„How Art a Design can be?“

Guest curator Teodora Kotseva invites leading international designers to the Direktorenhaus to discuss the big and small issues of contemporary design.



1. November  2019


The question what is art and what is design is not easy to be answered considering the fact that nowadays we see boundaries between the two being constantly blurred away. One way to look at this relationship is to ask if art and design belong to the same system: manufacturing, production, organisational, market etc. With the blooming of galleries dedicated to selling art with functional characteristics we witness a separation, albeit, not so clear from the typical design field. Young designers inevitably question a belonging and positioning in relation to either the design or the art market. The idea behind this talk is to bring together various players in the face of established artists and design studios, gallerists, academy professors, and discuss the main characteristics of the two fields, the current market dynamics and trends, as well as the positioning of emerging practitioners within the existing art and design markets. Who are the taste-makers and the gatekeepers in the design-art market? How important is it to have a commercial gallery representation? What role do the collectors have? What place does the city of Berlin have in the limited edition design market?





08:00 PM




Teodora Kotseva








Judy Rambags






Artists Maria Thereza Alves ( Recipient of the Vera List Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018) and Jimmie Durham ( Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2019 ) started the design company LABINAC in the year 2018 together with Kai-Morten Vollmer. Alves and Durham have lived together in Mexico, New York, Marseille, Brussels, Rome and Naples. Currently they are based in Berlin. They have made their own furniture and work areas in each place over a forty-year period.


LABINAC/ Spiderchair, 2018 (stainless steel, textile), 80 cm x 70 cm x 100 cm
designed by Maria Thereza Alves / photo Kai-Morten Vollmer


LABINAC/ Tripod Table, 2018 (stone and wood)
designed and made by Jimmie Durham/ photo: Nick Ash



LABINAC is conceived as a design collective, where various artists are invited to produce works. The designs range from furniture, light fixtures, jewellery, vases and dishes from glass and ceramics. The company is dedicated among other things to work with indigenous communities in the Americas to promote designs that are too often regarded as only traditional, neglecting the contemporaneity of shapes, patterns and materials.









Chmara.rosinke is a design duo based in Vienna and Berlin. The studio designs, directs and executes objects, interiors and pop-ups from concept through creation. They strive to combine craftsmanship with a conceptual and ecological approach, realising both commissioned and self-initiated projects. Many of their works are inspired by functional and socio-cultural aspects. In their designs, Chmara.rosinke pay a lot of attention to details and the emotions objects and spaces arouse in people. Above all, they see aesthetics as an important sustainability factor. The studio realised projects for various clients among others: COS, Hermès, Wallpaper*, Tommy Hilifger, MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Volksbühne Berlin etc.










VAUST is a Berlin-based experimental interior design studio focusing on the manufacture of furniture-inspired objects and the development of contemporary spatial concepts. Their objects are self-confident attempt at manifesting the perception of contemporary spirituality in a furniture-inspired collection of items. Something unseen, something deeply sexy, something rough and emotional, soft and brutal, something utterly luxurious. VAUST spaces dedicates itself to extending the mindset and aesthetic of the objects to holistic spatial concepts. The interaction between space and an object belong together just like a piece of art and its potential framing.








Judy Rambags


Judy Rambags is the founder and CEO of Judy Straten Art-Design Consultancy. The company realises projects in the creative and cultural sectors, works as advisory and coach to creative makers and various cultural institutions, curates exhibitions, coordinates and manages projects on behalf of a wide spectrum of clients. In the past 10 years Judy Straten headed her art gallery with which she has represented and shown artists and designers at international art fairs such as: MiArt, Art Rotterdam, Art Amsterdam, SCOPE Basel, Design Days Dubai etc. At the moment she is working as creative advisor in the field of contemporary art and limited edition design.




Teodora Kotseva

Programmkuratorin/ Moderation


For more than ten years Teodora Kotseva (MA Cultural Economics, BA Economics and Management, Bocconi University) has practiced in the art and design fields in the capacity of curator, dealer, writer and art manager. Her professional realisation took place in Milan, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, and most recently Berlin where she worked in the past four years as an international project manager in the field of multimedia time-based art. Currently she is occupied with the realisation of an agency dedicated to the promotion of contemporary design thinking and limited editions by international artists and designers. Since 2019 she is Guest Curator at Direktorenhaus in Berlin.