• 04.25.13

A Surreal Landscape Made Of Magnetic Plastic And Pantyhose

Jólan van der Wiel flips gravity for The Puppeteer, an exhibition in Denmark.

It’s easy to take gravity for granted–as long as our feet hit solid ground as we get out of bed, we’re good to go. Jólan van der Wiel, however, is completely fascinated by unseen forces, and determined to turn them upside down–then back again. The Dutch designer has spent the past few years developing and refining his Gravity series of stools, sidetables, bowls, and candleholders. They’re all made with a unique machine that employs a powerful magnet, lowered down from above, to coaxing fractal-esque stalagmites from a bowl of iron-rich material below (check out this vid for a demo on how it works).


The Puppeteer is his latest feat straddling the divide between art and experimental design. The installation, on display at LYNfabrikken’s BOX exhibition space in Aarhus, Denmark, is a brain-bending maquette where man plays God by “growing” a surreal landscape.

As van der Wiel explains in the video, he developed a magnetic plastic for the project, which was then poured into hanging pairs of pantyhose. It’s a clever tweak on his traditional method: “They were created by gravity, but the gravity comes from the ground and not from the air.” Once these were dry, they were flipped, then placed on “rings” formed by the custom carpet’s crazy waves, becoming a strange range of “mountains” that appear to be drawn towards the ceiling. As a whole, it’s a neat examination of genre-busting production processes tackling deep thoughts via design.

Marvel at The Puppeteer in person through June 2nd at the BOX in Arhaus.