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Archive for April, 2013

Visual differences

Thursday, April 11, 2013


When we start talking about choosing a book on subjective grounds, we must first really understand what the term subjective actually means. So what exactly does it mean? Subjectivity is something existing in the mind. A subjective evaluation is different for every individual, everybody differs from each other, each of us have our very own personal taste and characteristics. Subjectivity places emphasis on one’s own moods, attitudes, opinions, perspectives, it relates to properties or specific conditions of the minds as distinguished from general or universal experience. One chooses an object mostly based on his or hers own subjective criteria. If you were to be presented with the opportunity of getting one free book out of a library without actually knowing the content inside the book, that would be the moment when you start choosing based on your own subjective criteria, you would start judging the book by the cover, its layout, the colors, letter type, fond, the texture and of course based on your own personal taste and what you find interesting or not, what grabs your attention or not. When I was placed in this situation I started looking at the bookshelves after which I realized that most of the books look basically the same from the sides. Most of them seemed boring and didn’t grab my attention, the few that I actually took out of the shelf were the once that stood out, the once that had a different aspect out of all the other, like uncommon letter types, or a visually nice combination of colors.

The book I ended up with is a book called Nest. and it’s about interior design. I choose this book because it is really different than the others.  When I saw it on the shelf I thought that the book was placed on its wrong side, when took it out I noticed that this book actually didn’t have a side cover. I immediately liked the book, the front and the back cover are the same, dark grey (which is one of my favorite colors) hard cardboard , with big white letters for the title and a small white square with a few words about the content of the book. The cover itself is quite simple and plain, I’m a person that likes simplicity so this grabbed my attention. What I liked most about the book and the reason why I chose this one over all the other once is that this book doesn’t have pages it is actually a long flyer folded zigzagged into a book. So I guess what made me choose the book is the design of the book self and its layout.

Rietveld Library 774.5

you remind me of gold

Thursday, April 11, 2013




Gold. I was thinking of all these gold bars, piled up in heaps somewhere.
It is a material like any other.


You can pile it up, stack it, cut it, bend it, shape it.
When I think of gold I see
stone collections
the earth
and something romantic.
I see things that glitter in the dark, I see mysterious sparkling sources.
Like Anselm Kiefer’s gigantic paintings with small outstanding elements that speak to you.
Like the canopy of heaven and the sublime creatures drawn in patterns over a night sky with tiny flickering lights.
It is all very dramatic.


Like the phrase “You remind me of gold”. I would like to use that phrase of someone. I heard it in a poem somewhere and I like it. I would say that out loud and I would mean it.


“You remind me of gold, you remind me of gold, you remind me of gold”


It is sleezy and dramatic, it is far too romantic, but that’s how I want it to be.
And I guess it’s true that the people I felt love for would in a sense be golden.
After all, gold is just a material like any other and it’s all natural.


It is like this phrase “Eternally Yours”.
I don’t know if I believe in those kinds of words, but in a way I guess I do.
I think I am eternally yours to everyone I ever loved, in a way, and I will never leave them, nor will they leave me, regardless of physical distance or time. That’s how it is with love, I think.


I like small things. Things that don’t speak out too loud, that don’t shout or take place, but keep their integrity. These things intrigue me. They make me want to step up and look closer.
When I think about it I realize now that I have the same preferences for objects as for humans.


I also like black and white photographs, and the slightly worn-out look.
Like there is something forgotten in time, something that is slightly bashed and overlooked. It could be an old suitcase, a forgotten text, a worn-out shirt.
I have a lot of love for these kinds of objects.
Somehow when I look at them it is like they are all speaking to me at the same time,
saying something like
“Hey, look at me! I’m ragged but I’m alright”.

Rietveld Library 770.6-hin-1

What if the content DIDN’T matter

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Already as a young girl I had this specific love for libraries, though I’m scared they don’t love me back that much because I always seem to forget to get the books back on time… But anyway, being in a library felt like an adventurous gateway to all this different worlds and lives.

As a kid you make a decision on whether you like the cover or not, or on the amount of nice pictures in a book. When you grow older, the content starts to matter more and more, until it is the only thing that counts.

So last week I went to a library as if I was six years old again. Not thinking about a topic, just looking around and seeing which book catches my eye. And after some sniffing around, I found it: the book I didn’t know I wanted. On the uttermost left corner of a bottom shelf of the graphic design section, it was hiding. It had a small cover made out of a black fabric, like a luxurious pocket size notebook. But when I grabbed it, it didn’t seem to stop! Thinking it was a small notebook; it appeared twice as long as I thought it would be. Completely black, even the letters on the cover were black. It said: ‘Vladimir Navokov’. Given the fact that I found this booklet in the graphic design section, I would say, it is a rather odd place for a book of this old Russian writer.

The explanation would soon follow, because when I opened the book, it appeared to be filled with beautiful descriptions of fantasy’s Nabokov had when he thought of a specific letter. Each description came along with an illustration of the described letter. It seemed to be a new dimension of learning how to read.

This whole booklet breathes a sense of care and love for detail, a feature I can relay to a lot when I think of my own work. Even the smell is part of it. Exploring a publication on every detail you can find in the cover and layout, but without really knowing the content. And when I was studying this book, on the ground of the graphic design section of the library, I felt like I was six years old again.

Rietveld Library 757.3

The personal problem of contemporary architecture

Thursday, April 11, 2013

This building is one out of a million examples of problematic contemporary architecture. A grey building in a grey country, no exciting materials used, no decoration, not any different from the next building, no ambiance created, no emotion left behind, no warmth expressed, no nothing.

When I took a glance at the design books, my choice was clear rather soon; ‘Contemporary Architecture’. Admittedly, the contemporary architecture shown in in this particular book, which has an incredibly creative title for a book about contemporary architecture, is much better than the regular architecture you can see around you. Yet it will never change my opinion that Bauhaus has stopped any evolution in the artistic field of architecture.

How is it possible that in all fields of art, the artistic styles change so rapidly, while architecture looks almost the same for several decades?
You can’t compare films from the sixties with contemporary movies.
You can’t compare early photography with contemporary photography.
You can easily compare architecture of the 1920s with contemporary architecture.

Why oh why with our modern tools do we still worship the rules of Bauhaus?
Why do we fear decoration? Why do we need to make our homes so practical that we forget its real use: to feel home. Let’s face it; we are not living in a country where it’s a luxury to have a home at all, the use of homes in ‘our world’ is to feel at home. But no, we have to keep it gray, un personal, zero decoration.

Do I have such an untrained eye or do all products of architects look the same indeed?
Is it just what I see or are architects really so conservative? I’d just love to see architecture that acknowledges that a home is more than a frame. Let’s just make our homes our homes again, let’s stop those grey ‘machines for living’, those brick houses with their built-in BBQs, those average-man gardens with one tree surrounded by high anti-neighbour fences.

Ah well, I could probably have approached this subject in a more sensible way, with better arguments and all that, but hey, I am here to write a subjective article about the book that caught my eye – I can’t make it any more subjective than this.

It’s time for a revolution though. Dear architects, grow some balls and be creative, not practical.

Rietveld Library 13053

Hands up here comes the paperback traveller

Wednesday, April 10, 2013





There is at least fifty books on each shelves. Fifty title, and probably as much authors’ name. Maybe less actually if on have more than one book in this section. Go for a stroll among them is quiet random. Your eyes get caught and release instantly. The purpose is not to look for something. The quest without no goal has something relaxing. Maybe the atmosphere of the library is issue from that. A group of lonely loafer in between an ocean of lonely writers. If choosing imply the end of the journey, I might go on a bit longer.

Eyes flying over the cover. Plans among dead trees, I keep traveling. Suddenly I try a different contact, I touch. As the first encounter to this unknown world, my risk is huge. Infinity of lines, cliff to climb up and down. My first handlers is a soft old cover. The time is entering the journey now. Should I old to that?

I must take a precaution. Let’s stay simple and small. The comfort is not something to underestimate in trip. Over the practicality of the diary the relation toward the pocket map is always different.

Bending over, to put it back down. Rock and roll over the wooden shelves. Hold on sailor the storm shall end soon. A riff of page, this might be the end. It cant be that. Not now, the exploration started the dream catcher. The fingers are getting more grip as the training goes on. A ballerina step to the right, and the right hand got catch at the bottom left. Two flip, and a perfect landing on a monograph. But the local topics miss eccentricity. Layers of clouds over paper skin and the way thats getting more fogy. There not wet season forecast, but the time run on my watch. Straight turn to the left and larboard all sailor. Here it is, pocket size and soft paper. You must move rocks to find some precious grass. But the harvest isn’t always a success. But a web start to catch the essential. Title, destination, impossible choices. The hands go down the mine. No pity, scratch, move, rip it off to catch it. The lonely traveler is now isolated.

Unsatisfactory  feeling of beautiful emptiness. No more drift. Camping isn’t aloud on this land. The eyes get back on the track. Catch a pattern, them two. Hundreds of maps in my small hands. The plastic shield doesn’t matter anymore. The balance in the right arm sounds okay. The secret isn’t reveal and the quest over. There is always a next season to picking books. Run, run, booty in the hand and new journey to begin.

Rietveld Library 6247

Styles of Yesterday and Today

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I always had an interest for braids and techniques of threading hair.
I grew up with a Jamaican and Haitian traditions, culture, and food.
The first time i can remember i got my hair braided was on the a beach in Aruba, I was eight years old. They had these braiding hair stands for tourist next to the hotels. And just for kicks, me and my aunt went to visit one to do my hair. It was a Jamaican lady called Paula, she insisted i get corn rolls and since then i was hooked. Every month i would ask one of my babysitters at home to braid my hair. I would always ask for a new style, something different then the month before.
You can imagine how much i got teased at my elementary school, i was the only Caucasian girl with these erratic hairstyles. But i never cared, i love it.
And thats why i choose this book not only for my childhood memories but for its appreciation of the world of hair design and styles. It is a technique that is not easily recognized in the world of design, but if you see clearly it is a design piece and sculpture on its own.
Not only does it take a great deal of time, it takes a skilled and patient hands to work with these complex styles and forms. In this book Sagay describes two different techniques, cornrowing and hair threading, with enough clarity and step by step photos that it is possible for a beginner to achieve one of the styles. There are also many outrageously time-consuming examples that would challenge the most proficient hair stylist to reach new heights of difficulty. Sheer, outrageous fantasy is the only way to describe some of the hair styles, but they are still fun to see.
She also gives a fair amount of historical background to show where and when the hairstyles originated. I was fascinated to discover that some of the hairdressing ingredients used in Africa were oil, charcoal and clay. The faces of the women and girls in the book are serene, joyful and proud. I wish that the book was updated to show current styles and that some of the photos were in color.

Rietveld Library 774.5

Stedelijk Design Show 2013 /Proposed Highlights

Monday, April 8, 2013

19 Rietveld Foundation Year students visited the "Stedelijk Collection Highlights /Design". Marveling at the many masterpieces, commenting on the applied or autonomous character of pieces in this highlight presentation, they arrived at the last part of this "depot salon", wondering what contemporary design would have in store for them and how it would look like. To their regret the presented selection faded out without any opinion on the latest developments in design; social engagement or neo crafts
Researching contemporary design we propose this "2013 Supplementary" as a possible continuation, an imaginary online next exhibition space.

click on images to visit the exhibit



selected designers are: Mark van der Gronden /site • Daan Roosegaarde /site • Tauba Auerbach /site • James Dyson /site • Ferruccio Laviani /site • Mediamatic /site • Leonid Tishkov /site • Jonathan Ive /site • Liliana Ovalle /site • People People /site • Nucleo /site • Faltazi Lab /site • Michelle Weinberg /site


Lost (Wave)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



I choose Madeleine Bosscher’s work at the Stedelijk. She’s a dutch artist from Utrecht, born in 1942. The work’s title is “Golf (Wave)”, it was made in 1971 and was acquired by the Stedelijk the same year. The work is made with cellophane square pieces which she piles on top of each other, they are tied in knots and form a square with a “wave” or a bulge at the top. The cellophane looks like it has aged with time, it’s originally a clear material but in the Stedelijk it has this brown-ish tone. Finally it is concealed in a glass square. I was immediately drawn to it when I saw Bosscher’s work. I guess her choice of material really interests me, also since I like working with similar “man made” materials. Overall, I also think it’s just a really beautiful piece of artwork and unlike anything in the Design aisle at the Stedelijk, which also makes me wonder why it was placed there, among ceramic vases and modern jewelry design.

Madeleine Bosscher’s monumental structures and simple techniques show repetition, light and shade, her choice of material allows optimal luster, brilliance and reflection in imagining. Experimenting with plastics or actually a number of materials without “properties” and “anonymous”. She sees it as a challenge to use “poor” materials, such as polyethylene, cellophane and plastic film.

Upon further research she is unreachable to me. I can’t really find anything about her. I did learn that she used to teach here, at the Rietveld, between 1995 – 1996. I learned where she used to study, teach and some exhibitions she took part of but not much more. I find this in a way, very attractive but in a quite mysterious way. This name is included in the NOA because of the importance for the history of Dutch design. Yet, more details are unknown.

A massive disappointment. I did however find a photo of a very similar piece from the one I chose at the Stedelijk, Golf (Wave), also made by her. A beautiful picture and I can imagine it being even more beautiful in real life. This one is also quite larger then the one at Stedelijk, which makes me more eager to want to see it.

"Five Waves" (180x220 cm, detail), 1973, The Netherlands, Exhibited at the Museum: "Structure of textiles", 1976-1977, Amsterdam. Material: cellophane, technique: smyrna nodes in different lengths

Why can’t I find anything else? I could have chosen anything at the Stedelijk but for some great reason I choose her work, but I  wouldn’t have had it any other way. I did come across a small article though, about this above piece in which I read and learned that she held some similarities with Japanese textile artists, which I thought was very interesting and suiting for her work.
“Her way of working has surprisingly many similarities with that of the Japanese textile artists, not so much in terms of the material, as in the mentality and atmosphere that go out of her work.”

Example: A Kimono, early 1850’s 

Recently when I’ve been browsing through books or the internet I’ve come across many artists using her type of material. For example here is work of artist Karla Black using cellophane.

Necessity, 2012, cellophane, sellotape, paint, body moisturisers and cosmetics
I hope that artist come across Madeleine Bosscher and take inspiration from her. I know I have.


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