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What is Vetements doing to the fashion industry?


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Vetements: pronounced vet-MAHN is French and simply translated as “clothes.”

Unquestionably there is something fundamentally wrong with the fashion industry and it appears that Vetements is challenging these tiresome conventions. The Design collective brings to light the lack of imagination and consciousness, utter egoism and instant gratification present in the fashion industry today. I have a deeply rooted love hate relationship for this industry and this is why I wanted to understand is Vetements really is challenging these problems.

Since its debut in 2014 Vetements has harshly divided opinions and been at the centre of controversy. Everything Demna Gvasalia has done with Vetements has been provocative in a high-fashion sense — rejecting the traditional fashion calendar, casting people on the street, letting them style themselves. The Parisian design collective was founded by eight designers seven of whom remain anonymous, except head designer and public face 34-year-old Demma Gvasalia. Gvasalia’s professional background includes senior design roles at Louis Vuitton and Maison Margiela and now also works as creative director of Balenciaga.

Fashion is no longer driven by creativity but instead by corporate leaders. It’s stale, we repeatedly see the same garments paraded on the catwalks each season, altered by their colour or fabric choice.To many, particularly to those connected to the industry, Vetements represents a refreshing turning point – yet I remain sceptical. It is hard for the brand to have conviction when its leading figure is also involved with one of the longest standing fashion houses – Balenciaga.

Vetement’s low-brow aesthetic and extravagant price point make it an easy target for skeptics. Whilst it is intended to look so incredibly blasé, so effortlessly cool, I believe it can be regarded as the exact opposite. Most famously they’ve used brands such as DHL to create T-shirt which retailed at a price tag of £185 whilst an identical T-shirt for £4.50 could be bought directly from the DHL Website. These T-shirts resemble something your dad was given as a freebie but now might only wear around the house. It is clear that they haven’t picked brand at random, instead they’ve carefully thought about something to evoke a feeling of ironic indifference.

It would appear the logo mania trend of the naughties is back. Yet whilst the earlier exclusive trend became a mechanism to denote prosperity and statues, it soon became an aesthetic trope in itself. It appears Vetements is redefining luxury with its attention-grabbing visual statement. Unlike the ostentatious symbolism used by brands before Vetements injects humour- a relatively unknown concept to fashion.

DHL’s bold yellow and red branding is recognised globally and has the grit of a working uniform. They have subverted something incredibly ordinary and given it and extraordinary twist. But Perhaps the ultimate irony is that there is almost no twist at all. The brand has done little to differentiate the original T-shirt from their own. I see it as a validation where the price tag seemingly justifies the garment. These garments are embraced and accepted which affirms the brands ideas of individuality and inclusivity. This raises an important issue for me that we depend on the industry elite to dictate to us what is ‘in.’

Vetements appears to opt for forced ugliness Gvasalia Has also said: “It’s ugly, that’s why we like it.” This aesthetic is very anti-fashion and seemingly sets itself apart from the crowd. It relies on repulsing mainstream tastes to create a feeling of exclusivity, an illusion that ordinary people “don’t get it.” I don’t believe it can be rewarded with the hype surrounding it. It’s not avant-garde, because it reactionary and contrarian and ultimately defined by the mainstream.
It is nothing out of the ordinary for fashion to not conform to conventional ideals of what clothing should look like yet with Vetements it raises interesting questions about their intent as they evoke a feeling of inclusivity representing the broad spectrum of sub-cultures appropriating their style yet selling it for astronomical prices. This is nothing new to fashion Vetements can be seemingly challenging and rejecting traditional standards of beauty.

This idea of incorporating logos into their work is nothing new. Pop Artists such as Andy Warhol used pop culture symbols in his paintings. Vetements is not doing anything radically new. The use of brand usually has a strong anti-corporate rebellion but DHL seems far too ordinary. Yet perhaps this is the statement they are trying to make, the ultimate portrayal of the ordinary challenges the unattainable glamour imposed by the traditional haute couture houses. I think the hype surrounding Vetements speaks more about how dull the industry is right now than the brand itself. But I think it’s such a cheap-and-easy grab for attention with grotesquely over the top clothing. It seems that they’re all novelty no substance.

Ultimately what makes the collective both interesting and infuriating is that it says something we already know— that the most exciting fashion is created by everyday people, on the street, being themselves. And then it takes that sentiment and distorts it with eccentric colours, crazy poses and absurd shapes, which makes it high-fashion again and this is nothing new to high-fashion. Yet I do think it communicates something very crucial about social identity and excepting everyone in society.

One thing that is overlooked at Vetements is the technical complexity that goes into their garments. Many of their garments are up cycled vintage garments which I think should earn them a lot more praise. For example their reconstructed Levi Jeans were made with two separate pairs which have been offset at the hem to give the illusion that they are sliding away. Other garments like the shirts that have been stitched together back-to-back are equally as impressive.

To conclude it is hard to see that Vetements are challenging the transient faddishness – the fixation of disposable novelty. Is it changing the game or is it just the latest fad? There is a relentless desire for the new and next and I believe this is fundamental what’s wrong with fashion. It’s infuriating and ultimately fashion industry really needs to slow down.

A waste of fashion


Thursday, November 30, 2017

It was probably about a year ago that I passed by my friend while she was making a rug out of old clothes, when I asked her why, she explained to me that there is an overabundance of textiles in the world. She told me about how this is actually starting to become a problem, so she was trying to find a new purpose for left over textiles or old clothes. It was an issue that never really occurred to me before but immediately caught my attention because it’s so obvious if you think about it. 

The attitude that people have towards clothing has changed, fashion trends move quick, every year there are new collections from every brand, stores filled monthly, or even weekly. And we all buy into it. The average person buys 60% more garments that last half a year compared to fifteen years ago. The way of production has changed as well, the materials are cheaper and made not to last very long. Next to that the production has inflated massively, according to Greenpeace the production has doubled from the year 2000 to 2014 and the number of garments exceeded 100 billion by 2014. A lot of clothes that are being made don’t even make it to the shops, they were made to have enough in stock even though the shops are often overstocked already. The clothes that don’t sell fast go into sale, but 4,2% stays behind after the sale. That doesn’t sound like much but we’re talking about 21,5 million new pieces of clothing, from which 1,23 million pieces get destroyed. They get burned in ovens or shredded because they don’t want these clothes to be used or resold. 

Next to the overproduction of the fashion industry, we have our fair share of throwing away textiles as well, the average person throws away about thirty kilos of clothing per year, this is roughly eight trash bags a year, even though 95% of the clothes we chug away is still reusable. Not only the clothes that get thrown away cause problems but donation in some cases as well. The clothes that are donated to charity and can’t get sold in charity shops are shipped off to third world countries. In some of those countries, here it gets sold for so cheap that the local tailors can’t compete anymore and have to go out of business

The waste that the left over and thrown away textile produce is polluting the environment and is practically toxic waste. Since the clothes are produced so cheaply the fabrics are often synthetic and the dyes are toxic. The clothes that get burned release a lot of chemicals in the air. The clothes that get thrown away  often end up in landfills. Since they’re not biodegradable they just keep staggering up, causing an environmental hazard. The textiles chemicals and toxins get absorbed by the soil, polluting both the surface and the ground water. It also releases methane into the air which contributes to global warming.

So now what do we do? What can we do about this? There might be a few options. One of them is instead of throwing away the old clothes that we’re sick of, or never wear anymore, remake them into something new. This is what for example Viktor and Rolf did for the Boulevard of Broken Dreams collection of 2017. They used pieces and materials of left over material, pieces and damaged items of previous collections.

 

 

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And Italian company Marchi & Fildi turns old fabrics, in this case pre-dyed cotton textile scraps that are left over in the fashion companies to make a new recycled yarn, Ecotech. But also the company Evrnu found a way to turn cotton waste into a new fiber, by first turning it into a pulp. With these approaches cotton waste is being saved and a new durable material is created for fashion designers to work with.

 

It makes me happy to see that there are several initiatives that try to find small solutions to this problem, but I think this is an issue that deserves way more attention. What I talked about here is just a small part, the textile industry is after the oil industry the most wasteful industry. The damage is unbelievable, on environmental but also on a social level. Andrew Morgan made an incredible documentary about this subject called ‘The True Cost’ that I would definitely recommend. I hope we can find a way to stop this problem before it’s too late. I think awareness of the problem is the first step and I hope that now people are becoming aware, we can take the next one. To help you start I will leave you with some tips from the Oxford City Council to make your clothes last longer.

 

Change the system – Tjeerd Veenhoven


Thursday, November 30, 2017

200.000 jaar geleden ontstond ‘de moderne mens’ (Homo Sapien). In de voorbije jaren zijn we geëvolueerd tot een rechtoplopend, rationeel, gemoderniseerd wezen. Goed? Slecht? Voor allebei valt iets te zeggen. Maar een feit is dat we, met name de laatste paar eeuwen, een extreme focus hebben op ‘groei’, ‘verder gaan’, ‘slimmer worden’ en veelal ‘rijker worden’. Allen op zich niet per definitie ‘slecht’, echter wel wanneer je dit bekijkt vanuit het oogpunt van het heden en de omgang met en staat van de aarde en het milieu. En daarbij zit de mens en zijn welzijn automatisch inbegrepen.

Duurzaamheid, circulariteit, systeemverandering, het is nodig dat we daar bewust van worden en meer nog dat we er ook gehoor aan geven; het systeem drastisch veranderen.

Hoe? Ja, een vraag waar nog geen eenduidig antwoord op is, en waarschijnlijk ook niet op komen gaat. Wel is het mogelijk dat we het systeem als geheel in onze manier van denken veranderen, waarbij vooruitgang en groei automatisch geassocieerd wordt met duurzaamheid, circulariteit en ‘onderdeel zijn van de natuur, de aarde en het universum’.

Deze volledige omwenteling van patronen in het denken en doen ontstaat enkel door simpelweg ‘te beginnen’. En wel bij jezelf. Zodat van hieruit langzaam maar zeker door de tijd heen deze olievlek uitvloeit en uiteindelijk ‘de totale mensheid’ heeft overgenomen.

Nu is deze olievlek de laatste jaren al langzaam iet wat aan het uitvloeien, wat een onwijs goed begin is; het bewustzijn wordt groter, meer mensen starten hun projecten, acties en groeperingen om dit bewustzijn om te zetten in handelen en inmiddels komen meer en meer ideeën en kennis de wereld in om het systeem te veranderen.

Tjeerd Veenhoven, hij is zo’n druppel olie die gelooft in dit uitvloeien en is begonnen met projecten waarin circulariteit van natuur-materiaal, behoud van natuur, duurzaamheid, tegengaan van verspilling, het welzijn van de mens en het terugdringen van milieuvervuiling en de opwarming van de aarde centraal staan. Middels kunst, design en mode brengt hij zijn gedachtegoed én toepassing de wereld in, wat een directe verbinding legt tussen de mensen en deze ‘systeemverandering’. Ik geloof erin dat dit de beste manier is om bewustzijn over deze onderwerpen (en daarbinnen te laten zien dat deze idealen en dromen omgezet kunnen worden in realiteit) te creëren en op die manier de snelste weg zullen zijn naar het ook daadwerkelijk handelen en toepassen van deze idealen en dus naar totale systeemverandering.

thinking small through The Incredible Shrinking (Wo)Man


Thursday, November 30, 2017
 
please device-zoom in order to simulate the viewing experience of a shrunken person

Humans have been evolving, growing ever larger with no popular trends in the reverse. This movement is fueled by vast amounts of resources that the human being demands as it grows – things like energy, space, dairy and other consumer goods and the immense cost it inflicts on the environment and fellow human beings to get such produce on the shelves. This inherited idea that being taller is generally better is widespread in many societies and those in power tends to be taller than average as well.

Going against this widely held belief in the preferability of more height, Arne Hendriks proposes an reverse trend – to shrink. The Incredible Shrinking Man had, for the past eight years been proposing alternative possibilities diligently curated from all over the world and many specializations. The ultimate “theoretical” goal is to shrink the human average height to 50 centimeters, and greatly reduce the material demands that society consume. The endless litany of social observances and projects featured there offers wondrous though perhaps hard to implement promises to redesign human beings.

This is a good opportunity to examine the role of a change maker – if it is indeed possible, and if so how can anyone bring about such a leviathan and un-instinctive changes to the world. Perhaps someone have a brilliant idea, but how then should they show and communicateit to the rest of the world. With this project, Hendriks chose to continue contributing to the development and contribution of this project for the past eight years. Through this sustained timeline, examples have emerged across time, culture and region to show that this thought has perhaps been something lurking in the back of our mind. From this unique body of research Hendriks, often referred to as an artist establish short term, pop up studios in art establishments such as Stroom Den Haag and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and ‘invite’ visitor to fish through the considerable body of research including a wall of postcards each illustrating a small info.

body of research including a wall of postcards each illustrating a small info.

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Design and Solution


Thursday, November 30, 2017

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Before visiting the exhibition, I already knew about Mine Kafon (Kafon means “explode” in Dari), designed by Massoud Hassani. I was glad to see his work again and that made me curious about the background of this work. There were three impressive things about his design. The design is so simple that even children can assemble pieces of the ball. It contributes to global issues and the starting point of this design is connected to the personal story. Inspired by the homemade wind-powered toys which he made during his childhood in Afghanistan, Massoud created the Mine Kafon, a wind-powered landmine detector for his 2011 graduation project. The project rapidly gained interest in the media and in 2012, Massoud and his brother Mahmud organized a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the development of the Mine Kafon as a prominent piece of landmine clearing technology. I’d like to start with the general information about the designer and his work and introduce how design can develop for applying in a real life.

 

 

“We are looking forward to a landmine-free world.”

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 Mine Kafon Video

 

 

The global statistics on landmines and their effects make sobering reading. According to the United Nations, up to 110 million mines have been laid across more than 70 countries since the 1960s and that between 15,000 and 20,000 people die each year because of them. Many of the victims are civilians – children, women and the elderly – not soldiers. Thousands more are maimed. Moreover, laying landmines is 50 times cheaper than removing them. And the removal is not without human cost either. The UN says that one mine clearance specialist is killed, and two injured, for every 5,000 mines cleared.

 

One of the worst affected countries is Afghanistan, with an estimated 10 million landmines contaminating more than 200 square miles of land. It is something that Massoud Hassani, who grew up in the northern part of Kabul, knows that all too well. “We lived out by the airport, and there’s a big desert out there where all different militaries trained. It was a real war zone. They left a lot of explosives, including landmines. But, it was our playground,”

 

Hassani has designed and built, by hand, a wind-powered ball that is heavy enough to trip mines as it rolls across the ground. The idea is that it is light enough to be pushed by a wind but heavy enough to trip mines. Hassani thinks that humanitarian organizations could take Kafons with them into areas suspected of being mined, and then let the wind do the dangerous work.

 

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The Hassanis spent the next two years developing a tool they hope will have a real-world impact: a mine-hunting drone. The autonomous copter performs a three-step process: It maps an area, detects mines, and then destroys them. The brothers claim Mine Kafon Drones will clear mines 20 times faster than existing technologies. Removing a single mine by hand can cost $300 to $1,000; one Kafon costs about $1,100 and can cover a full minefield. The Hassanis hope to deploy thousands, potentially ridding the world of landmines within 10 years. Fitted with a 3-D mapping system, the drone locates mines with a metal detector. Using a robotic arm, it places a small detonator on top of them before setting off the device remotely.

 

Following Massoud’s first successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, the Mine Kafon Foundation was founded. The Mine Kafon Foundation is an R&D organization based in the Netherlands. In the past three years, Massoud and Mahmud have been raising awareness by giving lectures around the world and developing new approaches on how to fight landmines in different environments. In this way, they have crowdsourced many engineers and designers from all over the world and invited them to collaborate and volunteer on this humanitarian project.

 

 

“Mine Kafon is not only an anti-landmine device;

it opens a discussion of global awareness”

 

 

There’s a hidden problem in the world. A landmine can be overlooked and forgotten because it’s out of sight. Although the developed world seems to have been mostly cleared of this problem, its deadly effects are constantly experienced by civilians in over 60 nations. With a collective and humanitarian effort, we can defuse this hazard, which will enable the land to become useful again. There are landmines where farms ought to be; there are land mines where sports fields and parks ought to be;

 

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Before researching Massoud Hassani and his work, I didn’t realize the seriousness of landmines. Hassani’s design played a role as an entrance for paying attention to a forgotten global issue. I didn’t put all information that I found while I’m researching in this one essay, but it was a good chance for me to learn the whole progress of his design. He knows the pain of having landmines near home. That’s why he constantly develops his design, tries to apply his design in a real world and answers one question. Can design invent solutions to problems that we have put in place? The answer is yes. These are the most touching thing that I’ve got from him.

 

 

Social Design and Relational Art


Thursday, November 30, 2017

  • “L’art est un état de rencontre” “Art is a meeting state” – Nicolas Bourriaud

 

When visiting the exhibition « Change the system » in the Boijmans, I wondered how art and design were differently defined when they both answer one and only  same question . At the very end of the show, I discovered the work of Manon van Hoeckel called ‘the laundry’. Manon is a designer, a social and critical one; she « designs context ». That was the very first time that I saw this term used , regarding a design work that had as a result a social cohabitation and that was human-centered in this way. Wasn’t it an art experience, such as Tino Seghal’s work or Marina Abramovitch’s one? How do design and art meet in social/relational situations to create a better understanding of our modern and future world?

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In the last decades, through many art movements that arised, two specific ones in art and design have emerged. In art, the relational aesthetic defined by  Nicolas Bourriaud as “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space. » In design, a social thinking approach has emerged in the same way, materializing into performances, contexts, tests,  always in the finality to contribute to improve human well-being and livelihood. Although these two subjects do not have quite the same purposes, they coincide around the same problems and use the same tools with the purpose of better understanding/changing our world and human behaviour.


In current art practices, it is not unusual to visit literally empty exhibitions which display works that turn away from the visual and the visible. Facing these constituent invisibilities, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the invisible artwork from its exhibition. But let’s say it’s acceptable, because it is art. But what if this happens with design? What’s the result of it? Nothing specific, just an experience. How is it created? What happens? Let’s first have a look at Manon’s work.

As a social designer, Manon creates event, spaces for people to discuss, she creates interaction between humans. In her project for The Boijman’s Museum , Manon actually creates a space where people can come for other reasons than visiting a museum, and also a space to discuss the exhibition itself. As an answer to « change the system », she proposes discussion. But how is her work different from Tino Seghal’s, how is it different from relation aesthetic?  Tino Seghal also bases his work on people’s experience of meeting and sharing, the interaction being the piece of art itself, working against the production of an object. Regarding what is relational art, let’s give an other relevant example. Rirkrit Tiravanija is perhaps the most iconic artist of this movement. He moved all the contents of an art gallery storeroom and office into the exhibition space and staged his work in the back rooms; the art consisted of cooking Thai cuisine for his audience. The viewers became active par­ticipants, first locating the backrooms, then consuming the food and engaging in con­versations with the artist and one another, instead of quietly looking at objects in an exhibition space.

So, what’s different from Manon Van Hoecken’s work ? We can nowadays suppose that there exists a correlation between what art and design produce in the way that now they are both no longer results driven, and either of them do not have a specific function/utility (to a certain extent). Regarding both disciplines, the term ‘relational’ offers a more complex understanding than the simple oppositional binary of both art and design – as either socially active or not.

How come design and art became so abstract, looking similar and tending to focus on the human matter so much?

If we had to make distinctions, we might say that regarding social design, as Manon Van Hoecken produces, it is an experience of sociology that enables the designer and the users themselves to better understand how does interaction and human contact work nowadays. Designers then became « expert citizens » and it is more about designing WITH, but not for users. This could be called « Human centered Design », and is definitely very close to relational art.

Regarding relational aesthetic, it is more about taking as its subject the entirety of life as it is lived, or the dynamic social environment (rather than attempting mimetic representation of object removed from daily life, as would be the case in a Dutch Baroque still life). Also, it is important to emphasize that the main purpose of relational aesthetics is not simply to produce social relationships and interactions but also reflect upon society and critique it through the approach of disruption by creating non-produced exhibition and art. Also, participatory and relational art raise important questions about the meaning and purpose of art in society, about the role of the artist and the experience of the audience as participants.

But, if we look at it from a historical point of view, relational aesthetic are older than social design. Relational art, as we said before, is a term that was created by Nicolas Bourriaud in 1995 in his book « Relational Aesthetic », from his experiences of his artist colleagues in the 90’s. Social design and human centered design are younger, they appear a bit later in time and have become a real subject of interest nowadays. Is then art what inspired design to go into the more performative experience of customers? How does art influence design? This supposition brings us to an other problematic, but from what we’ve seen so far we can confirm two things:

If social design and relational art have the similarity of experience, design tends more to derive analysis and create problematics from it, otherwise art offers another way to experience and create, in contradiction to what is known and defined. Very similar in their forms, nowadays it can be seen how design and art can be closely related. Social design such as human centered design also gives a much more open minded idea of what design is and can be, far from any industrial or concrete problematics.

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Here a project I made myself where I created a fake statue with the words “If you ever wanted to talk to someone, do it here whitestranger@outlook.fr” and waited for people to react by sending me/or not mails.
This project can be seen either
-as an art piece, bringing strangers and public spectators to help create the work itself.
-a design, social experiment, about loneliness but also about uses of internet communication.
>> White stranger (click here to see the project)

Discover and Question about Identity. Now it’s time.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

After we entered the new time of globalization, culture from all over this planet has tightly connected stronger than ever before. Now, flying to the most far away place where you can imagine may only take you a day’s time so the frequent moving from places to places has provided the global society with countless chances of mixing and sharing cultures, identities and perspectives. New things never came alone. The gap area is the wonderland of creating new ideas but it’s also a mist forest where we may get lost about where we come from, where we are going to and even who we truly are. So as young artists of this young generation, what kind of attitude should we have towards the contrast, the sparks and the mixing should be questioned.
He Jing, whose education mixed both Chinese traditional culture and Dutch modern design education, came up with one tough question about defining herself— What is Chinese designer and what is Identity?

He Jing grow up in China and studied fundamental education there as well, moved to the Netherlands and being educated for years( Gerrit Rietveld academie and Design Academy of Eindhoven). So, how to define her works? Chinese work or Dutch work? Which is the more important influence when we define about identity? After she did many research about culture influences she found one point which interests her most that is Copying, a commonly seen phenomenon among cultures.

The Tulip Pyramid is a 17th-century Dutch invention. However, its form, its motifs and its material imitate Chinese porcelain and pagoda.
‘I began this project to continue the process of replicating and transforming which is the history of Tulip Pyramid. I wanted to explore the question of ‘creativity in copying’ and the question of identity.
If a Tulip Pyramid were to be imitated in nowadays China – a country which is a mixture of common and private ownership, of collectivism and individualism, troubled by the issue of counterfeiting and appropriating intellectual property – what would result be? I invited five young Chinese designers from different design disciplines, to reflect the culture and the history of imitation and innovation. They each designed two layers of the pyramid. I claim ownership of the final product together with these five designers, to further explore the intellectual property of this object.
I see myself as a Tulip Pyramid. My origins are in China and I’ve been transformed in the Netherlands. What does that make me?
The education in the Netherlands gave me another perspective of design. I found a flexible area outside the practice of design for mass-production, using my personal experience to ask questions about mass-production in a design discourse. For a second pyramid, I imitated and mixed up famous Dutch designers’ iconic works with my former works, to question their influence and the institution that formed me.’,he jing said.

Nowadays, as the World Factory, China is providing the world with countless quick factories and products. When industry requires the chain to run fast, the details or the identity of design will be weakened or even ignored. She did many research about the Copy Culture in China nowadays to see where it come from and where it leads to. But at the same time, copying is not only exist in China, it’s a humanity thing so it exist in all cultures. She took one step back and look at the dutch culture as well. In the ancient society, as the one of the strongest empires for thousand of years, China influenced the whole world in many deep ways. The Netherlands was influenced and introduced by China with ceramics, teas and silk. Delft Blue is one of the most representable example of copying Chinese china. When she realized this, the movements of copying is no longer an issue only exists in one land or in one culture, it has became one art topic.

Does original things really exist?It’s hard to say one thing developed and improved all by itself and only existed in one certain closed world without touching and being influenced by other cultures. Does copying really mean some negative influences? What we may benefit from the copying culture if this is one phenomenon we can never truly avoid?

Maybe there will never be an end of the two tulip towers as the new results of Copy Culture will never ends, but when we facing the question about how to define identity, we are question ourselves about how to abandon the selfish perspective and embrace the sparks when different cultures meet each other.hejing1hejing2

The Aesthetic Green


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Facing the future access to resources and the wish to preserve today’s climate, changes need to be made.
Looking at the world of design there has always been a tendency to broaden the horizon of consumers, buyers and users. Designers found ways to deal with daily life difficulties, which weren’t considered as a problem until there was a solution, but also ways to process innovative materials into aesthetic products and ways to deal with social and psychological issues.
In the last years the concept of sustainable design raised and increased, showing it’s today’s presence in plenty of remarkable projects with approaches diffusing across various disciplines as fashion, architecture, product design and even fiction.

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This is to be seen at exhibitions such as ‘Change The System’ in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, where many projects were dedicated to sustainability.
So Eric Klarenbeek, called the designer of the unusual, who developed a 3D printing material based straw, water and mycelium, the threadlike vegetative part of fungus. Printed into a thin layer of bioplastic the material can gain stability through drying and – in Klarenbeek’s case – become a chair. He went even further and created possibilities to 3D print with only local materials as algae, potato etc.
Remarkable is the aesthetic presence of the final products. Cups, vases, bowls, which you cannot but simply want to hold in your hand.
And this might be what makes a researcher become a designer: Using the power of aesthetics to create a bridge leading from innovative development to the manifestation of the product in daily life.

Unfortunately many green designers are seen as criminals when it comes to aesthetics. Next to the pursuing of sustainability as something of moral value, aesthetics are sometimes seen as luxury and therefore unnecessary. The aim to save the planet appears to justify the ugly.
But here people seriously underestimate the value of beauty and the power of emotion.
Experiments in interaction design even reveal that people consider objects they emotionally bond to as more functional – and use them more likely.

In the end we conserve only what we love.”
Baba Dioum

Thus objects which don’t attract us on an emotional level, will simply not be used and kept.
If it’s not beautiful, it’s not sustainable. Aesthetic attraction is not a superficial concern – it’s an environmental imperative.” wrote Lance Horsey in his book The Shape of Green.
He is the first to write and examine the relationship of sustainability and beauty. According to him “beauty could save the planet” as in the end people consume and use what they love.
Horsey here uses the example of wolves and dogs to enhance his theory:

The fate of many things depends on whether they please people. Wolves might seem heartier than dogs, but there are 50 million dogs in the world and only ten thousand wolves. Which has adapted better? This view of nature may give you pause—should other species exist just to please us? But as a principle for design, it is essential. If you want something to last, make it as lovable as a Labrador.

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We personalize things we use – and we use things which are personal.
Based on this theses, Jonathan Chapman helps to create an alternative consumer’s philosophy, than our present ‘throw away’ society has. He developed a new design strategy, called Emotionally Durable Design.
Through the conscious shaping and strengthening of the emotional bonding between consumer and object, one can endure the using period and thus reduce waste.
According to him this can be achieved through the consideration of the following five elements:


How users share a unique personal history with the product: Narrative
How the product is perceived as autonomous and in possession of its own free will: Consciousness
Can a user be made to feel a strong emotional connection to a product? Attachment
The product inspires interactions and connections beyond just the physical relationship: Fiction
How the product ages and develops character through time and use: Surface

This results in products such as the Stain tea cup of Bethan Laura Wood – an object which gains character through being used. It builds up an individual pattern of tea stains, according to the personal ways of drinking tea.
To establish this design approach further, Lance Horsey asks the question:
What if we created a different approach to aesthetics, one based on intelligence and not intuition? Can we be as smart about how things look as we are about how they work?

Answers will lead to new aesthetics based on the complex connections of efficiency, sustainability, character, endurance, and the potential to develop with the users personal demand. An understanding of aesthetics which goes beyond an object’s physical presence.

Sand Is The New Oil


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

INTRODUCTION TO ATELIER NL

 

Atelier NL is run by two women Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck. They’re Design Academy Eindhoven graduates whose design studio is also based in an old church in Eindhoven. This year they were selected as the official Dutch Design week ambassadors, alongside architect Winy Maas of MVRDV and Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs.

 

IMG_6569

Since 2010, the women have been running their ground based practice of collecting samples of sand from dunes, beaches, rivers, mountains and quarries to melt it into glass. One of the aims of the project To See a World in a Grain of Sand is to “reveal the unique colors and textures of the world and share the origins and stories of both sand and people from all corners of the globe”. This is made possible by the submission contributed by the public in response to the open call for sand samples.

 

The project also draws attention to the massively underestimated resource sand and the fact that the worldwide stocks of white sand are running out. Personally I haven’t really given much thought to this issue before which is why I wanted to look further into it, even though Atelier NL’s work and research that takes a part in the exhibition Change the System in museum Boijmans in Rotterdam seems to be highlighting more of the social aspect as it perhaps makes it more approachable and appealing to a larger audience.

 

In the future local supplies of sand might become an important source for the industry that, unlike the small Dutch design studio, is not yet able to process this natural sand. Besides glass, sand is also vital for many other industries including the manufacturing of computer chips and construction of buildings.

 

SAND – A FINITE RESOURCE

 

To put it simply sand is one of the main ingredients of modern life. Besides water and air, sand is the most used natural resource. We need concrete and asphalt to build cities roads, and sand is used for both of them. Not to forget windows, glasses, plates, cellphone screens and filtration systems in water treatment facilities, septic systems and swimming pools.

 

So cities are basically made out of sand, and since 1950 the number of people living in the cities has grown from 746 million to almost 4 billion making the demand of sand so high that we are now starting to run out of this natural resource.

 

IMG_6757

 

Both legal and illegal trade have economic and ecological backlash. It is estimated that 70% of the world’s beaches are disappearing due to these practices. Mining sand in rivers, beaches or offshore will inexorably lead to the disappearance of our beaches.

 

In Indonesia around two dozen small islands have vanished since 2005 because of sand mining. The coral reefs in Kenya, hundreds of acres of forest in Vietnam, and the ecosystem of India’s rivers have suffered the damages of sand trade as well. People working in the industry are getting hurt too, and some of the activists and government official confronting the black market sand mining gangs end up killed.

 

Stronger regulations are able to prevent some of the damages. The downside of this is that sand is heavy and expensive to transport which could cause the price go up in many developed countries where the sand mining gets banned for environmental reasons. If the sand needs to be trucked from further away, the price will go up as well. This would eventually hit the economy hard and cause more pollution and extra truck traffic.

 

Despite the effort, the attempts to stop the illegal mining don’t always work. An example of this are the satellite images released in 2012 by an environmental organization called Global Witness that showed how Singapore had expanded its land area by 22% over the past 50 years. The sand used in the process came mostly from surrounding countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, and had in some cases been extracted illegally.

 

These countries then responded by banning sand mining. After the ban in other countries, Singapore’s demand for sand continued fueling the industry in Cambodia, even though the government official claim to even have ban the mining in some cases.

 

In a way sand could be called the new oil. There are not yet good alternatives as the desert sand, shaped more by wind rather than water, and the local supplies of sand are not suitable for the needs of the industry. To find a solution for the shortage of sand won’t be an easy task but in the meantime more focus should be put on how we are using the still remaining resources.

The unimaginable is what keeps me exploring


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

IRIS VAN HERPEN

 

The first time I saw 3D Prints I was doing an internship at a design studio. I was fascinated by the complexity it allows to generate, where your imagination is the only limit to create any shape. I wondered what the future of the way we make things would look like and how would that affect our lives. What kind of products will we produce?

 

I was intrigued by the shapes of the dresses exhibited at “Change the System”, and found out that Iris made an entire collection using mainly umbrellas sticks, and that  she uses a lot of 3D Prints in her collections. She spends a lot of time experimenting and researching new materials before start making, combining craftsmanship with the use of new technologies. She also collaborates with many people from other disciplines and incorporates new inputs, which I think is essential to develop new ways of making.

I question to myself what are the possibilities of fashion and technology.Why can’t we wear machines, organic tissues, sculptures? Materiality is changing as we develop new tools and materials, and so is the way we appreciate what we produce.

FAST FASHION

 

Fast fashion allows people to buy fashionable outfits inspired by the latest trends  and get them for a very low price. Mainstream consumers are now able now to afford new things with a very short life span.

Consumption has clearly a very deep influence in our society, and buying clothes now responds to a wish more than a need: we no longer buy because we really need it, we consume because we wish for it. We are involved in a cycle where trends go faster than ever, and hard to keep up. The quality is not important any more, it’s rather how fast it gets to the shop what matters.

Most focused on what we desire  than what we need, fast fashion takes place as the opposite of creative and original pieces. In a way is about copying what is analysed as trendy, producing it as fast as possible to replace the previous trend.

The process of  obsolescence of the garments are already planned from the beginning: it’s meant to replace the old season and attract new purchases.

This process not only creates a massive amount of waste, but also an overconsumption of low quality products that are made under horrifying work conditions.

SWEATSHOPS

 

Retailers sell products that are being manufactured in undeveloped countries, where the labour cost is very low.

The globalization of the free trade world market enables “race to the bottom” situations. Sweatshops are the best example .Contemporary slavery is the most accurate definition I can imagine for the factories that host the poorest workers of the world.

The catastrophe in bangladesh, 2013 is the most horrible example: an eight floor garment factory building collapses killing massive amounts of peopl. It was the deadliest garment-factory incident in history.The conditions under which they were working were so immensely deplorable that it had to get to this catastrophic point to raise awareness.

It is no longer a secret that the large retailers are producing not only more waste than we have ever seen before, but they are competing for lower production costs in order to set low prices in stores. A large percentage of our waste are textiles that are unfashionable are being thrown away and replaced by new low quality ones each season.

3D PRINT

 

We are starting to become aware about where is what we are consuming coming from. Where, how and by whom was produced is becoming more and more relevant. I strongly believe that is of mayor importance to ask  that question and try to understand the mechanism of the chain production and global economy dynamics. I see an urge to create new, sustainable and better quality products.

 

I think 3D print and other technologies will disrupt the production chain in a positive way.This way the  consumer will be  more involved with the idea and the production process of the piece that what she/he wants to wear.

Changing the way people make their own garments and making accessible and easy to do,  will also change the way they relate to their clothing. There will be more appreciation and another type of value to our possessions. It will also allow us to express our own identity through original and valuable pieces. We won’t look for images to buy, it will come from our imagination and more honest desires.

 

Which materials and tools can we bring into fashion that would change the way we produce and consume? WHat will technology allow us? It is interesting to use it not only as a fashion accessory trendy for a season, but a useful, high quality and long lasting product.

 

We are in this together


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Writing for the sake of writing

Make a blog post about nothing or whatever

Here are random connections to random posts on a blog that everyone is obligated to update. Why? Just because. Do you ever read anything because you have to? When does it happen mostly?

School? Aren’t you studying what you like? Aren’t you supposed to study what you like?

Work? Yh you had to work somewhere. Those readings are probably boring but you need to eat and pay rent so here we go. Capitalism. Sigh.

Government mail. Can’t read those though, they’re all in Dutch. “We killed the tree now it’s your turn to struggle. Folded in half. Eight fold. Figure it out somehow. Or don’t. Whatever. Couldn’t care less. Careless.

I am sorry if you’re reading this because you have to. I wish you didn’t. But bear with me. We can power through this together. We will come out of this different. We will learn something.

I am not going to teach you though. You can only learn yourself. Ask yourself questions. Or don’t. Don’t ask questions if you don’t feel like it. Listen to your body. That pressure you feel on your chest? That fire you can’t put out, your back burning, pay attention to it. Relax. Use this moment to listen to yourself. It is hard, Everything could be hard. Sometimes its hard to leave your bed, I know that way too well. Sometimes working two shifts in a row is not as hard as making yourself some breakfast or picking up that paper from the floor, that has been there for a month.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Accept your weakness. You don’t have to love yourself. Its great if you do, but don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t. One day you will. You don’t have to love yourself in order for someone to love you. I love you. Just for you. For you fears and struggles. For your carefree attitude. Or absence of it. It’s ok to care. Its hard but you’re gonna be fine. You’re special. You’re unique. You’re so cute when you laugh. I don’t have anything funny to tell you right now, though. Kinda feel guilty for it, sorry. But I will learn to accept it. One day. One thing at a time. Or after ten thousand times. Lets change together. Its ok if you don’t want to. It’s ok if you did. Every thing is different. Every day is different. Every day you’re different and the same in a way.

All the bad and good is in you, you don’t have to look for it anywhere else. Just take a look inside. You also can take a look at someone else. Its fine to look up to people. You’re someone’s hero too. Somebody looks at you and realizes they could be better. Sometimes they don’t believe it because of how awesome you are. They should read this post too. But only if they want to. It is also ok if they have to. I hope they feel better after reading it. I hope it could make you feel more at ease. It’s ok If it couldn’t. Sometimes we can’t help but worry about things. This world is stressful enough. We just have to navigate through it. Do you know that just looking at you could make somebody’s day better? You look so radiant when you feel inspired! It’s contagious! Its ok if you feel shy for people looking at you. Don’t worry, they are in their own heads. It’s ok if you feel shy anyway. It’s ok if you don’t want people to look at you. I respect your desires. You’re a great person. But you don’t have to be great to be respected. You deserve love. You deserve peace.

It’s ok if you like when people look at you, you deserve to be the center of attention. You’re such a fun and outgoing person when you feel like it. Sometimes you don’t and I appreciate that. Everyone needs time for themselves. Some people probably don’t. But you do you! It’s important to recharge from time to time. For you it may mean all the time. Maybe you need to reach out for support. I hope you have your support system. It sucks if you don’t! Let’s try go through this together then. I am so glad we met like this. Through our eyes. Or ears. Maybe fingers. I hope you are having a good day. Or that it’s a little bit better now that we spent some time together. I hope you know your worth. It’s ok if you don’t yet. It could take some time to get there, especially living in the system that is thriving from you not knowing it. Remember it when you feel like you’re not enough. You’re more than enough, you have everything you need to be you. I am sorry if you don’t! Please, reach out for the support. You deserve every bit of it. Please, do. You are valid. You make this world so much better. I love you.

Observation


Friday, May 5, 2017

A day of observation ; visiting a museum.

To see, watch, perceive or notice

Visiting a museum always end for me daydreaming about other artists. Influenced by the atmospheres of the art and people visiting the museum. So I wrote down my observation and daydreams of an artwork in the exhibition of the Kunsthal te Rotterdam.

Cars, motorcycles, egg, hamburger, portraits and colorful vanitas. Walking into a hall full of pictures; was my first reaction of the exhibition of hyperrealism in the Kunsthal te Rotterdam. Coming closer to this images; amazed by the fact that these where paintings.
In front of a painting there was a man saying to his wife; ’Yes, you can really see that this is a painting, because the artist did not paint it perfectly.’ Pointing out all different kind of lines and spots which where not perfect according to him.
My observing of these paintings was also absolutely triggered. How is this possible? Is this a picture painted over? Is it really not a picture? Also searching for spots to confirm that it are paintings.

Rod Penner Rod Penner

Rod Penner 

 

Passing all the work I noticed all the American subjects. Especially the landscapes of Rod Penner ; painter. Staring at his work I found it very intriguing how he translated the light so beautiful in these paintings. Every shade, light stripe and reflection he paid attention to. He is not only painting the landscape itself but also the atmosphere that is connected to the landscape. Not only the houses/signs are giving a clue to the American landscapes but also the atmosphere itself is very recognizable.

The beautiful light and atmospheres of Rod Penner reminded me of two photographers ; Gregory Crewdson and Tod Hido.

2077 Tod Hido Tod Hido

 Tod Hido

 

Tod Hido is photographing landscape/houses in America. He got a amazing series of photographs called ‘Homes at night. Tod is using long exposure and most of the time the only light source is the light from inside the house. He is also searching for very specific moments and houses that are making this series so great.

Gregory Crewdson  Untitled__Merchants_Row__08large

Gregory Crewdson

 

Gregory is photographing cinematic landscapes in small towns of America. He is making beautiful images where he is influencing the light and the scene. It is very interesting how he and his team are building up these scenes and you can see that in his documentary Gregory Crewdson : brief encounters.

Inspired by a day of Kunsthal te Rotterdam
Hyperrealism ; 50 years of painting.
Exhibition from the 25th of January till the 5th of June 2017.

cyber and (un)aware


Monday, December 1, 2014

 

Jacob Jensen’s 1997 waterproof Beowatch (produced by bang & olufsen) was designed as a personal, unisex timepiece that makes telling time convenient and accessible. additionally, it also functioned as a remote control that controlled the volume of later bang & olufsen music centers. this design prompted me to question its present-day relevance in the design exhibition at the stedelijk museum, Amsterdam. over the last two decades the technology industry has undoubtedly grown and so has the way in which people engage with methods of measuring time. it is noticeable that less people wear wrist-watches everyday and the norm has adapted to using smartphones or other multifunctional devices to keep track of time.

this research will further discuss the design of the Beowatch in relation to the myriad of social questions it raises such as today’s security in wearable, intelligent technology and the aesthetics of unisex design.

b&o-image1

few wearable objects are designed to be unisex, particularly jewellery (if we classify a wristwatch as jewellery). i am drawn to the statement this wristwatch is indirectly raising about society’s perceived aesthetics of gender. the design is created as ‘neutral’, an object that is seen through its own entity- regardless of preconceived ideas of masculine and feminine beauty. throughout history, wearable objects or fashion, has had a very divisive characteristic – creating standards and room for assumptions. this design forgoes these notions and is created as its own autonomous form.

balancing aesthetic and (multi)functionality reiterates how the Beowatch was very modern for its time;.Jensen’s approach to design drew my attention as he states “…we expand our concept of…what a watch should look like. the sight of an object does not necessarily have to show its function…” (1994, Jacob Jensen design [paperback], Paul Schäfer). this relationship between functionality and aesthetic is a core issue that designers are faced with.

however, it is a challenge nowadays between technology and its external design. technology is becoming increasingly intelligent with wristbands/watches that gather data to measure heart rates, count steps, give directions, forecast weather, play music, interact with other devices, predict the position of the moon etc  and the visual appeal of wearing this technology. for example with the recent design release of Apple’s iwatch and Google’s glasses there is already considerable criticism on this ‘cyber-human’ image and artificial intelligence we are sometimes reluctantly and often unavoidably accepting.

b&o-image2

Jensen redesigned the concept of a remote control in the Beowatch by making it multifunctional (acting as a remote control and timepiece). similarly, designers today are changing conventional objects into ergonomic designs that fabricate, sync or react together with the human body. there is an evident focus from the technology industry to attach these gadgets and lumped plastic to people especially by getting them onto wrists. of course there are many benefits of having such tools; they are accessible, readily available and can make tasks faster. however, the fact that these devices become so quickly absorbed into the culture of everyday society is blurring the boundaries of our true basic needs.

they are also perhaps just purely adding insult to injury- for example do people need to know how little sleep they are getting? or if they have eaten too much on one day compared to the next? or if they have skipped a day of exercise? this data collection that these devices provide may give us information but it is still not enough, what is more important is the reasoning- why we slept/ate bad and missed exercise, for example. simply knowing these facts without reasoning is the added ‘insult’ to the injury/damage that has already been created. for instance if your watch tells you that you haven’t exercised enough, things that you probably know already, would you change your routine just because your watch is telling you? in most cases, not. there are versatile calculations everywhere, but the problem is what to do with this information and how to interpret it.

it is irrefutable that the pace of technological advancement is remarkable; but this also affords the risk that people will develop a better reading of their technology/ wristbands and lose their sensitivity and awareness in reading their own bodies.

b&o-image3

since the Beowatch, wrist technology has advanced further than the individual, as over the past decade debates have risen over personal security and privacy. it is unknown to the individual how much is known about them through their digital dossier. we are uncertain about where our information is stored or if it is being used for analysis; examples we have witnessed recently include the NSA files, cyber-hacks with phone applications and celebrities, Facebook scandals, Wiki-leaks and much more. these personal items have the potential act as a sensor or tracker, they constantly collect data which are ‘invisibly’ fed to different networks. though this subject may seem far fetched from the design of the Beowatch, the design is relevant as it marks part of the evolution of our technological reliance and dependence. it is uncertain where this line is between the personal object and a device that is actually just a form of data to a bigger establishment.

b&o-image4

the Beowatch nowadays represents a certain phase in design (1993-1996) as well as the literal time. it represents the start of multifunctional, human-fitted technology. though now the object is more about its face than its function, being presented in a showcase at the Stedelijk Museum, it is still highly relevant and raises many direct and indirect issues. As the son of Jacob Jensen said in an interview: “a product which survives the test of time, even when it has been out distanced by technology, contains a concise idea carried out at the right time, and with an aim of thorough reworking” (Timothy Jensen in Jacob Jensen design, 1994, Paul Schäfer). though technology has definitely distanced since 1997, the design of the Beowatch has survived by providing a mark for its time as well as offering insight into how we should speculate the future of cyber-human technology.

 

‘beautiful morning’ ( comment)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When i saw this tag, i felt i needed one. A beautiful morning.

the text described various things, but the interesting part i got out of it was, live life slow, and you will enjoy it the most. when you get fed up by everything else, you should just focus. focus on what is there, and see what it brings you,

what is really there (?) always that question that is there. is it that, what we feel, what we see, what we touch, maybe even what we miss. a slow beautiful morning, will pass by. what will attract our eyes? dirty dishes, stains on the windows, some old clothes on the floor,  the things you knew that you had to do? the things you thought they would stay away, the things you don’t want to see coming, the crack in the wall, crumbles on the table, the flowers next to it, the people outside, the blue sky that is there, the birds who are nesting in the tree next to your house, your nephews birthday that is coming up, your birthday will be soon to, the sun that is getting up, your breakfast that taste’s much better now, the things you accomplished yesterday which you don’t have to do again, your favorite shirt clean and on again, your music on the background, the realization you will have to go outside to go to school, the sun on your face, the train you manage to get this time, and the school that starts your day again. the people who you missed during holiday, the tea in the morning, fresh baking smell trough the school,

Eventually it is the way you look at it, the way you remember it, will feel it, recognize it again and again.

‘Just look at the bright side of life.’

about those…


Sunday, April 13, 2014

uncategorized?

like not black
not white
not even gray
why can’t you define this time?
define define divide define
no category
what about you?
what’s your favorite category anyway?
well, what’s your category anyway?
feel better while categorizing, not this time
no gender, no nationality, no ideology, no what, now what?
no nothing
nothing
nothing
something
some thing
some think
thin thin thin thin thin
line between defined and undefined
they are neutral, they are lost, or just hard to define
that’s it

in the end not such a bad category.

Calcite Stalactite


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In the Wendingen issue, Kristallen Wondervormen der Natuur from 1924 i found this picture of a calcite stalactite. I choose the picture because I did not remember to have ever seen anything like it and that made me curious.  After a bit of research I learned that a stalactite is a type of formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs or manmade structures such as brigdes and mines. Limestone caves, where most stalactites are found, are mainly composed of calcite, a rather common mineral found in sedimentary rocks. Stones and crystals have been a huge passion of mine, for as long as I can remember. The interest started in an early age, as my parents took me, my brother and sister for long walks up and down the coast-line in Denmark. We were looking for fossils, amber, seashells and stones. We never really knew why we were doing it, but it soon got competitive. Who would found the most exquisite one? The biggest? The funniest? And we would carry large heavy amounts back to our house and place them carefully, in an order, on shelves or window sills. My mother keeps collecting and my parents house have turned into what could be called an exhibition of stones and stuff. My father sometimes forces her to get rid of some of the stones, because he says “it doesn’t make sense”, but my mother took me to the farthest place of their backyard; a wilderness of weeds and showed me where she get’s rid of the stones. The pile is enormous. When asked why stones are so fantastic, my mother says: because they are ordinary and exquisite and they look beautiful in the rain. Later I started making animations where I would scan some of my favorite stones and give them simple movements. Maybe they would turn around, or switch back and forth between a crystal and a flintstone. I too like the normality of stones and I embrace that my love for them doesn’t make any sense at all.

m

Wendingen 6-11 1924 Rijksacademie Amsterdam

It’s All About The Spine


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Looking through the aisle of books in the library and trying to find that one book out of hundreds that I could be interested in was a difficult task. So instead of picking out every book and inspecting it in detail, I chose to find a book that I found interesting purely from the spine. This meant I was looking for a unique bind, or a unique choice of material. Both these criteria are too often ignored in my opinion, for example if your book is in amongst thousands of books in a library, with only the spine visible, I think it is essential to give your publication that little bit extra to set it above the rest.

So I came across a small book crammed in at the end of an aisle called ‘Mechanisme’ and it stood out for three reasons. A) It was bound with a traditional Japanese binding. B) It was so much smaller than all the other books around it. C) It was made from a very textural recycled card. It’s no bigger than a CD case, yet it has more character than the majority of the books in the design section. There is something personal about it, as it is almost definitely handmade, so it has a delicate quality to it. So delicate in fact that it is falling apart slightly. To be honest I was slightly disappointed when I decided to check out the contents of the book, although it was made using very nice materials it’s design was far too bland and the actual purpose of the book wasn’t clear, as far as I could tell it was a book explaining the contents of different materials. The cover and general outer appearance gets 10/10, the content however 5/10. But at least it was interesting enough to stand out from the rest.

Rietveld Library cat.nr:


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