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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.

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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

Arvand Pourabbasi

Arvand Pourabbasi

Arvand Pourabbasi obtained his Master's degree in Interior Architecture at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Art) in The Hague in 2017. His work focuses on living and working conditions, nomadic themes and temporary urban installations. Next year, he is going to focus on the concepts of 'comfort' and 'exhaustion'. According to Arvand, being productive is a romanticised idea which ignores exhaustion, procrastination and anxiety. Leisure time as a moment of rest and comfort is not used properly but is part of the capitalist logic which merely sees it as a time for people to recharge so they are ready to go back to work. The development plan consists of three phases whereby comfort and exhaustion are expressed through spatial arrangements, physical expression, rituals, (performative) objects and technologies. As part of the development project Pourabbassi will talk to various professionals, including the designer Jurgen Bey and design studio Refunc as well as physiotherapists and psychologists (prof. Wilmar Schaufeli). The artist duo Bik van de Pol will advise him on spatial and interdisciplinary practices. He will also visit the Lisbon Architecture Triennial (October 2019), the Sharjah Architecture Triennial (November 2019) and the ECCE 2019 - European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (Belfast, Northern Ireland). All projects will be concluded with spatial installations, interventions and social-urban events.
Chiara Dorbolò

Chiara Dorbolò

Architect Chiara Dorbolò graduated from the Academie van Bouwkunst/Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (Academy of Architecture/Amsterdam University of the Arts) with a master's degree in 2017. Chiara's work is centred on the role of architecture in the current, profit driven, socioeconomic system. She aims to offer a different perspective which could redefine the significance of the discipline. She wants to develop an approach that combines architectural criticism with design and focuses on a sustainable future. In the coming year, Chiara is going to research remarkable visionary and utopian practices from the sixties and seventies that push the boundaries of the architectonic discipline. She is also developing her storytelling by learning new skills in the areas of creative writing, visual techniques and the performing arts. In the end she will present a collection of conceptual subjects, titled 'Ordinary Utopian Follies', to serve as a manifesto for her new approach to architecture.
Giorgio Toppin

Giorgio Toppin

Giorgio Xhosa started his own menswear label XHOSA in 2007. After various non-completed education programmes, he decided to start working for himself. The main idea behind XHOSA is the need to offer a more varied and wider range of items to the modern man. Through his collections Xhosa tries to tell the story of what it means to be a black man in modern-day society. This coming year, the designer plans to create a new collection around the theme of diaspora and he is going back to his roots in Surinam to carry out research into craftsmanship and local crafts. This research will then be translated into the context of the XHOSA world: a place of contemporary fashion. The collection will be shown during the New York Fashion Week which takes place at the end of the year.
Katarzyna Nowak

Katarzyna Nowak

Katarzyna Nowak completed her Master's in Architecture in 2016 at the Academie van Bouwkunst (Academy of Architecture) in Rotterdam. During her studies she became fascinated by the relationship between art and the environment. For her final project 'Art in context' she researched the optimal spatial conditions for art and how these conditions are experienced. Next year, she will further develop this concept as part of her 'Art in the City' project, an architectonic proposal for an experimental museum typology for Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. She will work with experts and curators to acquire additional knowledge in the areas of art, exhibitions and museum design. She will also extend her existing network and establish new connections with professionals, including Saskia van Stein. With the support of a business consultant, Katarzyna will develop a (business) strategy and a communication and promotion plan for the further professionalisation of her practice. The research findings will be presented at the Museumcongres 2020, and other places.
Marwan Magroun

Marwan Magroun

Marwan Magroun is a photographer and art director with a passion for the city of Rotterdam. Magroun feels that issues such as emancipation, integration and the diversity of the city are not or rarely represented in the visual culture and he aims to change this. His development plan focuses on the 'Life of Fathers' project, where Magroun looks at fathers with a bicultural background who are actively involved in the parenting process. According to Magroun, a lot of fathers feel they need to resist the stereotypical images projected onto them. Magroun uses a series of photographs and a documentary to give an intimate look into these fathers' lives. Marwan Magroun would like to have a residency with the photographer and filmmaker Khalik Allah for the further professionalisation and artistic development of his work. 'The Life of Fathers' will be shown at various venues, possibly including the IFFR.
Mirte van Laarhoven

Mirte van Laarhoven

Mirte van Laarhoven attained her Master's degree in Landscape Architecture at the Academie van Bouwkunst (Academy of Architecture) in Amsterdam in 2017. In the coming year Van Laarhoven will focus on the next step of her research project: 'landscapers'. These are small-scale interventions which collectively contribute significantly to a healthy, climate-adaptive and perceptible landscape. She is developing a design method with an associated set of instruments which is not about trying to control nature but about adapting to it. She aims to create an alternative that puts the dynamics of nature at the centre, instead of the functional and economic landscape value. Van Laarhoven is working with various partners to develop her instruments under the name 'De Seizoensmodule' ('The Season Module'). This module consists of three parts whereby the seasons form the guiding principle: 1. Field trials to investigate how to take better advantage of natural processes during large scale landscape assignments. 2. Internships with peers to exchange skills and perspectives. 3. Masterclass experiments to generate ideas. During the process the results will be organised into a 'landscape of experiments'.
Yavez Anthonio

Yavez Anthonio

Yavez Anthonio is a photographer and director. He wants to bring relevant, original and important stories of minority groups into focus through the use of visual materials. After graduating with a Bachelor of Advertising at the Willem de Kooning Academie, Anthonio dedicated himself to photography and directing for various brands and magazines. He has now decided that he would like to focus more on his non-commissioned work and the further professionalisation of his practice. The 'Rivers of January' project is at the core of his development plan. For this project, Anthonio is going to record and document youth culture in Rio de Janeiro, a city that, according to Anthonio, has many positive aspects as well as the challenges associated with the current political climate. He would like to attend various workshops to further develop his technical skills. The results of 'Rivers of January' will be shown at exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Anouk Beckers

Anouk Beckers

For designer Anouk Beckers, 'Dissolving the Ego of Fashion' was primarily a confirmation of her vision. Written by Daniëlle Bruggeman, the book describes the role that fashion plays in the social, ecological and political developments in contemporary society. With her own work, Anouk brings the existing fashion system into question. She started studying psychology, but eventually earned degrees in both TxT (textiles) and fashion from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. She says, 'While I was studying, I already began investigating alternative ways of working, looking for a way I could proudly say that I work in fashion.'

She's currently focused on introducing a model of making clothing that's better suited to her personally. The high point of this approach so far is her project 'JOIN Collective Clothes' (JOIN), where clothing is made collectively. She explains, 'As a designer, I don't want to be an island – I'd much rather involve other professional and non-professional creators in the process of designing and making clothing.' Because of this, she's deliberately seeking a different kind of hierarchy.

Anouk refers to JOIN as a 'manual' – a guidebook for a modular clothing system, which is available online and offline as an open-source system. She says, 'I see this manual as an invitation to everyone to start working on alternatives to “fast fashion”. This methodology challenges professional designers, yet at the same time it's accessible to people who have never been involved in making clothes before.'

JOIN is playful, inclusive and collective. You can think of it as a modern form of quilting, where four different parts of a garment (top / J, sleeve / O, trouser leg / I, skirt / N) are each made by someone else, and then later assembled to create a single piece of clothing. Anouk calls it 'playing with material and form'. Another important point: the material that's used is either donated or 'leftovers', because that part of the process has also been carefully considered.

So far, she's organized four workshops at a variety of locations throughout the Netherlands at institutions like De Appel in Amsterdam and Museum Arnhem. According to Anouk, 'If you experience for yourself that making a sleeve takes a full day, chances are you'll be more critical when you want to buy something that's mass-produced.' She's also presented JOIN to seven different (fashion) designers and asked them if they could make an article of clothing using the modular system of JOIN Collective Clothes.

With this approach, Anouk Beckers is also bringing her own position as a designer into question, saying: 'I'm making the first move, but the physical process and end result are completely open. My design method playfully responds to fashion as a system by offering a different perspective and starting a conversation.' For example, they're often asked who the makers are behind the clothes, and how the value of our clothes is determined. How do we decide if something is ugly or pretty? Or what is the relationship between the designer, the maker and the garment? The beauty of the collective collection isn't only found in the physical outcome, but also in the process behind it. She says, 'In my eyes, that's exactly what determines the final value of the clothing in my project. Something of value is being created throughout the entire process. Because of that, it's always beautiful; it simply can't be ugly. It's very different from a product from the fast-fashion circuit.'

Text: Jessica Gysel
Arif Kornweitz

Arif Kornweitz

About fifty years ago, in the event of a disaster, humanitarian organisations would provide assistance on location in the form of food supplies and medical care. Today, they also work remotely, using technology like satellite surveillance and biometric databases. The impact of these practices isn't always easy to manage, and the development of ethical standards is falling behind.

Historically, people have always responded to new technologies by posing new ethical questions. It seems like the development of ethical principles is by definition lagging behind the development of technological objects. With his research, Arif Kornweitz investigates where the boundary lies between ethics and technology, and how it's connected to the practice of design. What happens if we view ethics as an interface for using technology?

Arif completed his bachelor's degree in literary theory, conflict studies and communication science, and afterwards, earned his master's degree in conflict resolution and governance and political science at the University of Amsterdam. For his graduate thesis, he conducted research on humanitarian organisations that use surveillance technology and the resulting data as evidence of human rights violations. But after being published, this data is still difficult to verify. In addition, there's the question of the role of technology as an 'objective transmitter'. Evidence often only has meaning once someone constructs a corresponding narrative.

As a teacher at the designLAB department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Arif Kornweitz translated his current research into lessons about objects without clear boundaries, and the fluid notion of objects. In addition, he gave several performance lectures as an expression of his research, for example about the phenomenon of 'function creep', in which data is used for purposes other than what was originally intended, or when the function of a technological object is inadvertently expanded. The methods used by humanitarian organisations and the data they collect are both susceptible to function creep.

Text: Manique Hendricks
Arvid & Marie

Arvid & Marie

Despite the fact that humanity gratefully uses technological developments, at the same time, we're also often critical of them. There's much talk about the struggle between man and machine: consider, for example, our current discussions about artificial intelligence. At their eponymous design studio, Arvid & Marie are focusing on his complex relationship between people and technology, combining technical expertise with critical thinking. Convinced that there will eventually be a highly sophisticated form of artificial intelligence, they're turning their attention to collaboration, rather than speculating about who will dominate.

As human beings, we're used to looking at technological advances from only a human perspective. As a result, nearly everything we design is focused on ourselves. Arvid & Marie want to nuance this unbalanced worldview. With this in mind, they develop artistic and alternative concepts to bring the general public into action and encourage them to think more critically. Research on the relationships between people and technology is central to their approach. In many cases, it leads to tangible objects, such their autonomous soft drink machine, called Symbiotic Autonomous Machine (SAM). Without any human intervention, SAM is capable of managing the production process and determining the price of each drink.

Arvid & Marie are currently based in China, were there's clearly a different view on technology. In general, Asians are much more receptive to technologic developments. In cooperation with a Chinese partner, they're developing a massage chair equipped with artificial intelligence and expressive capabilities, called the 'Full Body Smart Automatic Manipulator'.

Especially if they're developing interactive machines, the power of expression can't be lacking. That's why the use of sound is very important for their projects – it's the means to give shape to the emotional charge of interactivity. The 'voice' of the machine is essential for the ultimate experience! According to the two designers, 'We're working on a wide range of projects, but we often return to sound. The implementation of sound in our technological designs is something that we frequently do for long-term projects. In the shorter term or in the interim, we can present our research in a musical way – kind of like informative concerts. Under the name Omninaut, we're compiling an album based on (video) recordings, together with a diverse group of artists.'

In addition to designing, Arvid & Marie want to make the ongoing debate surrounding artificial intelligence more democratic. At the moment, the development of artificial intelligence is still primarily the domain of larger tech companies. They explain, 'If real artificial intelligence is created, there are so many related ethical concerns that we should be deciding on together, instead of it happening behind closed doors, far away from the general public. Everyone should be able to contribute! On one hand, we're embracing progress, and on the other hand, we're scared that technology will end up controlling us. Why should we assume that? Let's give the machines a chance to “get to know” us, and vice versa. It could allow people and technology to find a way to co-exist, and could provide the basis for a kind of social contract for further developments.'

Arvid & Marie also characterise their work as 'design for non-humans'. Because of their design background, they are used to using tools to design different objects. At design studio Arvid & Marie, they rely on technology as the 'tool' to question, understand and shape the society of tomorrow.

Text: Giovanni Burke
Atelier Tomas Dirrix

Atelier Tomas Dirrix

When comes to contemporary architecture, Tomas Dirrix noticed that very little attention is paid to the experience of the building itself – it's mainly about square meters and profits. With his work, he's investigating ways to change that. He says, 'At first glance, a building is mainly about providing shelter, but it's also an expression of tradition, culture and environment. When you look at today's buildings, you see that the latter values are lacking, because they're constructed in such a generic way. Anyone could live there; I miss the personal aspect!'

Tomas bases his work on contradictions which he uses to develop his design methodology. For example, he juxtaposes outdoor space and indoor space, because in addition to shelter, the function of a building is to mark that transition. But what did that relationship traditionally mean, and what does it mean today? It doesn't always have to be about enhancing the contrast, Tomas explains, but can also be about giving more depth to how we typify the relationship between these two extremes.

'What I design doesn't need to be functional architecture. It's more like an exploration of what architecture could be. The development of this 'new architecture' isn't limited to considering the aforementioned contradictions, but is also driven by the emergence of new kinds of building materials. What does it mean for the shape and possibilities of future buildings?'

Using this approach, Tomas makes a series of models, ranging from a multifunctional wall (with a built-in table) to a gigantic balloon that can stretch across a festival stage. You can see the latter as architecture, as well as an art project. He often alternates between experimental projects and more commercial assignments. Here too, he tries to emphasize the value of the design. His intrinsic motivation lies in the fact that the models or spaces he designs can encourage a wider audience to think about what new forms of architecture might look like.

Because it takes so much expertise to construct a building, for architects, collaboration is inevitable. As soon as you start talking about materials, you need craftspeople, because they have more knowledge about the products and how to use them. But you can also use collaborations like these to make progress at a smaller, more experimental scale, says Tomas. This will allow you to take larger steps forward and challenge each other.

One of the most important drivers for Tomas Dirrix is to make people more aware of the magic! He sums it up by saying, 'We should have a sense of wonder about the world we live in, seeing the ordinary as strange, or the other way around. It would be nice if we could once again appreciate the experience of a building.'

Text: Giovanni Burke
Bastiaan de Nennie
Bastiaan de Nennie

Bastiaan de Nennie

Nowadays, contact takes place mainly via digital means and the boundaries between the digital and the physical seem to be getting increasingly blurred. In addition, we are inundated with information and images, but also with a multitude of products. It is precisely this information that Bastiaan de Nennie works with in his artistic practice. As a child, he learned how to use Photoshop at primary school and this led to a fascination for computers, coding language and printed circuit boards. In 2015, he graduated from the Man and Motion programme at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.

In his work, Bastiaan gives existing products a new function by merging them to create a new object or sculpture. He makes 3D scans of objects or parts of objects, which he then adds to an already extensive digital database. This is the source from which he draws to generate new objects that he breathes life into with a 3D printer. Like a reaction to an action, he puts things in the computer and then extracts new things from it. From physical to digital to physical.

Where most colleagues start with an idea or concept, Bastiaan de Nennie starts with a product that he scrutinizes and translates into an idea. His signature is characterized by bright colours and repetitive forms that recur in different ways, such as the spinning wheel of a mincing machine, or a 3D scan of his own feet. Some shapes are clearly recognisable, while others are completely abstracted in neon colours. Physical objects are always both the starting and the end point. In between, various, often digital, adjustments are made on the basis of personal intuition. Craftsmanship and the use and addition of more traditional materials such as clay also find their way into this process.

As a boundless thinker and passionate designer, De Nennie is immensely interested in applying new technology or techniques within his practice, for which he coined the term 'phygital', a combination of physical and digital. As he puts it himself, he wants to stand with 'one leg in the present' with his 'other leg in the future'. His aims are to professionalize and work on his online presentation, as well as enter into new collaborations. Ultimately, he would also like to recycle his own work, for example by melting old existing sculptures or products to create a new work.


Text: Manique Hendricks
Daria Kiseleva

Daria Kiseleva

Daria Kiseleva loves to run or walk as ways to relax, but is constantly on the look-out for new visions. 'I have a lot of tabs open'. Hailing from St Petersburg with a background in graphic design, she graduated from Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem in 2014, and was a researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in 2015-16. Daria's practice revolves around researching and creating new narratives with found and original material. Her work hovers somewhere between design, art, pop culture and technology. She explores the moving image as a communication tool towards a format for visual culture. She mainly creates digital essays and films, focusing on the evolution of digital image technology and tracing it back to its first applications in early space exploration, scientific experiments and cinema. Her inspiration comes from sci-fi scenarios and observation of how technologies move through different contexts (think for example: from the military to the consumer world). She uses these references in her work, which deals with forecasting and a future – but already happening now – dystopia.

'It has become impossible to understand reality without understanding contemporary technology, especially imaging techniques, as they play a big part in constituting reality itself. For instance, how algorithms are used to forecast who is more likely to become a criminal. Or how can a computer notice the difference between fighting and hugging. Or what is 'normal' and what not. And how these 'facts' are used as a ground to colonize and manipulate.' 'For me it's not about paranoia, but uncovering hidden structures. I see myself as a 'visual anthropologist', Daria explains. An excerpt from Field of Vision, Daria's latest digital essay: 'In contemporary reality of abundance of images and signals that are being constantly generated, the concept of vision and the degree of visibility become ever more relevant. […] I am interested in juxtaposing the two meanings of the word 'vision', as in the 'power of seeing' and the 'power of anticipating what will or may come to be” in relation to computer vision (and other related technologies), through a prism of the everlasting dichotomy of human and machine, natural and artificial.'

Daria Kiseleva mostly works with the mediums of film, critical writing, printed and web publications. 'Even if I'm interested in the various formats of digital culture, I have a real fondness for printed matter.' Together with graphic design duo Mevis & Van Deursen she worked on catalogues, posters and signage for artists and institutions, like Documenta 14 in Kassel and Museum Krefeld. Currently she is a research member at the 'The Shock Forest Group' with Nicolás Jaar, as part of the 2d chapter at Het Hem. 'I believe it is our responsibility, as makers, users and unwillingly unpaid labourers, to study, expose, hack and play with mechanisms of production, representation and consumption to expose their hidden mechanisms.'


Text: Jessica Gysel
Darien Brito

Darien Brito

Darien Brito came to the Netherlands as a classical violin player to study at the Royal Conservatoire in Den Haag, where he received degrees in composition and sonology, a broader approach to artistic sound, with a focus on electronic and digital tools. For him, computers and synthesisers were a source of liberation from the challenges, as a composer, to actually have his pieces performed by musicians in public. Still focusing on composition, his interests shifted to programmable devices, open-ended aesthetics, and structures of sound. He approached electronic music and coding largely as an autodidact, with an eclectic set of references including Bach, late-20th-century spectralism, and today's underground electronic music scene.

Darien first encountered algorithms in his exploration of generative systems for composition, but he did not see them simply as convenient tools for creative output. His desire to understand how they functioned led him from sound to visual graphics, where the patterns created by each algorithm were easier to analyse. Eventually, his parallel experimentation in both media came together in the form of generative audiovisual works, less as finished compositions than as immersive live performances. But it also drew him deeper into the field of coding and computer algorithms. He was increasingly preoccupied with the technology 'behind the scenes', the cultural impact of artificial intelligence, and the questions it raised for contemporary society more broadly.

In that vein, Darien's recent work has investigated machine learning (ML). The topic of ML is viewed today with mixed fascination and fear, as it permeates through our social infrastructure from facial recognition and song recommendations to hiring processes and policing. It also is the basis for fantastic, if unlikely speculations about sentience and creativity in machines. However, there is an enormous vacuum of knowledge about how ML works among the people who are affected by it in innumerable ways every day. Over time, Darien Brito's motivations have become more pedagogical. He does not want to show the end product of a learning process. He wants to show instead how the computer learns.

But to do so, he needed to teach himself how to write an ML algorithm from scratch, and to become familiar with advanced mathematical formulas. He began with a classifier, which determines if an input belongs to a certain class or not, and trained it using a dataset that he also made himself. The outcome is a library of ML algorithms for the software Touch Designer. Darien also shares his hard-earned, applied knowledge through tutorials, with the ultimate goal of empowering digital users to better grasp the technology available to them, and to use their critical and ethical judgment.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Elvis Wesley

Elvis Wesley

He has a long blond fringe, which falls smoothly over the upper half of his face and under which his nose just peeps out. A broad smile from ear to ear and a pointed chin. His skin, teeth and hair are green, yellow, pink, blue and purple. This fictional character, named Elvis Wesley, is the mysterious alter ego of designer Wesley de Boer. After completing his Art & Design studies at the Graphic Lyceum in Rotterdam in 2016, De Boer went on to study at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, in the Man and Identity programme. During his graduation in 2017, Elvis Wesley took actual shape in 'The Birth of Elvis Wesley', a surrealistic animation film set in another cosmos full of colour and intertwining forms. De Boer made use of VR casting techniques, providing an interesting insight into the endless possibilities of 3D modelling software.

As a child, Wesley de Boer often sat in front of the television for hours on end and preferred to watch cartoons. While he was being sucked into the TV, he fantasized about the possibilities of the endless, colourful worlds in which the cartoons take place, and he built sets with home-made puppets and action figures to mimic these non-existent environments. The born Rotterdammer still finds inspiration for his current practice in cartoon-like figures and environments and the creation of new worlds outside the existing reality. In addition, social media is a source of inspiration for him and he is particularly interested in the online representation and expression of identity.

With Studio Elvis Wesley, De Boer builds a personal and recognizable form language – characterized by bright colours and remarkable, often artificial forms – and at the same time he refers to pop culture and fictional characters and their representation. De Boer sees his work as a cross-pollination of different techniques and disciplines in which Elvis represents the connecting factor. De Boer not only produces a great deal of free work with Studio Elvis Wesley, but also carries out many commissions for various clients, ranging from festivals to museums. These commissions are expressed in various media including animation, sculpture and photo campaigns, but also products such as lamps and wallpaper.

Thanks to the Fund, Wesley de Boer is building the world in which Elvis Wesley operates, project by project. He would very much like to extend the living environment of his alter ego to become an immersive experience where everyone can feel what it's like to be Elvis Wesley for a moment. Between tropical flowers that appear to be made of red, purple, yellow and green tubes of light, brightly coloured monster trucks thunder past cities that are made up of dark cubes with fluorescent patterns and are inhabited by flying drones. In this wonderful place between fantasy and reality, visual art and design merge and boundaries between animation, installation, object and the digital are blurred.


Text: Manique Hendricks
Gino Anthonisse

Gino Anthonisse

The fact that Gino Anthonisse tries – as he himself puts it – 'reasonably consciously not to follow the traditional fashion path' is an understatement. He graduated in 2014 as a fashion designer from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and was immediately asked to become the fourth person to join Das Leben am Haverkamp, the artists' collective based in The Hague consisting of Anouk van Klaveren, Christa van der Meer and Dewi Bekker. They graduated a year earlier.

For Gino, it felt like landing in a warm bath. 'We share the same ideas, and although we operate as a collective, the collective itself does not have a fixed profile and is effectively the sum of our individual practices. The four do share a workspace and also take on larger projects together in order to fulfil their common passion: exploring what fashion can be, more than just designing the wearable garment.

They started out on the traditional path: a first collection, a showroom in Paris twice, and two shows during Amsterdam Fashion Week. But the fashion circuit didn't really appeal so much: 'too many designers, too many collections, too many clothes'. During one of the showrooms, the collective organized a subsequent exhibition and was so satisfied with it that they decided to explore the more autonomous side of fashion in greater depth. For Gino, this meant working in 2D, 'working from collages, uncompromising in form', and then translating it into three dimensions and searching for relevant links between fashion and body.

In 2017, Das Leben am Haverkamp carried out an intervention at the Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg. The reason for this was a makeover of the fashion spaces and the question of how a new generation of visitors to the museum looks at centuries-old objects that they have often never seen before. Das Leben am Haverkamp developed a new series of objects: clothing, but also accessories and utilitarian items. As a starting point, they took 40 objects from the collection that were randomly selected on the basis of a list. Every tenth visitor was given the task of describing the objects, without explicitly mentioning what the objects actually were. The collective then created the 40 pieces, based on these descriptions, without actually having seen the original objects. The result was a large curiosity cabinet consisting of turquoise, red, yellow or pink objects – each designer had their own colour – such as an oversized fisherman's coat, a totem, a mask and a turquoise baby covered in golden balls. It also generated a colourful book with essays, documentation of the show and, in particular, numerous process images.

In his work, Gino Anthonisse is constantly in search of wonder, always from a different angle. At the moment, he is working a great deal with materials that are new to him, such as plaster, foam and ceramics, with the intention of inspiring viewers to come up with new ideas, to raise questions, and just to make the public think at all. In addition, he works one-and-a-half days a week at the art academy in The Hague, where he is an instructor at the textile and fashion workshop. 'I'm not a teacher, I don't assess students but I help them, and that's a good position for me.'

Text: Jessica Gysel
Irene Stracuzzi

Irene Stracuzzi

As a graphic designer Irene Stracuzzi is fascinated by cartography. Her practice looks at the effect of technical, aesthetic, and logistical design choices on larger political, environmental, and social phenomena. She has noted the contradiction between the purportedly objective and detail-oriented process for designing maps and the forcefully political use of maps for single-minded purposes. By materialising collected cartographic data in a representational medium, designers equip powerful or institutional agents with concrete tools to support their rhetorical claims. The designer thus plays an instrumental role in territorial negotiations.

After graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven's Information Design master's programme, she continued her personal practice along the course established by her thesis project, 'The Legal Status of Ice'. Beginning from the theme of international borders in the Arctic Ocean, her project grew to encompass a range of themes from legal frameworks, data collection, border politics, natural resources, and climate change. Due to the transdisciplinary relevance of her research, she has been invited to take part in a variety of exhibitions, from 'Broken Nature' at the Triennale di Milano to 'GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba' at the Van Abbemuseum.

Irene approaches her interests through a rigorous research process that involves historical, scientific, statistical, and technological investigations and a strong ethics about the responsible use of data sets. In her explorations, she often intersects with researchers who deal with critical information as non-designers. She sees great potential in collaboration with scientists and experts from other fields, especially where their urgent observations go unnoticed because they are poorly visualised or not visualised at all. In particular, she is focused on the climate crisis due to the misinformation and lack of understanding of the general public when confronted with conflicting theories, politicised legislation, isolated data points, and anecdotal experience. 'Our inability to collectively envision climate change as a systematic global phenomenon, rather than a series of isolated local events, may account for our general inaction or denial of our influence on the environment—and design could be a key framework for mobilisation.'

At the same time, Irene is highly conscientious of the designer's role in mediating data in tangible images or objects. Single data points or data sets have little meaning until they are layered with other kinds of data, and the content and aesthetic choices made in generating composite data visualisations have enormous repercussions on the interpretation of the viewer. In fact, her Arctic Ocean research indicates that maps themselves made borders possible. Her practice confronts both highly technical GIS software and subjective image-making, as in the gigantic inflated globe she made for 'GEO—DESIGN', with bright orange oceans and flipped orientation, with the South Pole on top. Irene Stracuzzi reveals the unacknowledged influence of the designer in the world order, as well as the need for a careful and informed approach to data.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Job van den Berg

Job van den Berg

Job van den Berg has a fascination for industrial manufacturing processes. His passion for this was aroused by a fairly common object: chairs. He is also known in his circle of friends as the 'chairman'. With more than a hundred items, his collection is literally bursting at the seams, forcing him to leave certain items with his friends.

Every day he goes to work in his studio, which is full of cupboards, rough industrial material, glass bastions and of course chairs. Here, Job develops various objects that are located at the interface between industry and art. 'I'm always looking for an industrial find, something that can make a major impact. If I develop a new technique that gives the production of, for example, a piece of furniture more possibilities or more value can be attached to it, then I'm in my element.'

In addition to work that is more focused on art, Job also concentrates on producing for a somewhat larger audience. For example, he designed a wooden cabinet that he had pressed into steel, a fusion of industrial and natural materials. This process increases the decorative value and also the durability. The project, called 'Metal Skin Cabinet', inspired Job to start a new project in which he presses toy cars into an aluminium plate the size of a postcard. Through these and other collaborations with manufacturers, labels and galleries, he wishes to share his work more and more with the wider public in the future.

His projects are interlinked and develop as part of a larger organic and creative process. He does not only want to develop as a creative maker and 'brand'; Job also wants to follow a 10-day 'silent retreat' meditation course to learn how to channel his energy better. 'My own development is central this year, and I am enjoying learning new meditation techniques to achieve the right focus for my projects. But I really don't have to go all the way to the Far East for that', says Job with a grin.

Asked about his ultimate goal as a creative maker, Job van den Berg indicates that this goal will gradually shift, but that he wants to focus on design that inspires and is remembered by people. 'I really do value the appreciation and freedom you enjoy as a well-known designer, but the impact of your work is nonetheless worth more valuable than fame.'


Text: Giovanni Burke
Johanna Ehde

Johanna Ehde

Johanna Ehde might be working in the world of ego-bursting, male dominated, market-driven and self-centred graphic design, at the core of her business, in all senses of the word, lies a deep and inherent love for feminism. Not feminism in the current fashion sense, but as a lived-through, daily practiced and most of all lifelong nurturing support structure.

Johanna graduated in 2016 from the Graphic Design bachelor at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam with 'Lady Taxi', a project about a free of charge cab service for mainly elderly ladies. Inspired by Chantal Akerman's iconic 'Jeanne Dielemans' movie and its portrayal of a woman's limited space in our society, Lady Taxi became the informal starting point of her ongoing project '(Post-) Menopausal Graphic Design Strategies'. This project is dealing with the challenge to gain practical knowledge into how to develop and maintain a life-long graphic design practice while considering the issues of ageism, sexism and women's health. Life-long referring not only to lasting a full working life, but also to healthy, stimulating and safe working conditions. Some titles on the project's website speak for themselves: 'The Woman Destroyed', 'They Will Never Sell Vaginal Dryness', 'All that is left is the killing of time', 'Legacy in Typography'.

As collaboration is a crucial part of a feminist design practice, Johanna also works together with Elisabeth Rafstedt, under the name Rietlanden Women's Office. In this collaboration reading, writing and publishing together is a practice done two days per week. 'We want to work constructively and with lust in our work. Our focus is really on the texts we publish. We try to go deep into a text, read it over and over, and design through that reading'. In relation to their most recent issue of 'MsHeresies', they have been discussing topics such as social media activism, commodified feminism and the importance of looking towards history when questioning hegemonic structures. So far two issues were published, both investigating the topic of work and the possibilities of collaboration from a feminist perspective.

Johanna also has a weak spot for typography and fonts. 'I am trying to have a reckless approach towards type. This in an attempt at trying to redefine the idea of legacy in typography. Legacy referring to both the gendered (extremely male dominated) history and current state of type design, its concepts of divinity and harmony, as well as the physical aspects, which historically would imply hard labour in type foundries (with the likeliness of getting lead poisoning). Today one could consider the very real issue of working, or decaying, in front of a computer screen.'

Underneath of this all lays a manifesto-ish approach towards building a new design ethos. But in a recent interview, Rietlanden Women's Office problematise the easily commodified format of a manifesto: 'A point or statement from a manifesto is perfect for the social media version of activism (…) something we have come to see more and more as a problem. A text written today is old tomorrow—or even in a few seconds—in a busy, scrolling feed. This progress, this speed of things, is connected to consumerism and economic growth, and that goes for texts and images, too! But, in fact, we might even be going backwards—or in circles—as far as feminist 'progress' goes.'

Johanna confesses she's part of this work rat race as well, and is working and stressing too much. It seems symptomatic of this current system. Although she notices some forced progression. Recently she started to take a rest in the middle of the day. She thinks a rest can be very radical.

Text: Jessica Gysel
Jung-Lee Type Foundry

Jung-Lee Type Foundry

Type design is more than a craft, a technology, or a profession for Jungmyung Lee. It is deeply linked to how we express, interpret, and experience emotions. Her typefaces are designed as visual forms with a specific context: for example, fonts related to babies tend to have rounded shapes rather than spiky ones. But Jungmyung looks beyond the visual tropes of pop culture or branding. She perceives a typeface as a fully-fledged personality with a complex narrative, which she often explores through creative fiction. The combination of her deep focus on type design and her multidisciplinary practice, including writing, publishing, performance, and music, reflects her education, which began with industrial design in Seoul, specialised in graphic design at Aalto University in Helsinki, and honed skills and knowledge at Werkplaats Typografie in ArtEZ.

Jungmyung explores the aesthetics of emotion in 'Real-Time Realist', a self-initiated publication co-edited with Charlie Clemoes that draws connections between graphic designers, artists, and writers in relation to a single emotion in each issue. The idea for the publication arose when Jungmyung and Charlie, both artists in residence at WOW Amsterdam, started to discuss the emotional spectrum and the diagrammatical schema of various theorists, such as Robert Plutchik's wheel of eight primary emotions in different intensities and combinations. The first issue explored the branch going from amazement through surprise to distraction, while the next will take on ecstasy, joy, and serenity.

The magazine is a forum for Jungmyung to explore aspects of her design methodology and critical perspective that cannot be channeled into her professional career. In particular, she uses it to contextualise the meaning of her typefaces in noncommercial modes, and to offer others the chance to engage with her designs freely. The mainstream design discourse tends to acknowledge typography only in relation to branding, quoting vague claims about modern values and aesthetics. In contrast, Real-Time Realist fosters slow, contemplative, and dreamlike reflections on the typeface as a narrative voice.

It also allows Jungmyung to experiment with new ways of making, however imprecise or obscure. Eight years ago, she learned type design as a fixed sequence: first painting letters one by one with brushes, then scanning them, vectorising them, and refining the final geometry digitally. This standardised process seemed to subdue emotion, whereas she is drawn instead to design processes that invite emotional investment—like woodcut, a historical technique that associated the emotions of the craftsman with the letterform they were making. But contemporary digital techniques, typefaces, and interfaces have just as much potential for emotions, although the medium, speed, and physical and virtual social formations associated with computer interaction may encourage different emotions. In an era of constant and maximal communication, Jungmyung Lee's work is oriented towards the user's subconscious and emotional experience of the little-noticed medium of type.


Text: Tamar Shafrir
Knetterijs
Knetterijs

Knetterijs

You're stronger together. That's what the nine, now eight, illustrators at Studio Knetterijs thought when they graduated from the Minerva Academy in Groningen in 2016. In order to bridge the well-known black hole after the academy as a group, they immediately started the collective Knetterijs. By now, Douwe Dijkstra, Jaime Jacob, Jan Hamstra, Kalle Wolters, Maarten Huizing, Megan de Vos, Senne Trip and Tjisse Talsma have set a true trend at the academy, where they themselves still regularly return as guest teachers. In fact, artists and designers graduating from Minerva are increasingly joining forces in a collective form.

At Studio Knetterijs, the aesthetics, techniques, personal interests and ambitions of eight different illustrators come together. Within the collective, everyone has their own expertise and function, ranging from analogue printing techniques, such as risoprint and screen printing, to digital illustration techniques and the maintenance of the Studio Knetterijs webshop. Their underlying contrasts are what makes them into a multiform whole.

Thanks to the Fund, Studio Knetterijs has recently been able to work on three collective projects in the form of a 'zine'. The small publications are the result of an investigation into the possibilities and limits of the medium with a high 'do-it-yourself' level and at the same time an attempt to transcend this. By means of traditional techniques and new technological means, Knetterijs elevated the zine to a new kind of genre, inspired by interaction and a certain degree of playfulness.

'The Rottumereye Tragedy' is a mysterious detective story consisting of a rich file folder containing a variety of small books, prints, a leporello and a poster in different styles on different types of paper that together form the hints to solve the murder on the Wadden island of Rottumeroog. The second zine, called 'The Octagon Pentalogy' is a multidimensional experience consisting of five audio tracks about adventure in space. Every audio track, recorded by American voice actors, is different. By combining the different audio tracks with the printed zine, five different narratives are created. All Studio Knetterijs publications are made by hand and are sold in small editions through their own web shop or at trade fairs. For their most recent project and third zine 'Mushrooms & Magic, an interactive odyssey', Knetterijs is currently working with a programmer who converts layered drawings by the illustrators into a digital interactive zine, in which the reader can influence the course of the story by making choices themselves.


Text: Manique Hendricks
Kostas Lambridis

Kostas Lambridis

Most people know Kostas Lambridis from his infamous 'Elemental Cabinet', which he made for his master's degree in Contextual Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2017. The cabinet is a reinvention of the famous 'Badminton Cabinet', built in the Florentine period by 30 craftsmen and finished in 1730 after 6 years of labour. Kostas finished his with 2 hands (his own) in 3 months. The cabinet is exemplary for his way of working. 'I don't like to design; I like to take an existing form or find a form I like. I don't want to be a designer-expert. For me it's all about working without fear. Embracing naivety, ignoring the perceived ideas about beauty. It's about being free and staying young in the making'.

Born and raised in Athens, Kostas studied engineering on the Greek island of Syros, at the only design school in Greece. Getting a base in mostly theory, he decided to get a more creative and practical formation by doing an internship at designer Nacho Carbonell in Eindhoven. 'Design in Greece is very different than in the Netherlands'. He liked it so much, that he stayed for over seven years, while taking up his master studies at the Design Academy. During his first semester tutor Maarten Baas give an assignment to design a lamp. 'I asked myself, what is a lamp? A lamp is a light bulb. It's glass and metal from stone. I combined the different materials, to create a lightbulb.'

He cites Robert Rauschenberg as a big inspiration, especially how he approached material from a conceptual point of view; thinking about the artistic humility of material. 'Anything can function as material. Once you embrace this principle, the possibilities are endless.' He implements material on two equally important axes: the primitive and the high-tech. This idea is very present in all his crea-tions, where he combines old and new production techniques; a mixture of valuable and valueless materials such as bronze, ceramics, embroidery but also melted old plastic chairs. 'At the basis of it all lays the idea of a non-hierarchy in material. It all comes from the earth. Gold is more precious than mud, but for the planet it's the same. The concept of value is a human construction.'

At the moment, he's working with the Carpenters Workshop Gallery on a couple of new projects. He already made a daybed ('Her') and a chandelier ('Jupiter') and is currently developing a low table and a bookshelf. 'I started making objects by the end, I'm scaling things down now, arriving to more easy pieces. But process is equally difficult. I'm trying to include more modern periods, and keep the ma-terials in a certain logic'.

He's currently moving back to Athens, to be closer with his family. 'I'm starting the second beginning of my professional life, and hope I can create the same feeling of community that I experienced in Eindhoven.' His cites his father as his biggest inspiration. 'He was a maker; he had a very special way of doing things. It's in my DNA. When you're a good maker, you cook good, you clean good, you put attention to detail, that's crucial to me.'

Asked if he ever takes time off he cites one of his tutors, artist Gijs Assman who said you have to keep living your life while trying to work. So in the weekends he goes sailing, one of the perks of be-ing back in Greece.

Text: Jessica Gysel
Lena Knappers

Lena Knappers

As an urban planner, Lena Knappers is interested in big-city issues that require an integrated approach. That's why migration is at the heart of her research and design project. She says, 'If you look at the way migrants are being housed, you see that there's no urban strategy behind it. The status that migrants enter our country with – such as asylum-seeker, economic migrant or international student – largely determines what their spatial living conditions are like.' In addition to Dutch policy on migration, Lena is also focused on the policy at a European level. The reason behind this was a stay in Istanbul at a time when many Syrian migrants were entering Turkey. In the same year, the Netherlands apparently only admitted sixty migrants.

'Rethinking the Absorption Capacity of Urban Space', her final project for her master's in Urbanism at TU Delft, contains advanced strategies for sustainably integrating migrants into the host country's society. 'Migration is often perceived as a temporary phenomenon. It's handled with short-term container housing, located outside the city centre. There's a lack of policy regarding sustainable accommodation. But mixing these vulnerable groups with the existing population is of huge importance', Lena explains. For her thesis, she investigated alternative, more inclusive forms of housing, which focused on the use of public space. The Overamstel prison complex, known colloquially as the ''Bijlmerbajes', is a good example of this, and was a suitable location for implementing the spatial interventions that Lena had developed. From August 2016 to February 2018, the former prison served as a reception centre for thousands of asylum seekers. Next to the Bijlmerbajes, there was a shipping container village for international students. They shared the same living space, yet the two groups lived completely separately from each other.

The strategies and spatial interventions she has developed could also be rolled out in other locations in Europe, such as Athens. Lena has visited the Greek city, which is also dealing with migration issues, several times. She wants to bring these problems to the surface through in-depth interviews with a variety of migrants and Greeks. Using the information gathered during this process, she will then focus on suitable design solutions. Once her ongoing research in Athens is finished, she plans to collect her findings in a book.

The ideal inclusive city is something that Lena Knappers will continue to sink her teeth into for the time being. She's not only interested in the topic of migration, but also the use of public space and the persistent inequality that seems to go along with it. Because she also works part time, and collaborates with municipalities, housing associations and organisations like the COA (Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers) as part of her job, there are plenty of shared interests and opportunities to continue her research. She says, 'In The Hague, I'm working on large, complex projects with many different stakeholders and interests. These projects require time and coordination, but at the same time, they teach you to look at things from different perspectives. When I'm working on my own research and design project, I have complete freedom and can use my imagination to reveal creative alternatives.'

Text: Giovanni Burke
Manetta Berends

Manetta Berends

Manetta Berends believes that craftsmanship and ethics are essential to design, and no less for digital design and online communities than for more traditional physical media. After studying graphic design at ArtEZ and media design at Piet Zwart Institute, she joined a larger group of individuals to set up 'varia', a Rotterdam-based space exploring new methods of collectivity with a focus on technology.

For Berends, varia has offered a testing ground to implement her design philosophy, which involves using only free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) and independent digital infrastructures that do not profit from their users, collect their data, enforce protective copyright, or make their code inaccessible. Over time, varia has evolved to host its own server and communication and organisation system, including chat program and communal calendar. On their website, they offer their free software, store project documents for collaborators as well as outside viewers, and write posts sharing the technical and conceptual knowledge they have acquired in the process. They also publish their notes from live workshops, meetings, or conferences using etherpad, a real-time collaborative editor.

One of varia's five members with managerial responsibilities, Manetta develops her ideas about what a graphic design practice and collaborative working practice could be today. As in the craft guilds of centuries past, the outcome of the design process is just one element of a larger culture, which also encompasses tool-making, social inclusivity, acquiring knowledge hands-on, and sharing knowledge with peers. This broad approach is fostered at varia through open events like 'Relearn', a collective learning experiment and summer school where teachers and students come together as equals. In this way, Manetta believes that professional practice can sustain the curiosity, energy, and enjoyment experienced in design education.

These qualities resonate throughout her personal work as well. Her cyber/technofeminist cross-reader, part of the 2019 exhibition Computer Grrrls at la Gaîté Lyrique in Paris and MU in Eindhoven, is a collection of manifestos in which technology and feminism are intertwined, spanning from 1912 to the present. At the same time, it is also a tool that identifies the linguistic connections between the manifestos, using the TF-IDF (Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency) algorithm, and allows users to read across multiple manifestos at once by extracting quotes featuring the same word. The cross-reader also includes a detailed explanation of how the algorithm works, using terminology that non-coders can understand. Finally, it explores the language of manifestos, revealing the importance of communication in movements for societal change. Manetta Berends models a design practice in which critical thinking, activism, and social accountability underscore every facet from aesthetic choices to pragmatic obligations.
Mirte van Duppen

Mirte van Duppen

In her practice, Mirte van Duppen models a new understanding of the role a graphic designer can perform in today's society. During her studies in graphic design at ArtEZ and Sandberg's Design department, she cultivated an interest in collective environments. How do individuals perceive and behave within them? What does freedom mean in public squares in the Netherlands? What is the meaning of transparency in modern buildings?

Mirte is particularly preoccupied with the Dutch landscape, at various scales, and the ways in which it has been shaped by politicians, industrialists, and architects, as well as eccentric individuals with a captivating vision. Her film 'The Dutch Mountain', for instance, departs from Dutch cyclist Thijs Zonneveld's dream to build a 2,000-metre-high mountain in the Netherlands, and imagines it in concrete detail through seamlessly edited footage from different locations in the Dutch landscape. A voiceover describes the mountain as a 'fait accompli', quoting expert scientists that she consulted about the environmental implications of the project. Through split screen composition, she confronts idealistic visions with banal necessities, like bike lanes or pedestrian paths, and overt artifice, like zoos or amusement parks.

In her research, Mirte contemplates the tension between humanity's power to sculpt the terrain to its will, on one hand, and its affinity for romantic or technoutopian concepts of nature, on the other. 'Territory of the Beings', a recent commission from KAAN Architecten, could be described as a nature documentary about the modern office worker in their open-plan habitat. Her film analyses the strategies (both surreal and cynical) used in contemporary architecture to foster impressions of freedom, wellbeing, and personal space in their human occupants. At the same time, it borrows the aesthetics of architectural photography to emphasise the challenge of adjusting to the airbrushed, optimised utopia of the modern workplace.

Her latest project, meanwhile, takes on the working landscape of industrial agriculture in the Netherlands. Interviewing farmers, she is rethinking the iconography of futurism in light of the anecdotes she has collected, including machine hacking, flower high-rises, artificial lighting, and robot gardeners and asparagus growers. While she embraces fiction and poetic license as creative tools, Mirte van Duppen is still conscious of her rhetorical influence as a designer and editor. She seeks out the individuals with direct knowledge about urgent topics and gives space to their perspectives, which often have little resemblance to the grotesque fantasies popularised in the mainstream media. She is equally critical towards humanity's hubristic manipulation of nature as towards fatalistic or alarmist narratives as dramatic devices, and reveals the complete technological saturation of every element of our society, no matter how "natural" it may appear. Her practice aims to inspire fascination, contemplation, and informed action in her audience.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Munoz Munoz

Munoz Munoz

Lucas Muñoz Muñoz already had an established practice as a product designer when he came across, by chance, what would become his creative obsession. A few years after graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven with a master's in Contextual Design, he went to Thailand to visit a former classmate. Hearing about a rocket festival in a village in Isan, they were determined to see it in person. The tradition had developed over centuries, possibly influenced by migration from present-day China carrying knowledge about gunpowder. The rockets are built by Buddhist monks from bamboo and (more recently) PVC pipes; the largest are eight metres long, contain 120 kilograms of gunpowder, and reach altitudes of up to eight kilometres. During the month-long festival, about 500 rockets are launched, even causing annual diversions in airplane traffic.

Lucas and his friend were not visiting simply as spectators. They wanted to engage with the monks as craftsmen, and spent two months living alongside them and learning how to make rockets. Meanwhile, they were joined by a few curious filmmakers, and spontaneously the idea arose to make a documentary - something none of them had done before. They began to collect footage, taking a wide view on the rocket's role as an instigator of temporary social liberties, as well as a symbol of the farmers' dependency and vulnerability in relation to the yearly monsoon. They also followed another tangent into the oral history surrounding the village's main Buddhist abbot, recently deceased, who was famed for his powers in black magic.

For Lucas, the rocket is an object that cuts through seemingly distant cultures, topics, and histories. A rocket carrying a nuclear bomb could destroy the world, but a rocket could also save humans from extinction by carrying them to another planet. Essentially a flying cylinder propelled by a chemical reaction, this single object is the vehicle for a multiplicity of technological dreams, cultural beliefs, political conflicts, and existential fears. This diversity of meanings forms the basis for a series of documentary films, each chapter investigating a particular typology situated in a complex social context.

For example, Lucas explored the rocket as a weapon in Lebanon, collaborating with NGOs that work with refugee communities displaced from their homes by missiles and other tools of destruction. To approach the subject sensitively, Lucas took a more associative approach using personal narrative. He asked Syrian and Palestinian children to describe their memories of their old homes, and then reconstructed each memory through found archival footage, reflecting on the possibilities and paradoxes of cross-cultural empathy. In another chapter, he interviews doctoral researchers in Newcastle University to examine the rocket as a catalyst for debates about space law, colonisation and mining. While Lucas Muñoz Muñoz still works as a maker, he is also eager to challenge the expectations of how objects inspire and emerge from creative processes, and how research manifests in design practice.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
NINAMOUNAH

NINAMOUNAH

There's a feeling of concentrated commotion at Ninamounah Langestraat's studio in the middle of Amsterdam's Jordaan neighbourhood. She graduated from the Rietveld Academie just a couple years ago, and is now working in close partnership with her brand manager Robin Burggraaf, and a diverse collection of employees. Her studio is bursting at the seams, so Ninamounah is considering moving the whole company to Zaandam, saying, 'it's more affordable there, and there's also more space'. She's more interested in finding a community than an incubator, and fantasizes about having her own place on the Nieuwe Meer in Amsterdam, where a close-knit artist's colony already resides.

That's not too surprising for someone who grew up in Ruigoord, the free-spirited community outside Amsterdam that her grandparents helped found. She shares, 'My grandmother was one of the pivotal figures of Pink Monday, and I still wear her earring', a silver piece made up of three interlocking feminist symbols.

So far, she's created five collections, with names like '001 Mothers Nature is a Slut ', '002 Smell my Pheromones' and '004 Evolve Around Me'. The collections each have their own number, because Ninamounah deliberately decided not to work with the traditional fashion seasons. She's also made a few films, and her second, 'Hormones are my Master' has been nominated for several (fashion) film festivals.

She's currently working on a book and exhibition with Amsterdam-based photographer Paul Kooiker, and created a perfume with artist Anna Gray. She says, 'I like scents that serve as a warning to alert you that something is wrong, but are very attractive at the same time.' Ninamounah has a background in biology, and did a course on taxidermy while training to be a park ranger. After that, she ended up at the Rietveld Academie, first studying textiles, and eventually fashion. She often got into debates with her professors, but laughs and says that ultimately, it all worked out. She still occasionally does taxidermy – mostly dogs or cats from her friends. She still has quite a few in the freezer, but at the moment, is short on time.

As a child, Ninamounah and her parents survived a plane crash in Faro; they were planning to move to permanently to Portugal. She doesn't have any memory of it. After that, her mother took her on a trip around the world, which was of course formative for her. She's a survivor, and she likes strong personalities, a detail which is evident throughout her work. The collections may be different, but she often works with a mother pattern that helps shape their dominant character. A number of key pieces, such as the iconic body blazer and the fitted chaps fall into that category. These pieces return in every collection, albeit in a slightly different form. She thinks it's important to include both expensive as well as affordable items in every collection, but there isn't any over-simplified merchandise. She explains, 'Our merchandise is an integral part of the collection – it's not just a simple thing with a logo on it. I always include something special, like embroidery or something handmade.' She frequently works with natural materials; the leather is recycled and everything else comes from dead stock. It's not even an issue; it's just the reality. Besides that, everything is unisex, and it's all made in and around Amsterdam. According to Ninamounah, 'You can definitely do large-scale production here – there are so many possibilities. It does make the clothing more expensive, but I wouldn't do it any other way.'

Going forward, her greatest ambition is to remain independent and develop things at her own pace. She says, 'I'm rarely stressed. Even though I'm a super workaholic, I feel very supported by my family and friends.'

Text: Jessica Gysel
Philip Vermeulen

Philip Vermeulen

Philip Vermeulen graduated in 2017 from the interdisciplinary ArtScience master's programme bridging between the Royal Academy of Art The Hague and the Royal Conservatoire. Coming from a more traditional art training, he had always been fascinated by light and experimenting with it directly through projectors, strobes, screens, and other standard devices, even while he was still painting. In particular, he wanted these effects to heighten the experience of the viewer.

He takes a similar approach towards the materials he works with, from household objects like rotary fans, tennis balls, and tube lights to industrial components like three-phase motors. Through playful experiments, he pushes them to the point of collapse or failure in order to discover their limits—how fast can they spin, how much force can they absorb, how large can they be scaled up, how can they be hacked, and so on. At the borders of their functional integrity, these materials begin to change and transcend their normal qualities in everyday life. Philip identifies that moment as the expression of a unique character. He is then able to work with each character as a composer or director, putting it into a scripted context where it can perform its heightened function, and sometimes even auto-destruct as a dramatic finale.

As viewers, we perceive each character as a particular phenomenology through our various sensory organs, hearing vibrations as whirs, viewing refracted white light as a rainbow spectrum, or seeing moving parts as moiré patterns or solid shapes at certain speeds. Thus, Philip's artworks exist only as lived experiences where both the material components and the human observers play critical roles. As a result, there is always a degree of unpredictability. Philip describes the materials as having a life of their own, and his creative process can sometimes involve a fight for control, as the elements defy or confound his expectations.

In that sense, his practice links to twentieth-century experimental artists like John Cage or Hans Haacke, whose schematic compositions and real-time systems embraced contingency rather than predetermination. Likewise, they brought out the uncanny qualities and latent potentials in the everyday materials, technologies, and people that came together in their works. Fifty years later, Vermeulen extends this approach to new tools, including computer code, Arduino, sensors, 3D printing, and more. At the same time, he also captures the idiosyncrasies of soon-to-be obsolete technologies and the animated physicality of mechanical assemblies. In an era when sensory effects are increasingly produced from within the black box of the computer, when viewers have no understanding of their process or influence on their outcome, Philip Vermeulen's art can be read as an act of resistance.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
Pim van Baarsen

Pim van Baarsen

Pim van Baarsen studied Man and Activity at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Looking around him, he saw that many products were being invented that nobody needed and that lacked a practical application. And during his studies, he caught himself creating a problem of his own making so that he could in turn solve it using design. But he preferred to use his creativity to solve real problems. Pim explains, 'Design is accessible for about 10 per cent of the world's population, and that's a generous estimate. If most of the designers focus on this group, then who will serve the other 90 per cent?'

Pim's first foreign experience with the aim of making design more meaningful brought Pim to Nepal, where, together with his partner Luc van Hoeckel, he researched the use of medication. They lacked substantive knowledge of medicines, but as designers they were trained to provide practical solutions to problems. So they came up with a number of concepts to simplify medication and its use by means of design and imagination. Many Nepalese people in the outlying areas are actually illiterate. During an internship in Malawi, they later realized a collection of healthcare furniture, based entirely on locally available materials and techniques. With these two projects, the men, who are also known under the name Superlocal, have refined their working method and achieved their first successes. It is essentially a modern form of development aid.

'In less developed economies, it can be a bit more difficult to achieve your ultimate goal. In the West, we are used to very structured or streamlined production processes. We often have to 'push' people on behalf of commissioning clients to get the work done on time, which doesn't always make things any easier. It can come across as if we are Westerners here to explain how it works. We try to avoid that at all times. Still, it sometimes feels that way and that can be frustrating.' Pim points out the importance of an equal relationship. By involving the local craftspeople in the process from day one, they feel jointly responsible for it. In this way, the projects can be continued after the departure of Superlocal. 'We want to position ourselves as dispensable. Designers are often inclined to place themselves in the spotlight, but we prefer to focus attention on our local partner.'

Currently, Pim is in Rwanda. A year ago he was approached by the MASS Design Group, an architectural firm from Boston (United States). Their headquarters are in the Rwandan capital Kigali. It is not an unknown party for Pim who has been familiar with the bureau since the start of Superlocal. But it turned out to be true the other way round as well. After several publications on international design platforms that showed the successes of Superlocal in recent years, MASS Design Group made contact. The bureau is building an agricultural university in Rwanda. While they focus on all the structural matters, they asked Superlocal to design the complete interior for the campus. 'MASS Design Group is a great example. They always work on the basis of local crafts, techniques and materials and their designs are thoroughly researched. Their goal is to create employment and stimulate the local economy. What they mean for architecture, we want to mean for product design!'


Text: Giovanni Burke
Studio Bernhard Lenger

Studio Bernhard Lenger

In his design studio of the same name, Bernhard Lenger focuses on design in which a social, communicative theme is interwoven. His goal is to have a positive impact on society. By making international law, politics and human rights understandable, he wants to initiate change. 'Decision-making at the international level has a major impact, but is still not picked up by a large part of the population. That is why I'm trying to strengthen or simplify the message.'
Bernhard often works alone, but is also active as the founder of the We Are Foundation collective. The fact that the members come from different disciplines makes it possible to work on larger themes from different angles.

During his studies in industrial and mechanical design in Austria, where he was born, Bernhard saw that commercial redesign of products was very important. However, the actual problem was not solved. This outdated way of thinking could not hold his attention for long, which is why he now focuses mainly on the aforementioned themes. A further course of study at the Design Academy in Eindhoven made it possible to experiment more and eventually to focus on these themes.

Since last year, he has been developing his design methodology further. During this process, the realization came that he had to try to find this at the highest possible level, because that is where international law, politics and human rights are ultimately determined. At European Union level, for instance. 'Over the past year, I have looked at how I can enter into a collaboration with Members of the European Parliament. As an overarching body, the EU has its strengths and weaknesses. If communicating international legislation and issues better to the public were to succeed, it would be a big step forward. I've spent many hours trying to figure out UN publications myself, and they're really difficult to get through!'

Bernhard would like to support the communication of the policies and good intentions of these MEPs. In addition, in collaboration with a representative of Justice and Peace Netherlands, he started last year with research focused on design in Burundi. The LGBT community there is under great pressure, homosexuality is illegal and, as a result, many unjust arrests are taking place. Bernhard is keen to utilize his design methodology to improve the situation. The first step is to build a support network, so that the youth in Burundi can organize themselves better and which could offer a solution to local problems, for example by using design in a practical way. The uncertain political climate, linked to the upcoming national elections, has brought this project to a standstill for the time being. But Bernhard is determined to bring it to a successful conclusion.

When asked about his ultimate goal, Bernhard Lenger indicates that he especially wants recognition. Not personally, but recognition for the fact that designers can help to find usable solutions to social problems. 'Various organizations that have a major impact on our society can benefit enormously here. As designers, we can form the link between politics and society. Complex social themes can convey the message in an understandable way by using of design and imagination.'


Text: Giovanni Burke
Studio Koen Steger

Studio Koen Steger

Koen Steger discovered the inspiration for his profession early on. As a young boy, he spent countless hours designing things like flying cars and even a time machine – he was the very essence of an inventor. When you walk into Koen's studio on the Transformatorweg in Amsterdam, his passion is evident in the tangle of cables, wires, lights and circuit boards. It's easy to see why, after secondary school, he went to the TU Delft to study industrial design. But he soon realised that this programme wouldn't allow him to fully explore his imaginative side. He therefore found a better match at the Academy for Theatre and Dance (AHK – Amsterdam School of the Arts), where he studied scenography. The collaboration and overlap between different disciplines (directing, producing and artists) offered Koen the ideal environment for developing his talents in a field that interests him enormously: working with light.

As a creative designer at the start of his career, Koen plays with space and light; tangible objects or installations are the end result. But ultimately, he doesn't want to design just for the sake of it – instead, by combining technology and art, he wants to offer his audience an experience. He explains, 'Using the power of imagination, you can enable people to fantasize and be inspired, but also just simply relax. You can use technology to share an experience.' Koen says that he once had a dream where he found himself in a completely orange space. He thought it was such an amazing experience, that he wanted to recreate that feeling and share it with others. In order to create the impression of infinite space, he reached out to partners from the science world. By projecting light evenly within a spherical object, it creates the sensation of being in a state somewhere between being awake and falling asleep, which is known as 'hypnagogia'. The brainwaves that are stimulated during this state can help people who are facing burn-out significantly improve their physical condition. So it's no surprise that this is a pleasant, impressive experience.

In the past year, Koen Steger has been shifting his focus away from theatre, and more towards set design for television and light installations. He's also planning to design a combination of music and light using a 'light synthesizer'. What's clear is that Koen doesn't allow himself to be pushed into a project-based boxes. He's interested in collaborating with other disciplines, wants to continue to develop as broadly as possible, and makes whatever he wants. After taking a few detours, he is finally becoming the inventor he always wanted to be.

Text: Giovanni Burke
Teis De Greve

Teis De Greve

Soon after finishing his bachelor's and master's degree in audio-visual arts at the LUCA School of Arts in Belgium, Teis de Greve began focusing on the essence of interaction between man and machine. “I wanted to encourage myself and others to think critically about our relationship with technology', Teis says. He often uses existing technology as a starting point, such as old mobile phones or wireless networks. 'I make the final design with the goal of raising awareness about the impact of technology on our daily lives. I try to do it without incorporating my own judgements. I leave that to the viewers', he explains.

His graduation project was about wireless networking. He says, 'In public spaces, these networks play a private role because they're protected, and therefore not always accessible. People rarely consider the boundaries created by these networks, because they aren't visible to the naked eye.' Smart homes have also piqued his interest. Currently, smart thermostats are one of the most popular and frequently used smart home products. Teis has tried to design his own smart thermostat based on simple, readily available technology. Old smartphones collecting dust in a drawer at home can be used to develop a toolkit. He explains, 'Old smartphones have so many sensors and other types of built-in technology that can serve as the foundation for building smart home devices by yourself. Even my grandmother can easily set an alarm on her smartphone. Programming like that, at a micro level, can already be used to control household devices. Making contact via the SIM card using phones like these also creates great opportunities for DIY projects.'

Ever since going to China, Teis de Greve has also been fascinated by the 'smart city' phenomenon. There, he learned about bike-sharing systems that go 'live' overnight. Because the economic climate in China means these shared bikes aren't accessible to everyone, people are finding ways to cheat the system. For example, they hack the digital lock and take control of the bike by putting their own lock on it. Teis presented a self-designed lock at a fair for startups – and it was a rather unethical design. But it's impossible for Teis to make stealing bikes easier. With his design, he wants to be an instigator and encourage people to think about these sharing systems and their socio-economic consequences.

Text: Giovanni Burke
Théophile Blandet

Théophile Blandet

After studying for a Design Object bachelor in Reims, Théophile Blandet followed a master's degree programme at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, majoring in Contextual Design. In 2017, he graduated with a self-built computer that produces digital money, entitled 'Fountain of Money'. The starting point for this was Théophile's fascination with virtual currency, in terms of both form and functionality. He also presented several oil paintings under the title 'Fountain of Knowledge', which were not executed on canvas or a panel, but instead on the smooth surface of a computer screen. What at first glance appeared to be screenshots of open tabs, pop-up advertisements and social-media timelines were in fact meticulously painted scenes on which Théophile worked for more than three weeks per depiction.

It is precisely this contrast between the traditional technique of an oil painting, the digital representation and the unusual surface, that characterizes Théophile Blandet's artistic practice. In both cases, the fountain as an artefact plays a symbolic role with water that splits up and is spewed forth in large quantities.

He prefers to make everything himself from his workshop on Strijp-S in Eindhoven and once in a while he throws himself into a new material and explores all its possibilities. He compares his working method with that of a fashion designer, who makes a new collection every six months, sometimes with new materials, techniques or starting points. Before he starts investigating a new material or begins a new project, Théophile always draws up a set of rules for himself. He once limited himself to using only 15 plastics, which he melted down in various ways to produce hanging systems and bookshelves. His practice involves a high degree of craftsmanship, and he always starts with the material and conducts extensive research into it before he starts sawing, slicing, sanding, cutting or heating. Ideas for new forms of objects emerge from the possibilities of the material he has chosen.

All the objects developed by Théophile Blandet have a certain sculptural quality and are never the same. At the moment, he works almost exclusively with a certain type of aluminium, which he utilizes in the production of unique handmade chairs and tables. He always presents the results of his material research and never sees anything as a failure. It is part of the outcome of his research and therefore valuable. Although common in the design world, he never makes several models. The outcome of his research is always the first and simultaneously the last model.


Text: Manique Hendricks
Vera de Pont

Vera de Pont

Vera de Pont has a great interest in machinery. During a working period at Hella Jongerius's Weavers Werkstatt – a temporary textile-research workspace at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris – she is currently investigating the possibilities of the TC2 loom. 'You can lift each wire separately, which makes it possible to weave complex drawings or constructions in several layers. The research is a offshoot of my 2015 'Pop-up' project, in which I wove a complete jacket on a 150cm-wide loom.' In her design studies, Vera prefers an additive production process. Here you use exactly the amount of material you need to arrive at the end product. In other words: you don't generate residual material. That is what happens in a subtractive process, on which the current fashion system is largely based. 'The TC2 loom has a standard width, which is not how I would like to work, because this way you do end up with residual materials. I am trying to develop the flat machine in such a way that I can make 3D shapes, or joints that can go in multiple directions. I think it's amazing that I'm getting the chance to do this here.'

It's a typical Vera de Pont challenge. With a background in biomedical science and design, she entered the world of fashion more or less accidentally. Catwalks and the whole fuss surrounding it don't interest her. Her mission is to solve the inefficiency of the fashion system using science and creativity. 'For years I have been reading in books how proteins can fold themselves to acquire a certain function. I'm applying that knowledge to textiles now. In her research, she is also involved in developing software that generates digital blueprints for the knitting machine or 3D printer, for example. 'In my world, technology and creativity coincide a great deal; I see it as my paintbrush. We first design our instruments and tools before we make what comes out of them. I can get really excited when I think about both at the same time.'

Together with Martijn van Strien, she wrote the 'Open Source Fashion Manifesto' ('The future designer is a facilitator, developing the platform for designing and creating the final garment'). Together with Anouk van de Sande, she created AnoukxVera, a studio dedicated to Trend forecasting and textiles. In 2015, they started with sports wearables, an extension of her hobbies of bouldering, cycling and motorcycling. She is also in Taskforce Fashion, where she and 14 other designers have been commissioned by the Fund to think about burning social issues and how design can provide an answer to them. It's clear that Vera doesn't like competition. 'Together you get much further than on your own. And you can also take on more large-scale projects. You get pulled out of your own head.'

For her, it's not all about earning money; she prefers to invest in knowledge development and also in more intense collaborations with people from whom she can learn, such as Hella Jongerius. She dreams of one day working with NASA or ESA. 'I draw most of my inspiration from science; a material that is ultra-light and at the same time immensely strong fascinates me enormously. I am intrigued by the overlap between hi-tech and nature. That's what I really want to focus on.'


Text: Jessica Gysel
Waèl el Allouche

Waèl el Allouche

Like many of his designer peers, Waèl el Allouche is focused on data and its possibilities for creative research. Within that particular field, however, his practice is diametrically opposed to the expected approach. Rather than isolating data from reality or running generative or parametric software to produce idealised models or predictive simulations, Waèl is interested in the materiality of information and the inextricability of data from its context. His research does not use data to 'solve' problems; instead, it investigates the history of calculation and data in human culture, and it pursues the collection of data as a geographically-embedded, socially-entangled, and bodily-enacted ritual.

Studying conceptual design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and design by data at the École des Ponts in Paris, Waèl never fully resolved existential questions about his personal position in the field. Reflecting on his family roots in Algeria and Tunisia, he began to explore the construction of identity over extended histories and geographies of colonialism and migration, in which data collection and profiling have proved endemic. At the same time, he also questioned the contemporary perception of math and science as domains of Western invention and advancement, rather than as the collective outcomes of cross-cultural exchange over many centuries, from classical antiquity through Byzantium, the Persian empire, the Islamic Golden Age, and the Renaissance.

Over the past few years, Waèl has developed a nonlinear approach to research, carrying out his investigations like intuitive algorithms guided by both a childlike sense of curiosity and an ethical care for context. In Ways of Knowing: Materialising the Gaze, he decided to create his own knowledge by measuring the colour of light in different places related to the history of Islamic science. To do so, he built his own instrument by adapting a 3D printer to replace the printer head with a spectrograph, a pinhole camera that measures a hyperspectral range of light from infrared to ultraviolet. The process of collecting original data provided the opportunity to become embedded in complex geographies and histories, as in his current fieldwork in Algeria and Tunisia.

At the same time, he delves into the histories of knowledge transfer that shaped the development of Western science through his project Orientalising Science - places like Béjaïa, in the Kabylie region of Algeria, where Fibonacci learned Islamic mathematics and Arabic numerals; or Utica, Tunisia, one of the most important Punic cities as well as Roman colonies; or Djerba, an island off the coast of Tunisia with a long history of Jewish-Muslim cohabitation and craftsmanship. In these sites, he looks for aspects of hybridity, from historical accounts in institutional archives to architectural constructions where marble slabs from Italy, Greece, and Tunisia lay side by side. Ultimately, Waèl el Allouche offers neither simple explanations nor data simulations; his aim is to begin dialogues that are grounded in shared lineages of discovery, conflict, and identity.

Text: Tamar Shafrir
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, exhibition maker and writer based in Amsterdam. His projects derive from ongoing dialogues with artists, architects, designers, cultural institutes and educational programmes. Key to his practice is redefining notions of representation, scripted spaces and talent with a focus on—but not limited to—the cultural field. Van den Langenberg collaborated amongst others with Sandberg Instituut, Creative Industries Fund, Van Abbemuseum, Studio Makkink&Bey, Studio Edelkoort, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Thomas Eyck, TextielMuseum, Simon Becks, Wouter Paijmans, Saskia Noor van Imhoff & Arnout Meijer, Brecht Duijf & Lenneke Langenhuijsen, Lernert&Sander, Sander Manse, Bruno Vermeersch.
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 bo