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Klokgebouw #DDW13

New energy has been pumped into the Klokgebouw this Dutch Design Week as Organisation in Design proves its worth once again. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 24-10-2013

Over the past few years during Dutch Design Week the Klokgebouw had gone from creative hub to somewhat uninspiring industrial design platform. Thankfully Organisation in Design were roped in this year to give the Klokgebouw a makeover and bring in some fresh talent. 

This year the Klokgebouw is divided into two main areas, one housing professional labels, startups and industrial design, the other filled with autonomous design and young talents.

The DOEN | Materiaalprijs is almost into its fifth edition (taking place in 2014 together with The New Institute) and took the opportunity to present ten outstanding nominated, and winning designs from the last few years. Its stand features designs such as Klaas Kuiken’s inflated wine bottles, Tjeerd Veenhoven’s palm leaf flip flops and Marjan van Aubel’s Energy Collection. The prize stimulates designers to work with new and sustainable materials, which are often a combination of extensive research and new interpretations of crafts.

Certainly something the Dutch Centre for National Culture and Immaterial Heritage (VIE) would approve of. A large stand dedicated to the preservation of crafts such as embroidery, calligraphy and bookbinding hosts live workshops during DDW. During these Masterclasses, students of Dutch design schools are able to discover old techniques which they can later use in their own work. As we saw earlier this year in the exhibition Made to Measure by Glithero at the Zuiderzeemuseum, the preservation of immaterial heritage can lead to beautiful new creations. Woven Songs, the screened part of the exhibition, can be viewed at the Klokgebouw, as can the collaboration between Iris van Herpen and Jólan van der Wiel.  

Larger stands were dominated by the likes of SMOOL by Robert Bronwasser (industrial designed products for the home), Tjep., Pols Potten and MINI Cooper. This part of the presentation s reminiscent of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, albeit a microscopic version. The entire thing looks and feels professional, stands are well ordered and stand holders look pleased. 

The same goes for the second large hall where some established names such as Studio Makkink & Bey, Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe and Richard Hutten have work on show next to that of recent graduates such as Brekel & Strekel. Don’t let the pink stand by this ArtEZ design duo fool you, their products are anything but cute. We are told they want to bring back a bit of chaos into life, sick of the cotton-wool attitude in today’s society. Their products (also mostly pink) include a cake stand that can send the food flying off, a battery-powered icelolly which gives the user a small electric shock and a collapsable candelabra. 

The one-off collective 010-020 – a group show with Amsterdam and Rotterdam-based designers – come together once more at the Klokgebouw where their products capture the aesthetic of Dutch design just right. As does the stand of Studio Appétit & Studio Lenneke Wispelwey, a framed project that shows a dining table scene with carrots and cauliflower on the wall. A series of angular ceramic tableware invites the viewer to rethink the standards of eating and each day a nine-minute feast is held to demonstrate just that. 

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