With visitors lining up in and outside the Witte Dame – the former Philips factory which today houses the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) – the graduation show proves once again to be one of biggest attractions of the Dutch Design Week.
Emphasizing the importance of imagination, the new batch of graduates explore the area between the rational and the non-rational. Strolling around the displays, more than a few recurring themes can be noted in the show: science approached with poetry, multi-sensory technology and privacy protected with absurdity. Curator and DAE creative director Thomas Widdershoven further explains the school’s course, stating that ‘design thinking is free thinking and free thinking always requires a degree of irrationality. This is because to turn research into design requires – at minimum – a moment of spark, a flash of poetry’.
Reflecting his thought are, amongst others, the works of Mickaël Wiesengrün, Penny Webb and Alix Gallet. Working with chemist and artist Sissel Tolaas – who recently spoke at Ninety Minutes Of Frame – Wiesengrün reintroduces industrial odours related to the history of the academy’s building. His installation Révélateur is one many projects investigating smell and emotion. Fellow graduate Penny Webb animates technology by embedding computing in everyday objects, while Alix Gallet tricks the computer by offering a set of tools – including a fake nose and an all-covering cloak – to avoid biometric recognition.
The show is expanded on at the Van Abbemuseum with the aptly title exhibition Sense Nonsense which examines ‘the interplay of sanity and insanity in innovation’. Be sure to keep an eye on frameweb.com for the ‘sense’ and ‘nonsense’ that Eindhoven has on offer during Dutch Design Week 2014.
The Graduation Show runs until Sunday 26 October at Design Academy Eindhoven.