This year, Design Academy Eindhoven’s Graduation Show is being held in Campina’s former milk factory in Eindhoven. The industrial entourage provides a raw edge to the work of the design graduates.
Almost immediately after entering, you come across a huge transparent wall dotted with small windmill sails. The Wind Blows (Wind Waait) is Daan Brouwer’s graduation project. The idea is to mount windmill sails on the inside and outside of a wall of a building. When the sails rotate on the outside, they drive those on the inside. ‘As humans, we’re increasingly losing contact with nature, so here I’m creating a link for people to feel something of what’s happening outside. It’s good for people's well-being that nature is also visible and tangible indoors,’ says Brouwer.
Besides this wind project, there are lots of other 'green' artworks on display. Minji Choi, for example, designed a garden with more equilibrium in the dynamic between man and nature. In her work, she challenges the fact that humans consider themselves to be the centre of the universe, and that nature should also be adapted as we see fit. Her garden inverts this idea, and she hopes it will help change people’s attitudes towards nature.
Designer Edwin van Capelleveen believes that loneliness is a growing problem in cities. People make little contact with each other in shared spaces, such as lifts, which is something he would like to change. As a result, he came up with a plan for shared balconies. By connecting all the balconies of a block of flats, for example, people could eat together more often or do the gardening together.
Rik Makes has also designed something that he hopes will make society more inclusive. He developed a method to explain complex theories to the general public. His Theory Materialiser tool helps bring the most complicated topics to life. 'I decided that macroeconomics would be the subject of the first model. It’s a subject I personally know little about, which allows me to be as objective as possible,’ says Makes. The tool provides a visual representation of Europe, including parliament buildings, banks and money. The designer is trying to make the subject more accessible and understandable in this way.
‘Up until now, I’ve mainly tested the tool with high school students, but it could also work for other groups.' According to the designer, it was very clear which element appealed to the students the most: ‘Initially, some students liked the tool immediately, while others were not so enthusiastic. However, once the cash was put on the table, they changed their minds. It’s a good way of finding out what your audience is interested in,’ he laughs. 'Ultimately, it’s about students understanding the subject of a theory, and applying it to their day-to-day life. The exact definition of difficult concepts is then simply less important.'
Designer Willem van Hooff was fascinated by the havoc created by the collapse of the car park at Eindhoven Airport. 'Of particular interest to me was the grid that stuck out of the reinforced concrete. This formed the basis for my designs,' says Van Hooff. He makes works of art for people's homes using reinforced concrete. ‘Normally, these materials are hidden behind the interior walls of a house, but I turn them into attractive works of art.' (Linda Bak)
The Graduation Show is a recurring feature of Dutch Design Week. More than two hundred projects from recently graduated students are on display, ranging from practical solutions for an everyday problem to simply beautiful works of art. Some works are designed to provoke consideration of social issues. Most students are present to explain their work.
The Graduation Show is being held in the former Campina milk factory in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week from 20 to 28 October.
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