BKRK Award

Bokrijk’s BKRK award creates a bridge between contemporary design and authentic craftsmanship. After the successful competitions for designs in leather and ceramics, woodworking had its turn in spring 2016. The contest assignment was to develop an object from daily life and to show the craftsmanship in all its facets.

More than 20 designers from all over Flanders offered a most diverse range of objects. They all admit to having declared love for the craft. The jury, which included professionals from various areas, had great difficulty selecting the winning designs from the submissions. The jury included Bart Lens (architect, curator BKRK), Breg Horemans (TAAT), Stéphanie Mergeay (Bokrijk), An Bogaerts (lifestyle journalist), Bert Vanholen (Agency for Nature and Forest), Wim Buts (Luca School of Arts, Genk), Marc Jordens (Bokrijk), Frits Jeuris (inventor and creator), Johan Valcke, (Curator of Triennial Design 2016), Casimir (designer), Wim Segers (designer), Pascal Cools (Flanders DC), Jeroen Worst (designer) , Noëlla Vangeel (Donum Hasselt) and Kristien Ceyssens (Bokrijk). 

The three laureates of the contest are as follows:

1st prize: Peeling knife holder - Steven Gauwberg (° 1976, from Stekene)

As much as an object like a knife holder might sound banal, this design shows ingenuity in its detail. The idea is ingenious in its simplicity, deriving from a recognizable and practical problem, how do you take a peeling knife elegantly to work? The technical execution is impeccable and reflects a thorough knowledge of the subject. The designer, furniture maker and part-time decorator at Kunsthuis Operaballet Vlaanderen (the Flemish Art House Opera Ballet), proves that years of practice and intensive research into refining a production process are profitable. A solid, simple and high-quality craft creation. 

2nd prize: Woodpebbles - Designers Group MDST/Tania De Bruycker (° 1961, from Zulte)

Good food is always self-evident, and so we have to present it nicely on plates that add to its value. We do not consider wood as an everyday material for that. Wood offers resistance and has its own will. The artist lets the soul and nature of the material shine through in these rugged plates and shelves that play with light and shadow. The production process was fully manual, using a chain saw, which gives the products a weathered appearance. 

3rd prize: Blokrijk Domino - Jolien Fagard in association with Mattie Zoons (° 1989, from Tongeren) 2

The designer, interior architect and photography student, immersed deeply into the world of wood and wood joints before unveiling her version of the timeless game of dominoes. In collaboration with joiner Mattie Zoons, she realized a variant with the same rules, i.e. to make as long a range of blocks as possible. This time, the goal is not to lay the same number of spots next to each other but to join the wood in the correct way. From dovetail, mortise and tenon to the traditional finger joint, this is the first playful step towards a beautiful implementation for those who are not familiar with the varying range of wood joints.

The winning design is available in the Bokrijk museum shop and in the webshop – as part of the BKRK merchandising line. The price is €35.00.