Design Sprouts

Design Sprouts

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Winter Is Coming

Temperatures are dropping, a first snowflake is landing on your window, the handy-man across the streets is now blowing leaves at 6 in the morning and it’s getting dark way too soon. Winter is coming! But before you run off to skin some squirrels in Battery Park and dress in furs like the Starks of  Winterfell: we have some luscious Limited Edition carpets to show that will make you want to camp in front of the fireplace. Even if you don’t have one. 

Softness Alert! Hand tufted with the richest fibers such as pure silk and warm mohair, ‘Splendid’ offers the highest standards for comfort, giving every space an instant and vibrant upgrade. 

Lavish luxury and durability go hand in hand in the plush piece of carpeting ‘Bliss’  is. Brilliant polyester combined with snug wool fibers, result in an easy to maintain carpet that has proven to fit in almost every room in the house. 

Is the traditional cowhide rug a little too traditional? ‘Flash’ forward to more modern times! Simple patchwork of leather strips, create this stunning contemporary floor covering. 

If verticality is not really your thing, but patchwork and cowhide were an alluring combination, then ‘Talisman’ might be just right for you. Its geometric color combination transforms any floor in a piece of art. 

Choose from a wide color range of wool fibers, and combine them in your personalized ‘Cosmos’. No pair of feet will reject indulging in the soft, comfortable and stylish carpet you roll out! 

Limited Edition is available via D’apostrophe in New York. 

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Carry On.

In 1916, Dadaists Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia founded a new artist collective, The Collective of Portatives. Members were urged to limit their possessions to one full suitcase, therefore forcing them to travel frequently and without burden. When Picabia landed in the African harbor city of Port Actif, he simplified their name to PORT ACTIF because of its phonetic similarity to the French word for portable: portatif.

Eventually, both artists developed an interest in Surrealist art. Duchamp later turned his back on art and dedicated his time to chess. Eighty years later, the Belgian artist group Armée Leger (the Light Army) adopted the name. This new PORT ACTIF created a harbor for students at the Royal Academy of Ghent where they could experiment with and exhibit their work.

In 2010, due to construction work at the Academy, PORT ACTIF was inhibited once again. Several students took this moment to revamp the values of PORT ACTIF for a third time. This was an opportunity to detach, but continue to `carry-on` the founding statement as an international collective for artists and a floating platform for performance, video and installation art.

That is the PORT ACTIF of today.

 The collective is spread over the continents. This expanse emphasizes their goal to be a gateway and platform for Belgian, as well as international, artists who feel inclined to practice the PORT ACTIF discourse. Their most important mission is to support mixed media art in any stage of development.

The current collective doesn’t demand frequent travel, but it prefers artists who question their media and who are willing to reflect this questioning in their work.

We at Design Sprouts were honored to collaborate with PORT ACTIF for our first event, two weeks. They curated a screening of video art for us which re-textured aspects of film making. They offered a reflection for their creative colleagues in the field of interior design and architecture along with a sense of humor… and a wink to Halloween.

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We need to report some highly creative activity in the West and East of Flanders, Belgium! Don’t worry, though – after investigation, we can assure that there’s no danger for the public health. Au contraire, what has been happening in the beautiful cities of Ghent and Kortrijk is revolutionary. And we feel obliged to share. 

ONBETAALBAAR - which translates to priceless - is a research project that sprouted from the love of objects. ONBETAALBAAR was founded to save, reinvent and transform products, items and even buildings from tragic death and lonely decay.

The Founders of ONBETAALBAAR think we may be writing off furniture and objects to soon. They state that, “all objects have value. Not just economically, but also emotionally, artistically and ecologically. And they continue to do so, if we’re willing to look at them from a different angle. We invite people – designers as well as customers – to brainstorm about how we can improve our way of dealing with objects, materials and furniture we no longer value.”

ONBETAALBAAR established a workspace where a group of designers, upholsterers, product and graphic designers, carpenters and creative folks in general could share the same mission: a common love for all materials and a passion for materialism with emotion. They gather undesired, discarded materials and objects from streets, dumpsters and basements, then transforming them to new objects. 

These new creations are given a passport with an identity that recounts the origin of the materials, the concept of their existence, a bio of their makers and pictures of the creative process. These pieces of furniture then get auctioned at the “Veiling der Dingen” (the Auction of Things). The new owners provide a prolonged life for the materials, while the included identification teaches of their past lives.

There are plans to take the whole idea to another level. In addition to the Auction of Things, ONBETAALBAAR offers a custom-made concept. The project aims to collaborate with cities and government to transform the identity of defaced buildings.

With a shaky economy and a disposable attitude inherited from better economic times, this concept stands out. It might be something worth adopting…

We’re considering the challenge.


Sophie De Somere, Don Verboven, Lilith Tremmery, Helmut Van Den Meerschaut, Aaron De Keyzer, Nick Mattan, Barbara De Laere, Wouter Doornaert, Jan Fack, Pieter Martin, Alexandre Lowie, Anja Peresic, Bert Van Dijck, Dries Warlop