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TALENT PLATFORM

Discover emerging creative talents who are active in the fields of design, architecture and digital culture, supported by Creative Industries Fund NL. The Talent Platform is showcasing what artistic and professional growth entails and serves as a fount of information for other creatives and for commissioners.

GRANT PROGRAMME FOR TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Talent development is one of Creative Industries Fund NL’s spearheads. The Fund awards 12-month grants to up-and-coming creative talents every year, providing the opportunity to enrich artistic and professional aspects of their practice to optimum effect. Participants must have graduated within the last four years and must be active in one of the diverse disciplines of the creative industries, from fashion design to graphic design, from architecture to digital culture. The Fund’s online Talent Platform portrays all the individual practices of designers who have received a grant since 2013.

2018

Twenty-four minute-long film portraits introduce you in a personal and intimate way to the talented designers, makers, artists and architects who received a year-long stipend over 2017/2018. The concept and production are the work of Studio Moniker. The film portraits are part of an installation in the Veem Building during Dutch Design Week 2018.

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ESSAY: DIAMOND INVESTMENT & THE NEW OIL

by Rosa te Velde
Around 1960, Dutch television broadcast its first talent show, a concept imported from America. ‘Nieuwe Oogst’ (New Harvest) was initially made in the summer months on a small budget. It turned out that talent shows were a cheap way of making entertaining television: participants seized the opportunity to become famous by showcasing their tricks, jokes, creating entertainment and spectacle — in return for coffee and travelling expenses.1

Talent shows have been around since time immemorial, but the concept of talent development — the notion of the importance of financial support and investment to talent — is relatively new. Since the rise of the information society and knowledge economy in the 1970s, the notion of ‘lifelong learning’ has become ever more important. Knowledge has become an asset. Refresher courses, skill development and flexibility are no longer optional, and passion is essential. You are now responsible for your own happiness and success. You are expected to ‘own’ your personal growth process. In 1998, McKinsey & Company published ‘The War for Talent’. This study explored the importance of high performers for companies, and how to recruit, develop and motivate talented people and retain them as employees. In the past few decades, talent management has become an important element in companies’ efforts to maximise their competitiveness, nurture new leaders or bring about personal growth. Sometimes, talent management is aimed at the company as a whole, but it is more likely to focus on young, high-potential employees who either are already delivering good performances or have shown themselves to be promising.2

It was social geographer Richard Florida who made the connection between talent and creativity, in his book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ (2002). In this book, he drew the — irreversible — link between economic growth, urban development and creativity. A hint of eccentricity, a bohemian lifestyle and a degree of coolness are the determining factors for ‘creativity’ that provide space for value creation. His theory led to a surge in innovation platforms, sizzling creative knowledge regions and lively creative hubs and breeding grounds. The talent discourse became inextricably linked with the creative industry. The Global Creativity Index, for instance, set up by Florida (in which the Netherlands was ranked 10th in 2015), is based on the three ‘Ts’ of technology, talent and tolerance. The talent phenomenon really took off in the world of tech start-ups, with innovation managers fighting for the most talented individuals in Silicon Valley. ‘Talent is the new oil’.

The idea that talent can grow and develop under the right conditions is diametrically opposed to the older, romantic concept of a God-given, mysterious ‘genius’. The modern view sees talent as not innate (at least, not entirely so), which is why giving talent money and space to develop makes sense. Like the Growing Diamond (groeibriljant), the Dutch diamond purchase scheme in which diamonds can become ‘ever more valuable’.

What is the history of cultural policy and talent development in the Netherlands? Whereas before the Second World War the state had left culture to the private sector, after the war it pursued an active ‘policy of creating incentives and setting conditions’.3 The state kept to the principles of Thorbecke and did not judge the art itself.4 But literary historian Bram Ieven argues that a change took place in the 1970s. It was felt art needed to become more democratic, and to achieve that it needed to tie in more with the market: “[…] from a social interpretation of art (art as participation), to a market-driven interpretation of the social task of art (art as creative entrepreneurship).”5 The Visual Artists’ (Financial Assistance) Scheme (BKR) and later the Artists’ Work and Income Act (WWIK) gave artists and designers long-term financial support if they did not have enough money, provided they had a certificate from a recognised academy or could prove they had a professional practice.6

It was Ronald Plasterk’s policy document on culture, ‘The Art of Life’ (2007), that first stressed the importance of investing in talent, as so much talent was left ‘unexploited’.7 Plasterk called in particular for more opportunities to be given to ‘outstanding highly talented creatives’, mainly so that the Netherlands could remain an international player. Since then, ‘talent development’ has become a fixture in cultural policy. Halbe Zijlstra also acknowledged the importance of talent in ‘More than Quality’ (2012), but he gave a different reason: ‘As in science, it is important in culture to create space for new ideas and innovation that are not being produced by the market because the activities in question are not directly profitable.’8 This enabled the support for talent to be easily justified from Zijlstra’s notoriously utilitarian perspective with its focus on returns, even after the economic crisis. Jet Bussemaker also retained the emphasis on talent development, and talent is set to remain on the agenda in the years ahead.9

The Creative Industries Fund NL first gave grants to a group of talented creatives in 2013. As in the Mondrian Fund’s talent development programme, the policy plan for 2013–2016 opted for a single, joint selection round each year. While the emphasis was on individual projects, it was noted that a joint assessment would be more objective and professional and that this would facilitate the accompanying publicity.10

Who is considered a possible talented creative? To be eligible for a grant, you have to satisfy a number of specific requirements: you have to be registered with the Chamber of Commerce, have completed a design degree less than four years ago and be able to write a good application that persuades the nine committee members from the sector that you have talent. Based on the application, they decide how much potential, or promise, they see in your development, taking into account the timing of the grant for your career. While there are many nuances in the application process, these factors make sure the concept of ‘talent’ is clearly defined.

If you get through the tough selection process — on average ten to fifteen per cent of the applications result in a grant — you enjoy the huge luxury of being able to determine your own agenda for an entire year, of being able to act instead of react. It seems as if you have been given a safe haven, a short break from your precarious livelihood. But can it actually end up reinforcing the system of insecurity? What should be a time for seizing opportunities may also lead to self-exploitation, stress and paralysis. In practice, the creative process is very haphazard. Will the talented creatives be able to live up to their promise?

One of them went on a trip to China, another was able to do a residency in Austria, while yet another gave up their part-time job. Many have carried out research in a variety of forms, from field studies and experiments with materials to writing essays. Some built prototypes or were finally able to buy Ernst Haeckel’s ‘Kunstformen der Natur’. Others organised meetings, factory visits, encounters, interviews and even a ball.

Is there a common denominator among the talented creatives who were selected? As in previous years, this year the group was selected specifically to ensure balance and diversity — encompassing a sound artist, a filmmaker, a design thinker, a researcher, a cartographer, a storyteller, a former architect and a gender activist-cum-fashion designer. Given the diversity of such a group, a joint presentation may feel forced. But presenting them to the outside world as a group enhances the visibility of these talented people, and this is important, because how else can the investment be vindicated?

These are the questions that the Creative Industries Fund NL has been debating ever since the first cohort: how to present this group without the presentation turning into a vulgar, unsubtle spectacle or propagating a romantic notion of talent, and at the same time, how to show the outside world what is being done with public money. And what would benefit the talented individuals themselves? In the past few years, various approaches have been tested as ways of reflecting on the previous year, from various curated exhibitions with publications and presentations to podcasts, texts, websites, workshops and debates.

The Creative Industries Fund NL operates as a buffer between neoliberal policy and the reality of creativity. The fund provides a haven for not-yet-knowing, exploration, making, experimentation and failure, without setting too many requirements. It is a balancing exercise: how do you tone down the harsh language of policy and keep at bay those who focus only on returns on investment, while still measuring and showing the need for this funding, and thereby safeguarding it?

Following input from the talented creatives themselves, a different approach has been chosen this year: there will be no exhibition. Most do not see the Dutch Design Week as the right place for them; only one or two are interested in presenting a ‘finished’ design or project at all, and they do not necessarily wish to do so during the Dutch Design Week. What is more, many of the talented individuals have used the grant for research and creating opportunities. Therefore, instead of a joint exhibition, the decision has been made to organise a gathering and to publish profile texts and video portraits on ‘Platform Talent’, an online database. This will put less emphasis on the work of the previous year and more on the visibility of the maker and the process they are going through, marking a shift away from concrete or applied results and towards their personal working methods. Will this form of publicity satisfy the general public’s appetite and curiosity and will it meet politicians’ desire for results? Has it perhaps become more important to announce that there is talent and not what that talent is? Or is this a way of avoiding quantification and relieving the pressure?

Perhaps what unites the talented creatives most is the fact that, although they have been recognised as ‘high performers’, they are all still searching for sustainable ways of working creatively within a precarious, competitive ecosystem that is all about seizing opportunities, remaining optimistic and being permanently available. So far, there is little room for failure or vulnerability, or to discuss the capriciousness of the creative process. The quest for talent is still a show, a hunt, a competition or battle.

1 https://anderetijden.nl/aflevering/171/Talentenjacht
2 Elizabeth G. Chambers et al. ‘The War for Talent’ in: The McKinsey Quarterly 3, 1998 pp. 44–57. This study was published in book form in 2001.
3 Roel Pots, ‘De tijdloze Thorbecke: over niet-oordelen en voorwaarden scheppen in het Nederlandse cultuurbeleid’ in: Boekmancahier 13:50, 2001, pp. 462-473, p. 466.
4 Thorbecke was a mid-nineteenth-century Dutch statesman.
5 Bram Ieven, ‘Destructive Construction: Democratization as a
Vanishing Mediator in Current Dutch Art Policy’ in: Kunstlicht, 2016 37:1, p. 11.
6 The Visual Artists’ (Financial Assistance) Scheme was in force from 1956 to 1986 and the Artists’ Work and Income Act from 2005 to 2012.
7 Ronald Plasterk, ‘Hoofdlijnen Cultuurbeleid Kunst van Leven’, 2007, p. 5. The Dutch politician Ronald Plasterk was Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 2007 to 2010.
8 Halbe Zijlstra, ‘Meer dan Kwaliteit: Een Nieuwe visie op cultuurbeleid’, 2012, p. 9. The Dutch politician Halbe Zijlstra was State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science from 2010 to 2012.
9 Jet Bussemaker is a Dutch politician who was Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 2012 to 2017.
10 Creative Industries Fund NL, policy plan for 2013/2016.

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2017

The fourth edition of In No Particular Order during the Dutch Design Week 2017 presented a collective statement about the pluriformity of contemporary design practice. Nine installations addressed the themes of Position, Inspiration, Working Environment, Representation, Money, Happiness, Language, Discourse and Market. The presentation in the Van Abbe Museum was curated by Jules van den Langenberg, who was himself a participant in the Programme for Talent Development in 2017.

TALENT PLATFORM 2017
TALENT PLATFORM 2017
TALENT PLATFORM 2017
TALENT PLATFORM 2017
TALENT PLATFORM 2017
TALENT PLATFORM 2017
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2016

In the third edition of In No Particular Order in 2016, curator Agata Jaworska offered insight into what it means to run a design practice. How do designers create the circumstances in which they work? What can we learn from their methodologies and routines? The designers reflected on these questions in audio recordings and with sketches. Together they give a personal impression of the development of their artistic practices.

In No Particular Order 2016

2015

The second edition of the In No Particular Order presentation was staged in the Veem Building during Dutch Design Week 2015. Curator Agata Jaworska focused on the processes, points of departure and visions behind the materialization of work, using a database of images from the personal archives of the designers. What is it that drives the modern-day designer? What are their sources of inspiration, motivations and ambitions?

In No Particular Order 2015

2014

What makes someone a talent? How is talent shaped? These were the pivotal questions for the first In No Particular Order exhibition in the Schellens Factory during Dutch Design Week 2014. Besides presenting the work of individual talents, curator Agata Jaworska revealed trends and shared similarities as well.

In No Particular Order 2014

Daria Kiseleva

Daria Kiseleva

Daria Kiseleva
Lena Knappers

Lena Knappers

Lena Knappers
Alice Wong
Alice Wong
Alice Wong

Alice Wong

Are you married? This was the daily question with which Alice Wong was confronted in 2016 on her numerous research trips to China for Amsterdam-based design agency Thonik. “I became interested in this term ‘leftover women’ that was used to describe unmarried women in their 20s”, she explains. This provided the impetus for her new project, Leftover Women, which explores the societal pressures placed on unmarried, educated women by the Chinese government.

“Actually, because of the single child policy, the real problem is there are a lot of men leftover: surplus men.” Wong explains that having a lot of single men in society can cause chaos, and this is why the government has put pressure on women to marry them. With the project Leftover Woman, Wong has created an interactive website that is an experiment in non-linear storytelling through gamified film. The user plays a young, educated woman in China who has to make a number of decisions that conflict between individual free will and the will of a collective society.

Born in the Netherlands—and brought up between Rotterdam and Hong Kong—Wong feels that her position between Western and Chinese cultures gives her an opportunity to explore these cultural incongruences from a critical but compassionate perspective. “When you explain something in the West and ask if people understand it, they will say that they understand but do or don’t agree”, she describes. “In China, people will say that they don’t understand, but what they mean is that they don’t agree. Then it becomes about convincing people to agree. Both sides have something to learn from each other.” Such cultural idiosyncrasies can be reflected in the construction of stories.

“Stories give shape to the things that people believe. They have a soft power in shaping society and its ideologies.” Wong says that since graduating from the Master’s programme in Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2015, she sees herself as a designer of stories. Her multi-award winning graduation project Reconstructing Reality was a deeply personal investigation into the circumstances around her father’s death, giving an insight into how families create their own stories to live by, and how these can both liberate and oppress. Like Leftover Women, the film relies heavily on found footage, which has become a signature of her work.

“There's nothing new nowadays. Even if I were to create a new video filming the sea, how would it be unique or different to what I could find on Shutterstock?” asks Wong, who is also debuting a new work about the myth-making antics of Jack Ma—CEO of Alibaba.com—at Dutch Design Week. “For me, it's more interesting to look at what already exists with a different eye, embed it into a different context, and then to create friction and generate new meaning.”

Text: Nadine Botha
Anne Geenen
Anne Geenen
Anne Geenen
Anne Geenen

Anne Geenen

As a partner in the Mumbai-based architecture and design agency Case Design, Anne Geenen has designed and supervised projects in such countries as Indonesia, India, and the United Arab Emirates. She is also a co-founder of Casegoods, a collection of furniture, lighting, and objects, originally developed for architectural projects but now also being sold more widely. Anne’s designs are always closely connected to the place where they are built. She works a lot with local materials and traditional techniques and detailing, always applied in a contemporary way.

Artisans have an important role to play in her practice, which is based on the notion that if other experts get the opportunity to add their knowledge and creativity to a project, the results will be raised to a higher level. By having parts of the design completed only later in the process, she invites specialists, end-users, and others to engage in dialogue about the execution. Because of this, the choices regarding materials, spatial design, and finishing are made gradually during the process itself. As an architect, she often presents no definitive design, preferring to use sketches, models, and mock-ups as an opportunity for dialogue and shared ownership.

The strong creative culture in India – characterized by large numbers of artisans and craftspeople, low levels of standardization, and the notion that details can take shape gradually – has enabled and enhanced her working method. The mentality of collective effort is applied at different scales – from product and exhibition design through to buildings and landscape architecture.

After having been based primarily in Mumbai for the last five years, Anne now hopes to expand the working method she has developed into the Netherlands and Europe. In this part of the world, building conventions are different than in India, but she believes that relationships between different professions can be structured in a more interesting way. For example, reusing an unconventional material, such as demolition waste, necessitates a creative discussion between the contractor and the architect, forcing a collaborative approach to the design and detailing. Anne is also exploring how construction processes in a European context can become more related to the place in which they are based with regard to collaboration and materials. Various presentation opportunities, including at the Venice Architecture Biennale, have enabled her to reflect on her practice and clarify it.

Text: Mark Minkjan
Camiel Fortgens
Camiel Fortgens
Camiel Fortgens
Camiel Fortgens
Camiel Fortgens

Camiel Fortgens

“But why?” This is a simple but important question to fashion designer Camiel Fortgens. Asking it brings him inspiration. Why is the norm as it is? Why do things look like they do? Having considered the question, he goes off on his own tangent.

Although Fortgens didn´t train as a fashion designer, he did study at the Design Academy Eindhoven. It was an educational programme that focused on finding things out for yourself, trial & error, being receptive to chance, and inspirational ‘mistakes’. He learned about the fashion profession on the job. Rather than drawing and cutting patterns like you’re supposed to, he used second-hand clothing as a basis, for example, and moulded clothes to create new shapes and ideas.

For his first collection, his models paraded up and down the catwalk dressed in oversized, archetypal clothing, accompanied solely by the sound of footsteps. The effect was bare, empty, and quite clearly a criticism of the glitter and glamour of the fashion world. Fortgens has an aversion to the fast, commercial nature of fashion and to talking about sustainability as a PR statement. But the conventions of fashion are proving difficult to break. The Fashion Weeks still dictate the purchasing policy in the shops and small-scale responsible production is a huge challenge.

Fortgens has now produced six collections. As demand for his work has grown, he feels more freedom to try and change the norms, to make his own mark. He aims to do this from within, like a Trojan horse. His latest collection pushes the boundaries of what one can wear and what is recognisable. To add weight to his message, Fortgens is experimenting with different means of communication. He wants to compile a photo book and raise the profile of his website, for example. Online there is more room for experimenting and more opportunity to involve as many people as possible in his work.

According to Fortgens, the taboo in 2018 is ‘the real’. He doesn’t see the reality of his generation reflected much in any of the images we are fed by the fashion industry. Clothing is the perfect vehicle for keeping up appearances and determining identity and etiquette. But to Fortgens, recording a zeitgeist and eliciting a new style of realism in his designs as a counter-reaction to ‘fake’ is more important than making fashion more sustainable or slowing down the industry. In a world where there are already plenty of clothes, he wants to be a cultural vehicle asking questions about how we live. Above all: but why?

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Carlijn Kingma
Carlijn Kingma
Carlijn Kingma
Carlijn Kingma
Carlijn Kingma

Carlijn Kingma

Even during the twentieth century, societal vistas were still regularly being depicted, often featuring architecture to express ideals. Their production seems to have halted in recent decades. Carlijn Kingma has stepped into this imaginative vacuum and made this kind of art the focus of her practice. However, unlike many promotional techno-utopian or highly-politicized perspectives on the future from the past, Carlijn’s breathtaking drawings are contemplative, nuanced and multi-voiced.

She uses architecture – in which she graduated – as the medium for telling stories about human ambitions, socio-political histories and potential future scenarios. The language of architecture speaks to the imagination, giving it the metaphorical power to tell the story of humanity and encourage us to think about the future. Departing from what is conventional in modern visual culture, the architecture in Carlijn’s work is not a final image offering the pretence of perfection, but an open suggestion of a future in the process of becoming. Her cartography of ideas pursues paths from history, extrapolating potential routes to the future from them.

Her drawings, metres in height, are complicated visual maps often depicting several worlds alongside each other in order to portray the choices faced by humanity. The complexity of the work lies not only in the intricate drawing, but also the world of the mind it presents. The images invite viewers to lose themselves within them and to reflect on the desirability of a range of socio-political possibilities by depicting both their beauty and their dark sides. They are calls for further exploration, which Carlijn hopes will enthuse people about stories from different cultures and times, both big and small.

In developing the drawings, she always works with scientists, architects, artists or writers. This helps inform her own research into such themes as capitalism, religion, and technology, and to present depictions of other people’s ideas. Each drawing is accompanied by a publication and a video.

Currently, Carlijn is developing additional methods for conveying the stories and worlds depicted. She also aims to invite her audience to engage in discussion with her and with each other. Various different media are used in this process, including radio plays, performative situations, and presentations that provide access to some of the research. She has improved the professionalism of her practice by hiring a designer to help design dialogues around her work.

Text: Mark Minkjan
Chen Jhen

Chen Jhen

The work of graphic designers in the Netherlands has sought to explore the parameters of research, subjectivity, and media representation for more than 50 years, and none more prominently than that of Jan van Toorn. Today, the Taiwanese designer Chen Jhen embodies this lineage of critical reflection and experimentation, asking fundamental questions about how we understand places, people, and things. Is it possible to develop an unbiased impression of a foreign city in an era of high-resolution satellite mapping and geo-tagged social media? What does it mean to document an event, and how does this process differ when one feels native or foreign to its cultural context? Furthermore, how is the practice of contemporary graphic design intertwined with the notion of personal identity and agenda?

Over the past year, following her studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Jhen has investigated these themes in her research, building on her master’s thesis exploring the Taiwanese identity, its synthetic culture and language, and the iconography of former leader Chiang Kai-shek. Reflecting on this project, she realised that her search for the factors that differentiated Taiwan from China had become, in itself, a political endeavour. Last year, she set herself the challenge of travelling to an unknown place in order to study it from an unbiased perspective. Nonetheless, and despite having never visited the city before, her photos and observations of Jakarta seemed to reproduce an impression of speed, density, and social inequality that she had passively absorbed through media depictions.

Jhen’s latest work asks what it means to observe a much more mundane subject matter—a person eating lunch. Over Dutch work lunches, Jhen would note in obsessive detail the behaviour of the person across from her, including what food they ate, in which order, how they moved their body, how they held their utensils, how they arranged their plate, what they left unfinished. She recorded her notes as a script, which formed the basis for a reenacted performance by a Taiwanese actor, who (like Jhen) was unfamiliar with Dutch food culture. Like Georges Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Jhen’s work explores the role of the observer, language, and reader in the process of capturing a complex and unfolding reality in documentary form.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Daniel de Bruin
Daniel de Bruin
Daniel de Bruin
Daniel de Bruin
Daniel de Bruin

Daniel de Bruin

“I can use them. I can break them. I can rebuild them. It's just an instinct of mine to build machines.” Daniel de Bruin is not a philosopher, yet—despite the frankness of a man who makes and thinks with his hands—the insights of his interactive exhibition devices demonstrate a depth befitting of these words. Pieces include the simple Opal, recreating a childhood game of playing with window blinds in order to evoke the pleasurable tactility and innocence of our domestic environment; the unnerving j8d-001001-s’(made in collaboration with Jelle Mastenbroek), describing how surveillance of our every move has become embedded in our environment; and the elaborate Moniac, an analogue installation that invites observers to participate in a mechanical financial system in order to make abstract economics seem more understandable. De Bruin’s work is undoubtedly the manifestation of a deep thinker, one who expresses himself through tinkering rather than language.

“It feels like machines are kind of alive sometimes”, confesses the Utrecht- and Soesterburg-based designer. He prefers to dive right into the making of his pieces, rather than spend too much time planning and researching, and allow the process to drive his creations. He completed the Master’s programme in Product Design in 2015, at the University of the Arts Utrecht, but discovered his creative inspiration while interning as an architectural model maker. In order to understand financial systems for the piece Moniac, he describes nine months of research watching Youtube and speaking with experts. He confesses, however, to not really enjoying it.

The divergence between designer and design process that has developed with the growth of computer-aided making is what inspired De Bruin’s Analogue 3D Printer, which works by requiring the designer’s physical input. “I want to have a relationship with the machine, not just hand over the execution of a design to them”, he explains. Typically, a human-machine relationship only affects the human, but De Bruin also wanted to explore if there was a way for the machine to be impacted by human interaction. The Neurotransmitter 3000 is a one-person roller coaster in which the machine responds to biometric data obtained from the rider.

As someone who is in constant demand from clients ranging from museums and marketing agencies to other designers, De Bruin says that he does not have a lot of time to pursue his own projects. One recent commission, another collaboration with Maasenbroek, launches at the Eindhoven Museum during Dutch Design Week. At the moment, however, he is working on a range of sophisticated pinball machines. He hopes to develop these into a product range.

“It’s a basic emotion”, he states—with typically deadpan delivery—when asked to elaborate on the thread of humour that runs through his work. “It works with a lot of people, and it works for me. I don't like to do those super serious things.”

Text: Nadine Botha
Frank Kolkman
Frank Kolkman
Frank Kolkman
Frank Kolkman
Frank Kolkman

Frank Kolkman

Although new technologies are influencing almost every aspect of human life, the cultural convention of a division between humans and technology – between analogue and digital – stubbornly persists. Experimental designer Frank Kolkman’s practice focuses on speculative works that depict the evolution of humans and technology as an intertwined process. His work enables technology to open up new perspectives on the human condition and cultural norms.

Although different technologies and new possibilities now exist, the promise of technology is still stuck in twentieth-century templates. Frank envisages a more inclusive capacity of the imagination with regard to technology, bypassing the narrow notion of hyper-efficiency and grounded in diverse ideals and experiences. Technology is not neutral and its development should not solely be based on the perceptions of prosperous, middle-aged white men from the Bay Area. For this reason, Frank attempts to bring the discussion about technology into the public arena, making it a socio-political topic that is not the sole preserve of technical experts. Recurring themes include DIY and open source, which question technological dictatorships, the illusion of faultless design and the notion that end-users have nothing to add to products.

His speculative designs contribute to a critical discourse on product design. It is a discipline that has not kept pace with other creative fields in this regard, despite the fact that upscaling and its increased potential influence require it to do so. Whereas most product design is self-affirming, Frank’s designs are self-questioning. His work suggests none-too-distant futures in which the available technologies, many of them new, are used in ways for which no conventions exist and which raise ethical dilemmas. By combining fiction and reality, the installations provide the public with a starting point from which to think about the desirability of certain technologies and potential futures.

In developing his practice, Frank initially focused primarily on independent work exploring the moral boundaries around technological innovations in mental and physical health. In this process, he collaborated with scientists, medical specialists, and artists. In the last year, he also worked with research institutes and companies, where some of his research was conducted and designs were realized. This enables larger projects to come into being while Frank is developing skills as a mediator. By doing so, he is creating conditions to help other designers and students to achieve design based on new perspectives. As his independent practice continues to grow, his design philosophy is gradually being communicated more widely.

Text: Mark Minkjan
Isabel Mager
Isabel Mager
Isabel Mager
Isabel Mager

Isabel Mager

It is 11 years since Apple’s first iPhone redefined the Smartphone, a device that hardly anyone could deny has changed how we communicate, work, love and even walk. Less apparent is how it has also radically reshaped geographical landscapes, economic livelihoods, country politics and the sovereignty of corporations. It is precisely these intricate, subtle ramifications of a very visible device that interest designer Isabel Mager, who has recently embarked on a five-month research journey to Shenzen, Beijing and rural China to “follow smartphone production backwards”.

The Rotterdam-based designer has been interested in the impact of these unseen infrastructures since she undertook a project as a student about electronic waste being sent to Rwanda. In 2016 she obtained her bachelor’s at the Design Academy Eindhoven with 5000times, a project that analysed various media sources to create an incomplete list of the manual tasks executed by a human worker in the construction of smartphones, tablets and laptops. The information was compiled by surveying news articles about exploited workers in smartphone, tablet and laptop factories, and analysing bootleg footage of operations in these factories on Youtube – opening and destroying a couple of devices in the process. A durational performance of a worker’s shift demonstrated the restrictive choreography of the job that has driven many to suicide.

“I feel that design research is really about reflecting, understanding, and also shifting in some ways, the material world that we inhabit.” Mager also writes about her findings, including a paper about 5000times in the journal Decolonising Design. However, she finds it important to also present the results in the material design language of the subject matter: “It’s a very beautiful thing that you can actually communicate quite complex things through design languages, grammar, and materiality, which makes the complexities very tangible.”
This signature approach of in-depth information investigation and analysis—seen through a lens of economics and power dynamics and manifested in an artistic and performative reinterpretation—has been applied to subjects including the food industry, urban consumer space, and the shipping container industry. Working together with political scientist Daniel Urey and designer Gabriel Maher, she also continues the long-term research project based around the concept of “the podium” – an object on which an act of speech takes place – examining how repeated patterns of design are used historically and culturally to articulate power.

Returning to her forthcoming research in China, she says that she is interested in the “remaining coloniality of such a young industry”. Specifically, how value and power are still distributed so unevenly: between worker and manufacturer, between Apple’s low market share and high profit, between the international communities’ stance on China’s human rights violations and its use as a trade and tax haven. As a designer, particularly a critical research designer who is not compelled to make a marketable product, she acknowledges that she is in the upper percentages of the value and power hierarchy: “How can I use this to highlight that design is always both innovation and destruction?”

Text: Nadine Botha
Jason Hansma
Jason Hansma
Jason Hansma

Jason Hansma

“I've always been suspicious about history that celebrated the brain and the liver and the heart as agents of humanness”, explains artist Jason Hendrik Hansma from the studio in Rotterdam. “Without the carotid veins and arteries in your neck, which connect the brain and heart, you're essentially dead.” Hansma’s glass-blown carotid sculptures embody the essence of Jason’s artistic practice: the glass medium emphasises the fluidity and transparency of the human and questions individual agency, the installation in transient spaces such as door frames and corridors question the permanence of identity and fact, and the focus on vessels rather than organs highlights limited perspectives and understandings that have emerged from modernist and colonial empiricism.

Born to Dutch parents in Pakistan, and having grown up in Thailand and Australia, Hansma is acutely aware of how relativity functions across cultures, landscapes and languages. “I believe in ‘pass-throughs’ of past and present experiences of others, that have been changed by my own experiences”, he describes, paraphrasing the eco-philosopher Joanna Macy. A graduate of the Fine Art Master’s programme at the Piet Zwart Instituut, Rotterdam, Hansma’s range of writing, installation and performance works are both diverse and interlinked in their scope. They include decommissioned lab components used to study quantum entanglement, reflecting the precision of the unknowable; fragmented photographs that explore lightness as material, glass-blown forms that explore the abstract materiality of the human body; and poetic video works that reflect on temporality and non-linearity. The work can be read as snapshots of the complex ecologies of collective cognition and identity; an increasingly relevant topic as our accelerated network culture confronts us with the limitations of both obsessive individuality and blind group thinking.

“I think the crisis that we're in is a lack of understanding of the porosity of our world, and that think that our identities are contained in ourselves and that a human ends at the boundaries of their skin.” Hansma explains that he is heavily influenced by feminist theorist Karen Barad—who explores how our ideas and identities that are not situated within the physical world but are a part of that world. Exploring the liminality between thought and body, touch and interaction, co-dependence and entanglement, and old and new technologies is Hansma’s forthcoming short film Umbra. Inspired by the ghost movie genre, the film explores the politics of algorithms using early silent films from EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, footage shot in a quantum physics laboratory, and footage of rippling water originally used in mapping sea-level change.

Another expansion of Hansma’s practice is Shimmer, a non-profit art space in Rotterdam Port opened with Eloise Sweetman in 2018. It intends to offer an intimate space for fellow artists to also explore porous concepts and identities outside of the outcomes-funded art industry.

Text: Nadine Botha
Joana Chicau
Joana Chicau
Joana Chicau
Joana Chicau
Joana Chicau

Joana Chicau

Some forms of dance, such as ballet or folk dance, seem timeless and constant, spanning centuries with the same motions and music. Other forms, however, respond to specific cultural, physical, or technical conditions in much the same way as design or visual art. For example, butoh emerged in Japan in the decades after World War II, reflecting the deep pain and societal upheaval following the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki coupled with the onset of rapid industrialisation. By the 1990s, the computer began to infiltrate dance through the work of choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, opening up a more direct relationship between body and digital processes.

The Portuguese designer Joana Chicau continues this tradition, fusing her background as a dancer with her education in media design. Chicau, who completed her master’s at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, was attracted to the broader outlook of the Dutch graphic design field, encompassing methods and channels far beyond the traditional tools of visual design and printing. She approaches design not only by mastering technologies like computer code, but by critically engaging with the way these technologies engender systems of control and predetermination in the people who shape, employ, or experience them. Her work questions issues of agency, the user, code as language or script, and physical interaction with digital technology. Furthermore, her live “choreographic coding” sessions give visibility to code as a kind of material as well as an action, one normally hidden behind smooth, seamless digital interfaces or inside the glass-walled offices of corporate giants.

Chicau’s work also reflects a recent shift in design discourse towards embodied practice and performance over detached objects and technologies. She deconstructs the website as a kind of anthropomorphic structure with a head(er) and a body: the header tends to contain meta-information, external data, and Javascript functions, while the body is more of a secondary carrier for content. Through workshops, discussions, and performances, she brings together diverse communities and skill sets—many of which fall outside the conventional design field—in order to examine the effects of media design on how we move and interact in physical and virtual spaces. Despite the challenges of establishing such a hybrid and experimental research practice, she endeavours to empower people and to instil a sense of criticality into their daily lives.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Jos Klarenbeek
Jos Klarenbeek
Jos Klarenbeek
Jos Klarenbeek

Jos Klarenbeek

Jos Klarenbeek graduated in 2015 at the Design Academy Eindhoven, specializing in ‘Man and Public Space’. As a designer, he is interested in enabling access to and translating complex data. In the next year, he intends to focus on data from satellites. An unprecedented amount of raw data on the Earth is now available free of charge, including temperature charts and the wave movements of oceans. This data is used by researchers and science, but the coding means it is inaccessible and unusable for the wider public, even though it can prove to be an interesting source for designers, for example. In order to plug this gap, Klarenbeek plans to develop various tools that will make it possible to link satellite data to a loom or a CNC machine, for example. To achieve this, he plans to do an artist-in-residency at PlanetLabs in San Francisco. He also intends to set up a collaboration with Aliki van der Kruijs, in which they plan to bring together their knowledge and use real-time wave information from the Wadden Sea as a design variable.
Julia Janssen
Julia Janssen
Julia Janssen
Julia Janssen
Julia Janssen

Julia Janssen

Today, more than ever before, media literacy is a crucial part of a responsible and self-aware approach to digital network technologies. In an era where nearly all of our online activity is processed to extract personal data, we all have a specific value in terms of our multiple, interlinked online profiles. Our identities are thus commodified by data collectors and analysts, who monetise this information as predictive indicators or criteria for targeted advertising. Dutch designer Julia Janssen first became interested in the idea of personal data as a currency in her final project at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem. In Bank of Online Humanity, her bachelor’s graduation project, Janssen collected a variety of online profile typologies based upon individual characteristics, from “Superficial Ambitionless Savers” to “Informed Conceited Enjoyers”, each with discrete behavioural patterns and value within the network.

This year, Janssen has continued to explore the meaning of the “online user”, translating her research into a physical installation consisting of several games, each focusing on a particular aspect of her findings. She designs tools for people to understand how they are tracked and quantified—not only on social media, but in terms of their health, financial status, stage of life, and online browser history. These data are combined across platforms and systems in order to build more complex profiles. Different profiles also have different financial weight: for example, profiles of pregnant women are seen as particularly lucrative given their tendency to buy new products for their babies, their homes, or themselves. Finally, Janssen models a game inspired by slot machines whereby users pay with their data in order to gamble for free. As Janssen describes, we are the product of our individual information.

In her investigations, Janssen has transcended the limits of the design discipline: her research shows that many of the social orchestrations and categorisations enacted by mass data collection are invisible to the end user, but highly instrumental to the organisation that collects, manages, or analyses that data. In order to acquire a clear picture of the status quo, she spoke to behavioural scientists, data journalists, cybersecurity experts, and analysts for Rabobank and KPMG, as well as researchers at the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam. She believes that working within the context of art and design allows her to investigate these themes more speculatively, weirdly, sceptically and lightheartedly, encouraging a more open-ended and creative response to issues that may seem beyond our control.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Karim Adduchi
Karim Adduchi
Karim Adduchi
Karim Adduchi
Karim Adduchi

Karim Adduchi

Fashion has a loud voice, but what is all the shouting about? Fashion designer Karim Adduchi mainly wants to tell stories and add a social aspect to the production process. Or as he puts it: “Creating community, never being political, just social.”

As early as 2015, the show he put on when he graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy stood out from the rest. Entitled She knows why the caged bird sings, his collection was inspired by heritage from his native country, Morocco. His second presentation, She lives behind the court yard door (the opening show at the Amsterdam Fashion Week), was a real eye-opener and a turning point for him: this is not the way. After the relative freedom afforded by the art academy, the professional fashion world with its inflexible rhythm and sky-high expectations felt like a gilded cage. He wanted his next project to be a statement, entirely on his own conditions and in line with his own vision.

For the collection She has 99 names, Adduchi sought the help of non-professionals: housewives, students and refugees. By involving people from outside the fashion industry, he was trying to reinstate a certain innocence, freshness and pleasure into designing. In addition, Adduchi wanted to give them a platform, a CV and a network. By concentrating all the work in the same studio (from sewing to fittings on models), he tried to involve everyone in the entire process and generate a community. As the skills of those he involved were very diverse, cooperation and collaboration were of the essence. The experiences, crafts and stories these people contributed formed an important source of inspiration for Adduchi. A total of around 25 people worked on the project.

This collection also features references to Adduchi’s roots, such as embroidery inspired by North-African mosaics and traditional patterns. The fashion show was held out of season in a church. Both the timing and the venue were a statement. The huge media attention this presentation generated (both before and after the event) established Adduchi’s name and identity as a ‘social fashion designer’.

The social impact of design and the way designers work is steadily gaining attention. Not only the product, but also the process becomes important. It can be difficult to express this in the end result. More and more makers are taking to social media to give people a glimpse of how their ideas arise and evolve. Adduchi prefers to communicate his underlying ideas through words in interviews, lectures and press releases. The faces behind his collection also have their moment in the spotlight on the catwalk, but in the end, it’s the clothes that do the talking.

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Koos Breen
Koos Breen
Koos Breen
Koos Breen

Koos Breen

Over the past few decades, design research has tended (perhaps in an attempt to legitimise itself) to adopt components from more traditional academic disciplines and to focus disproportionately on contemporary political, economic, and social issues. However, this approach runs the risk of underestimating the possibilities for research native to design practice—the more intuitive, open-ended, process-based, and materially-rooted forms of experimentation that can only emerge by doing, seeing what happens, and doing again. This approach can be more difficult to rationalise but remains the primary foundation for the innovative culture of Dutch design across a variety of media.

Koos Breen’s practice is a paradigm of this approach to research through design. Every object, image, structure, or installation becomes the seed for a new idea—one with the potential to take any form or medium, which can explore new meanings or functions, unburdened by the conditions of previous experiments. Like many graphic designers trained in the Netherlands, his work is not confined to the traditional skills he was taught. On the contrary, part of his approach is to celebrate the unexpected outcomes of techniques in which he has no formal training: from pottery and virtual reality to weaving and casting. .

These trans-material investigations also bring Breen into close proximity with a variety of collaborators. These range from experience designers Random Studio to textile designer Nadine Goepfert, professionals with the ability to complement Breen’s border-crossing design curiosity with specific areas of technical specialisation and expertise. His work reflects the challenging demands faced by the contemporary designer to be able to move confidently from the realm of concrete objects encountered in a physical space to the visual representations of these objects in digital and print media. Breen’s method is an example of how a designer can expand and develop their practice without sacrificing the playfulness, lateral thinking, and continuous learning that drove their explorations during their design education.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Lilian van Daal
Lilian van Daal
Lilian van Daal
Lilian van Daal
Lilian van Daal

Lilian van Daal

In the twentieth century, plastics brought about a revolution in the design of chairs. Since then, a new possibility has been added – 3D printing. Lilian van Daal explores the opportunities for maximizing comfort and functionality by using this relatively new technique.

Van Daal began to attract attention in 2014 with her graduation project: a printed chair combining advanced technology with biomimicry – ‘learning from nature’ – in order to optimize products or processes and make them more sustainable. She believes that studying, analysing and implementing natural phenomena is the key to a more sustainable design practice. Her purchase of the acclaimed book Kunstformen der Natur, by the nineteenth-century zoologist Ernst Haeckel, is probably one of her most important investments of the last year. Its detailed drawings form an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

As she has now given up her regular job at a design agency, she is free to engage in more experimentation and collaboration. During a business challenge, van Daal was paired with Oceanz, a Dutch 3D printing company. She set to work using a recyclable plastic developed by them. She started trying to use this new material to create a full-size version of the chair she created for her graduation as a scale model (1:2). In order to achieve this, van Daal has learned more about the software and the digital drawing of structures in order to improve the efficiency of the modelling and production. The problem lies in the limitations of the printer: while the scale models could be printed in one go, it is now necessary to print out separate components. She joins them to each other using efficient connection points (similar to those found in nature), rather than glue. Glue makes furniture – and especially couches – difficult to recycle, which is a major frustration for van Daal.

The result of the collaboration, Radiolaria (named after micro-organisms with an unusual structure) was presented during the 2018 Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Both the production time and production costs have been halved. She had only one opportunity to print the final version, with just a few tests in advance. This means that it is still another prototype that requires further development.

Van Daal is less interested in a final product than in improving processes, including recycling. It is more important to her to reduce production time and energy consumption than to design a trendy chair. This attitude is in line with an age in which a critical approach to the sustainability of designs is adopted. Does the world really need a new chair?

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Manon van Hoeckel
Manon van Hoeckel
Manon van Hoeckel

Manon van Hoeckel

Contact with ‘the other’ lies at the heart of social designer Manon van Hoeckel’s practice. Based on a wide societal perspective, her designs explore the increasing distance between population groups and the potential political consequences thereof. She sees a society in which the image people have of strangers is based on reports in the media and on social platforms and much less on personal experiences.

In a more immediate way, her work is about promoting local contact, where sharing a place or facility can provide a sense of local security and social connection. Surprise encounters can enhance the ability to empathise with others’ perspectives and even mitigate social isolation. At the same time, Manon identifies a general tendency to design places, systems and products as efficiently as possible, while friction and inefficiency can actually help create unexpected situations and initiate contacts with others.

That is why Manon’s designs always focus on encounters and dialogue. She does not believe in organizing meetings, but is much more interested in eliciting conversations around practical human needs. After all, people from all kinds of backgrounds have to do the washing, have their hair cut or collect parcels. By creating interventions around these practical links in society, unforced encounters emerge which can be designed in all kinds of ways to encourage and elicit conversations. Specific conversational subjects can be introduced, for example, that are of relevance to the people involved, the location where the work is based, and the wider debate. Equally, opinions and stories can be collected from people whose voices may often go unheard in democratic processes or in the public arena. By placing these useful aspects on a pedestal, Manon also demonstrates the social importance of collective places and public occupations.

Although her original intentions were different, Manon has opted to position herself as a designer in the context of numerous collaborations rather than setting up a studio with several staff members. She also plans to develop fewer full projects independently by outsourcing more aspects. The clearly-defined and yet boundless core of her work – causing people to meet – means that she has the potential to develop her practice in all kinds of forms, areas, and collaborations. Manon also develops concepts for businesses and organizations, enabling projects to be adopted after completion and continue to exist over the longer term.

Text: Mark Minkjan
Winner DDA
Márk Redele
Márk Redele
Márk Redele
Márk Redele

Márk Redele

After finishing architecture school, Márk Redele found himself disappointed by the profession’s limited relevance as part of the standardised construction machinery. Upon moving to a more theoretical standpoint, he situated his spatial practice within the arts. Still deeply engaged with material and formal considerations, his works are intended to reconstruct the physical and mental spaces in which they are situated.

Redele’s work is agonistic: containing a form of struggle and inviting people to participate and respond. Suggestive of multiple architectural scenarios within single works, they take attention from the physical to the more imaginary level. Márks practice is not only a phenomenology of material and movement but also of language: it investigates how to rewrite space.

Skeuomorphic elements—materials moulded to look like other materials—are recurring cues in his practice that challenge collective perceptions and conventions. By offering new perspectives on commonplace items, environments or situations, the work redirects attention to the mundane, to everyday movements, occurrences and sensations. Encounters with it trigger people to rediscover tactility, materiality, and invisible actions and responses. An installation could at the same time be understood as a domestic design object, an architectural form and a structure becoming something else. This quality of becoming is another core theme in his work, through which he challenges claims of completeness and dictation in spatial design, proposing a more open exchange between people and spaces.

Redele sees the art world as a fruitful environment in which to construct his Trojan horse, through which he can bring his spatial approach to the scale of architecture. As installations, his theoretical creations can materialise and be more than paper architecture. His aim is to arrive in the same arena as traditional architectural practices but to create structures that offer more freedom in their materiality, meaning and affordances.

His practice is currently developing into more collaborative projects for which he is working with writers, designers, artists and photographers. Inviting others to develop artistic interpretations of spatial phenomena builds on Redele’s practice of presenting a variety of architectural scenarios simultaneously. Still creating autonomous work, he now takes on a more curatorial role, bringing together different voices that relate to space in unusual ways.

Text: Mark Minkjan
New State of Matter
New State of Matter
New State of Matter
New State of Matter

New State of Matter

Should you have a child? Is it fair to the child—or to the rest of the world—when environmental challenges make the future so uncertain? Is conceiving and rearing a baby something that can, or should, be controlled? How will it affect your relationship and family? What about how it will physically impact your body, especially if you are the mother? And what about your career – what is your life’s purpose anyhow? These are some of the questions that designer Gaspard Bos raises in his new piece Pathfinders, unveiled for the first time at the Dutch Design Week.
“It is a mediator of conversations”, says Bos of the interactive installation that he developed while completing a research residency at the Unstable Design Lab in Boulder, Colorado. The work marks a turning point in the Rotterdam-based designer’s practice. Since graduating from TU Delft’s Integrated Product Design Master’s in 2013, he has co-founded the Better Future Factory start-up (building on the Perpetual Plastic Project interactive recycling installation), worked with the Bugaboo baby stroller company to open-source design aspects in order to make replacement parts 3D-printable, worked with local people in Peru to co-design furniture woven from PET bottles, and participated in the adaptation and redesign of core relief items for refugees in Lesvos. He also still finds time to write, record and perform music.
“When I graduated, I really believed that if you want to do something to change the world, to make it more sustainable, you had to also make a business out of it”; Bos confesses that over the past few years he has realised that the way we do business is one of our biggest problems. Similarly, he has abandoned some project ideas centred on technological optimisation: “Technology doesn't bring people together. People come together. Making some great technology or app isn’t suddenly going to improve the world. It has to come from social change.”
Facilitating this change by creating interventions that help us redefine our values and ways of doing things is the essence of “transition design” for the Rotterdam-based designer. The Pathfinders project has inspired Bos to focus his work more in this direction. He continues to work on a machine-learning enabled secondhand clothing project that combines the potential of new technologies with the urgent need to discuss and revalue the disposability of the fashion industry.
“I won’t ever”, concludes Bos, “say I design solutions anymore.” In a world of constant change, solutions become obsolete so fast. We need more transitions.

Text: Nadine Botha
Studio Reus
Studio Reus
Studio Reus
Studio Reus
Studio Reus

Studio Reus

There isn’t an established definition that seems applicable to Jonathan Reus. On the one hand, he’s an experimental electronic musician exploring the affective space generated between performers during improvisation. On the other, he is the sound artist commissioned to create the sonic scenography of a forthcoming staging of Brave New World by the Asko-Schönberg performing arts ensemble. His work is not, however, so spectacle-driven for him to feel comfortable with the moniker of media artist. Contemporary artist might be more appropriate to describe the subtly conceptual nature of his work, but this fails to reflect his material and making driven process. Maybe he’s more of a conceptual designer, but he resists the innovation rhetoric that goes along with this. It’s not an easy definition, he admits.
It is, however, exactly this definition-defying playing field in which he thrives. Besides, Reus understands firsthand that “struggles build character”. After completing his bachelor’s in the US, he broke his back and was forced to compromise in his artistic ambitions, taking software engineering jobs to pay back his student loans and medical bills. “That kind of work sort of trains your neurons to work very logically and rationally in a disembodied way”, Reus describes, and “a lot of my artwork is kind of a push against that.”

This fightback is reflected “both from a technological standpoint, and also in the process of developing artistic tools that encourage embodiment, a sense of flow, a sense of being in time, being in a moment.” These are some of the spatial, durational and embodied qualities that drew him to sound as an artistic medium. The current resurgence of sound art, he wonders, may represent the global magnification of his own struggles: “Maybe my experience software is just a microcosm of the entire rest of the world’s experiences of being over inundated with screens.” Now based in The Hague, his artistic ambitions were given a second chance in 2009 when he received a W. J. Fulbright fellowship to undertake a research project at STEIM in Amsterdam. In 2014, he went on to complete the Master’s in Music at the ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

Still, he hankers to find a kind of middle ground and spent the past year trying to find a working methodology for his creative practice. Step one of this necessitated the building of a studio. Now, about to embark on a residency at the IEM in Graz as part of the ‘Algorithms That Matter’ research project, he is looking to explore alternative, non-digital algorithmic ideas from different cultures. These are of interest not only as a new approach to electronic music but also to perfect his work process: “I want to challenge myself to make an algorithm for myself to make art”, he muses half-jokingly. “Hopefully at the end of this year, I'll have either a completely tongue-in-cheek flowchart for producing work or something that’s a really powerful tool, flexible enough to allow serendipity but structured enough to produce identity.”

Text: Nadine Botha
Suzanne Oude Hengel
Suzanne Oude Hengel
Suzanne Oude Hengel
Suzanne Oude Hengel
Suzanne Oude Hengel

Suzanne Oude Hengel

Innovation in knitting: it’s no longer a contradiction in terms, and certainly not to designer Suzanne Oude Hengel. She is trying to push back boundaries by taking a new look at the possibilities of the knitting machine. And then she applies her findings to innovative, seamless shoe designs.

Although her designs may be unconventional, the design problems she encounters are as conventional as can be: what is the best way to use the material to do justice to its natural state of being? As an independent designer, how can you bridge the gap with the industry? The distinctive, colourful shoes she designs are still at the prototype stage. Her aim isn’t so much to create her own label as to conduct research and advise businesses about materials and technology, and to think up new applications for footwear in collaboration with innovative parties.

Her thirst for deeper knowledge of technology is driven by frustration with the answer “no, you can’t do that with a machine” – an answer that isn’t even always true. Oude Hengel has found the space she needs to learn and experiment in the TextielLab in Tilburg, which is part of the TextielMuseum. After a 12-month internship, she now works as a technical assistant in the knitting department. She doesn’t only learn all there is to know about flat-bed knitting machines, but also about the software that controls the digital equipment. Learning to program takes a lot of time and practice, so Oude Hengel does this in her spare time. You could call it digital craft: you have to practise, experiment, and clock up lots of hours and metres. By investing in software, she is now able to get to grips with the program in her studio.

The manual knitting machines she uses herself are a good, low-tech, hands-on way of trying out her ideas and changing things as she goes along. This is more difficult on digital machines because you have to load all the information first. Since graduating, she has also found a low-threshold way of soling her shoes: dipping the top of the shoes (upper) into a bath of rubber. No glue is required. At the moment, she is exploring the use of spacers (a material with space in the middle, like a sandwich) to attach the soles, again without the need for adhesives.

She visited several European trade fairs last year to broaden her knowledge of materials and to catch up with the latest developments. This resulted in visibility and a brand-new network, and she is now reaping the benefits in the shape of increasingly exciting and relevant new commissions. Knitting definitely has a future.

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Tenant of Culture

Tenant of Culture

Hendrickje Schimmel’s practice resists easy categorisation, spanning the disciplines of textiles, fashion, sculpture, and curation. After studying fashion in Arnhem and textiles at London’s Royal College of Art, her interests coalesced in an unusually nuanced approach to textiles rather than as a practice explicitly aimed at the fashion industry. Schimmel was fascinated by fashion as a phenomenon—how it operates, the discourse it sparks, how trends circulate and evolve, and how it impacts the lives of normal people—and sought to address these questions through the media of textile and garments, even if these are never placed on a human body.

Schimmel’s work reflects a contemporary world where creative fields feed off of and infect one another, one where clothing can be both the subject and medium of socioeconomic critique. Today, as house prices become increasingly prohibitive to young people and as social media seeks to capture every waking moment of our lives, what people choose to wear makes a powerful statement in public space. Rather than frame her practice through projects driven by abstract concepts, Schimmel embraces the messy complexities, coincidences, and paradoxes that she witnesses on the streets of London. The frivolous can be as meaningful as the minimalist, and her work functions as a barometer for how people interact with textile on a day-to-day basis. She enjoys the freedom of withdrawing from the need to make a wearable and profitable collection, while also challenging the art world’s aversion to things that resemble products.

Most recently, Schimmel has explored the twin rhetorics of hyper-functionality and painstaking traditionalism in contemporary clothing, concepts she describes as “ornamental survivalism” and “bucolic nostalgia”. The romantic longing for a simpler past has long been a central motif in human culture, and equally so in fashion, even as technological advances make fabrics and garment construction ever more complex, engineered, and performative. Schimmel frames both “ornamental survivalism” and “bucolic nostalgia” as responses to the malleable ideas of nature, urbanism, and morality. Both the camouflage-print coat and the high-visibility, waterproof backpack embody a deeply embedded fear of the unknown future and a valorisation of the hunter figure, while the straw basket conjures images of organic rural living. As she investigates these themes, Schimmel also experiments with the boundaries of wearability and curation and how these interact in the space of human encounter.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
TeYosh
TeYosh
TeYosh
TeYosh
TeYosh

TeYosh

Sofija Stanković and Teodora Stojković came from Serbia to the Netherlands in order to study graphic design at the Sandberg Instituut, attracted by both the school’s open structure and the social and political engagement it seeks to foster. This educational model resonated with the pair, who view the designer not as the intermediary between client and printer, or simply the visualiser of the ideas of others, but as a figure who responds to and intervenes in the forces of power and urgency that constitute their contemporary context. Coming from Serbia had a strong influence on their work: issues such as the patriarchal bias of society seemed out of reach for a studio based in the Netherlands, but they were reluctant to over-politicise their new environment. Instead, they turned their attention to the controversial but more universal subject of social media.

Under the name TeYosh, the duo explores the behaviour of online networked communities. Separated from their old friends, they were able to see that social media activity was not a neutral depiction of how societies interact in a real space, but rather a highly regimented performance oriented towards different perceived versions of the “ideal” personality. Devoid of the nuances of body language, vocal inflection, and eye contact, our current social media platforms have encouraged the development of certain patterns of expression. TeYosh identify and explain these patterns in their constantly growing Dictionary of Online Behavior, which includes terms such as “clickvalue”, “forcie”, and “thrillification”. Ultimately, they aim to engender a more mindful engagement with social media and thus empower users to control the way it affects their offline identities.

TeYosh exemplifies the kind of creative practice whose scepticism, wit, and critical readings of contemporary technology drive them to look for opportunities outside tech firms or startups, in order to maintain distance and independence from their subject matter. Their chosen media range from animation and fashion to public speaking, engaging both audiences and collaborators in their overall research approach. They have also experimented with virtual reality, seizing on its ability to push the virtual-physical intersection further into the near future. Neither technophilic nor technophobic, TeYosh translate the role of the graphic designer to that of an anthropologist of experimental behaviours—one at the brink of rapid technological change.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Willem van Doorn
Willem van Doorn
Willem van Doorn
Willem van Doorn

Willem van Doorn

In his practice, designer Willem van Doorn brings about interaction between people, objects, and space. His work almost always calls for action and movement, making people part of a place. The characteristics and history of a place and the intention to incite people to do something are usually the starting points of a design process.

Since we are constantly overwhelmed with information that takes control of consciousness and alienates us from our immediate environment, Willem attempts to awaken people physically and rationally by means of apparently simple installations and activities. Their directness elicits a new understanding of basic human needs and the qualities of a place. Although the materials he uses may be mundane or found on location, Willem applies them unconventionally in order to achieve unexpected situations. His projects therefore capture attention, necessitating contact with the object, the place or other people present.

Many of Willem’s designs emerge by creating, testing and building models and pursuing new paths of exploration. To provide input for these processes, he almost always collaborates with other artists and designers, who enrich his work with technical insight, narrative concepts, and an understanding of natural processes.

A good workplace that provides freedom and calm and is equipped to encourage inspiration is essential for Willem. That is why the heart of his practice is the workshop he set up at his family’s farm in De Kwakel after graduating. This large creative environment packed with tools provides space for production, experimentation, and collaboration. As such, the farm is developing from a farming business into a test bed for ideas and designs. Willem has also developed guest accommodation at the farm. This enables other artists and designers to come and work on their own spatial projects or collaborations at the workshop, for example, either briefly or for a longer period. To build this accommodation, materials and remnants from the immediate farm environment were used.

More recently, Willem has invested in professionalizing his practice and development alongside his time- and place-related work. A new online presentation is an important part of this. Since his designs are not really suited as products for sale, but can be used at all kinds of events and places, a rental model has been set up. The workshop is also being gradually perfected. Willem still hopes to work on more spatial projects, possibly in collaboration with architects, museums or set designers.

Text: Mark Minkjan
Yamuna Forzani
Yamuna Forzani
Yamuna Forzani
Yamuna Forzani
Yamuna Forzani

Yamuna Forzani

Queer communities have been laboratories for radical cultural innovation throughout history. This was never more apparent than in the twentieth century, when increasing urban populations, changing socie-tal norms, and independent media channels fueled the growth of alternative spaces and networks of solidarity, celebration, and activism. While members of the queer community were often forgotten or denounced by mainstream society and deprived of financial and social resources, their creativity emerged in the less regimented spaces of nightclubs and art spaces. In particular, the ball culture of New York City in the 1980s provided the context not only for performance and costume design, but for cultural commentary, friendship, and AIDS awareness. It was a space to explore gender and sexu-ality with a community where such freedom would be fostered.

Yamuna Forzani, who graduated from the Textile & Fashion department at The Hague’s Royal Acad-emy of Art, celebrates ball culture in a multidisciplinary practice that combines fashion, photography, dance, installation, and social design through inclusive public events. The ball becomes a shared plat-form uniting these creative methodologies, paying homage to the balls of the 1980s while also experi-menting with new formats or themes. Her Utopia Ball Fashion Show honours the ball tradition of providing a competition structure based on multiple, complex categories of performance, from “Virgin Runway” to “Executive Realness”. This variety of categories acknowledges a history in which queer members of society have sought different modes of self-expression and self-protection, as well as a new set of contemporary aesthetics. Forzani’s collection of twenty-four multi-coloured knit outfits are also debuted in the ball, interweaving the design with the real-world context that inspired it. Her collec-tion is designed not to exclude any individual but to be genderful, celebrating the multiplicity of roles and identities that we embody within social structures.

By hosting such events, Forzani enacts a design practice that celebrates her interests outside of the traditional design field; she leaves space to express her artistic and political activism, as a member of the Kiki House of Angels in the Netherlands and an international member of New York’s House of Comme Des Garçons. Rather than suppressing personal perspectives in accordance with an idea of “neutral professionalism”, designers today can contribute to the most important contemporary debates, from climate change and migration to automation and privacy. Forzani’s work demonstrates the imag-inative and rhetorical powers embedded within creative production, and their potential to reach far beyond the design industry.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Alissa + Nienke
Alissa + Nienke

Alissa + Nienke

From their shared fascination with the interaction between man and space, designers Alissa van Asseldonk and Nienke Bongers jointly established a design studio. They both gained their degrees from the Department of Man & Well-Being at Design Academy Eindhoven. Together they envisage sparking curiosity and facilitating spontaneous discovery in daily life through their work. They actualize this by developing tactile, interactive materials and surfaces in which sensory experience is key. For the coming year the designers have set themselves the goal of developing their studio further, in terms of content – artistic and technical – so that their designs can actually be implemented in daily life and thus contribute to human well-being. They will be therefore be enriching their knowledge by following courses in philosophy and psychology, as well as in programs such as SketchUp or Solidworks and Arduino. Furthermore, they will be developing three projects: ‘BioMirror’, ‘Mirabilia’ and ‘Dangling Grid’. In addition they will develop a materials library and explore the use of stop-motion video. In order to make the work truly useful in everyday life, they are organizing public test moments and they will be collaborating with manufacturers and scientists. The designers regard these various pathways as different steps within a large-scale study that focuses on ‘experience-changing surfaces’
Amy Suo Wu
Amy Suo Wu
Amy Suo Wu

Amy Suo Wu

Amy Suo Wu graduated with an MA in Media Design from the Piet Zwart Institute in 2012. Her work is almost always dominated by the political dimension of information and how information is employed by power structures. In this context Wu undertook the research project ‘Tactics and Poetics of Invisibility’ in 2015, in which she goes in search of tactical and innovative forms of invisibility in order to mask communications between citizens and communities. Over the coming year, Wu wants to investigate this further by concentrating on the principles of steganography, the principle within cryptography of hiding information within innocent-looking objects. Here Wu’s focus is on invisible ink, as an historic medium that is no longer considered relevant by security services. In concrete terms, the research must result in an inkjet printer that uses invisible ink. In the realm of professional and artistic development, Wu is pursuing a couple of residency pathways in Beijing, Leipzig and elsewhere.
Atelier Frank Verkade
Atelier Frank Verkade

Atelier Frank Verkade

Frank Verkade graduated from the Product Design Department at ArtEZ in Arnhem in 2012. Since then, as a jewellery designer he has been fascinated by the symbiosis between different organisms, especially between human and animal. He believes that this touches upon the origins of jewellery, given that since time immemorial it was developed by primitive people in the guise of bestial and natural materials in order to assume their (mythical) powers. Nowadays, the designer asserts, the developments within bio-design are leading to increasingly blurred boundaries between humankind and technology. The makeability of the human body is thus a point of departure for his ongoing design-driven research project ‘Paradise’, which over the coming year he wants to expand into a multidisciplinary project in which jewellery, dance, video and photography converge. The goal that Frank Verkade has set himself for the coming year is to develop himself into a multidisciplinary designer. He will be expanding his expertise and skills by taking courses for the computer programs Rhino and CAD, film editing and working in precious metals. In addition, he will be seeking intrinsic enrichment under the supervision of the American film director Andrew Thomas Huang and designers Ted Noten and Bart Hess. He is also participating in the Artist in Residence programme at ArtEZ Product Design and various presentations are planned, such as a duo-solo exhibition at Gallery Four in Gothenburg, Sweden - a joint exhibition with Dutch Invertuals.
Benjamin Sporken
Benjamin Sporken

Benjamin Sporken

In 2014, Benjamin Sporken earned his Master’s degree from the Media, Art & Design Faculty in Hasselt, with a focus on graphic design and a specialisation in type design. His design practice is characterised by a multidisciplinary approach which pays special attention to the interaction between graphic and typeface design. Benjamin Sporken believes that typography forms the communicative foundation for virtually all media, both in digital and print forms. He has notes that the development of type design appears to be stagnating, especially because there seems to be a preference for the overall legibility of letters. To contribute to the positioning and development of type design, Benjamin Sporken wants to set up his own platform, entitled ONMIN (‘discord’). To put type design in a historical context, Benjamin Sporken will participate in the Expert Class Type Design masterclass. In addition, he’ll seek out advice from British design agency FIELD and several forward-thinking type designers and so-called ‘type foundries’. Step by step, he’ll work on creating new characters, innovative production methods, applications and exhibition formats for typeface design. By starting his own type foundry, Sporken intends to challenge conventions and differentiate himself within the design field. In addition, the concept of ONMIN will give him the opportunity to create a business model that contributes to the development of his professional practice.
Chrissie Houtkooper
Chrissie Houtkooper

Chrissie Houtkooper

During her studies at ArtEZ’s Fashion Masters, which she completed in 2015, Chrissie Houtkooper specialized in fashion accessories and footwear in particular. She believes that shoes are the crux of clothing and identity. Her work is characterized by personal heritage and the combination of streetwear, minimalism, modernity and craftsmanship. Experiments with materials, form and construction are central in this regard. She wants to devote the coming year to consolidating the foundations of her design practice, particularly in the realms of sustainability, craftsmanship and tradition. She therefore wants to develop two collections and scrutinize her positioning abroad. During exploratory trips to London and Japan she wants to enter into discussion with various parties and reflect on her design practice. The research into new as well as traditional techniques, materials and production methods is pivotal within the collections. She will be designing a new accessories collection – ‘Modern Heritage 2.0’ – that should lead to a modern interpretation of traditions. She also wants to produce a wearable accessories collection in collaboration with the fashion designer David Laport. Both collections will be presented during Paris Fashion Week and Dutch Design Week.
Christiaan Bakker
Christiaan Bakker

Christiaan Bakker

Christiaan Bakker gained his MA from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam in 2013. As a designer, Bakker wants to tell stories by shaping spaces. Tijdens his design process he uses scale models as his principal design tool. Over the coming year Bakker will be investigating various aspects of the scale model. He thereby expects to move closer to the applicability of models in the design process. Bakker prefers to conduct research in a spatial and experimental way that proceeds from a theoretical framework. The research consists of three phases. In phase one Bakker is analysing the different aspects of the model, including function, formal idiom, proportionality and use of materials. He will then conduct a series of spatial experiments. Lastly, the insights gained will be applied in designing with models. He is deliberately leaving open the form in which the results of the research will be made manifest. During the research Bakker will be consulting with several experts from other disciplines, including a scenographer, a filmmaker, artists and graphic designers. in order to develop his technical skills in the fields of rendering and augmented reality, The designer is undertaking work placements with a photographer and an AR specialist. The designer is also consulting with two coaches in order to reflect on the whole design process.
Dieter Vandoren
Dieter Vandoren

Dieter Vandoren

Dieter Vandoren gained his MA from the ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague in 2012. Vandoren creates audiovisual installations and performances in which the bodily experience takes centre stage. The work always creates a bridge between the architectural and audiovisual experience. Besides his work as a creative, Vandoren is one of the initiators of the iii platform, which has evolved into an (inter-) national space for exchange in the realm of audiovisual art. In his development plan, Vandoren describes three components that in combination lead to a final project. Vandoren is following a residency at STEIM together with creative Mariska de Groot in order to continue developing and finalize their collaborative work LFS1. In addition, Vandoren is devising and realizing a new work with the aid of the 4DSOUND installation. With the third project he wants to embark into the realm of stage design, which involves Vandoren entering into a collaboration with a musician in order to arrive at a visual architecture that provides a spatial context for the music. The final project will be fed by the three other projects and must be a large-scale experience at the intersection of the academic and techno-culture.
Donna van Milligen Bielke

Donna van Milligen Bielke

Donna van Milligen Bielke gained her MA from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture in 2012. In her work the architect is constantly concerned with the redefinition and positioning of boundaries, and in doing so Van Millegen Bielke operates at the boundary of architecture and urban planning, moving freely through various scales, from the architectural interior to urban fabric. Over the coming year the architect is focusing on a design-driven research project that is aimed at devising new urban typologies for Amsterdam. These typologies must make the city ready for future growth and offer an answer to the ever-increasing stream of tourists. The design-driven research includes an analysis of Amsterdam’s history and context, and a series of excursions to diverse urban typologies in New York, Paris, Rome and Berlin. The architect also wants to involve a series of experts, such as Zef Hemel, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Martino Tattara and Ton Schaap, in her research as visiting critics.
Elisa van Joolen
Elisa van Joolen
Elisa van Joolen

Elisa van Joolen

Elisa van Joolen gained her MFA in Fashion Design from Parsons in New York in 2012. In her work she investigates new production methods, while at the same time calling into question the fashion industry’s prevailing hierarchical value system. Her design method is therefore inspired by a new concept of production. This involves reusing, sampling and mixing existing cultural expressions, as well as cooperation and participation. Elisa van Joolen initiated the research project ‘11”x17”’, in which she turns sections of various items of clothing, donated by fashion labels, into new garments. Over the coming year Van Joolen wants to pursue this design principle further by developing a new collection: ‘One-to-One’. In this collection she will be printing garments onto other garments, so that individual features and mutual differences become evident. In addition, she will be immersing herself in alternative economic models and exploring responsible means of production, distribution and marketing. At the same time she is determined to increase the online visibility of her work, organize collection presentations at various venues, and produce a publication. Her intrinsic development will involve studying the relevant literature and establishing a dialogue with other designers, artists and curators. Lastly, Elisa van Joolen wants to explore the possibility of setting up a discussion platform, the so-called WareHouse, where designers and researchers can share ideas.
Giuditta Vendrame
Giuditta Vendrame
Giuditta Vendrame

Giuditta Vendrame

Giuditta Vendrame gained her Master in Design from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2015. Her work is situated at the intersection of design and legislation. In her design practice Vendrame wants to provoke an interchange between design and the legal system that addresses theoretical as well as practical aspects. Through design – the production and modulation of an aesthetic effect – Vendrame wants to create spaces where the dialogue about citizenship can take place. Over the coming year Vendrame wants to focus her research and interventions on three mainstays: the urban scale (the city of Eindhoven), the international scale (the River Donau), and the supranational scale (the Schengen Area). In this regard she has approached various experts, in the field of design as well as from the legal domain.
Hannah Schubert

Hannah Schubert

Hannah Schubert graduated as a landscape architect from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture in 2015. Schubert’s projects are situated at the interface of architecture and landscape. In her graduation project Schubert investigated how the power of nature can be deployed in order to gradually transform a vacant or ‘failed’ building into a landscape. The landscape architect wants to approach the archetype of the ruin in a non-nostalgic manner and thus generate valuable places, where nature rules and people can come and visit if so desired. For her development pathway Schubert describes three components: the acquisition of greater ecological expertise, knowledge of various representation techniques, and the dissemination of her own distinctive position within (landscape) architecture. Within these components she will call on mentors, undertake excursions, conduct design-driven research and produce presentations. Schubert wants to record her personal development in an online journal. Furthermore, the landscape architect is working on a presentation at Castle Groeneveld, where the enrichment of the design-driven research as well as the development in representation techniques can be made manifest.
Isabelle Andriessen
Isabelle Andriessen

Isabelle Andriessen

Isabelle Andriessen gained an MA in Fine Art from Malmö Art Academy in 2015, having previously graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Fashion Institute in Amsterdam. Andriessen investigates the contrast between finiteness and the desire for immortality. Transience, transformation and sensory perception are the central elements in her sculptures and spatial installations. She often works with materials that are perishable in nature and with intangible ‘materials’ such as light, scent and sound. Her aim is to foster a unique relationship between the visitor, the (architectonic) space and the material. The works are primarily ‘site-specific’ and ‘time-based’. Andriessen recently conducted research at the EKWC ceramics workshop and the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The outcomes will be made concrete over the coming year by developing and presenting various new works. In her new work she wants to investigate the relationship between architecture, consumer society and nature.
Janna Ullrich
Janna Ullrich

Janna Ullrich

Janna Ullrich is endeavouring to make complex political subjects accessible and open for discussion among a broad-based public. She makes this evident in her work in a playful way, by sketching dystopian and utopian scenarios that the public can fathom out by means of a game. For example, for her graduation project at the Sandberg Institute in 2015 she devised the ‘No Man’s Land’ board game in conjunction with the animation film ‘So You Think You Can Immigrate’. The game is based on the fictitious hyper-surveillance of current asylum policy and Europe’s asylum industry. Janna Ullrich wants to use the coming period to develop the game further and professionalize her own design practice. She is therefore organizing playing sessions for experts in the realms citizenship, refugee policy and the security industry, with whom she will reflect on the content-related and conceptual elaboration of the game, calling into question the designer’s own design and research method. In addition, she is taking a course in technical skills for After Effects, Cinema 4D and 3D software. She is also working with professional game developers, including Erno Eekelhout and Filip Milunski, on the game’s technical improvement. Furthermore, Ullrich is working together with documentary-maker Paramita Nath and producer Karen Ella Harnisch on a gaming documentary. The game will be presented at universities, theatres, schools, companies and community centres. The designer is also working with members of the refugee collective We Are Here and the Here To Support Foundation, with the intention of testing the game against the ‘reality’.
Jules van den Langenberg

Jules van den Langenberg

Jules van den Langenberg is an independent curator and exhibition maker. His work involves personally initiated presentation formats, alongside commissions from museums, businesses and private individuals. His projects focus on the disciplines of design, applied art and architecture. Critically questioning and researching the ‘exhibition’ as a medium is pivotal. In 2017 Van den Langenberg wants to travel to search for the ideology of the new wave of exhibition practices. By entering into pupil-master relationships with relevant curators and exhibition makers, and by undertaking working visits to design studios, ateliers, museums and cultural institutions, during 80 working visits he will attempt to collate a library of 80 sketches for exhibition formats.
Mariska de Groot
Mariska de Groot
Mariska de Groot

Mariska de Groot

Mariska de Groot gained her MA from the ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague in 2012. In her work De Groot focuses on the realm of optical sound, which involves light being directly transformed into sound and vice versa. She often bases this on old and forgotten media, such as the humming-top and harmonograph. De Groot reveals the technology behind these historical machines by enlarging the components and dismantling them. This leads to kinetic light and sound installations in which she translates the rational into a sensitive and immersive experience. In her development plan, De Groot explains that she needs a period of research and reflection as a counterpoint to her practice. The first of the two lines of research concern the phenomenological behaviour of plasma lamps in the transformation of light into sound. The second research project stems from a personal fascination with round geometric patterns. Within this process De Groot will be investigating round patterns from all kinds of angles: anatomic, mystical, cultural. Alongside the research, she will be participating in a number of residencies, including one at STEIM that focuses on the work LFS1. In the realm of professionalization, De Groot wants to deploy a mentor to help her learn to make decisions more quickly. Furthermore, she is planning to follow a number of training courses in the field of media presentation.
Max Dovey
Max Dovey

Max Dovey

Max Dovey gained his MA in Media Design & Communication from the Piet Zwart Institute in 2015. Dovey uses performances and installations to pose critical questions about the promises and dangers of big data, artificial intelligence and the use of computers. Over the coming year Dovey will be developing a scenario-driven live action game about blockchain technology. A blockchain is a distributed database that tracks a constantly growing list of data items that are protected from manipulation and falsification. A blockchain means it is unnecessary for a third party to safeguard the trustworthiness of a transaction. The game brings players in contact with the potential significance of blockchain technology for alternative forms of economic organization and new forms of social governance. The designer is working with Professor Chris Speed (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh). In order to develop his qualities in the field of performance, Dovey is pursuing a residency with Blast Theory, an English theatre company. He is also cooperating with the Design my Privacy initiative as he works on several publications and events about the subject of digital privacy.
Paula Arntzen
Paula Arntzen

Paula Arntzen

Paula Arntzen gained her MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art in London in 2015. During her studies she noticed that interactive design is employed in spatial installations more often than in product design. This inspired her to explore the reasons why objects and furniture have a static character despite the opportunities that technology offers. For example, for her ‘Blue Hour’ graduation project she developed a collection of light objects that are programmed to perform a specific choreography. Over the coming year she wants to follow this up with the ‘Performa’ project, which zooms in on the discrepancy between entertainment in the public space and the static domestic environment, in which lighting and movement once again play an important role. Paula Arntzen collaborates with various professionals to realize her objects and is studying programs such as Sketchup and Solidworks. Furthermore, under the guidance of an artistic coach and a business coach she will be scrutinizing the development of her studio. Arntzen will also be presenting her work at national and international fairs. Lastly, she wants to explore the possibilities for actively participating in an international design collective.
Rasmus Svensson
Rasmus Svensson

Rasmus Svensson

Rasmus Svensson graduated from the Sandberg Institute with a Master in Design in 2013. His work comprises digital platforms, audiovisual websites, films and visual essays. Themes that he investigates include financial information systems, blockchains, legal structures and power structures, and the relationship of physical to virtual territories. In his development plan he proposes three projects in association with Hanna Nilsson. Pivotal to the ‘Ambient Design Group’ speculative design project are interfaces of the future that extend beyond the two-dimensional screen. With the ‘Google Soil’ project the designers are investigating the importance (or irrelevance) of the land with regard to our seemingly ‘free-floating sharing economy’. In the ‘Node Pole’ project they investigate how different physical, social and financial streams move through society. They will be carrying out their research in the town of Boden in northern Sweden, which is regarded as an ideal data haven. Over the year the designers want to explore diverse domains in greater depth. They are intending to have meetings with organizations such as lock.it, Ascribe.io, CCC Chaos Computer Club, Next Nature Network, and the Ethereum Foundation. They will also be visiting specialists in the field of law and blockchain such as Florian Glatz, as well as researchers such as Tor Björn Minde of the SICS Interactive Institute, Luleå, and Michael Nilsson of Cloudberry Datacenters, Luleå. The designers will be publishing three visual essays over the year.
roomforthoughts

roomforthoughts

Jennifer Kanary Nikolov studied at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design, then at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In 2015 she gained a PhD in artistic research from the Planetary Collegium at Plymouth University, Media Arts (Electronics, Communication and Technology). In her work she investigates ‘mental objects’. Nikolov is interested in psychological themes, mind-shifts and the role of subjectivist knowledge development in science. Her roomforthoughts art practice investigates the physical properties of thoughts. Over the coming year Nikolov wants to develop an interactive ‘serious game’ that makes use of the power of mixed media, for which she wants to create an interactive experience using virtual reality. The project bears the provisional working title ‘Mindhacking Grief’, and the game will respond to fears that are related to the experience of death and loss. Furthermore, she intends to produce a portable version of her earlier ‘Labyrinth Psychotica’ project.
Rudy Guedj
Rudy Guedj
Rudy Guedj

Rudy Guedj

Rudy Guedj is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Amsterdam. Working on commissioned and autonomous projects ranging from book and exhibition design to animation and installation works, he has been exploring the narrative possibilities of drawing through typographical, architectural, figurative or abstracted signs. Over the coming year and through various mediums, he will build up a series of collaborative projects which will explore the potential of drawing and writing as possible tools to (de/re)construct spaces through the lens of fiction. Collaborating with writers and other artists, he will publish the result of those investigations on the abstraction of language and form as a series of Building Fictions. (www.buildingfictions.com).
Ruiter Janssen
Ruiter Janssen
Ruiter Janssen

Ruiter Janssen

Ruiter Janssen gained a Master in Vacant NL at the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, in 2013. By visualizing data he charts out topical themes in society, so his work crosses over into the realms of journalism, information design and autonomous design. Ruiter Jansen wants to work on two projects over the coming year: Apartheid Revisited and Two Sides of New Amsterdam. Jansen wants to depict the history of apartheid in an interactive data landscape and thus increase knowledge and awareness of it among today’s generation. For this project he is already working with a former South Africa correspondent and expert on apartheid, Bart Luirink. He also intends to establish a collaboration with the Rotterdam-based Bureau Buitengewone Zaken design agency. In the ‘Two Sides of New Amsterdam’ project the designer is investigating the process of appropriating the historical past. He argues that phrases such as ‘our past’ and ‘in the olden days we used to...’ lay a claim to history. He will use New York (formerly New Amsterdam) as an example. For this latter project the designer wants to join forces with historian Jaap Jacobs, an expert on Dutch immigrants in the USA, and others.
Simone C. Niquille
Simone C. Niquille
Simone C. Niquille
Simone C. Niquille

Simone C. Niquille

Simone C. Niquille gained her MA in Design from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam in 2013. As a graphic designer, Niquille produces objects, films, images and strategies around themes such as personal data and the representation of the human body in virtual space. In her development plan she describes the ambition carry out research, to produce a short film, and to acquire knowledge about aspects such as game software. Elaborating upon her earlier ‘Internet of Bodies’ project, Niquille investigates the processes, technology and aesthetics of the digitalization of the human body. The Avatardesign design-driven research project speculates about the possible avatars which could arise in the world of social media, biometric data and motion capture.
Simone Post
Simone Post

Simone Post

Simone Post graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014. Post is a textile designer who besides running her own design bureau was also co-founder of the Envisions collective. The connecting thread in Post’s work is the combination of experimental work and applying its outcomes in an industrial setting. Over the coming year she wants to specialize as well as expand. Proceeding from her experimentation and in association with industrial partners, she will be focusing on textiles and colour. She will also be conducting research into various techniques and methodologies in order to be able to combine these in her design practice. The professionalization of her design bureau occupies a key position over the coming year. Post is setting aside a substantial portion of the professionalization budget to bring in coaches to help her improve her operational management. She will also travel to India and Japan to establish collaborative partnerships with various workshops.
Sophie Hardeman
Sophie Hardeman
Sophie Hardeman
Sophie Hardeman

Sophie Hardeman

Sophie Hardeman graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2015. In that same year she launched the denim label HARDEMAN, which immediately garnered plenty of international attention, and she presented her OUT OF THE BLUE collection during New York Fashion Week. Her work is distinctive for its use of denim, a workaday textile, as well as for the alienation in perspective that she introduces in her silhouettes. Furthermore, Hardeman investigates and critically questions existing conventions in the current fashion system, which primarily revolves around the economic perspective. In her collections Hardeman seeks out confrontation, in which she designates the abnormal to be a new reality. Over the coming year she wants to realize two projects: the HEROES collection, in which the human is seen as idol and as Messiah without hiding human failings, and the JEANS COUTURE project, a ‘Red Carpet Event’ which establishes the link with product glamorization and image accreditation.
Studio Amir Avraham
Studio Amir Avraham

Studio Amir Avraham

Amir Avraham completed his MA at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem in 2015. As a graphic designer he investigates his role as an author and design as a form of writing. Over the coming year he will be specifically focusing on two projects: ‘Virtual Gleaning’ and ‘Exterritorial Alefbeit’. The first project is a study that concentrates on the new digital forms of information and knowledge distribution. The second project is a selection from a personal archive of digital found material. The concept of the collection focuses on Hebrew script and language, which was designated a ‘dead language’ until the early 20th century, when its use shifted from religious contexts to a natural spoken and written language. He wants to release a publication about this in the coming year.
Studio Iwan Pol
Studio Iwan Pol
Studio Iwan Pol

Studio Iwan Pol

Iwan Pol graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014. His design process is characterized by an investigative approach focused on materials and technique. Such an experimental methodology means that the end product is not predetermined. His work is focused on sensory experience and is grounded in the physical world. By his own account, this is Pol’s reaction to the neglect of the limitless possibilities of our senses and the associated astonishment in the digital age. Over the coming year Pol wants to elaborate his Happy Concrete and Fluid Walls projects, for which he is seeking to work with the University of Twente, as he primarily wants to immerse himself in the production process. Pol also envisages taking a next step with his collaborative project Envisions: being a trailblazer in the marketing of a ‘process’ as a product.
Studio RAP

Studio RAP

Studio RAP (Robotics, Architecture & Production) was established by architects Wessel van Beerendonk, Léon Spikker and Lucas ter Hall, all three of whom are graduates of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The cooperation is structured as a design and production studio with a focus on digital design techniques and innovative means of production. RAP describes the amalgamated role of architect and producer as the ‘digital master-builder’. In its development plan Studio RAP describes how it wants to evolve and establish a profile in this role over the coming year. The studio is therefore working on a hybrid manifesto that consists of design-driven research and a survey of the literature. RAP is thus endeavouring to set the practice of digital architecture in an historical context by demonstrating that new production and design techniques always lead to new architecture. In the design-driven research these creatives combine a parametric design process with digital production in order to arrive at a full-scale prototype which embodies the vision for digital architecture. Besides perfecting the parametric design process and the digital manufacture of elements, much of the research is focused on assembling these elements with the aid of robot arms. RAP expects that the step in the digitalization and automation of production will lead to more expressive forms. The studio wants to present the results of the design-driven research at venues such as architecture centres, but also in public spaces like Rotterdam’s main railway station. In the sphere of professionalizing its practice, the studio is primarily focusing on the improvement of its communications.
Studio Truly Truly
Studio Truly Truly
Studio Truly Truly
Studio Truly Truly

Studio Truly Truly

Studio Truly Truly has been invited to present a solo exhibition of their work in the Dutch Pavilion at London Design Fair in September. As well as representing Dutch design internationally, their goal is to reach a new audience and make connections in the thriving London design industry.
SulSolSal
SulSolSal

SulSolSal

The South African graphic designer Johannes Bernard gained his Master of Design from the Sandberg Institute in 2013. He runs the SulSolSal design studio together with the Brazilian architect Guido Giglio. Their practice and research connect three continents: Amsterdam (The Netherlands), São Paulo (Brazil) and Cape Town (South Africa). The design practice critically examines the paradigm of the prevailing model of global economic development. They use design projects, publications, lectures, food performances and workshops to investigate the significance of economic development for design, notably in Africa, Latin America and Europe. Over the coming year the studio wants to concentrate more on the development of its design methodology, pursue in-depth research, and produce two new works. The multi-screen film ‘A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats’ is a study of the role of design in marketing ‘progress’ in Brazil, South Africa and the Netherlands. In addition, the studio will be publishing a ‘Global Crisis Cookbook’ about strategies in times of crisis, making use of food culture, design and texts.
Thomas Trum
Thomas Trum
Thomas Trum

Thomas Trum

Thomas Trum graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven’s Department of Man and Leisure in 2014. Trum’s interests include paint and its physical properties, fields of colour and their effect on space. He experiments with tools, paints, inks and processing techniques within and outside his studio. His work consists of series of formal experiments on canvas, outside walls and paper. Over the coming year Trum is keen to conduct a series of formal and material experiments on large surfaces in the public space, such as walls, floors or ceilings. At the invitation of Koen Taselaar, in 2016 Trum is undertaking a residency at the Calcutta Art Research Foundation, where he will enrich his craftsmanship in the fields of screen printing, block printing and sign painting. In India he will also be visiting various paint manufacturers. He will be compiling the wall paintings that he creates over the year in a publication and during a presentation at the Dutch Design Week.
Ting Gong
Ting Gong

Ting Gong

Ting Gong graduated with a Bachelor of Design with distinction from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2015. In her work Gong explores the boundaries of fashion design, in the guise of light installations, performances, documentaries and other forms. Instead of focusing on the creation of a product, she is more interested in experimentation and the artistic value of her work. In her graduation project the theme of invisibility is central. In a world that is brimming with images, she seeks out the ‘disappearing’. The design method she devised for this has become her signature. Important aspects in this regard are the relationship between body and space, material and technique, and their translation into futuristic clothing. In her development plan Gong stresses the importance of integrating industrial materials and technology in her design practice in the pursuit of innovation. Over the coming year she wants to undertake a probing study into disappearing materials in association with TU Eindhoven.
Yaolan Luo

Yaolan Luo

Yaolan Luo is an interdisciplinary designer who gained a MA in Information Design from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2015. She had previously studied Art & Design at the Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, and gained a BA in Product and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins College in London. Her work comprises graphics, book design, product design, performances and sound experiments, and Yaolan Luo is most interested in the political, social and technological context of contemporary society. One important research project is ‘Amnesia State’, which she wants to carry forward over the coming year. A case of medical failure that causes the death of a student, about whom all the online comments disappeared, takes centre stage in this project. Luo wants to gain greater professionalism in the field of coded language and storytelling.
Aisha Madu
Aisha Madu

Aisha Madu

Aisha Madu graduated in 2014 from the Utrecht School of the Arts (Animation). Madu creates short humorous 2D animations. In the coming year she plans to develop a new animation film as well as several smaller works, such as illustrations and GIFs intended to complement the film. The Advisory Committee considers Madu’s work convincing and consistent. In its opinion the small films reveal an individual style and are humorous and playful.
Chloé Rutzerveld
Chloé Rutzerveld
Chloé Rutzerveld

Chloé Rutzerveld

Chloé Rutzerveld graduated in 2014 with a BA in Industrial Design from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Rutzerveld is a food and concept designer who designs experimental dinners and food concepts, thus making connections between design, science, technology and culture. She uses food as a medium for making social issues a subject for debate across a broad spectrum of the public. In the coming year she intends to develop herself in the field of gastronomy, sensory and experience design. To this end she will undertake a work placement with Kitchen Theory.
David Laport
David Laport

David Laport

David Laport graduated in 2012 with a BA from the Fashion & Textile Department of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. In the coming year Laport intends to concentrate on research into innovative textiles and their potential groundbreaking application. For this he will undertake research in Switzerland where structures and entirely open-weave fabric can be developed. He will digitalize this textile as a virtual 3D textile. The results of this research will determine his new collection, which he plans to presents as an abstract multidisciplinary tableau vivant. The designs will be showcased by models, dancers or other people. He will also focus on the accessory.
Elejan van der Velde
Elejan van der Velde

Elejan van der Velde

Elejan van der Velde graduated from ArtEZ Arnhem with a BA in Fine Arts (2012-2014), followed in 2014 by an MA in Interior Architecture from the Department Studio for Immediate Spaces at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Elejan van der Velde designs spaces from an autonomous perspective and is interested in both the physical and mental aspects of space. This leads him to investigate recollections of spaces and objects, and the traces in spaces that form a visual memory of the surfaces of the built environment. He is also interested in terms such as ‘time’ and ‘recollection’ in relation to materials. In the coming year he will focus on four projects. Firstly ‘The Reminding Remains 2’, a sequel to the 2014 ‘The Reminding Remains’, a reconstruction of a recollection made from chemically bonded sand. The second project is an investigation into the never-rebuilt Sukharev Tower in Moscow which will see him collaborating with alumni and students from The Strelka Institute in Moscow. In addition at the invitation of the Galerie Ferdinanda Baumanna, he will be Artist in Residence in Prague and will take part in the Performing Arts Forum headed by Jan Ritsema.
Enzo Pérès-Labourdette
Enzo Pérès-Labourdette
Enzo Pérès-Labourdette
Enzo Pérès-Labourdette

Enzo Pérès-Labourdette

Enzo Pérès-Labourdette studied communication design specializing in illustration. He designs illustrations and textiles in which visual stories play a role. In the coming year he plans to explore new possibilities for illustrators via a podcast project ‘A Room of One’s Own’. In addition he will research into the ephemeral nature of news in the digital era. For this he will design wall hangings prompted by world events that have a strong cultural impact, such as the Charlie Hebdo attack or the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash. In so doing he questions which stories form part of a collective history.
Eric Schrijver
Eric Schrijver
Eric Schrijver

Eric Schrijver

Eric Schrijver (Amsterdam, 1984) obtained an MA in Graphic Design from KASK, Gent in 2013. As a graphic designer, software developer and author, he takes an active role in shaping his tools. Eric develops hybrid publishing workflows, where a project is conceived both for screen and print, often in collaboration with the Brussels based design caravan Open Source Publishing. Eric has taught workshops around the world and is a tutor at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, where he teaches coding. He directs a blog called ‘I like tight pants and mathematics’ that aims to motivate designers and artists to get involved in the culture of computer programming.

The Grant Programme for Talent Development enables Eric to create a publication called ‘Legal Advice for Artists’, an irreverent guide to copyright. LAfA provides a map for navigating the paradoxes of intellectual property today. For artists and designers copyright is a double edged sword: while makers can enjoy its protection when exploiting their own works, the creation of these works becomes difficult, as the ability to build upon the work of others has been restraint. LAfA looks at the basic parameters of copyrights: who gets it? for what work? how? and for how long? It investigates the underlying concepts of authorship and original creation. Then: how do the categories of copyright apply to different media, and what happens when a work moves from medium to medium? And how does copyright relate to the web of related legal concepts: moral rights, image rights, trademarks, patents?

LAfA wants to allow artists not just to understand copyright, but also re-claim a role in debate on the legal conditions of their profession. After all, law makers and the media industry invoke the figure of the artist to justify increased copyrights. Even cultural institutions can turn themselves against both artists and the public, by making false copyright claims on the works in their collections. LAfA hopes to be a valuable tool for of artists educating themselves in intellectual property law, who formulate their own responses to the urgent questions copyright creates today. LAfA is a legal experiment in its own right: it is illustrated with images whose right to publish is contested.
From Form
From Form
From Form

From Form

Jurjen Versteeg graduated in 2011 from the Willem de Kooning Academy in the field of Audiovisual Design. In 2012 Versteeg and the designer Ashley Govers launched the studio From Form. From Form makes both title designs and short films. The short films can have an autonomous or commercial character but, according to the applicant, always have an artistic value. Their films combine the digital with the analogue techniques, with a central focus on craftsmanship. Many of the objects in the films are designed or made by the makers themselves. In the coming year From Form intends principally to invest in tools and materials for the workplace. In addition the studio is looking to enhance its international network by attending conferences and events. Finally the studio will attend a workshop to extend its typographical knowledge.
Gabey Tjon a Tham
Gabey Tjon a Tham
Gabey Tjon a Tham

Gabey Tjon a Tham

Gabey Tjon a Tham graduated in 2012 from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, with a Masters in ArtScience. In her work she creates installations consisting of moving machines that harness light and sound to transform spaces into sensual environments, thus spawning choreographies that can be interpreted as mechanical or natural. In so doing she generates techniques and creates mechanical sculptures that are manifested on a variety of poetical levels. Her development plan states that she wants to further develop the installation Red Horizon: a field of double pendulums where in time collective expressions are generated. She is seeking to take this further during a residency at Werktank in Leuven. She is also collaborating on the project Jumping Power Plant in which movement is transformed into light. In addition she intends to extend the scope of her knowledge of cybernetics and complex systems.
Gabriel A. Maher
Gabriel A. Maher
Gabriel A. Maher
Gabriel A. Maher

Gabriel A. Maher

Gabriel A. Maher gained her Master in Social Design from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014. With a background in interior architecture and design education, her practice primarily concentrates on relationships between body and structure and an interest in objects and systems. Her methodology is to create situations where research and design converge in performance. Questioning design practices through queer and feminist frameworks has become a core position and approach. With the grant Maher will broaden her ongoing research to explore ties between digital representations of the body, the development of identity and the production of human subjectivity in greater depth. In this regard she will cooperate with the digital platform dazeddigital.comwhich will serve as a case study. Together with Jefferson Hack (media theorist), Alice Rawsthorn (design critic) and the Dazed team, Maher has developed digital technology – ‘Seductive Criticism’ – with which the body, as represented on digital platforms, can be dissected and analysed. Maher hopes to employ this to devise a new digital method for the interpretation of digital images and the presentation of cultural critique. The research will also yield a live performance that Maher will develop in Stockholm, where Iaspis – the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Program for practitioners in Visual and Applied Arts, Design and Architecture – has invited her for a residency.
Ivan Henriques

Ivan Henriques

Ivan Henriques is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher who makes multimedia installations. He explores hybrids of nature and (technological) culture and creates new forms of interaction between humans and other living organisms.

Waterbike is a ‘bio-machine’ specially designed as an ecosystem for bacteria to feed on organic materials found in water, one of the leading causes of water pollution.

Besides offering a leisurely activity, Henriques’ hydraulic system cleans water by harnessing the energy generated by the rider.
Karel van Laere
Karel van Laere
Karel van Laere

Karel van Laere

Karel van Laere is a performer and film-maker who graduated from the Maastricht Theatre Academy and continued his education at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan.

Slow Rise developed out of a fascination for the endless choreographies of people moving through the city of Taipei.

Van Laerde’s video depicts the mechanised movement of an escalator and the stillness of the people riding it. By introducing staged scenes, depicting behaviour other than resting, he intends to interrupt the actual choreography of mechanised movement. In doing so, he invites both the passers-by in the film and the viewer to observe a fragment of modern life.
Kim David Bots
Kim David Bots
Kim David Bots
Kim David Bots

Kim David Bots

Kim David Bots graduated in Illustration from the Utrecht School of the Arts. Bots works with a variety of media and is fascinated with narratives in a broad sense.

The collection presented here is part of an ongoing project in which Bots uses the prelude to a large-scale dramatic event within a fictitious city as the narrative framework for a book. Under the working title Prologue, he tries to provide the reader with insight into his research methods while simultaneously developing a narrative. The displayed material combines found images, photos, sketches, drawings, and other elements that are all thematically or associatively connected. Bots uses a similar approach in the making of his forthcoming book.
Kirstie van Noort
Kirstie van Noort

Kirstie van Noort

Kirstie van Noort graduated in 2011 from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Van Noort focuses on the research-based design process. She specializes in working with porcelain, striving for innovation within this craft. In the coming year she intends to further develop several projects, including collaborating with the lab Imerys Minerals in the Czech Republic, the EKWC/FabLab and with Tichelaar Makkum.
KNOL
KNOL
KNOL
KNOL

KNOL

Celine de Waal Malefijt & Jorien Kemerink

# ROOM 101 |010

Celine de Waal Malefijt and Jorien Kemerink founded the multidisciplinary design studio KNOL, after graduating from Vacant NL, a temporary programme at the Sandberg Institute.

Central to their practice is their method for questioning societal issues, whereby spatial designs are used to convey fictional scenarios to make such issues tangible. By inviting visitors into these realities, they generate new insights into the issues their work addresses.

Central to their practice is their method for questioning societal issues, whereby spatial designs are used to convey fictional scenarios to make such issues tangible. By inviting visitors into these realities, they generate new insights into the issues their work addresses.

ROOM 101 |010 addresses loneliness and its impact on health in a time in which people are more invested in virtual worlds. The installation, reminiscent of two separate hotel rooms, introduces a futuristic scenario in which visitors can connect with each other via mirrors.

By using new technologies, studio KNOL uses new technologies to propose a design narrative about potential ways of being intimate with one another. In doing so, they intend to change our perception of modern loneliness.
L.O.C.C.H.

L.O.C.C.H.

Martino Morandi graduated in Graphic Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. He researches at the intersections of technology, politics and art. He is interested in the material conditions of technologies and their legacies.

Roel Roscam Abbing graduated in Networked Media from the Piet Zwart Institute. He is an artist and researcher interested in network infrastructure, the politics of technology, and do-it-yourself methodologies.

Morandi and Roscam Abbing are conducting a practical workshop, which aims to reflect upon the relations between the infrastructure, the protocols and the narratives of the Internet. The workshop is part of their joint research project X.25.

In the early days of the Internet before the World Wide Web’s appearance as a global hegemonic network, different designs were pitched against one another to stress how they represented differences of opinion of networking, at technical, social and political levels.

In the project X.25, the X.25 protocol — the most used protocol for computer networks in the eighties — and its legacy are treated as a device to open up new histories and critical understandings of ‘internetworking’. In doing so, Morandi and Roscam Abbing critically question the assumptions influencing our understanding of the Net.
Liselore Frowijn
Liselore Frowijn
Liselore Frowijn

Liselore Frowijn

Liselore Frowijn graduated from ArtEZ University of Fine Arts in Arnhem. Her work incorporates various references to art, music, and interpretations of historical and contemporary elements from other cultures.

By reusing or adjusting historical prints, Frowijn creates eccentric textiles, luxury laces, and embroideries. The textiles include hand-painted silks, embroidered textiles from India, and woven jacquards specially developed in Italy and at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg.
Her Afropolitan collection is the outcome of a collaboration with the Dutch textile company Vlisco. Her inspiration derives from Vlisco’s archive of colourful and rich textiles and the Igbo people, the indigenous linguistic and cultural people of Southern Nigera. Afropolitan presents a new feminine identity with a strong sense of traditional yet innovative elements referencing other cultures.
Lotte Lara Schröder
Lotte Lara Schröder
Lotte Lara Schröder
Lotte Lara Schröder

Lotte Lara Schröder

Lotte Lara Schröder graduated in Graphic Design from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and studied at Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem. She uses her graphic design skills to initiate projects in her artistic practice, resulting in sound installations, performances, and drawings.

Schröder conducts research on ecological and natural phenomena such as volcanic energy and geomorphology. She aims to emphasise the more personal and poetic aspects of these predominantly scientific topics. This project explores the social relevance of deep time, a concept developed by the Scottish geologist James Hutten to define the Earth’s geological time, which is more than 4.5-billion-years old.

The project Bar presents the viewer with an alternative notion of time. Derived from the concept of a tiki bar, the collection of objects and their arrangement intend to offer a more fluid understanding of artefacts and their relationship to art.
Marjanne van Helvert
Marjanne van Helvert
Marjanne van Helvert
Marjanne van Helvert

Marjanne van Helvert

Marjanne van Helvert studied textile design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and cultural studies at the Radboud University. She explores the dynamics of theory and practice in design. Her field of interest is the relation between ethics and aesthetics in design, DIY practices, and gender politics.

Sustainability and social responsibility have become prolific buzzwords in the design discipline, generating new products, materials, and technologies designed to change the course of our future. The intrinsic design ideologies are not just a new hype; they form a fundamental part of design history reappearing throughout the previous centuries.

Initiated and edited by Marjanne van Helvert, The Responsible Object presents a history of socially committed design strategies within the Western design tradition, from William Morris to Victor Papanek, and from VKhUTEMAS to FabLab.
Mark Jan van Tellingen
Mark Jan van Tellingen

Mark Jan van Tellingen

Mark Jan van Tellingen graduated from the Sandberg Institute’s Design department. He creates visual investigations of the socio-political power relationships within the information society.

seeing_from_nowhere is a short film questioning the objectivity of data and revealing the often-flawed nature of algorithms and databases. The film deconstructs the myth of objectivity, which Van Tellingen frames as ‘a nowhere’ — an intangible position that enables the prediction and prevention of all risk.

Using metaphor and speculative scenarios, Van Tellingen comments on the power of data in society and re-imagines a society based on an alternative understanding of data.
Mark Minkjan
Mark Minkjan

Mark Minkjan

Mark Minkjan graduated as an urban geographer. He views architecture as the physical expression of culture, social ambitions and power relations, with spatial, social and ecological effect. His vision is articulated in publications, research, education and debate; mainly via Failed Architecture of which he is the editor-in-chief, and via Non-fiction, a studio for cultural innovation. In the coming year he will focus on new forms of architectural criticism in collaboration with image makers and web developers. This will entail analysis of architectural media and talks with critics, editors and architects. Digital architecture criticism is an important spearhead of his development plan.
MengHsun Wu

MengHsun Wu

Menghsun Wu gained a BA in Industrial Design in 2007 from the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and went on to gain a Masters in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2013. His work is focused on the way people experience and feel the world by means of interactions with a variety of sensory stimuli. He is interested in rediscovering our senses and for this she intends to develop devices for practical use. His development plan consists of five phases including contextual research, sensory experiment and tool development.
Wu: "We experience the environment through our sensory organs. They generate electrical impulses according to certain stimuli they can perceive. These electrical impulses are transmitted to the brain, and then the brain interprets them into sensations. In other words, our senses is the interpretation of our brain about the electrical impulses it receives. The existence of the stimuli in the environment are more close to a type of electrical signals to our brain. Therefore, our perception of the world can be regarded as a bunch of datapoints, what our sensory organs do is to perceive the stimuli and encode them into electrical data that our brain can understand.
I assume it is possible to convert the signals generated by different sensory organs into the same formations, which means sensation can be digitalised and translated. My aim of this project is to discover the formulas of translating sensations through series of experiments and provide other perspectives of how human can perceive the world."
Olivier van Herpt
Olivier van Herpt
Olivier van Herpt

Olivier van Herpt

Oliver van Herpt gained a BA in design at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014. A fascination for making processes forms a central focus of his work, within which Van Herpt is looking for the interface between makeability and unmakeability. In his experiments the designer collaborates with other makers including Sander Wassink and Ricky van Broekhoven. Van Herpt has developed a 3D printer that prints clay among other things. In the coming year Van Herpt plans to experiment with other materials and techniques in order to extend the printer’s scope. In addition he is seeking to manufacture the printer so that it can be sold to other bodies interested in the device. In terms of professionalization the designer intends to involve a coach with experience in heading a design office, and recruit specific financial expertise relating to the internationalization of his practice. Finally Van Herpt intends to gain a greater understanding of PR and marketing.
Winner DDA
Polina Medvedeva

Polina Medvedeva

Polina Medvedeva graduated in 2014 from the Design Department of the Sandberg Institute. Medvedeva is a Russian-Dutch designer and filmmaker. She is interested in informal economies, alternative socio-economic systems and survival strategies outside the state, all of which have their origin in the strength of the individual. This led her to make the documentary The Champagne Drinkers in which she filmed Russia’s informal economy from the back seat of dozens of illegal taxis in her native city. In the coming year she will explore the informal economies of Palestine, Brazil and Ukraine. In an overarching project she seeks to question formal structures and point-up the global informal economy as a possible world economy, and the individual as the new world power. Using form experiments she questions the prevailing aesthetic and looks for an appropriate new form.
Renee Verhoeven
Renee Verhoeven
Renee Verhoeven

Renee Verhoeven

Renee Verhoeven graduated from the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem, and in Design Products from the Royal College of Art, London. Her fields of interest include security, digital identity, and cognitive science.

In choosing a password, we are asked to use our imagination to create something unpredictable, unique, and of a certain minimum length and character combination.

Verhoeven notes that we often remember ways to access information rather than the information itself. She also believes that remembering things becomes easier when they are bizarre, interactive, random, and, sometimes, even rude.

Her project deals with the difficulty of creating and recalling strong passwords. 128-bit Story is a digital tool that combines existing memory techniques, such as the Person-Action-Object System, and the human capability to remember information in the context of a narrative rather than dry code.
Roel Roscam Abbing

Roel Roscam Abbing

Roel Roscam Abbing graduated in 2014 with an MA in Networked Media from the Piet Zwart Institute. His practice is active on the interface between art, design and theory, whereby the significance of technology as social phenomenon forms the springboard. The projects find expression in a variety of ways including installation, text, software, workshop or photography. Roscam Abbing’s development plan focuses on making new work and on internationalizing and professionalizing his practice. To realize this, the maker will collaborate with the artist Melle Smets and give presentations in institutions outside the Netherlands. Finally Roscam Abbing will explore where his practice can provide added value outside the art and culture sector.
Roos Meerman
Roos Meerman

Roos Meerman

Roos Meerman graduated from the Product Design Department of ArtEZ in Arnhem. She is interested in the relationship between research and design. As a designer she wants to investigate whether technical innovation alone is sufficient, or whether other qualities are also required, for an innovation to succeed in practice. In the coming year she intends to set up a lab that will reflect her way of working on the interface between designer and scientist. So as to pursue her material experiments the lab will be equipped with practical tools such as tradesmen’s tools, a heat press, laser cutter, a 3D printer, but also tools such as an air pressure appliance, an oven, and a vacuum pump. Meerman also intends to attend a residential programme at the Institute of Making in London or the School of Art in Manchester.
Sabine Marcelis
Sabine Marcelis
Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis graduated as a designer in 2011 from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Marcelis works both as an independent and applied designer, focusing principally on the experience of materiality. She positions herself on the interface between fashion and architecture, and design and production. During the making process the designer frequently collaborates with producers so that design and production can enhance each other. In the coming year Marcelis intends to bring the two aspects of her practice – the independent and the commercial – more in line with each other. To this end Marcelis is launching several new collaborative ventures including with producers of glass, metal and synthetics. In terms of professionalization Marcelis plans to focus on project management and obtaining financial and legal advice.
Studio Ossidiana
Studio Ossidiana
Studio Ossidiana

Studio Ossidiana

Alessandra Covini studied in Milan and Lissabon and received her master's degree in Architecture at the University of Technology in Delft, the Netherlands. Covini aims to explore architecture through material experiments, focusing on the transposition of theoretical concepts into material creations.
Within this framework she started a series of studies on material metamorphoses. The first one of this is ‘Petrified Carpets’, an investigation on the relation between the oriental carpet and architecture, and its reinterpretation into a series of concrete artefacts. The project recognize the carpet, not as piece of furniture or painting, as it has been commonly considered by western art critique, but instead as an architectural archetype. The oriental carpet is for the nomad together house and temple, place of shelter and place for praying; it is an abstraction of the garden, it is a woven paradise on earth. The crafted living space of the nomad embraced artistic production, framed rituals, illustrated narratives, inducing to spirituality – aspects architecture should keep addressing. Petrified carpets, will transpose these meanings into architectural elements casted in concrete, exploring various ways to craft formworks.

Studio Ossidiana is an architectural practice founded by Alessandra Covini and Tomas Dirrix.Studio Ossidiana is currently exploring garden carpets, abstracting the garden into concrete surfaces poured in formworks made of earth.
S†ëfan Schäfer
S†ëfan Schäfer
S†ëfan Schäfer
S†ëfan Schäfer
S†ëfan Schäfer

S†ëfan Schäfer

S†ëfan Schäfer is a designer and researcher who graduated in 2012 from the Sandberg Instituut with a Master in Design. In his work he investigates the immediate coexistence of the virtual and the physical, mainly focusing on the creation of personal identity and its occurring shifts while traversing diverse media.

Schäfer’s work results in various outcomes such as a music genre, instruments for image production or tangible objects, all with an immediate link between the virtual and the physical. His research is a substantial part of his work while at the same time the outcomes are equally relevant for his research, with the aim to start a dialogue with the public and connecting design to other professional fields. In the coming year S†ëfan focusses on the role of digital technology in relation to death.

Schäfer will collaborate with Emily West (BS Social Anthropology, PhD Medicine) with who he started cooperating under the name Digital Death Drive. Together they explore the notion of the continuing self, linking the physical end of life with a digital continuation. Stëfan will investigate the digital afterlife, multiplied post-mortem selves, shifts of mourning rituals and - groups, and new ways of memorialisation, influenced by global technology. For each facet of the research, he will discuss with professionals from various fields, such as funeral services, artists, developers amongst others, to get deeper insights and reflections. Schäfer will produce several artworks (for example the “Dance of Digital Death after Hans Holbein”) and give lectures about his research at various institutions (as he did in October 2015 at IMPAKT Festival Utrecht). All research, discussions, and documentation of artworks and lectures will finally come together in a physical publication with a digital afterlife.
Teresa van Dongen

Teresa van Dongen

Teresa van Dongen studied biology before graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Her work focuses on sustainable developments, drawing inspiration from nature and science. She works with light as a visual translation of her exploration into alternative and natural energy sources.

Electrochemically active bacteria can emit small electrical currents in their metabolism while cleaning waste water. Van Dongen explored these specific bacteria as a means to generate electricity for domestic use. In doing so, she developed Spark of Life, a lamp that emits light without the need of an external energy source. This ‘living lamp’ only needs a bit of nourishment in return for its energy. Van Dongen imagines that having to feed and thus take care of it could result in a closer relationship between the lamp and its user.
Tessa Groenewoud

Tessa Groenewoud

Tessa Groenewoud graduated in 2014 from ArtEZ in Arnhem specializing in Footwear Design. She designs shoes using an experimental research-based way of working and is fascinated by technique and the properties of the material. Groenewoud is seeking to design a collection that highlights innovation in terms of comfort and functionality, or that is created using an innovative production method.
Thomas Kuijpers
Thomas Kuijpers
Thomas Kuijpers

Thomas Kuijpers

Thomas Kuijpers graduated from the Master of Photography programme at St.Joost School of Fine Arts and Design in Breda. His work examines how contemporary media communicates truths.

Thomas Kuijpers’ Gesture project investigates the handshakes of political leaders and other authority figures as circulated in the media. Using press images as his source material, Kuijpers carefully selects from these particular scenes, reworking the images into an illustrated series of handshakes.

Kuijpers asked body language experts to analyse the gestures without informing them of the source. The drawings are presented together with the experts’ written analyses, which explicate how these gestures convey certain messages. Kuijpers’ project tests to what extent the anonymized analysis influences the viewer’s judgement.
Alicia Ongay-Perez
Alicia Ongay-Perez

Alicia Ongay-Perez

Originally from London, Alicia Ongay-Perez trained at the University of the Arts London before studying Contextual Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. She recently returned to the UK to set up her own studio and began developing her latest project, Icon-fusion.

The basis for Ongay-Perez’s designs is her investigation into the properties and qualities of medium and material. In Icon-Fusion, she explores the potential of 3D printing, not as a mode of production but rather as a tool to appropriate the excessive amount of visual data available via online platforms such as Pinterest and Thingiverse. At a time when objects are defined more by their iconography than their use value, Ongay-Perez critically explores the importance of appropriating such data for generating form. Her studies of domestic objects led her to develop an app that generates teapots based on existing items, ranging from iconic designs to graphic representations of physical objects. Icon-Fusion is a digital tool that translates objects into abstract point clouds, allowing the user to morph between two distinct forms and pause the process to create a seemingly infinite number of intermediary hybrids. The app allows its users to speculate on the emergence of a new generation of derivative works based on iconic twentieth-century designs.
Amber Veel
Amber Veel
Amber Veel

Amber Veel

It was in Amber Veel’s previous occupation as a nurse that she developed a fascination for skin, and this became her subject of research while studying at the Textile Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. After graduating, she developed various craft techniques and became a skilled taxidermist.

For Tanning Studies, Veel developed several methods for preserving skin. The result is an archive of material studies on the vegetal tanning agents of plants and trees and a collection of tanned protein shells and silks. Mantle explores the meaning and value of wearing animal skins in other cultures. Through her case study on Inuit customs, she discovered how their hunting traditions, with its rituals and habits, are the result of survival and self-reliance. Their hunting rituals and, in particular, using the skin of the hunted animal has the cultural function of respecting the animal and the environment. The animal’s skin is carefully preserved and, with great craftsmanship, made into a traditional garment. Through this practice, the Inuit pay posthumous tribute to the hunted, and by wearing the garment, they become one with the animal. Inspired by her research and with the desire to experience the ritual, Veel made a special mantle out of rabbit furs.
Anne Dessing
Anne Dessing

Anne Dessing

Anne Dessing graduated from Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam in 2012. Dessing’s work examines alternative models for living in atypical environments.
Whereas her project Surrounding Articulations focussed on the development of single-family houses in Amsterdam, Dessing’s Pairi Daeze project proposes an innovative way to inhabit Amsterdam’s Rembrandtpark and is aimed at those who would like to live in natural surroundings. This design overhauls top-down planning approaches that have lead to outcomes such as the asphalt path that currently cuts through the Rembrandtpark. Dessing wants to make liveable environments that allow their inhabitants to foster intimate relationships with the physical surroundings. Pairi Daeze is the result of a three-month trip and artist residency in Karachi, India. The residency was a source of inspiration for ideas to implement in Amsterdam.
Anton Lamberg