Somewhat Different: Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention

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byCassie Cheng

Quirky and unconventional, contemporary German design fills the Yuchengco Museum from May 2 – 31, 2012 with a traveling exhibit of interpreted everyday objects. Somewhat Different: Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention features close to 150 objects by predominantly German designers who have approached conventional design in a “somewhat different” way.

Curated by German designer and architect Volker Albus, Somewhat Different also illustrates new perspectives on function, materials, construction, and content references. The bookshelf, the Persian rug, the easy chair—the generic terms for different pieces of furniture conjure up specific images with their structure and decorative use. It is these associations which inspire designers to give objects an unexpected twist, revealing the absurdity of basic, yet somewhat rigid design principles. Quite often such breaks from the norm challenge users to reflect on established notions, triggering a change of paradigm.

Somewhat Different is complemented by the designs of Epoch, a group of young international artists who challenge old concepts and provoke minds to dream of alternative perspectives. Tied together by a common Filipino heritage, Epoch’s members—Jinggoy Buensuceso, Martha Cech, Olivia d’Aboville, Daniel Latorre Cruz, Stanley Ruiz, and Wataru Sakuma—introduce new design concepts and allow for the reawakening of the creativity of Filipinos.

Somewhat Different is an exhibit of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA) presented in Manila by Goethe-Institut Philippinen in partnership with Yuchengco Museum and Epoch. The exhibit is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Goethe-Institut Philippinen.

Yuchengco Museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues in Makati. Museum hours are from Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (632) 889-1234 or visit


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