gold and white. As part of this site-specific installation, a team of Philadelphia University students, faculty and staff worked with Boontje’s designs, hand-weaving raffia into pieces for a large lace curtain which hangs in the gallery windows.

Boontje says the vocabulary of lace in his work emerged through “cutting away rather than building up. It was through direct translations of nature, looking up to the sky through the layers of sunlit foliage – these kinds of things remind me of lace. Like the natural world, where foliage is spatial and formed in three dimensions, I started to look at a layered image and three-dimensional lace-like structures to invoke this intricacy that is so fascinating to me.”

Boontje’s work is featured in many permanent museum collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, MoMA and the Groninger Museum. He has developed designs and products for Target, Alexander McQueen, Swarovski, Moroso, Swatch and Perrier Jouët, among many others.

His latest creation is a lacy laptop from HP, complete with a 3D lid cover featuring his signature silhouette design including endangered animals. The laptop’s eco-friendly features include a 100 percent recyclable box, manual and packaging, as well as an organic cotton protective sleeve.

The Design Center at Philadelphia University unveiled Lace in Translation in September 2009. The exhibition explores the crossroads of traditional lace and modern industrial manufacturing techniques. Internationally-recognized artists and designers Cal Lane, Tord Boontje, and Demakersvan have created site-specific installations located throughout The Design Center’s grounds and galleries.

Their work fuses classic hand craftsmanship with modern-day production techniques. The Design Center’s historic Quaker Lace Company collection is the inspiration for the artists’ present-day reinventions of lace.

For more information on the Lace in Translation exhibition and The Design Center, call (215) 951-2860 or visit or

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