Dutch Design Week 2010
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Design in the flatlands reached new heights at this year's Dutch Design Week. With events and openings taking place on every horizon, all the major cities from Amsterdam to Rotterdam had something to offer, while smaller destinations including Enkhuizen and Utrecht upped their design ante for the occasion too.
The hub of the festival of course is Eindhoven, the city where it all began nine years ago, also home to the Design Academy, whose degree show still forms the central attraction.
Showcasing nearly 150 new graduate works, the Design Academy Eindhoven (opens in new tab) this year put on an impressive exhibition. Curated and designed by tutors Ilse Crawford (opens in new tab) and Piet Hein Eek (opens in new tab), the pieces featured thought-provoking titles, such as 'Products Can Fertilize Each Other', 'Eco Friendly Fur is Possible', 'A Lampshade to Dignify Dust' and 'Nature Is Crawling Across Your House'.
Piet Hein Eek, meanwhile, also had his own business to attend to. Physically, and in other ways, his new 10,000 sqm space was easily the biggest news of the week, opening its doors for the first time in the former Philips ceramics factory at Strijp R. Here, the entire design process, from conception to sales and distribution, takes place under one roof.
A phenomenal undertaking, refurbishment and adaptation of the old building was completed in just six months. Now a concept store like no other, visitors can not only see Piet Hein Eek's furniture being made, but also visit showcases and in-situ studios of his favourite ex-interns and students-turned-designers. Not only that, but they can shop in a well-equipped and eclectic concept store, which stretches across the premises, and eat in a spacious café restaurant - the bar of which is built from pipes reclaimed from the factory's Philips days.
Over in Amsterdam meanwhile, the forefather of Dutch design, Droog (opens in new tab), prepared for the opening of new hotel, Home At Droog, and in Rotterdam, Vivid Gallery (opens in new tab) inaugurated its dramatic new space on the ground floor of the Kees Christiaanse-designed, Red Apple building.
Having long been curious about the institution responsible for uncovering some of Holland's hottest talents, such as Kiki & Joost (opens in new tab) and Scholten & Baijings (opens in new tab), Wallpaper* also satisfied a long held ambition to pay a visit to the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen. Though a little out of the way, we can report that it is well worth the train ride.
The museum's new show, titled 'Emmi+Gijs+Aldo', is an inspiring collection featuring objects from the designer family that is Emmy van Leersum, Gijs Bakker and Aldo Bakker, all juxtaposed with old examples from its own archives. We knew Dutch design was going places, but now thanks to Zuiderzee Museum, we know where it is coming from too.
Dieter Volkers' 'Ball Clamp Lamp' was one of a collection of products focusing on everyday products and operations
Volkers' 'Clothes Pegs' can be put to all manner of uses
The squeezy 'Door Claxon' by Dieter Volkers is a surprising fusion of door bell and handle
At Design Academy Eindhoven, Maaike Seegers designed a collection called 'Meltware'. The single bowl, jar and spoon in stoneware double up as moulds to extend the dinner set, which is made out of Carnuaba wax
DAE graduate Karlin Kuipers designed 'Host' - a table and tablecloth in one. The tablecloth is deformed and made heavier, using wool
Amba Molly (DAE) wanted to find out if products, like people, could fertilize each other and grow into something new
Starting with four products, she devised a system of moulds, divided and combined systematically into sixty new vessels
'Mould', by DAE graduate Thomas Pleeging, sees a fungus mixed with cotton fibres and placed in a mould, where it starts to grow. Vases can be harvested after about two weeks
In a project called 'Nature is Crawling Across Your House', DAE's Eefiene Bolhuis designed a series of home jewellery
Yasuhito Hirose's 'Lampshade to Dignify Dust' actually attracts dust, with a view to capturing the beauty of the fine particles in the light
'Soap Flakes' is a wall-mounted grater for a bar of soap, designed by DAE's Nathalie Stämpfli
DAE graduate Dirk van der Kooij was picked up by Piet Hein Eek to display his 'Endless' project at his new showroom. Re-appropriating an unwanted factory robot, van der Kooij reprogrammed it to build robust chairs using discarded fridges
Pieter Jan Geboers designed a game for now called '16 wins' - challenging but not complicated, it revolves around dice placed in this special holder
Henry Wilson's research project visits old products and rethinks them from a contemporary design viewpoint
We couldn't get around Dutch Design Week without a lovely Dutch bike now, could we?
A rather more cerebral exhibition called 'Pre-Specifics Access X' featured Onomatopee's beautiful graphics and an installation in an old textile workshop
'Candle lines' is a new product from Joost van Bleiswick, on display at his workshop in Eindhoven. Made from a single strip of metal, each piece can also be hung on the wall
'Rivet' is Joost van Bleiswijk's new series of aluminium lamps, held together using rivets
Van Bleiswijk's 'Glass Stacks' are hand-blown in amber-coloured glass, with a mirror coating on the inside, to give a rich gold appearance
'Corroded' is an impressive private commission by Joost Van Bleiswijk
Joost van Bleiswijk and Kiki can Eijk's glassware series for the specially commissioned 'Total Table' project last year is not yet in production, but we have high hopes it will be picked up soon
Kiki & Joost's collection of seven commissions made by Berengo Glass in Venice (Venice Projects) for Sotheby's
Models in Kiki & Joost's workshop
A poster at Piet Hein Eek's vast new Eindhoven space
The 10,000sq m facility houses everything from a factory to a café
It was still partially under construction during Dutch Design Week, despite welcoming in crowds of up to 5000 and the mayor of Eindhoven
The objects retailed and displayed in the space consist only of things Piet Hein Eek really likes - such as gorgeous bicycles
Some of Piet Hein Eek's own designs on display in the showroom
Piet Hein Eek's own designs
More from Piet Hein Eek
Collector and antique dealer Sprookjes has a vast concession in the space with some unexpected objects for sale
One of the Sprookjes curiosities
More bizarre offerings from spooks
Lotty Lindeman and Wouter Shoublin have taken up residence in one of the studio spaces on site
A vast and light filled café is a big draw at the former Philips ceramic factory
Large lamp shades are suspended from the ceiling above the tables
Platters from the café
Old pipework has been reclaimed to create the bar
The showroom's corridors are lined with windows, looking onto the factory, where Piet Hein Eek's furniture is being made
Many household items for sale were bought in bulk from professional catering suppliers so that consumers would be able to buy them
Makeshift bath boats by Floris Hovers
Floris Hovers with some of his furniture designs
Antique Dutch textiles at the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuisen
The exhibition compares historical items from the museum's archives with examples of contemporary Dutch design
For example, this selection of antique copperware...
...provides a contrast to Aldo Bakker's new 'Copper Collection' for Thomas Eyck
More from Aldo Bakker
The museum’s new show, titled ‘Emmi+Gijs+Aldo’, is an inspiring collection featuring objects from the designer family that is Emmy van Leersum, Gijs Bakker and Aldo Bakker
It has been beautifully curated, with lighting and shadowplay bringing new dimensions to the objects on display
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