From the decomposed logic of the postmodernist conception a new language of design is born which seems to disarticulate objects with clarity and precision: not to express inconsistency, but to tell the need for a widespread conceptual clarification

Both in art and in design there are two main ways of conceiving the aesthetic sense of things. The first way, called 'figurative' in the artistic field and 'representative' in the world of design, is based on the ability of the object to depict, or represent, something else by himself.

This is the case of paintings of natural landscapes or human subjects, or ornamental furnishings decorated with figurative motifs.

The other way, called 'abstract in art and 'conformative in design, considers the aesthetic quality as an intrinsic property of the object whether it's abstract paintings like Kandinsky's or design pieces from the modern movement.

The dichotomy between these two ways, which has defined the culture of design since its origins, then became further complicated in the last quarter of the last century with the eruption on the scene of the postmodern, which has impressed an unprecedented curvature to the conformational conception, removing it from its traditional rationalist basis to launch it along unexpected expressive paths, until it touches the metaphysical dimension with furniture Sottsass totems.

If on the one hand it is true that the conforming conception remains the most used in the furniture product, on the other it is from the decomposed logic of the postmodernist conception that some of the most interesting aesthetic solutions are born.

Above all, they know how to find the exact point in which to stop the conceptual division of the product without compromising its performance of use.

This is the design challenge won by objects such as the Ad Hook wall coat rack by Mathias Hahn and the Totem coffee table by Axel Chay, jointed in disengagement but clear in the definition.

The most interesting aspect of these products lies precisely in their ability to blow up, but without a crash, the rationalist cage, promoting the circulation of thought and of a fluid coherence different from the firm and rigid one of the modern movement.

Managed expertly, this approach can lead to jewels of destructured logic such as the Plane coffee table by Jamie McLellan and the Fulcrum lamp by Cheshire Architects for Resident , whose forms, although disassembled, do not present a fragmentary aspect. No

We are not here, in fact, facing the divergent splinters of a Cubist painting, in which the diffraction of the image mirrored the general disintegration of the world order.

These object bodies are drawn with clarity, the details sculpted with soft precision, to convey a sense not of dispersion but of cleanliness – not the knotting of points of view but the dissolution of the knots, the dissolution of the tensions that held the old structures together rationalists.

In this sense, see the sculptural work of Helen Vergouwen, in which the form seems to arrange itself along its healthy open and relaxed dislocation.

Although they represent the complexity of the contemporary world, these objects rather respond to the urgent need to clarify, to restore the solemn simplicity of their being 'things' as opposed to the fluid and impalpable 'non-things' theorized by Byung-Chul Han.

In this sense, the Cutout tables by Millim Studio and Two Sides of Solitude by Quinlan Osborne are 'things', presences obtained from an ideal cut that has removed its counterpart in tension, freeing its intrinsic sense of openness.

And so are the reconciled bodies of Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm's storage box and the Hemlock bench produced by Industry West, as well as the Moon sofa by Raphael Navot, mono-blocks derived from a previous, ideal disarticulation that relaxed the product concept, not to reflect the dispersion of the world but to help clean it up.

By preparing not a Hegelian synthesis of opposites but a 'pax aestheticae' in which the contradictions of reality suddenly appear cleared up and, therefore, smoothed out.

Cover photo: The Two Sides of Solitude coffee table, made entirely of marble by Quinlan Osborn of Claste Collection as part of the Tension collection, changes its appearance depending on the point of view. Promoted by the Les Ateliers Courbet gallery in New York. Ph. Claste Collection.