G18, stands for the 18th edition of the graduation show, one of the main presentations during the yearly Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The 208 projects from 185 graduates – and over 11 miles of power cable to get everything wired – demonstrate the scale of this year’s presentation by the students of the Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE).
For the first time, the exhibition takes place at the Campina site instead of the “De Witte Dame” academy building which has become a familiar visit for its audience. Until 2020, the DAE’s graduation show will enjoy this larger venue while the former dairy factory site is being transformed into a residential area. Next door to the Robot Love exhibition we took a closer look and put together a selection of projects. With 185 graduations this is far from complete but meant as inspiring extract in ten projects.
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The Condition of Air
Instead of using new resources, Italian designer Michaela Segato focuses on rethinking and reusing what is already available, and often overlooked. Inspired by the abundance of short-lived inner tubes she started an investigation into the possibilities that go beyond its traditional use. With an intuitive and playful approach this overlooked resource made of vulcanized rubber is turned into inspiring objects through bonding, restraining and cutting. An almost athletic exercise to stretch both the material and our way of thinking.
The Arson Archive
The Arson Archive is one of the most confronting contributions at the G18 exhibition. Thomas Stratmann presents a record of arson attacks against refugee and immigrant accommodations since Germany was reunited in 1990. With over 400 burnt scale model shelters chronologically sorted in shelf systems, he turns abstract numbers into a tangible reality. Each burnt house is labeled with the time and place of event.
By confronting people with the ugly effects of growing nationalism and xenophobia, he aims to show that the need to protect against violence is as urgent today as ever.
MOCA Ceramic Research
Carla Joachim and Jordan Morineau, two French designers graduating in Eindhoven, present an alternative approach to working with ceramics. A dripping machine allows liquid clay to drip trough a nozzle on a rotating platform. The self-made tool is slowly rotating a curved mould allowing the liquid clay mixture to come together. After drying, thin and fragile shapes are revealed with a unique aesthetic. They started of with dripping graphic patterns but discovered that the strength of the material is enough to create these beautiful, fragile, pieces of ceramics. What’s next? After their graduation project they decide to stay in Eindhoven and continue their design works as Studio Joachim–Morineau.
These various shoe models are all made of a single thread of polyurethane. Inspired by the way spiders weave their web, French designer Martin Sallières experimented with 3D-weaving techniques, creating a similar structure for footwear design. The polyurethane mesh is created with a back and forth movement along the shoe mold and will keep its shape after heating the result. Unlike the common multi-material sneakers which are hard to recycle, this could become a promising alternative for the future.
Better To Transport Bike
With the Better To Transport (BTT) Bike, Thomas Hoogewerf wants to provide a transportation alternative made of recycled plastic in Mexico City. During his design internship in this mega city, he experienced a combination of traffic jams and noticed large amounts of wasted plastics ready to harvest. This lead to a clear solution for Thomas, saying: “Since I’m Dutch, it only felt natural to introduce a bike”. By making the design freely available on Wikipedia (BTT BIKE page) anyone should be able to build this bicycle, or suggest improvements. With this project he presents an interesting approach to urban mining and demonstrates how large cities can become valuable sources for future materials.
For designers, kitchen tools and processes are a wonderful source of inspiration. Swedish designer Erika Emerén took a closer look at the creation of Spettekaka, a traditional Swedish cake which is made by piping batter on a rotating tube (warning: googling this process might get you dizzy). By replacing the dough with clay, a crafty decorative technique from the Swedish kitchen becomes the starting point of a new form language in ceramics. Erika’s vases challenge the rather minimalist world of Swedish design with an enjoyable dose of folklore tradition.
Made with Pleasure
When we first saw this piece of work we thought someone forgot his bazooka. Fortunately, this project is less about conflicts and more about pleasure. Romain Kloeckner‘s Made with Pleasure stands for adding a fun factor to the monotonous tasks of the factory workers that might be manufacturing the things like designing and users like using.
In short, choose your clay, load up the gun and experience the thrill of hitting the target on the wall — which happens to be a mold. Watch this video to see how it works and Romain pulls the trigger.
When Dan Porat hands over an unusual piece of wood we are impressed by its lightness. We learn that this wood-like material comes from Tamar which is Hebrew for date palm tree. So far, date palm trees are grown mainly for their fruits which are enjoyed all over the world. Dan visited the date plantations and believes it makes sense to explore the wood-like resources of the palm date itself for construction and woodwork. He created a video showing the everyday life at the plantations and created a series of objects to demonstrate the materials qualities.
#akkt Instagrammable Activism
If you want to reach a lot of people, a photo posted by an influencer with millions of followers can be more effective than a street demonstration. With this in mind, Mariska Lamiaud proposes a campaigning method to support NGOs in spreading awareness by designing special objects that are designed to be photographed, liked and shared on Instagram. These products have bright colors and eye-catching designs such as this giant blue whale that can highlight issues such as plastic pollution threatening marine ecosystems. The hashtag #akkt will show you what happened so far.
The last piece of work we see before we leave the exhibition halls is an inflated blue chair that seems to be familiar. When we get closer, we realize that Baptiste Labat has manipulated the iconic Thonet bentwood chair with 3D animation tools. With this physical chair he is stretching the boundaries of our physical world by rethinking iconic designs and giving them a new look and feel. With this chair, Baptiste demonstrates that the impact of digital creation is not limited on screen but should find its way on stage.
If you missed this year’s Dutch Design Week and want to read more about the graduation show you can still find an online summary of all 208 projects at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Alternatively, you might consider getting the English catalogue of the graduation show, a great piece of graphic design by Studio Joost Grootens (see video preview).