The most anticipated show of Dutch Design Week, the Graduation Galleries 2008 of the Design Academy Eindhoven entitled 'Of one's own' is characterised by authenticity and singularity.
'Original as in wilful, peculiar, sindle handed and obstinate. 'Me' is the motive behind the process from the concept to creation and ultimately leads to an original design. Yet it is remarkable that of one's own does not mean individualistic, quite the contrary. This new ego is social, ecologic, and concerned with the world, stands firmly in the centre of life and uses all methods and matter available and works on a personal vision to come to universal solutions.' Li Edelkoort, from catalogue Graduation Galleries, October 2008.
The most anticipated show of Dutch Design Week, Graduation Galleries 2008 of the Design Academy Eindhoven, opened on 18 October and will run until 26 October. This year's exhibition entitled 'Of one's own' is characterised by a sense of authenticity and continues the mood of the preview exhibition 'Still' which was seen this year in Milan during the Salone del Mobile and Brussels during Dutch Design Days/Design September. Work from the masters and undergraduate students are on display in the exhibition which was designed by Piet Hein Eek.
This exhibition saw a more modest approach, with a return to craftsmanship, detail and function but still with trademark Design Academy storytelling and duality. Edelkoort continues in the catalogue introduction, 'Of one's own also because less styling and fashion gadgetry are used and strong personal preference dominates. A stiller approach with less fantasy frills and romantic curves to reach new thoughts, other forms and unusual material choices.'
Highlights included 'Preservations', the weathered-looking vessels of Anke Louwers made from animal skin and organs and the two-metre Coffin/Book 'Case' from Hanneke Geurts van Kessel. Gwendolyn Huskens' 'Medic Esthetic' shoes made from skin coloured bandages and medical implements are a statement about the taboo of physical deformities. Guus van Leeuwen's 'Domestic Animals' heating pipes were also included in the Talent exhibition at Designhuis where he was awarded the prestigious Prix Pierre Bergé to recognise Europe's best design graduates.
Winner of Melkweg Prize was Laurens Manders with 'Hide', which is an intimate pop-up performance: a pop-up book and a specially written blues song can be experienced inside a sinking house. The Rene Smeets Prize was awarded to Jon Stam for his 'Curiosity Cabinet' which contains 32 drawers to visualise the physical and the virtual world. Shortlisted projects included 'Kid's Balance', the convertible bicycle by Niels Smeltink, the work of Tineke Beunders where the decorative patterns on the table 'Marbelous' became marble tracks and a doll's dressing table 'When I was little' becomes oversized to human scale and the 'Grace Table' by Philippe Malouin which is made from material used for inflatable rescue platforms.
Main image: Laurens Manders, Hide, Photography: José van Riele
Image: Jon Stam, Curiosity Cabinet, Photography: René van der Hulst
Image: Gwendolyn Huskens, Medic Esthetic, Photography: René van der Hulst
Image: Guus van Leeuwen, Domestic Animals, Photography: René van der Hulst
Image: Niels Smeltink, Kid's Balance, Photography: René van der Hulst
Image: Tineke Beunders, When I was little, Photography: Lisa Klappe
Image: Philippe Malouin, Grace Table, Photography: René van der Hulst
Image: Marieke Staps, Soil Lamp, Photography: Mariëlle Leenders
Image: Maarten De Ceulaer, Pile of Suitcases, Photography: Astrid Zuidema
Image: Hanneke Geurts van Kessel, Case, Photography: Marjan Holmer
Image: Anke Louwers, Preservations, Photography: René van der Hulst
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