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Archive for January, 2009

Objectiefied Bits

Friday, January 30, 2009

Maybe you find it puzzling that this posting about Helvetica and Wim Crouwel starts with an image of Paul Elliman’s “Bits” Alphabet.

Extremes can sometimes meet when you least expect it, and this fascinates me. It became apparent again during the investigation by the FoundationYear C group, into Gary Hustwitt’s Movie “Helvetica” and our consequently visit to the Wim Crouwel exhibit last month at the “van Abbemuseum”.

left: Bits by Paul Elliman, right: Objectified by Build (click images for blog info)

“Bits” was developed by Paul Elliman in the mid 90ties and published in the 15th (Cities) issue of Fuse’s conceptual Font Box. quote: “Language moves between us and the world on patterns of repetition and variation, and a mimetic example of this might be something like an alphabet”
Later, in 2004, it was included in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial N.Y. which made “concept type” part of the established design world.

Gary Hustwitt’s new documentary “Objectified” takes design, and as a matter of fact “Bits” too, one step further by making it popular in the same way as he did with “Helvetica”.

Modernist thinking, or even constructivist-, lays at the base of the “Helvetica” concept and the work of Wim Crouwel, as this first movie on typography has him stated. As a true Dutch graphic design icon Wim Crouwel illustrated this through work, presented at the library exhibition of the van Abbemuseum, celebrating his 70th birthday. A small but beautiful display of catalogues and posters made for both this and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

pages by Crouwel versus pages by Jan van Toorn from publication “Het Debat”

Extremes met in person when Crouwel and Jan van Toorn celebrated their life long controversy with a recurrence of their famous 1970 debate. Functionalism versus engagement. Jan van Toorn succeeded Crouwel as a designer at this museum under the directorate of Jean Leering to manifest in an inspiring cooperation what that leads to in terms of exhibition concepts and graphic design (“Museum in Motion” at the library). Jean Leering also closely work together with Jan Slothouber (read part 1 of C group’s research) at the TU-Delft where the published several internal essay’s on the philosophical and social consequences of design.

80/20/100 © Nijhof&Lee booksellers – Laurenz Brunner, final exam poster

More research was conducted to explore related content or work approach of other designers like, Laurenz Brunner’s “Akkurat”, his successful contemporary remake of Helvetica, Experimental Jetset convicted users of Helvetica, the cooperation “8020100” between Vivid Gallery in Rotterdam and Nijhof&Lee Bookstore in Amsterdam. Context was created by turning the focus on Adriaan Frutiger, designer of Helvetica’s conscientious alternative “Univers”. To further explore the relation to language and image we further focused our investigating efforts on the visual legacy of Charles & Ray Eames, the “El Hema” exhibition/store and Massin‘s timeless publication “Letter and Image“.

With the inclusion of Belgian artist Guy Rombouts the full circle of our focus on type design was completed. The investigation into his visual language concept “AZart” will be presented soon in a separated part 3 C_group posting. This was part II of the C_group research
All researches linked in this posting can be downloaded in A4 format and are also available as hard copy research prints at the ResearchFolders available at the academy library


Friday, January 30, 2009

how would it be to echo somebody?
how would it be to be echoed?
how does it feel, to be allowed to echo somebody?
how sensitive are you to get a good connection to his/her mind or presentation?
hoe does it feel to be echoed by somebody else?
is he/she sensible enough with your thoughts?
should everything be open, or is it better to hold something behind?
are there any rules or lines which should be followed?
i mean… is it really necessary to be always soft and sensible or what would change it, if you would cross the line?
about yourself, it is an easy question, i think you know your inner mine very well?
but how much do you know about the lines of the others?
or how easily can we meet in the middle of that line?

link: Osilloscope

forces at work

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Teamwork – ideas – opinions – help – building up something together

It‘s like standing in a big valley and shouting out your thoughts into the void. Some sounds will bounce back at you, some will disappear in mid-air. This is the big plus about teamwork; that ideas are constantly being bounced off each other to see which ones have potential, and which ones will just dissolve on the way.

This month our team spirit kept up pretty well, but I also noticed that in a good working situation there‘s always a kind of teamwork going on, even if everybody is working on their own individual project. One should always ask for opinions, and always be ready to help someone by thinking seriousely about their ideas.

So, in the spirit of teamwork

Voice of The Gerrit Rietveld Academy

Thursday, January 29, 2009


v. reverberate; repeat a sound; transmit immediately each character received by a computer back to the course as to serve as a confirmation of receipt (Computers)

n. repetition of a sound produced by the reflection of sound waves from a solid surface; (Computers) user input printed to the screen so the user can read it; (Slang) person who reflects on another person; person who imitates another

As I walked trough the hallways of the Rietveld I see everything developing,
objects, drawings, performances, everything is moving and growing.

although the strange thing is that everything looks a bit a like,
exchanged words, moves, thoughts connected, reflected and formed,
into one echo that belongs to the voice of the Rietveld academy


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I was browsing the internet looking for a definition of the word ‘weblog’.
Doing so I landed up in blog after blog after blog.
Each blog having a different opinion and way of looking at the word or phenomenon blog.

I thought about this and realised that this was actually already my answer.
– The people trying to define a weblog, on a weblog. Even though they all have different opinions about it.

“There is no need to define ‘blog.’ I doubt there ever was such a call to define ‘newspaper’ or ‘television’ or ‘radio’ or ‘book’ — or, for that matter, ‘telephone’ or ‘instant messenger.’”
–  Jeff Jarvis

But for the general view this might be of some help.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last week I wrote a posting about a student in the middle of a project, of an exchange of her and other peoples ideas, all seeming fruitful and full of inspiration. This week I visited her again, anxious to hear new developments. She was stuck.

Many artists experience this during the process of making something and a walk around the basic year revealed many tactics in getting back on track:

  • Have a beer

  • Be hungover

  • Go to a junkshop or flea market

  • Make all kinds of small things related to your project

  • Analyze all different parts, what do you want, what does it mean etc.

  • Talk to someone

  • Do something else

  • Find things that are completely non-related.

  • Or just keep on going, stuck is just an idea in your head.

Or do some Automatic Writing, which happens to be also an album of a great band.

Here’s a jam from them, featuring some pictures of your typical inspiration-seeking person.

The Javanees

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Being a Javanees is a very greatfull feeling. That is what this “tribe” wants to do. His name is Marlon Trimo Kromojodo, but he like to call himself Trimo. Why that, because he want to hold in mind the second name of his grandfather who also is called Trimo. He got an idea to create with natural material the cloth of the “tribe”, but he does something different and creates the Javanees cloth.

This is how Trimo wants to look like. It is really a Javanees style to decorate yourself with natural material. That is the identity of being a Javenees. Like the folding leave and decorate also on the head. So Trimo create his “tribe” in a Javanees style, because it is also looks different.

Look at these: or

Animal Imitations.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It was an assignment that started out with body extensions, and ended in animal imitations. The best known or most visible aspect of a certain animal was picked out and preformed by one of the students. I personally thought they did it in a very funny way without turning it in to a joke. My favourite was maybe the video where Timo Rohula tried to seduce Maria Pedersen. Timo wore the best, most flashy outfit he could get his hands on, and danced like a crazy man. All to get some female attention. Like a tropical bird flaunting his feathers.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inspiratie halen uit iemand anders’ leefomgeving. Zoeken naar de punten die jij interessant vind en vanuit die inspiratie twee milieus samen laten komen. Een plek waar zowel jij als de ander zicht thuis voelt. Iedereen heeft zijn eigen persoonlijke ruimte binnen een groot huis en met die gedachte moesten er nieuwe omgevingen gecreëerd worden.
Bij architectuur projecten gaat het voordat je begint eigenlijk altijd om een onderzoek. Over wat voor een plek je wil ontwerpen. Is het een plek in de openbare ruimte speciaal voor jongeren of ga je iets maken voor alleen staande vrouwen.

tile table

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I don’t know why but in my mind, the most strong image of ‘design’ is industrial or product design. For this reason, I had interviewed a friend who has studied industrial design. I liked one of her project which is named tea tablefor 88 persons. She had to make a product with 2 boxes of tiles. She felt the tile seems like pottery saucer so decided to make tea table with them. She made 2m long white tea tabel with tiles and each pieces of tiles have one cup.

2boxes of tiles were 88pieces, so it is named tea table for 88 persons. I really like it’s simple and beautiful shape. It was nice time to me to have an affinity for industrial design which add beauty and convenience on products.

Feminine and Masculine Object Exchange

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The first idea Paul and Elke had, for making an exchange tool, was a contraption that forced Paul’s legs into a manly stand, Paul usually has a rather feminine stand. After receiving some criticism by the teacher, they came with another plan; to combine two lists composed of stereotype feminine and masculine household objects, suggested by members of the class. They plan to make a glass baseball bat and a handbag which could be used as a lipstick that holds a razor blade. Paul and Elke say they are quite handy, so the rest will probably follow soon.

Segregation cultivation

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Many objects are designed to be perceived as clearly male or female (think of Gilette and Venus razors for example), whereas more essential ones (kitchen appliances, electronic media, tables and beds) are made „unisex“. But when we look at the same essential objects made for children: suddenly it’s all either pink or blue!

Why this sudden change in attitude?
Why – in a world supposedly freed from gender oppression – are boys and girls being subconciously made to feel so different from one another by media and toy companies?

Is it because this makes it easier for companies to supply new products, because they don‘t have to create innovative design and can just stick to typical army- and flower-pattern? Useful as it may be to manufacturers, I doubt it‘s good for children‘s self-image and leads to much teasing in schools that could be avoided by parents paying more attention to a less stereotyped environment for their children.
Would a little girl‘s gender identity be damaged if she used a neutral or (heaven forbid) blue notebook instead of a pink one?

P.S.: a bit of ha ha

conjoining bodies

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here the assignment “make a connection” became the inpiration for some reasearch on how to change two bodies into one. How to become a siamese twin. It is interesting to see the new shapes the bodies make, recognizable but totally new.  This project posts questions like; what would fashion look like if the human body was formed differently and how much can fashion form our appearance. It is interesting to think about what effect clothes that conjoin two people would have on our behavior and relationships.

Adapt your body

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Usually your body decides what kind of clothes you will wear, but what if it would be the opposite way – that the clothes would form your body? If a woman without curves would wear a dress made for a curvy female, there would be empty spaces between the body and the dress. What Anniek Mol thought of, was to design an insert to, in this case, fill the holes with. The idea is to be able to adapt your body to the clothes you are wearing. In addition to that it would change the way you look, you would also move and feel differently. This all started from Annieks uncomfort concerning her body, the question is though – would there not be a greater uncomfort with her design? Or is it after all the same principle like the push-up bra?

Link: Nagi Noda

The opinionator

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an opinion machine. In witch you could exchange your opinion for that of someone else.
But how would you make such a thing work?
You could categorize into subjects, such as politics, weither, celebrities etc. But you would end up with an endless amount of subjects.
Or you could leave it up to the opinion exchangers to bring the context themselves.
This to me sounded excellent. You could start out the day absolutely hating the way your hair looks. And end up the day singing your heart out – because you are the best singer in the world.

exchange indivisuality

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let’s go a bit deeper into the word indivisuality and subjects around it. Especially the subject exchange. Would you exchange your indivisuality with someone else? If you would, would you go all the way and even change your name and habits, or is it only about visual appearance? Where is the line between individuality and visuality. Can you see these two things as two different things which can be separated or are the always connected with each other? Is it possible to exchange only parts of the indivisuality or do you have to go all the way? Can you exchange your indivisuality? Or can you only pretend?

The Headpiece

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I was asked to be a pedestal for Jesse Muller’s paper mohawk headpiece.
It was a delicate square helmet made from paper bags you would find at a greengrocer’s shop. It somehow reminded me of all the punk shows I used to go to when I was a teenage boy. All the loving memories I have. Beer flying though the air, people jumping over each other, off the stage, slipping on the beer stained floor, falling, bruising, laughing, the dirty squat houses, the friendly violence, the loud music, singing along. I think it’s maybe the most fun a person can ever have in his life.

posted by Tim Matijsen

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