Sluit Filter
Dutch design news website

Works-in-the-making at the RCA

This month at the Royal College of Art in London, the focus is on the process and not the finished product at the annual student work-in-progress exhibition.

By Katie Dominy / 08-12-2008

The path of process

The work of four young Dutch designers studying for their Masters degree at the Royal College of Art (RCA) London shows ideas in the making at the annual student work-in-progress exhibition.

On the Design Products MA, in Platform 8 that deals with the purpose and meaning of design, Els Woldhek’s project entitled Where Am I? explores the issue of how technology connects us to other people, while simultaneously intrudes into our everyday life. ‘Everyday we become more and more connected to the world. As our external network becomes richer and more complex, we become increasingly visible,’ Woldhek says. Her work visualises this concept with the video Pompidom, showing strands of wool gradually invading the home and wrapping themselves into pompom balls, while black felt Where Am I dolls are linked by heavy skeins of wool, symbolising our growing dependence on an online network.

Merel Karhof is studying in Platform 2, dealing with public space. This project is based around creating furniture for a library in Barking, a suburb east of London. For this assignment, Merel decided to create an alter ego. ‘I was interested to see if I could act/design differently this way. As my alter ego ‘The Mould Maker’ I visited Barking looking at the world from his perspective and got inspired by all the moulded Victorian patterns around the town,’ Karhof explains. ‘I created my own ‘mobile pattern copying workshop’. A bag that contains all the tools I need both to collect and to make copies in the street. The copied patterns are then, for example, moulded onto a chair for the Barking library.’

Fellow designer Jozephine Duker took the brief in a different direction. Her library chair is like a cosy sleeping bag. She says, ‘I looked at the library as a place where people are focused on their own thoughts and try to pull back into their own world. I wanted to create an intimate space within the library where this is possible. My college chair is a chair where you can hide and concentrate.’

Willem van Landeghem is a student of the Ceramics & Glass course and his work-in-progress entitled ‘Investigations into bone china’ looks at how distortions that occur during ceramic firing can be used as inspiration for design. ‘Bone china is a clay with great qualities but very unstable during firing. It tends to warp and slump. In my work I've been looking at the distortion that occurs at high temperatures and how this can be influenced. In particular I'm interested in the role of 3D patterns/structures as decoration, as a way to control movement of the object in the kiln, and the influence it has on the perception of accuracy,’ van Landeghem explains. ‘Translucency is one of the qualities of bone china which is very strong, beautifully white, picks up very fine details and, especially when unglazed, it gives great contrast in lighter and shadow areas. The slumping and warping though make it a difficult material to use’, van Landeghem continues. ‘To continue the project I intend to make lighting, because it brings out the best qualities of the bone china. It makes smart use of this material, not forcing it into shapes that it doesn't want to go into but also not just going along with it. Structures in shape, grids and 3D patterns can help to influence the slumping, to camouflage inaccuracy and can even suggest precision.’

The RCA work-in-progress show is open December 05 to 14 2008

Main image: Willem van Landeghem
Image: Merel Karhof
Image: Els Woldhek

Add to favorites
Share this:

Additional information

Points of sale



star1 star2 star3 star4 star5

( 1 Votes, average: 5 out of 5)

click to vote

Mail this item

Your favourites

You have no favourites