The C&A re-imagine design contest
Dutch retail concern C&A challenged 8 European fashion designers to step out of their comfort zone to re-interpret and re-define the use and function of everyday objects such as plastic cutlery, plates and cups. The picture above shows the end result made by designer Pauline van Dongen. Intrigued by the plastic material she decided to combine this unnatural aspect with the natural aesthetics of the human body and cell structures. To create a membrane-like texture, she used a laser cutter to cut the white sheets of ironed plates into patterns. This thin plastic layer was then covered by rubber latex for the surface to appear as bone tissue and to be able to safely shape the material into its definite form. Check out the work by the other designers and vote for your favorite. Since this is a contest, the most voted for designer gets to donate, on behalf of C&A, €10.000 to a charity of chose. Visit the, by the way, very nice looking and interactive Facebook Page of the contest, for more information and to vote. Votes must be in by 28th of March.
Photography by Louise te Poele.
Welcome to The Embassy
Nope, i’m not talking about a foreign embassy in a majestic building, but about the design studio of Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleijswijk, in a former factory building at the industrial Strijp-T area. As ambassadors of this year’s Dutch Design Week the designers opened their ‘embassy’ to the public for a inside look at the production process of their conceptual designs. They have made serious name for themselves, together and individually, after graduating at the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 2001. Van Eijk with her almost poetic, but powerful designs inspired by her travels and love for craftsmanship in textiles and ceramics. You must check her latest design The Sewing Box Cabinet, it’s what you think it is and more.
Van Bleijswijk impresses with his designs based on historical techniques and architecture. Their studio is impressive too, with enough space for production, a showroom and a shop which shows a nice overview of their small size designs. If only they were all small priced too, but having seen some of the handmade production processes, it’s safe to say that they are worth every penny!
21 Grams by Mark Sturkenboom
Is one of the designs from Sturkenbooms graduation collection Small Gestures, Big Expectations. It’s a urn and a shrine in-one, a delicate (and in some ways not so delicate) way to pay homage to a special loved one that has passed away. Beside storing the ashes of the deceased 21 Grams (named after the so called weight of the immortal human soul) is also a docking station on which you can hook up your ipod to listen to the favorite tunes you shared. You can save his or her perfume and wedding band here, and be intimate again by using the..uhm…phallus shaped object which has a container in which you can put some of the ashes of your loved one. After reminiscing you can lock up these dear memories and hold the key close to your heart.
Design Highlights; ArtEZ finals 2012 part 2
Since a few years the number of graduation projects that focuses on fashion accessories has grown at the ArtEZ finals. I’m not sure what has stimulated this shift, but it is an interesting development. With Fashion Design graduates always having to pare on accessories and shoes in their final collection. It’s only a matter of time that those two disciplines will crossover and be combined into a sublime complementary graduation project. In the mean time feast your eyes on the accessories of Frank Verkade’s Zoomorf collection and Steven Visser’s graduation project ‘A Gentleman’s Thing’.
Merging man and animal
I can’t wait to see in what (fashion) magazine even music video Frank Verkade’s collection Zoomorf will turn up, since it’s so very photogenic. His interpretation of the signet ring gave me goose bumps. An appropriate reaction to his work as I found about, because the human body is Verkade’s canvas on which he designs, builds and shapes his accessories. Inspired by the animal body and body language Zoomorf is a reinterpretation of a series of traditional accessories such as the signet ring, the backpack, suspenders and the collar, that merges human and animal aspects together. Take for instance the collar that is based on the hard, folded parts of a rhino skin. When wearing it, it alters the shape, the silhouette of the one wearing it. Another favorite of mine is the signet ring disguised as a tassel that pops open revealing the colors of a bird’s feathers. The collection is a reaction to nowadays use of animal parts. Skin, fur and bone are not only worn ON the body, but with animal donor organs and injectables they have found their way INTO the human body as well. And this alters the shapes of the human body. I say a collection that is right up Lady Gaga’s Born-This-Way alley.
Since we’re namedropping Steven Visser’s collection ‘A Gentlemen’s Thing’ would suit the likes of actor Ryan Gosling, who’s a reflection of today’s fashionable young men. Men that echo the style, defined by functional but stylish and beautiful crafted accessories, of gentlemen who once were. For these dandies 2.0 Visser has designed a series of iconic accessories reflecting his down to earth, but sturdy design signature and men’s will to build and achieve. The pipe, pocket watch, glasses and suspenders all show the construction that at the same time is the flair of the product.
One more blog post to go in what has turned into a small series of posts on the Design Hightlights of the ArtEZ finals 2012. That one will feature, amongst two others, the work of a true storyteller. Want to see what you missed out on with part 1? Go check it out here!
(Studio photograpy Zoomorf by Juuke Schoorl)
Roof Garden Arnhem
The new hotspot of this summer in Arnhem will take you to higher places, literally. Roof Garden Arnhem is located on the roof of an indoor parking in the city centre of Arnhem. Inspired by the Dalston Roof Park in London two Arnhem based creative collectives, Belhamels and As We Speak, thought it was HIGH time something similar had to be created in Arnhem; a green and growing garden in midst of the hustle and bustle of urban life and for everybody to enjoy.
The end result is a complete mobile and energy wise self-providing garden with furniture to relax on, a Dutchtub to relax in, an abundance of plants, veggies, herbs and local food & drinks to enjoy. On top of that there is a variety of events to look forward to as well; Silent Disco’s and Cinema, Yoga lessons, workshops Roof Gardening and much more. There only one BUT, but the Roof Garden is only open until the 22nd of July. The good news is that it just might pop-up somewhere else after that. If you can’t make it to Arnhem get in the rooftop mood by checking this video of the opening and tune in on the their website every now and then for updates.
Roof Garden Arnhem: Langstraat 10, 6811 JA Arnhem. Check the website for opening hours and total list of the events.
(Photography and images: Roof Garden Arnhem, TAPE, Joey Holthaus)
The Pop-Up Generation
Triggered by wednesday’s lecture ‘Beeldgrammatica’, The Grammar of Images at the Arnhem Mode Incubator by photographer Louise te Poele, who translated the Bliss seminar of trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort into images. I dove into my own archives for never shared pics of the exhibition The Pop-Up Generation at the Museum Of The Image (MOTI) in Breda, curated by Edelkoort.
Edelkoort shared her vision on the new (pop-up) generation of image builders. Showing that today’s boundaries of dimensions are fading. What is 2D and what 3D? What is flat, if you can fold and make it pop-up? The selection was pure eye candy. Take Wandering Territory by Anna Garforth for instance; a 3D image of polar bear printed on thin, flat cardboard, folded and put together again as a 3D model.
Or the giant mushroom created by Anthony Kleinepier just to push the imagination beyond what furniture and carpeting are usually used for. The same goes for the carpet hippo by Rodrigo Solorzano. And Issey Miyake’s collection pieces created by using a mathematical algorithm, for which he won this years Design of the Year in the category Fashion Design.
Vimeo and Book
You can no longer visit the exhibition, unfortunately. But there’s still a vimeo channel on line with a series of miniature documentaries showing the work that went into the artworks and the coming about of The Pop-Up Generation. And the book The Pop-Up Generation, Design Between Dimensions is just out as well.
The FACETURE film shows the whole process, from the making of the mould to the casting of the piece, of a FACETURE small vase, a design by Phil Cuttance. Judging by his other work it’s safe to say that the designer has ‘a thing’ for geometric, faceted shapes. And why not, if you do it so well.
This years theme of Collectie Arnhem Product encourages you to accept, even embrace the bad weather the world seems to be stuck in. You never know where it might bring you, so it’s better to re-channel energy in turning a bad situation into something more…enjoyable. Say goodbye to perfection and welcome a childlike simplicity, relight that proactive fire within you and shine because of your uniqueness. It’s an optimistic message underlined by upbeat colors in playful designs. I’ve made a selection of my favorite ones, almost everything, but the one that really stands out for me is the Rain Cape. An item that normally only has to tic the ‘functional’ box, not so for the design students. Why would you want to disappear in a black, blue, green or red tent-like gown, in an already blurred world due to lashing rain? They have turned that scenario into a happy, more fashionable moment, by designing a tailored, baby blue with yellow piping rain cape. Wearing that just might make me enjoy bad weather.
How do you make a brand iconic? With The Fundamental Elements of Design.
Direction, Design, Animation, Writing: Erica Gorochow
EP, Writing: Karl Sluis
Sound, Music: Michael Coffman