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How deep can we go? – The conflicts about problematic issues


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Deepwater – A work created in collaboration between Studio Wieki Somers and Thomas Eyck in 2016. It immediately caught my attention while I was walking through the exhibition of ‘’Change the System’’ in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The work is simple, yet very impressive. It has a strong design in contrast to the other works presented in the same room. Deepwater represents a vase which is a collection of the design ‘’Still Waters’’. Thomas Eyck commissioned Studio Wieki Somers to design a series of objects with the theme “water”. These series are five glass vases and each form a poetic interpretation of the water cycle. The vases represent a topical theme regarding the problematic relationship between humans and nature.

 

LTVs_WiekiSomers_05_Deepwater, Labadie

 

The Deepwater vase is made out of glass filled with oil floating on water. In the centre of this vase a stem with leaves is represented. The oil refers to the disrupted human actions like the results of the ecocatastrophe ‘’Deepwater Horizon’’, this was an industrial disaster that began on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a big explosion of the drilling platform Deepwater Horizon. Studio Wieki Somers and Thomas Eyck wanted to show how conflicting the values are that ascribe our recourses.

But who are Studio Wieki Somers and Thomas Eyck? During this research I posed myself the question what the relationship is between them and why they want to make on the problematic issues of our world society. I also got so inspired by this specific work on the oil problem, that it motivated me to question and think of ideas on how to solve this problematic issue much further.

Back in 2000, Wieki Somers (Dutch designer, born in Sprang-Capelle, 1976) graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven. After her graduating she settled with Dylan van den Berg, with whom she studied together in Eindhoven. Together they started Studio Wieki Somers in Rotterdam. Wieki Somers and Dylan van den Berg focussing on providing an enlightened reading of the everyday movement. Focussing and making sensivity of materials, technological ingenuity and fantasy. They make objects that you as outstander at first have to guess what it is and what they are doing. That is the whole point of what they want, making an art piece with a functional state in it. ”Basically our work is one big quest, one big process. We look at things around us, what they can be and the associations people have. We study customs everyday situations, unleasing our own imagination on them. We make the uncommon common.’’ thus Wieki Somers

‘’As a designer it’s not my attention to make the world a better place, but I’m pleased if people look at the world differently because of my products.’’

People get ideas and inspirations from the work of Wieki Somers and that’s also how Thomas Eyck got involved. Thomas Eyck is a publisher and collector and he devide characteristic and exclusive design products from this time. He stimulate designers to come up with new objects for the daily life. Together they research for different kinds of materials and making new products out of it. This is how the Deepwater collection was made when Thomas Eyck asked Studio Wieki Somers to work together.

So how can you stimulate more people when you think about this collection? And in my case about the oil problem. Because using oil is something we should take very seriously if we think about our precious world. Our nature is capable of breaking down oil itself, but this is going very slowly. The quantities of oil that enter the environment through human intervention are so great that nature has difficulties with it. Of course the place plays a role, normally it is safely stored under the ground but when it comes into the water or on land it is just a strange substance. Just what happend to the Deep Water Horzion catastrophe. How can we clean up this mess if we constantly spill so much oil?

Thankfully there are many ways to clean the oil out of the water. I found materials and information and tried these out. Click in the video below where I used oil, sponge and cotton balls to clean out the oil:

 

REMOVE IT

oilimage

 

Of course this is not enough for an entire ocean, but it’s clearly that we could discover more with materials just like Wieki Somer and Thomas Eyck are presenting. We have to dig deeper and come up with much bigger ideas to solve the problem. There are machines or boats with different kinds of techniques by getting out the oil out of the ocean, but still there will be leftovers and we discover that years later by accident. Of course we think of other different ways to solve this for the future, for example; using electricity. The using of oil are mostly for machines and vehicles and these will run in the future with electricity.

So yes, just like Wieki Somers I would feel the same way by not making attention to make the world a better place, but to encourage and to let people think about these kinds of topics. I think we discovered already so much about materials, technologies and objects to improve our environment. Who knows what further will be discovered in the future.

 

Irma Boom is Patient


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We went with school to the Graphic Design museum in Breda to the exposition ‘Who sets the standard?’. There were lots of nice things to see, and i found a book as well that was made by the Dutch designer Irma Boom that made me curious. It was laying on a table in a glass box, opened on one of the pages. Next to it you could find information on a computer touch screen about the maker and the book. This was also a very nice design, cause it worked very well and interesting to look into, very professional.
I want to know more about book design in general and i understand that this peticular book is a very remarkeble example. The ultimate book. So i’m going to investigate more about the maker Irma Boom and her designs.
The book is made for the SHV Holdings, from origin a cole trading company, but now a days it trades in food and other fuels and chemicals.

The design and the content are about the history of thi company itself but also about the family that owned it for all these years and reflects upon generations of living and working. There are just a few of them made, as the book was meant as a jubilee gift to high executives only. There is even a limited amount made specially in Chinees as it turned out after printing many of them were in china. It has never been forsales so it is quite rare to see one. I got the opportunity to see and look into the SHV Think Book myself at a private home of a lucky owner, and I found out how amazing a book design can be.

It was a great experience to go trough this book. It is a monument for the SHV, a travel trough the time, and it is far from a dry documentation. Irma Boom got into the content of her subject and you feel this. She tells the stories of the company in a playful and inventive way, it is filled with ingenious visual and linguistic jokes, poems, repetitions and personal stories, but because Irma Boom really knows what she is doing and directs it tightly, it never gets to much or chaotic.

THE SHV THINK BOOK

Fentener van Vlissingen is a philanthropist that supports several humanistic projects. When he searched for someone to design a jubilee book, he asked Irma Boom to do it. It was a work of five years and it is a good representation of all the work and effort and love that has been putted in the company itself. Read more as the story unfolds in this linked pdf……….


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