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Reflecting Design Practise

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One of the first things I noticed when I saw the work of Sophie Krier for the first time is that there was definitely a lot more going on than just a simple design. She directly got my intention by a deep video about her grandfather @ Face value [x]. It was really based on reality, honesty, and with so many deep hidden emotions. I thought it was really interesting to see how she doesn’t directly throws it in your face. She is experiencing her work and daily life not only as a designer but also as a human, and a young women with a vision ‘designing is researching’.

Sophie Krier, video still from “Kabouter Revolutie”, 2009

Sophie Krier [x] originally from Belgium lives and works in Rotterdam now. She graduated from the design academy in Eindhoven and regularly exhibits in all kind of famous museums here in the Netherlands but also internationally. Ones like: (Graphic Design Museum, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Luxemburg), TENT, MU Witte Dame, CBK Utrecht, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Studio Makkink & Bey, Li Edelkoort, The Dutch Ambassy, BNO, and Premsela ) Between 2004 and 2009 Sophie was head of designLAB (Rietveld Academie). She lectures and conducts international workshops regularly like the Utrecht Manifest [x] “Kruist ICI” (on social design) which is currently going on. In short, Atelier Sophie Krier develops ‘tools for narration and reflection’.

She is always busy with exploring all the possibilities of the design field, with focus on film, writing and temporary interventions. ‘tools for collective narration and reflection’. Inspiring and staying inspired, always looking for new things. What is designing? When is it a good design?
Sophie uses subjects as: individuals, nature, architecture, the European Institutions, personal stories, languages and economic and social life. Makes and shares images and investigates how they in turn do influence our actions and thoughts
What I really like about Sophie is that she tries to look at everything in a other way, she is researches thoroughly before she comes out with something,. You can really see it in her work. Like the use of very daily subjects but it is very thought true and you get inspired straight away.


Sophie has been doing many different subjects in many different fields,. What is really interesting to see now is that she also works with: new energy and sustainability.


‘A window is my lamp: the direction of a ray of light becomes a chameleon lamp which alters by the hour’.


Sustainability is for Sophie a really big field, and she keeps it very open. She doesn’t only look to how she can bring this into a design, but also how her projects really fit into society, which is really important now a days .

She is constantly searching for a way to be aware in her work, by re using old elements, about what involved the people in relation to the subject need, and if it all makes sense. If not? She rather doesn’t and refuses to do it.


‘How do you bring the things you want out in the open?’.


Sophie loves nature, and you can see that it comes back in a lot of her projects. You do have to search for the sustainability somehow, because it’s not her main theme. If you look deeper in to it, and read her essays [x] you immediately understand that that by the use of different nature elements she is definitely using sustainability in her background

She is currently developing a series of symposiums for museums and researching our experience of nature in The Netherlands. For example, windows as natural lamps which will alter by the hour. Using original wood from old benches, to build new ones.  She is not thinking about sustainability in the first place, but she thinks of what is important and how she can make this work, thinking in a logical way and automatically coming back to sustainability. [x]


Here you can see a more free video of Sophie; playing with nature and temporarily things. Its called: ‘For the time being’.


“Our normal approach to projects is to push things as much as we can to a logical end.’’


If I compare Sophie to me, you could say we are totally different persons with two complete different visions. She is an all around artist and gets jobs everywhere, works in a very broad spectrum, and has formed a strong style during the years. Just putting our works next to each other, you wouldn’t see that much similarities.

However somehow I do really feel connected to her work, but after reading about her I found out that it is not the work I am really connected to. Although I like her work a lot. Actually it is Sophie herself in whom I really can recognize myself. The longer I listen to her, the more it all make sense to me. She makes most of her projects so personal and works out of her deepest deepest self. She shows who she is, her inner emotions, feelings. She has a real strong opinion about what she thinks is right or what is not.

The fact that she is able to express herself so good in what she does and wants in life is something I really recognize. For me it is almost a sort of strict way of working, without following any lines. It just happens. It happens because I feel comfortable with it and than it all starts to work in a sort of circle where you start making more and more, and in the end it all seems to be connected again.

If I look at her video’s they also could have been made by me. The subjects are all related to what is going on in her head at the moment, things that are keeping her occupied and brings the subjects out in the open in a sort of confronting and ironic way. From the beginning it looks all really innocent and sweet, but when you find out what it really is all about, you see that she mocks a lot.
I like the way of honest work, and work with feelings and emotions. They are my inspirations for every day.


‘honest product = honest consumer’


take a look at Sophie at work installing an exhibition and listen to her lecture [x]


Onomatopee & Sophie Krier present Field Essays [X], a new series of journals about the dynamics of design processes


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