Nothing New was the title of the spectacular anti-statement that showed the distinctive, involved and idiosyncratic non-design furniture label and project designer in Museo Diocesano in Milan to the public.

This anti-statement against the endless buying of new items that we do not need while existing furniture is still in perfect condition, is a concept of curator, entrepreneur and publicist Anne van der Zwaag.

And so Lensvelt did not present any new product in Milan. Because Lensvelt does not design a fashion collection, the label develops sustainable, timeless designs and only when there is a real need for it. Therefore, Lensvelt reused existing iconic furniture by temporarily buying them back through Marktplaats, Ebay and 1st Dibs, by borrowing them or by showing their own showroom items.

Leading stylist and exhibition designer Maarten Spruyt designed the intriguing presentation. In it he brought Lensvelt’s iconic pieces of furniture from well-known designers together with autonomous works of art and installations by famous artists into one big moving spectacle.

For Spruyt nothing new means a retrospective of the sixties and seventies of the last century. A period in which not only Lensvelt was founded (1962), but which also shows parallels with the current political situation and the rapidly changing world of today.

Maarten Spruyt refers in Nothing New to social issues that play a permanent role: war and violence. Shell Shock Syndrome from Felix Burger fits the robust Military Series which consists of a table, chair and stool of the famous designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld.

Foto: Jan Willem Kaldenbach

The Military Series by Rietveld and the work by Alet Pilon from the series ‘Talk To Me’ refer to the massiveness of factories as well as to anonymous, solitary office environments.

Foto: Jan Willem Kaldenbach

Museo Diocesano, the museum in the heart of Milan with a permanent collection of sacred art, temporarily transformed into a lively and exciting place that Fondazione Lensvelt has been baptized. A nod to Fondazione Prada. Here Lensvelt showed Nothing New during the Salone del Mobile 2018.

Foto: Jan Willem Kaldenbach

In 2017, the year that De Stijl celebrated its centennial anniversary, Rietveld Originals and Lensvelt started a special collaboration: Lensvelt became the exclusive distributor of Gerrit Rietveld’s Military Furniture series aimed at the business market.

Artists Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian and Bart van der Leck founded the famous art movement in 1917. Furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld soon joined this and made the ideals of De Stijl spatially visible. In 1923 he painted his armchair in the colors red and blue. Not much later, he designed the Military furniture series for the Catholic Military Hospital in Utrecht. For this he experimented as the very first designer with bolts and nuts that he used instead of wooden dowels.

The Military Table is sturdy, robust and is characterized by the use of sleepers and contrast colors.