Dutch Design Week 2012, Pt. 1

Dutch Design Week 2012, Pt. 1

By Maarten Dinger and Marieke van der Poel
It is a beautiful autumn day in the Netherlands and a great buzz has settled upon Eindhoven as this year’s Dutch Design Week 2012, themed "Enter a brave new world," kicks off.

There are over 300 events and exhibits to be found throughout the city, around the center of town at galleries and collectively run studios across Eindhoven. Covering an area that is manageable on foot, bike, or a BMW-sponsored Mini Countryman as cab (courtesy of the show), this is one of the biggest programs yet.

As with previous Dutch Design Week events, the old converted Philips factory campus is the main location. One of the most unique of settings Eindhoven has to offer, the factory offers inspiring backdrops for visiting resident designers and graduate designers alike to show their work. Covering a wide variety of mediums such as housewares, lifestyle design, fashion, textiles, film, and other more unique sensory experiments, the show is a fascinating journey with eclectic collections to explore and discover.

After the economic downturn and with changing times, several buildings that used to contain heavy industries in the city of Eindhoven have become home to designers. These industrious denizens have converted these spaces into studios, set up shop to design and manufacture their work, and focus their creativity and production holistically.

At every exhibit there is the chance to meet and talk with the designers and get their first-hand perspective on their work. It is an intimate journey into their vision, their world of material experimentation, and constant discovery into new expression and shifting paradigms, applying that energy into the concepts that can be readily put into practice.

Among the hundreds of events happening, here are some highlights from the design graduation show and independent designers that we were able to capture early on, but there is much more to follow.

The launch party took place the night before Design Week began at the Klokgebouw in Strijp-S of the old Philips campus.

The event was held in the main hall, set within this impressive circular curtained space that provides a 360-degree projected screen backdrop that changed throughout the night. Partners Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk, and Robert Bronwasser present their vision for the event to the audience.

Design Academy graduate Pieter-Jan Pieters demonstrates his Man and Mobility thesis project—an electronic device that transforms intuitive movements into music.

The dance floor opens up with Johnny Cash’s "Ring of Fire."

The official Mini Countryman Cabs at DDW are easy to spot. You can even call to have one pick you up!

One of the container parks here in the front of city hall with shops, exhibits, food stalls and a proper café.

Students from the Technical University of Eindhoven developed the "Trek-in" vacation huts in collaboration with various government funded organizations. Intended for hikers, these cabins are made from reused or scrap materials to help reduce their environmental impact.

This elaborate coat check system helps to avoid theft—a nice interpretation of one we have seen in Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Here's the entrance to the student graduation show.

We like how Hikaru Imamura designed the metal storage transforming stove, called "Heat rescue," around an existing transport drum that contains all the relief goods in the event of a disaster.

Tom Verthuis's "Playing Food" is a provocative take on the traditional wooden animal toys children to play with; the piece depicts the reality of farming practices and shows how meat is produced.

For her master's thesis, Swedish designer Therese Granlund explored using PUR foam as her medium and created a set of furniture that feels handcrafted and crude, yet still simple and elegant.

Tuomas Tolvanen used metal rings to compose his chair and closet pieces called "Engineered Temporality." The design plays off the relationship between human life and visual memories.

Elegant and versatile wooden furniture pieces by Carina van den Bergh, named "Man and Mobility," feature built-in storage that can be arranged in different ways.

Bram Amendt developed this weird and wonderful contraption called "Man and Leisure." Amendt carves foam vessels by recorded visual and audio inputs and turns those into molds from which he casts custom earthenware pieces.

Babke Dekker designed her "Strandbank" (beach bench) to double as a cart—a simple expression closely referencing the ever-moving northern Holland coastline.

Joscha Weiand designed a semi-permanent shelter, which combines the practicality of a tent and the safety and comfort of a house. "Hangout" works great for camping or even emergency shelters.

Danielle van Lunteren made "Undercover Carpet" to reflect her childhood memories of collecting pebbles and bringing them into the home. The piece is made from a mix of foam and silicone.

Wonmin Park‘s "Unfocused" is an appropriately named resin table with a translucent finish made to look like frosted glass.

Amsterdam-based designer Elise Oussoren's "Elast-ic" storage system is made from wide elastic straps sewn together to hold objects in its individual pockets.

Jasmina Vaisanen and Esther van Roemburg's Mass bench is made from turf grasses woven using traditional techniques. These examples were not yet fully dried and gave off a pleasant grassy meadow scent. Once dried, the seat will turn darker in color.

With moving boxes fixed to pulley systems, "Kast Landscape" by LABnl is a clever way to organize your items. It allows heavier objects to be placed lower down while the lighter items are on top.

With "Gravity Stool," Jolan van der Wiel developed a process of forming stools and smaller tables. He combines a composite material of different resins with a metal powder, then places the mixture between magnets to produce the final form.

Katinka Versendaal's series of ceramics and vases are derived from mathematical sequences found in nature.


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