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Design star factory? March 20, 2009

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I was looking once again at the book “Design Academy Eindhoven- House of Concepts” published by Frame in 2008. It shows the work of a wide range of graduates of DAE. I think the list with designers that graduated DAE and are (inter)nationally recognized (which is not, of course, an ultimate sign of success & quality of their work, but still..) is quite long. Here I posted just some of the most active and visible ones (in my opinion). But there are many more of them, including my dear teachers!

I believe you will recognize many of the objects pictured here. Well, all of their authors have something in common. You can see that it’s not an accident if for the last 10 years DAE has become almost a synonym of Dutch design.

Here they go (in a random order), my “virtual” colegues from previous years:

Hella Jongerius

Jurgen Bey

Frank Tjepkema

Tord Boontje

Richard Hutten

Marten Baas

Piet Hein Eek

Joris Laarman

Wieki Somers

Max Barenbrug

Bertjan Pot

Joep Verhoeven (Demakersvan)

Studio Job

Chris Kabel

Of course, these designers are one of the reasons why I chose to study here. Even if I’ve changed my opinion quite a lot about the Dutch design over the last couple of years, I’m still happy to be where I am.


Let me introduce you… January 28, 2009

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This year the first half of graduates of the Design Academy Eindhoven have got their diplomas already!

Here is a selection of a selection… This time more pictures than comments. But your comments are welcome (: !

Lea: “ Hair is mysterious because it breeds instincts and feelings, which have their origin mainly in the subconscious. This is why I designed a series of “Hair Brushes” that are mysterious themselves; the hair rather than the brush is visible at first sight, therefore the object needs to be re-discovered. What kind of feelings does one have when looking at a brush? How does one grasp it? How does one use it? What is the bond between the person and the tool? In thinking about sustainability I decided to reinvent brushes- for the hair, face, and nails- in a physically durable as well as in an emotionally durable way.”

Mari:” The idea is to design a new interactive pattern for grown up people. A bed cloth pattern that directly leads you back to your childhood. So that you have this I remember effect for yourself and for a second you are going back to your childhood. Back to the beginning where all your adventures started. By conducting a survey with 50 people and analysing the received feedback a ‘Life is not a fairy tale?’ book is created (as an end result for my research and a starting point for my project). The information gathered, is used to design a pattern resembling and conveying a collection of childhood memories: Making the invisible visible once again. ‘Life is not a fairy tale?’ consists of a bedclothes collection: ‘Your Own Fairy Tale’. It’s a new interactive pattern for grown up people.”

And one of my all time favorites:

Anna:” In Finland the sauna rituals have ancient traditions but are still part of contemporary culture. During my childhood summers I always spent two months in “Mökki,” our summer house in Finland. At Mökki the sauna is the only space where you can wash yourself. Beautiful nature and a lake surround this sauna. It is a place of serenity, enjoyment, coming together and relaxing. In those childhood summers I learned that taking a sauna is more than bathing: the magnificent view over clear clean water, the wooden construction with the smell of burned wood, and silence with only the sound of nature. It is not only physical refreshment but psychological refreshment as well. The sauna has two rooms the steam or sauna room, and the dressing room. In the dressing room you dress, undress, cool off, and have chat. In this dressing area the sauna ritual begins and ends. Changing clothes in the dressing area prepares you for a sauna, and fully refreshed you put clean clothes on after taking a sauna. The feelings that I get from a Finnish sauna I wanted to translate into a bathing space that allows for the same feeling but a space that anyone can use. A piece of furniture that can be placed wherever you like; a piece that is part of the house and living room. The Badkast is a combination of a bath and a closet. The bath represents the sauna where you clean yourself and the closet represents the dressing room. The doors at the front of the closet and the backsides can be entirely opened to allow you to feel connected with your environment. Changing clothes, being at peace in your environment, and bathing: a Finnish ritual coming together in the Badkast. The Larch is chosen because it can be used in combination with water. The closet is made out of one large wooden trunk of Larch to make the Badkast the same tone. This trunk has been drying for over 8 years and all the useful parts have been used. The construction is simple but smart. The connections that are used are designed in such a way that allows them to interact with water. Even new type of joins, able to interact with water, were developed for the Badkast. The exterior is simple as well and therefore it fits well in any residence, inside or outside. You give the closet your own colors when you hang your own cloths in it. By opening the doors the closet becomes one with the environment. For me the perfect bath is simple. “Take your time in your own environment”.”

Laughing about ourselves January 23, 2009

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I had a big smile on my face when I red about the installation of the Czech artist David Cerny in Brussels at the European Parliament.

The eight-tonne mosaic is held together by snap-out plastic parts similar to those used in modeling kits. It represents (almost) all of the European countries in a sarcastic(?)/ humoristic way, revealing the national stereotypes.

Entropa portrays Romania as a Dracula theme-park and France as a country on strike. The Netherlands is shown as series of minarets submerged by a flood – a possible reference to the nation’s simmering religious tensions. Latvia is covered with mountains all over. Germany is shown as a network of motorways vaguely resembling a swastika, while the UK – criticised by some for being one of EU’s most eurosceptic members – is absent from Europe altogether.

The 16-square-metre work was installed to mark the start of the six-month Czech presidency of the EU. There has already been an angry reaction to the piece from many official persons.

I think the Czech artist has created a good test we have to go through to see if we are capable to laugh about ourselves.

And, another example- closer to my daily life.

Two of my classmates Mia Melvaer and Eva Vermeulen did a very interesting research in Design Academy about the gap between Dutch and international students. They asked students to draw “the others”.

Dutch students drawn by international students:

And international students drawn by Dutch …So many of the details that are pointed out are true…!

I think it’s a very healthy thing to learn- to smile about oneself.


Here they come! November 12, 2008

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These are not the latest news, but it’s only once a year, so, here you have some pics of Graduation show at the Design Academy Eindhoven.


Bastard chair by Els Woldhek.Two dimensional pieces of leather are stitched together to form 3dimensional objects.The shape of the leather pieces determine the look of the final products, so each one of them is unique. Weird but attractive, bravo for the recycling idea!


A simple but great idea by Soojin Hyun- an office- house at your home!

grace table by Philippe MalouinThe impressive Grave table by Philippe Malouin is made of a material used for inflatable rescue platforms. It has a flat and stable surface, it can accomodate 10 guests. When deflated, it can fit in a bag.

shelve by Nathan WierinkShelve by Nathan Wierink (ontwerpduo). You have to look through a lens to see a regular piece of furniture. I would say it looks as what one would expect of a DAE graduate. I’m getting bored of all these cindarellatablestyle objects…

jointsAnother project by Ontwerpduo. The mahogany table is manufactured using a CNC router, which allows more complex joints to be made than are possible with traditional hand tools. The functional joints become decorative. I find it much more interesting!


In our society people with disabilities are not offered the chance to choose and express themselves. They are offered aids with mechanical and generic body accessories that emphasize only the technical aspect. In this way the aid objects become a sign of stigma and in no way help the subject to recover a new and acceptable identity.

Francesca Lanzavecchia presents her master graduation project (one of the few exciting ones)- the trend book- catalogue as well as the try outs made so far- series of orthoses and canes that retain full functionality but adapt different styles to match the wish of the user. Fresh. Respect.


I don’t really see the use of these, but I find them very funny! One has to break (in the right place!) the rubber encapsulated porcelain glasses to wear them. By Keisuki Hori.


And, of course the great Curiosity Cabinet by Jon Stam (pic, left)! It contains 32 drawers, where one can store physical and the virtual treasures.

16 drawers store objects and pictures.
he other 16 drawers have a rfid reader. if you put one of them on a dock station your computer automatically shows the content which was saved on it. It also connects via an usb port for those who don’t have the rfid reader.

Jon received Rene Smeets award 2008 for the best graduation project.