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DOEN Materiaalprijs winners 2011

Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters are the winners of the DOEN Materiaalprijs 2011 with their design Waterloop. Tjeerd Veenhoven was awarded the motivation prize.

By Editor /asdf 27-10-2011

his year's DOEN Materiaalprize has been awarded to Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters for Waterloop (Waterway); new textiles which aren't merely beautiful but have been created through a new process in which rinse water becomes part  of the weave, thus banishing water wastage. This should ensure a huge gain for the textile branch which belongs to one of the largest water polluters in the world.

Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven wins the motivation prize of €5000 with his PalmLeer (PalmLeather). Veenhoven uses Arecapalm form India to make flip-flops which almost match the quality of leather. The beautiful footwear is both durable and affordable, even for those living beneath the poverty line.

Textile and water don't seem to have that much in common. Even so, the production of textiles and weaves uses so much water that the textile branch belongs to one of the greatest polluters. With those statistics in mind, Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters began research into water-saving production methods. The results speak for themselves. Waterloop combines digital printing techniques with unbleached yarn and a nifty use of water. The DOEN Materiaalprijs judges praise Kolk and Kusters for the process of Waterloop which is convincingly represented in the end product. Waste water makes way for water which is absorbed into the fabric and so reveals the pattern. Kolk and Kusters aptly chose water themes while developing this new fabric such as the carp design which is only visible after the material is dipped in water. Innovative use of materials and a new production methods go hand in hand with esthetic design, said the judges.

One year ago, Groninger-based designer Tjeerd Veenhoven sent himself a box of 100 Areca palm leaves from India - a cheap base material with great suppleness. Veenhoven researched how the suppleness of the leaves could be preserved when dried. The result is a material with the souplesse and strength of leather, yet without the polluting chemical processes which characterize leather production. The integration of this PalmLeather into such a simple product as a flip-flop is also a statement. In its new PalmLeer form the footwear is durable and cheap, so also affordable for those living in poverty. Veenhoven aims to share his knowledge with craftsmen in India to produce more PalmLeer products for the Western market.  Through the motivation prize, DOEN Materiaalprijs aims to stimulate further development of the material as well as a wider use.

The two prizes were awarded on Saturday 22 October during the start of Dutch Design Week which was devoted to the nominations of the DOEN Materiaalprijs 2011, at the Van Abbemuseum in Einhoven.

The nominees of the DOEN Materiaalprijs will be on show at the Van Abbemuseum in EInhoven until 30 October 2011.

Main image: Waterloop
Other images: 1. Waterloop 2. PalmLeer 3.-5. runners-up

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