Pull up a seat at Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age at the MFAH

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Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Marvel at the intricate wonders on display at Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).

For more than a decade, Dutch designer Joris Laarman has crafted objects that seem impossible and alienlike glitches in the real world.

His body of work pushes boundaries of art, science, and technology, inspiring viewers to crave a moment’s rest upon his intricately beautiful and one-of-a-kind furniture.

Organized by the Groninger Museum of the Netherlands, Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age has landed at the MFAH, showcasing Laarman’s highly progressive career with 65 examples of furniture, design experiments, suites of drawings, and videos.

The exhibition at the MFAH marks its final U.S. showing.

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Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Design in the Digital Age

Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age revolves around the four major bodies of Laarman’s work, tracing an evolution from his time as a student in the 2000s to his most recent 3-D printed innovations.

Bone Furniture features a complete series of revolutionary furniture designed with the help of a computer program that mimics the growth patterns of human bones and trees.

The resulting works are strikingly sculptural pieces and compel a closer examination into the complex criss-crossing patterns that form our familiar furniture.

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Bone Rocker | Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

In MX3D, Laarman’s most recent work is on display, presenting beautifully elaborate designs formed through the work of robots that can build the pieces by drawing its form in the air with molten metal.

The MFAH’s own Dragon Bench as well as a model of the first 3-D printed stainless steel pedestrian bridge highlight this area of the exhibition.

About the Joris Laarman Lab

Though Laarman’s works often exhibit organic forms and beauty, the process of creation has its roots in digital fabrication and robotics.

Since the founding of the Joris Laarman Lab in 2004, along with his partner and filmmaker Anita Star, Laarman has assembled a team of engineers, programmers, and craftspeople to form these awe-inspiring projects that question convention.

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Joris Laarman | Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Special Programming

In addition to Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age, the MFAH has a schedule of programs that help to supplement and expand on themes throughout the exhibition.

Family Programs

  • Our Youngest Artists | Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18 – Babies and toddlers up to 35 months old are invited to discover and create art using washable, non-toxic materials. Participants are encouraged to touch and explore new materials in the studio, constructing their own creations inspired by the works on view in the exhibition Joris Laarman Lab. Admission is $8 per child. Adults can attend for free with their children. Sessions at 10:30am and 11:30am.
  • Little Artists| Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8 – Ages 3 to 5 are invited to learn about the works on view in Joris Laarman Lab. This program includes a storybook circle, multi-sensory play, a tour of the galleries with a Museum educator, and an art-making project in the studio. Admission is $8 per child. Adults can attend for free with their children. 10:30am.
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Kilovoxel, Mega & Giga Voxel Tables | Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Concerts

Enjoy a musical performance inspired by the exhibition. Free with general admission. Camp stools are provided for seating. Performances begin at 2pm and 3pm.

  • Sunday, August 12: Nameless Sound – Digital electronic musicians Mutron Angel and Rachel Hulsey each perform a synthesizer solo in conjunction with the exhibition.
  • Sunday, August 26: Craig Hauschildt – This concert explores music that reflects the cellular nature of Joris Laarman’s designs and his innovative use of digital technology.

Tours

Experience a private tour while the museum is closed to the public of Joris Laarman Lab, led by one of the exhibition curators. Tickets are $65.

  • Monday, September 10 – Led by Cindi Strauss, the Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design. 6:30pm.

Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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Dragon Bench | Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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