Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands. Located in the south, it is the original home to the dutch electronics giant Phillips which opened its manufacturing in Eindhoven in 1891 causing an industrial boom. More recently it has become the capital of Dutchie (industrial) design. This has mostly to do with the success of the Design Academy which has attracted professionals from the field including Droog Design as head of the IM Masters course, and produced international design stars like Maarten Baas, Marcel Wanders, Richard Hutten, Jurgen Bey, and Hella Jongerius , just to name a few.
(It might be interesting to mention that the golden clown nose Marcel Wander uses as his signature was produced for Chi ha paura...?'s collection Sense of Wonder - super famous!)
I spent last weekend hopping from venue to venue (sometimes with the help of the gratis Mini Cooper Design Cabs). Here are some highlites and lowlites (mostly highlites) from the Design Academy Eindhoven's (DAE) graduation show.
Many of the projects involved a return to traditional crafts!
In Wolwaeren, Roland Pieter Smit designs and constructs looms that "reflect on the psychological and physical possibilities of the operator". His line of blankets of the same name are made by people with physical or mental imparments like autism or Downs Syndrome. The wool comes from the island of Texel, an island off the northwest coast of Holland, once a top fiber producer now in decline. The concept is to use ethical labor and local, natural materials, to produce a high quality product. WIN WIN WIN! More info at rolandpietersmit.com
The craft trend continues...
Rachel Griffin is interested in bridging the "divide between craft and industry". Her series of vessels Trade Union are hand-woven baskets made from an industrially produced starch-based bioplastic called Solanyl.
Although the objects were well made, Griffin failed to convince me that this project has legs. Why do we need the basket to be bioplastic? Is this a truly a basketry innovation? I am not convinced that this material is any better than regular old-fashioned vegetable or animal fiber.
"Embroidery still has an old-fashioned reputation, yet it is a technique that offers a lot of inspiration and relazation". (Obviously Anne doesnt know Jenny Hart!)
I am not sure how relaxing it would be to emboider a table, but it certainly is a new way to use the skill.
Jetske Visser's vessel series Forgotten Memory is derived from her film of the same name which is an visualization of the experience of a person with dementia. Constructed as a metaphor for the condition, the tea service objects are constructed from what seems to be a brittle translucent wax, rendering them unable to function as intended. They appear soft, hazy and precarious, as she imagines the experience.
Wouter Lancee, Visual Confessions, 2011
Skin, tattoo gun (no ink)
View the film at designacademy.nl.video
Philip Lüschen's project Wait Here consists of tools to help you survive the waiting room experience. Fake noses help to disguise you for those more embarrassing visits to the doctor, while his "sneak-in-front" tool consisting of a large image of empty chairs on a post, help you to be seen as quickly as possible.
He has also produced a book full of these and other hilarious strategys. The perfect waiting room reading if you ask me. Everyone within 10 meters of this work had giant smile on their faces.
Christian Fiebig's Computer Augmented Crafts is a "computer interface that makes suggestions to the designer while he's working... It's like having a colleague in your workshop, giving you direct feedback."
Not sure that the technology is at the point that something like this would actually function efficiently, not the mention whether any program could ever effectively understand the nuance of smithing. However, at its most optimized, I do see how this might have an actual application in education.
(For me personally, I am not sure I would want a colleague or a computer standing over my shoulder telling me how to swing my hammer!)
Makiko Shinoda is concerned about your children.
She belives that too much time spent behind the computer screen in early childhood, may lead to sensory alienation. Material Teddy is designed to "evoke contrasting sensations".Each body part is made from different, natrual materials like wood, leather, knit wool, and metal.Each part has a different weight, texture, and smell, designed to "foster healthy cognitive development".
Yes, this is a toilet. Even toilets need to be designed you know.... Michiel Martens thinks that there is a distinct lack of fun in the designs of commode. His project #FFFFLSSJ demonstrats that it doesnt have to be that way. Constucted mainly from colorful rubber and pvc, the flexible bowl can me mounted to any chair so "the user can decide for himself which offers the best seat".
But seriously folks...
In contrast to the contemporary "cult of youth and beauty", Thomas Vailly wants to call attention to the fact that death and decay are integral parts of life. His Conteporary Vanitas riff off of the tradition of Dutch vanitas paintings, and utilize human hair as a raw material. "Mixed with glycerine and sodium sulphite the hair melts into a type of bioplastic resembling leather"!!! Like the body, the objects made from this bioplastic will decompose with time, a reminder of our own mortality.
Isabel Valdes Marin confronts the consumer in all of us. "Attics, wardrobes, garages, sheds; this is where the things that we no longer use end up. We transform things into junk, just by storing them." A Matter of Time is a actualization of how we are weighed down by our possessions. This net dress is filled with half of her no longer used cloths and weighs ten kilos!
View her film at designacademy.nl/video
The Locus Chair by Anastasija Mass is designed to help you relax. Made from soft leather, the chair is custom moulded around the sitters body, and stuffed with a heavy material so that it actually grips you firmly in your seat. Via her research Mass learned that "pressure is a crucial factor in achieving a state of relaxation... It influences our autonomic nervous system."
(recognize the chair demonstrator in the top pix? a prize goes to the first correct guess!)
Just cant write about everybody, but here are some more pix of other interesting projects!
Bouquet of Flowers
Glass, fragrant elixirs
Bamboo, copper, glass, stainless
Hipseat (Child Carrier)
Leather, plastic, metal
In Vena Verbum
(Plant tension meter)
Navigating in the Biesbosch
And finally... a project bus stop advertising that promote excersice using fun house mirrors.
One side makes you fat...
and the other, makes you look DUTCH!
Stay tuned, for more DUTCH CROSSING...