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With so much going on in and around the Design Academy Eindhoven, you’d almost forget there are many other Dutch schools presenting themselves during DDW, Utrecht School of the Arts is just one of them.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 25-10-2012

Situated in AREA 51 at Strijp S, the exhibition Hier is Utrecht features five young graduates from the Utrecht School of the Arts.

From intricate weather stations to folding shoes and vases made to be broken the five talents chosen to represent the HKU demonstrate the great diversity the school has to offer.

Bound Basics by Toon Welling is a series of furniture made of multiplex and held together by the tension of hemp rope. Their design was inspired by the sculptural works of Kenneth Snelson and Santiago Calatrava and focusses on the inherent tensional strength. Welling demonstrated that modest and elegant furniture has no need for high-tech materials or techniques.

A film by Enneke Vaags shows looks at how social interactions can make something as simple as an everyday train journey more pleasurable. The designer boarded trains and offered travelers a moment of relaxation through group meditations, drinks or storytelling. The results were filmed and published in a process book that formed her graduation project.

Starting his collection of barometers at a young age combined and with a background as a car mechanic, Wimke van den Heuvel created his miniature weather stations. These handmade, intricate artworks are fully functional and function as a compass, barometer or thermometer. The reused aspect of his work questions our constant longing for new products.

Shoes that refer to the Sovjet Communisr regime is Dora Kloppenburg’s project named REMOTION. The black leather boots are each hinged at a different point (toe, heel or knee) and make a sound when walking. Kloppenburg was the only HKU student to graduate with a shoe collection and in her collection asks whether shoes really need wearers to be shoes.

Finally we saw Mianne de Vries’s Curious Vases. A project we looked at before on Design.nl and which tests the user’s curiosity as he or she has to break a precious vase in order to see what’s inside. Another more beautiful vase, or one less to the person’s taste?

Main image: exhibition posters at AREA 51
Other images: 1. Toon Welling 2. Dora Kloppenburg 3. Enneke Vaags, 4. Wimke van den Heuvel 6. Mianne de Vries

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