The highlights: Dutch Design Week 2013

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Arnout Meijer's project, 'Thanks for the Sun Series', allows the user to adapt the character of the light, from bright white during the day to aid alertness, to warmer light in the evening to help wind down
(Image credit: TBC)

One of our first stops at Dutch Design Week is always the talent hotbed that is the Dutch Academy Eindhoven, where the latest flock of graduates flaunt their final projects. This year, new creative director - graphic designer Thomas Widdershoven, of Thonik design studio (opens in new tab) - titled the exhibition 'Self Unself', asking visitors to explore the tension between the 'I' and the 'we' in contemporary design.

Some of the projects expressed personal fascinations (or the 'I') like Birgit Severin's beautiful drawings exploring her interest in breaking common forms of pattern. Others spoke about collaboration and social issues - what Widdershoven calls the 'unself' or the 'we'. One interesting example came in the form of Luc van Hoeckel's 'Single Spark'. Designed with war traumatised people in Northern Uganda in mind - it's a starter kit that allows people to start up a small ointment-making operation in order to help ease pain, generate an income and increase autonomy.

Widdershoven also extended the 'Self Unself' theme to the Van Abbemuseum, where he invited both established designers and selected Design Academy Eindhoven graduates to exhibit recent projects. Here, Hella Jongerius' collaboration with airline KLM on its World Business Class perfectly embodied the battle between the 'self' and the 'unself', with the designer having to negotiate between her own strong design aesthetic and those of the client.

Elsewhere in Eindhoven, one of our most exciting finds was a show by Dutch brand Vlisco (opens in new tab). Founded in Helmond in 1846, the hand-printed textile company has a huge following in West Africa for its colourful, geometric prints, but is little known back home. At Dutch Design Week, it entered the design foray by teaming up with Studio Job (opens in new tab). The design studio, known for its highly decorative prints and strong iconography, seems like a perfect match for the brand. Studio Job's one-off print, featuring African masks, snakes and leaf motifs, will be followed with more collaborations with designers. 'We're on the verge of becoming a new Vlisco,' declared CEO Hans Ouwendijk and creative director Roger Gerards.

Our Dutch Design Week tour also took us to the fledgling design district of Sectie C, where designers like Nacho Carbonell threw open the doors to their studios. We were particularly impressed by the refined 'Bellamp' by Akko Goldenbeld. Meanwhile, over in the sprawling former industrial Area Strijp - now filled with design and art studios - a spirit of collaboration was rife. A good place to linger was the group show 'Objects to Play' in the studio of painter Christiaan Lieverse, where the notion of the design duo reigned supreme. Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen of Os and Oos studio conceived a tonal set of modular rugs, while Brit van Nerven and Sabine Marcelis teamed up on a beautiful series of glass objects that used layering and colour to play with perceptions of space. This trend for collaboration - an eminently practical one for young designers, who can pool their resources and talents - is one of the things that makes Dutch Design Week so interesting.

Sophia Altekamp's 'Home Mixology' series

Sophia Altekamp's 'Home Mixology' series, includes a juicer, shaker, crusher and measurer with colourful lines to make mixing easy

(Image credit: TBC)

Birgit Severin worked on a vast series of drawings for her final project at the Academy.

Birgit Severin worked on a vast series of drawings for her final project at the Academy. The series explores her interest in breaking common forms of pattern, which are often uniform and rigid, and working in a looser and less mathematical way to express the beauty of the human condition

(Image credit: TBC)

Single Spark' is a starter kit by Luc van Hoeckel

'Single Spark' is a starter kit by Luc van Hoeckel, aimed at the men and women living in Northern Uganda who have been traumatised by war. The kit allows them to start up a small ointment-making operation in order to ease pain, generate an income and increase autonomy 

(Image credit: TBC)

'Screw Yourself' is a collection of facial jewellery designed for men

'Screw Yourself' is a collection of facial jewellery designed for men, inspired by toy blocks held in place with screws. Peter Hsieh's playful series encourages men to use their face as their own playground

(Image credit: TBC)

'Primal Skin' is a make-up range for men, made of natural ingredients

'Primal Skin' is a make-up range for men, made of natural ingredients - coal, clay and mineral stones - all applied with sturdy tools, which offer better grip for the male user. The range is designed by Annemiek van der Beek 

(Image credit: TBC)

'Baharat', a range of spice containers by Hozan Zangana

'Baharat', a range of spice containers by Hozan Zangana, challenges conventional forms with its pyramid-shaped lids 

(Image credit: TBC)

Niels Datema utilises graphite as an electricity conductor to create his 'Graphlights'

Niels Datema utilises graphite as an electricity conductor to create his 'Graphlights' which turn off when the lights are removed from their pivot base

(Image credit: TBC)

Bas Kamp has designed a set of five humane animal traps for his final project

Bas Kamp has designed a set of five humane animal traps for his final project, which offer the user the choice of live removal. The traps are made in a mix of material including terracotta, ceramic and metal

(Image credit: TBC)

'MAG furniture' by Benjamin Vermeulen

'MAG furniture' by Benjamin Vermeulen is a series of steel and wood flat packed furniture that, requiring no tools, can be quickly assembled by powerful magnets

(Image credit: TBC)

Guillaume Neu-Rinaudo's final work entitled 'Object for Identification'

Guillaume Neu-Rinaudo's final work looks at the personal associations we have with objects. He designed a series that allows for self-reflection and free exploration, entitled 'Object for Identification'

(Image credit: TBC)

Vlisco staged an exhibition titled 'Vlisco Unfolded'

Over at IGLUU in Eindhoven, hand-printed textile brand Vlisco staged an exhibition titled 'Vlisco Unfolded'

(Image credit: TBC)

Sketches of Vlisco's distinctive designs

Sketches of Vlisco's distinctive designs

(Image credit: TBC)

A chair with printed cover

As well as presenting its new collection, archive material and its company history, Vlisco also presented a one-off print produced in collaboration with Studio Job, which was a highlight of the exhibition

(Image credit: TBC)

A collection of leather bags and holdalls

A collection of leather bags and holdalls on display at Jannissima Concept Store

(Image credit: TBC)

Design Academy Eindhoven's creative director Thomas Widdershoven

Design Academy Eindhoven's creative director Thomas Widdershoven also curated an exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum, continuing the theme 'Self Unself' with works by established designers, as well as a selection of graduates from the Academy. Pictured is an installation of samples, tests, first drafts and experiments from Vincent De Rijk's archive

(Image credit: TBC)

A collection of Hella Jongerius' tests

A collection of Hella Jongerius' tests for her collaboration with the airline KLM, for which she designed its World Business Class, presented at the Self Unself exhibition

(Image credit: TBC)

Hella Jongerius' flight cabin model introduces different forms of textiles in shades of blue

Hella Jongerius' flight cabin model introduces different forms of textiles in shades of blue, working with the brand's identity as well as creating a more comfortable flight experience

(Image credit: TBC)

'Keystone' collection by OS & OOS

The Dutch Invertuals: Revaluate exhibition, curated by Wendy Plomp shows the 'Keystone' collection by OS & OOS

(Image credit: TBC)

'Ziel' coloured glassware collection by Daphna Laurens

'Ziel' coloured glassware collection by Daphna Laurens, shown at the Dutch Invertuals: Revaluate exhibition

(Image credit: TBC)

Studio Mieke Meijer experiments creating highly tactile tabletops

(Image credit: TBC)

Roos Gomperts' 'Foam & Glass' collection

Roos Gomperts' 'Foam & Glass' collection treats glass and foam as equals by creating each other's opposite form 

(Image credit: TBC)

'Coloured Vases' by Hella Jongerius

New exhibition space Kazerne - which opened during Dutch Design Week - hosted contemporary design product distributor Thomas Eyck, who presented new 'Coloured Vases' by Hella Jongerius

(Image credit: TBC)

Series of breakfast tableware by De Intuitiefabriek

Also on display at Kazerne was a series of breakfast tableware by De Intuitiefabriek, commissioned specially for Chateau de la Resle

(Image credit: TBC)

The 'Haze' chair by Studio Wonmin Park

The 'Haze' chair by Studio Wonmin Park, sits in contrast to the industrial backdrop of the Kazerne exhibition space. The studio's collection was launched at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during this year's Salone

(Image credit: TBC)

Max Lipsey's 'Steel Vessels'

Max Lipsey's 'Steel Vessels' on display at Kazerne

(Image credit: TBC)

'Bottle Houses' sits atop vessels on the floor at Kazerne

A sea of Daphna Laurens' 'Bottle Houses' sits atop vessels on the floor at Kazerne

(Image credit: TBC)

Studio Drift's compelling 'Nola' lighting installation

Studio Drift's compelling 'Nola' lighting installation mixes coloured light via hand-blown glass domes

(Image credit: TBC)

'Bellamp' by Akko Goldenbeld on display

'Bellamp' by Akko Goldenbeld on display in his design studio at the Sectie C workspace, where 94 designers, artists, photographers, musicians, graphic designers and other creative companies have their studios

(Image credit: TBC)

Nacho Carbonell showcased a selection of his new projects in his studio at Sectie C

Nacho Carbonell showcased a selection of his new projects in his studio at Sectie C

(Image credit: TBC)

Lighting sculptures by Nacho Carbonell

One of many lighting sculptures by Nacho Carbonell on display at his studio

(Image credit: TBC)

Nacho Carbonell's sketches

Nacho Carbonell's sketches pinned to the walls of his workshop

(Image credit: TBC)

Daniel Gaciu's 'Organic Cups'

Daniel Gaciu's 'Organic Cups' bring new life to something people regard as disposable in his dried fruit vessels made of melon skins and beeswax, on show at the Agri Meets Design exhibition. Gaciu's work is part of a series in which designers have responded to issues within agriculture

(Image credit: TBC)

Nanda Smits' newly designed leaf and canteloupe-shaped ceramics

Nanda Smits' newly designed leaf and canteloupe-shaped ceramics, on display at Piet Hein Eek's concept shop

(Image credit: TBC)

Furniture collections of Piet Hein Eek

The many varied furniture collections of Piet Hein Eek sit side by side in his studio and showroom space, at Strijp R

(Image credit: TBC)

Piet Hein Eek's 'Crisis 2013' collection

Piet Hein Eek's 'Crisis 2013' collection comprises sturdy wood cabinets

(Image credit: TBC)

An oak stool from Steven Banken's 'Tannic Acid' collection,

An oak stool from Steven Banken's 'Tannic Acid' collection, on show at his atelier in Strijp R

(Image credit: TBC)

The 'Copper Lamp' series by Steven Banken

The 'Copper Lamp' series by Steven Banken

(Image credit: TBC)

The 'Split Mirror' collection by Ontwerpduo

The 'Split Mirror' collection by Ontwerpduo, is constructed using singular sheets of folded mirror, which allows the user to see their reflection from three different angles

(Image credit: TBC)

'Tallow' candles by Ontwerpduo

'Tallow' candles by Ontwerpduo on show at their studios at Strijp R

(Image credit: TBC)

Brit van Nerven and Sabine Marcelis 'Seeing Glass' collection

In Brit van Nerven and Sabine Marcelis 'Seeing Glass' collection - on show at the Objects to Play exhibition at Strijp T - glass objects play with material, colour and layering to create unexpected reflective effects that alter one's visual perception and play with the surrounding space

(Image credit: TBC)

Toolbox for Imagination', by Lotte van Wulfften Palthe

'Toolbox for Imagination', by Lotte van Wulfften Palthe, is a careful gathering of objects for one to play with, to stir the imagination and help dream

(Image credit: TBC)

The OS & OOS 'Formation Carpets' collection

The OS & OOS 'Formation Carpets' collection - on show at Objects to Play - is made up of three basic forms, six colours, and ten shapes for the user to reconfigure

(Image credit: TBC)

Vintage typewriter

The Guestbook at the entrance to the Objects to Play exhibition invites the visitor to type their name and write comments using a vintage typewriter

(Image credit: TBC)

Reiner Bosch created a series of lights using fine sheets of Murano glass

Inspired by the streets of Venice, where the washed sheets of the city hang on lines from above, Reiner Bosch created a series of lights using fine sheets of Murano glass, as part of the Convoi Exceptional exhibition, on show at Strijp T

(Image credit: TBC)

'Weld Drawings' by Josh Bitelli

'Weld Drawings' by Josh Bitelli is a series of kettles and candlesticks made by coils drawn in molten steel, on show as part of the Convoi Exceptional exhibition

(Image credit: TBC)

The chair collection by Marjan van Aubel & James Shaw

Responding to the fact that there is 50% to 80% of timber wastage during standard manufacturing, Marjan van Aubel & James Shaw created a collection of chairs by mixing bio-resin with the waste shavings, to create a new mouldable material

(Image credit: TBC)

'Well Proven Chair' project is on show at Convoi Exceptional

Their 'Well Proven Chair' project is on show at Convoi Exceptional

(Image credit: TBC)

Carolina Wilke's copper shelf and wood book ends

Carolina Wilke's copper shelf and wood book ends on display at Convoi Exceptional

(Image credit: TBC)

Graphic textiles are made into scarves

Graphic textiles are made into scarves, throws and cushions as part of collaboration between textile designer Nikkie Wester and Jonghlabel

(Image credit: TBC)

'Oscillation Bowls' by David Derksen

'Oscillation Bowls' by David Derksen, on show at Eindhoven's temporary Art Centre, are painted by a pendulum, creating a unique pattern on each plate's surface

(Image credit: TBC)