Best Of: product picks from Dutch Design Week 2019
In addition to a wide, innovative array of biomaterials and social design, this year’s Dutch Design Week offered no shortage of eye-catching, conceptual products set in compelling spaces. Reflecting on the impressive body of work showcased, we’ve selected eight projects that shine a light on both rising talents and veterans of the Eindhoven event.
Installed in Eindhoven’s Galerie KRL at Sectie-C, modern sculpture garden Stilled Life was designed by Rive Roshan. The Amsterdam-based studio collaborated with experts, including Sandhelden and Moooi Carpets, to create an immersive, sensory experience complemented by fragrances from Marie-Stella-Maris. Stools, chairs and vases made from 3D-printed sand, a variety of mirrors and two carpeting collections, meant to recall rippling water, adorned the sanctuary-like space.
A DEFLATED ICON
Orson Van Beek
In imagining new forms of iconic objects, according to Orson Van Beek, both the preconceived ideas about and the value of such pieces can be manipulated. This was the journey he set out on with A Deflated Icon, which gives a new look to Le Corbusier’s LC2 chair. The designer made an iteration of the chair out of inflatables, then used thick epoxy paste to freeze the structure in its collapsed state. After adapting the shape with expandable foam, then removing the epoxy, Van Beek stretched and vacuumed a leather bag over the cushions.
PLEASE TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!
A large carpet made of leftover pieces sourced from Dutch company Desso Tarkett became the cornerstone of Please Take Off Your Shoes!, an exhibition by Sander Wassink. The installation, which brought together existing and new works in the artist-designer’s studio, utilized carpets to ‘slow people down in a place that is quite sacred to us’, he explains – it’s a setting, in Wassink’s words, that’s intended for ‘a long conversation, or just an experience for people willing to take the effort’.
Thinking about the way that platforms like Instagram and Airbnb have helped to widen the gap between representation and reality, Brucher built HomeSet, the basis of which is an ensemble made of scaffolding and upholstery fabric. The arrangement is draped with images of recognizable furniture – Jeanneret chairs and a Perriand stool, for example – to highlight the divorce between ‘image and shape, intention and comfort and picture and experience’, the designer explains.
Supertoys Supertoys and Studio Pim Top
To exhibit their debut product collection, Merle Flügge and Job Mouwen of Supertoys Supertoys joined forces with artist and photographer Pim Top. The whimsical pieces which comprise the set – the Creature Comfort Armchair, No Thing Lamp Table, Any Thing Table, Cosmic Flower Table and POUF – found a colourful home in VEEM and at Fluid Forces by Elle Decoration, displayed alongside paintings from Top. Both studios were mutually inspired by the concept of animism – the space, as Supertoys Supertoys states, ‘invites a viewer to rethink our ongoing entanglement of “being human through things,” to, rather, being human among things.’
WEARING CHAIRS WHILE SITTING ON PANTS
‘Furniture and clothing are seen as two separate things,’ explains design Hansol Kim. ‘But they don’t have to be.’ Such is the idea behind Wearing Chairs While Sitting On Pants, which creates a new object typology by way of evocative sculptures. The forms go beyond the original features of both furniture and clothing, but use existing structures, functions and materials definitive of each.
Studio Lonk for Leolux
The result of ‘What if Lab’, an initiative of the Dutch Design Foundation and Leolux, Filter Family is a socio-spatial installation by Studio Lonk that investigates co-living. Asked by Leolux to create the sofa of 2030, the designers created a piece that utilizes plexiglass panels to enable sitters to expand or reduce their area and find a balance between privacy and interaction. ‘The sofa is clearly too large for any individual household and communicates that it is a space to be shared,’ explains Anna Dekker, sociologist at Studio Lonk. ‘We wanted visitors to become aware of the impact of their territorial decisions. The more personal space you occupy, the less is left for others.’
THE CURVED CHAIR
To be developed into functional seating for Rossana Orlandi and revealed in April 2020 for Salone del Mobile, Paul Heijnen’s The Curved Chair is a reflection of the ethos driving the Eindhoven-based designer’s studio – to create one-off, conceptual works. A skeletal frame in its DDW-exhibited form, the piece is not the first crossover between Heijnen and Orlandi – in 2013, the Dutch creative built the insect-like Hyperion Spotlight lamp for Orlandi’s gallery.
Find more coverage from Dutch Design Week, past and present, here.