25 October 2010

2010 Dutch Design Week

On Saturday, the 2010 Dutch Design Week (DDW) began in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. I attended the opening and plan to return before it ends. I'll dedicate this week to DDW and the weeks after that to Dutch design.
How to describe DDW? It seems chaotic and disorganised. Limited to the highlights alone, there are: the Graduation Galleries at the Design Academy Eindhoven, the galleries of the graduates of Industrial Design at the Technical University Eindhoven, the Dutch Design Awards, the newly open showroom by Piet Hein Eek, the indie designers showing at the Klokgebouw, the ‘Liberation of Light’ exhibition at the Designhuis...
So it seems easier to define DDW by what it is actually not about: it's not a furniture fair and it doesn’t strive to connect established Dutch designers with international markets.
What then sets DDW apart? Where is the heart of DDW? It still beats right where it all began in the first place: at the Graduation Galleries of the Design Academy Eindhoven. Against more than 300 events, it is the hopeful, naive, grandiose, idealistic projects made by the Bachelor and Master classes that still receive the biggest attention from the Dutch audience and media. And that despite the fact that statistically less than one of the year's graduates will hit the big time.
Do you find this interest unusual? That wouldn’t appear so to the Dutch.
The Design Academy Eindhoven is the central design institution in the Netherlands. It is perceived almost like a design brand in its own right, whether it's showing in the Netherlands or abroad. It's hardly a coincidence then that it is the very core of DDW. After all, the most prominent Dutch (and world) designers of this day and age have learned their trade here. Job Smeets (of Studio Job), Jurgen Bey, Piet Hein Eek, Richard Hutten, Wieki Somers, Hella Jongerius... And that's just to name a few of the famous pack.
And so, amidst all the glitter I've encountered in the past days, I begin my posts with the graduate projects by one Amba Molly.
The photographs featured below showcase her ‘Mitose’ series, a new family of ceramics created by product procreation. Just observe that beautiful mutant plastic bottle merged with an oil jar! Her ‘Symbiose’ series (see photographs above) is inspired by nomadic tribes who carry their homes with them (rather than carry themselves to their homes). It therefore goes a step further than 'Mitose' in making a human body a snail's shell to accomodate the furniture and other commodities we need on us if we want to call ourselves home.

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