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Highlights at the Klokgebouw

Young designers from Ontwerpduo to jewellery designer Kirsten Spuijbroek and the Arnhemse Meisjes showed their latest work at the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week.

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 04-11-2010

Strijp-S' Klokgebouw was once again host to some of the most promising young designers during Dutch Design Week. Here are the ones that stood out in the crowd.

Boys and girls
The Nieuwe Heren (New Gentlemen) were the first to catch our eye with their collection of shiny pea shooters and genuine wood and leather catapults, aptly named Les Garçons Terribles. Recently graduated from the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) the duo, Erik de Nijs and Tim Smit, design products that "hold childhood memories". As well as the luxury pranks, a number of brightly coloured chairs specially designed for libraries were on show. The foldable chairs have a reading light built in to their wooden frame and can be hung from a hook in the wall when not in use. "After visiting many fairs we realized how unnecessarily ugly practical objects are," says Smit about the wooden cased reel housing an extension lead at his feet. "We designed expo objects such as a spotlight and extension lead with a wooden shell. For us, designing mainly revolves around putting a smile on peoples faces."

Another group of graduates, this time from the Institute of the Arts (ArtEZ), are the Arnhemse Meisjes (Arhem Girls). Proving that students can design well thought-out and functional products, the professional-looking work included Nina Sajet's Birdcage ring made of silver and brass, Anna Korshun's weird yet wonderful cut-away shoes, and Lies Arts' four interpretations of tableware. In this collection, pure white, stylized cups and saucers are combined with balloons to create a dream-like set, juxtaposed by the rough, dark surface of the clay were on show.

From Maastricht to mourning
Somewhat surreal was the furniture by Maastricht collective Co.m which included a nostalgic 'outhouse' complete with heart-shaped window and made from a concrete water pipe, by Jan Glisman. The collective studied in the city of Maastricht together and now make autonomous art and designs such as the M.&Mme cabinets by Valentin Loellmann, who incorporates wood and polyester into his a-symmetrically shaped furniture that wouldn't look out of place in a Tim Burton production. Laszlo Rozsnoki's designs are no less surprising, with Share-a-Chair made from a classic Thonet chair which has been chain-sawed in half, and a couple of legs added for stability.

Kirsten Spuijbroek presented her latest jewellery collection In Memoriam which focusses on the way our society reacts to emotional occurrences. "I don't think people take enough time to mourn the loss of a loved one, everyone's so caught up in successes that they forget about the important things in life," says Spuijbroek.  The necklaces that comprise the collection are made with some unexpected materials such as black porcelain and silk. During the the design process real flowers are dipped into porcelain clay, which is then fired at high temperatures causing the flowers to completely disintegrate. When the porcelain beads are opened, the impression left by the flowers in clearly visible.  

Doubly green
It's hard to imagine that Ontwerpduo (Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink) only graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2008, as a 10-metre long 'garden' filled with all the latest green products dominated the back wall of the Klokgebouw. Amongst the newest additions in the collection are a desk, the loop light in copper, and a felt rug.  "There's no glue used in the rug," says Wierink pulling apart the individual layers. "The various cut outs slot into each other to form lilies, simultaneously connecting the layers." This is a typical example of Ontwerpduo's functional decoration. Another big part of the stand were the miniatures, on show in a glass cabinet. Beunders explains: "We always make miniature versions of our work, it's the most rewarding part of the design process."

DOEN Foundation's Material Prize was awarded to Claudy Jongstra for her  Waste Materials. The wall hangings are made completely under Jongstra's own management from Merino wool originating from Dutch sheep, and produce zero waste as the leftovers are incorporated into new artworks. The DOEN foundation aims to support the initiatives of those who contribute to a better world through art and design.

Next door at Meesterlijk, Mariska Claudia Kouwenhoven  was also using felt to its maximum potential, reworking the material into chairs. "Old, forgotten chairs are transformed from something useless into something useful," explains Kouwenhoven. A special wool-felting technique is used where the material is felted around the chairs, which were found in the trash. Currently comprising just three models, Kouwenhoven aims to create a whole series of chairs turning one man's waste into another woman's treasure.

Click on the images to enlarge

Main image: Nieuwe Heren
Other images top to bottom: Nieuwe Heren, Nina Sajet, Anna Korshun, Co.m, Kirsten Spuijbroek, Ontwerpduo, Claudy Jongstra, Mariska Claudia

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