Jan 14, 2019 | By Sarah Housley
Experience Lifestyle & Interiors on WGSN.
Oct 23, 2017
Dutch Design Week has become progressively more ambitious in its scope over the past few years, expanding the understanding of what design can be to include services, experiences, politics and global systems.
Nowhere is this evolving approach more evident than at the event’s centre – the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show. This year’s graduating designers have taken on topics as varied as inclusive design, bacterial health, the refugee crisis and zero-waste products. Here are our top five projects, fresh from the show.
Mirjam de Bruijn’s project, Twenty, puts forward a very practical way to make products more sustainable: by shipping them without water, then tasking the consumer to add it back in from their tap once they get it home. Her range of cleaning products – detergent, soap and shampoo – are concentrated into liquid capsules or solid tablets, ready to be mixed with water (which makes up 80% of many cleaning products) once they’re about to be used. This clever rethink would save on transport, CO2 emissions and excess packaging.
Lisanne Koning is one of a number of graduates to turn her design thinking to disaster relief. Inside The Box adds a clever twist to relief packages to repurpose them, once used, into childrens’ toys. Printed with animals, characters and board games (colour coded by age group) on the inside, these boxes are easily cut up once emptied so that they can take on a playful second life for children in disaster situations – “brightening the days of the most vulnerable”.
Philipp Kolmann taps into a trend we’re tracking closely at WGSN – the rise of the microbial home – with his project Body Culture. Rather than stripping away all bacteria, harmful and beneficial, when we wash, Kolmann encourages us to “give bacteria a place in our daily existence”. His ceramic bathroom container is filled with grains – in this case, spelt – that are sympathetic to the natural makeup of our skin bacteria, and that when used, will over time cultivate a similar ecosystem to the human body. Think probiotics for the bathroom.
Making creative use of food waste – particularly that produced from eating animals – is another rising theme across the show. Marjolein Stappers‘ project, Oesterplat, mixes waste oyster shells discarded by restaurants with concrete and marble to make a new range of composite materials. In pastel shades of sage green and soft grey, these innovative new terrazzos are beautifully tactile and durable.
Simon Dogger drew huge crowds around his stand for his project, Emotion Whisperer, and for good reason. Using facial recognition technology (collected via glasses that are fitted with cameras), the Whisperer converts emotion into haptic feedback – so that people with impaired vision can ‘feel’ facial expressions and body language via the vibrations of a stone-like metal device held in the hand. In Dogger’s words, using this device, “you can feel someone smile”. A shining example of allclusive design, with transformative potential.
Dutch Design Week 2017 runs 21-29 October. WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors subscribers will be able to read our full analysis from the show – including all of the Design Academy Eindhoven highlights, plus the key themes explored across the city’s many events and exhibits – shortly after the week wraps.
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