Fourteen emerging Dutch designers showcase their qualities and one-of-a-kind visions at the Ventura Projects show, at WantedDesign Manhattan during NYCXDESIGN from 13-16 May 2016. The public can expect beautifully designed products, cross-disciplinary projects and innovative material research all in one exhibition. Ventura New York – the Dutch edition offers nothing but the latest, cutting-edge design from the Netherlands. Now that a new generation of Dutch designers has taken Europe by storm, Ventura Projects believes it’s high time to present their work to the American audience. A range of subjects delineating the current design landscape will be represented in the selected projects. The exhibition will revolve around three themes: cultural diversity in design, the unconventional use of novel technologies and the use of the design process as a final product. Overall the works are of the highest quality, conceptually strong and made with finess.
Before the 1980s, Holland was primarilyknown for its graphic design. The term Dutch Design started gaining popularityin the late 1980s and was closely associated with a group of Dutch designers who enjoyed international acclaim in the early 1990s. With a minimalistic, experimental approach to design along with a sense of humour, designers such as Studio Job, Jurgen Bey, Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders, Droog and Moooi contributed to the growing prominence of Dutch Design. The world became acquainted with the design culture of the Netherlands through presentations during the Salone de Mobile in Milan. From the earlyyears on, Ventura Projects recognised that the waythis new generation of Dutch designers needed to present their work was not being met bythe mainstream fair of Fuorisalone. After 10 years of scouting and organising alternative exhibitions in Milan, Ventura Projects started a whole new design area during the Salone del Mobile, in the post-industrial district of Lambrate. For seven years now, Ventura Lambrate has been the go-to place for spotting new talent, young designers and conceptual projects.
Courtesy of Envisions
In recent years, the design landscape has changed in line with broader historical developments. Influential schools such as Design Academy Eindhoven and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam have altered their curriculum in response to important developments like the economic crisis, growing cultural diversity and environmental issues. At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition fourteen participants will show their approach to design – an approach that questions the role of the designer in our current time. The selected projects generate new insights, processes and solutions. This latest generation of Dutch designers is both internationally and locally oriented, pragmatic and yet idealistic. Displaying traditional techniques alongside the latest technologies, exploring the boundaries of materials in parallel to craft and tradition, this exhibition shows the answer of Dutch designers to the world of tomorrow.
Carina Wagenaar uses every day elements to uniquely combine and visualize new exciting stories to tell. Wagenaar creates life-size medallions as wall objects that attracts the viewer with its storytelling symbolism. Expressions of feelings, thoughts, spirituality and actuality are translated into these objects. The works challenge the observer to pay extra attention to even the smallest detail.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition Wagenaar will showcase her latest medallion designs, capturing life experiences in behavioral patterns. Within these extra large wall jewels, she integrates every day elements into new, inspiring arrangements. By doing so, the designs invite the observer to a moment of reflection.
Daniel de Bruin has a fascination for production processes and natural phenomena. In his work these two fascinations come together in his products by maintaining a delicate balance between control and chance. De Bruin finds that more and more products are being fashioned by means of an automated process, due to efficiency and quality control. These processes leave little space for serendipity – which is exactly what he searched for in his work. In Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, De Bruin shows the worlds first analof 3D printer called ‘This New Technology’. 3D printing allows products to be created more swiftly and mechanical, yet De Bruin misses the aesthetic quality of handmade, artisanal objects. By designing a relatively old-fashioned contraption that produces almost primitive pottery, De Bruin merges best of both worlds. The machine is powered by gravity and weights, allowing the designer to be directly involved in the printing process.
Envisions is a collective effort of Adrianus Kundert, Jeroen van de Gruiter, Iwan Pol, Sanne Schuurman, Simone Post, Studio Plott, Studio Truly Truly, Tijs Gilde, Bastiaan de Nennie. This group of young designers made a showcase of their research for new products. Showing everything but the final work, the collection of objects offers new insight to different fases that would normally stay hidden. By revealing the steps of the extensive research process that precedes a designs final outcome, Envisions breathes life into initial concepts, allows for unexpected developments in the making process and pushes ideas towards realization. The setup is intended to trigger a dialogue between designers, clients and manufacturers and hopes to establish new forms of collaboration.
Handmade Industrials are Dutch designers Rutger de Regt and Marlies van Putten. Their studio focusses on challenging the production process. By contradicting industrial standards by removing the aim of vast quantities, de Regt and van Putten make unique objects that play with the contrast between industry and craft.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, Handmade Industrials will present the ‘Make & Mold RYB Collection’ – a series of unique hand sculpted vessels and vases, made with a flexible mold and bio-degradable polymers. Their instant, craft-like production technique creates wonky and colorful objects. By using various blends of red, yellow and blue pigments, powerful patterns and fades come to life. The research and experiments of this project created a unique language in form and shape, that tells the distinct story of Handmade Industrials.
Hongjie Yang is in search of new aesthetic possibilities for man-made surroundings. In his practice, new aesthetic references are often derived from in-depth research of promising scenarios that emerge, which range from cultural phenomena to the latest technological possibilities. His aim is to extract the unique quality of materiality hidden in those subjects and seek for thoughtful translations and aesthetic interpretations.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, Yang presents a cutting edge project using biotechnology. In ‘The Primitive Collection’ Yang researches the notion of luxury. Rooted in the idea of rarity, the notion of luxury traces back to the dawn of civilization, from a fascination toward objects made from laborious process or valuable materials. The biotechnology is now morphing our conventional understanding of material culture and production processes. It is offering craftsman a new context to operate. After creating a vase made with a mono layer of human kidney cells in the lab, The Primitive Collection was intended to further search for the aesthetic potential of lab grown human material in luxury object design.
Born and raised in Kirkuk in the north of Iraq, Hozan Zangana was mesmerized from a very early age by the original 7th century Kufic script. With its heavy calligraphy full of voluptuous curves and fat strands like charmed snakes, they almost seem small sculptures or silent shadows of ancient Mesopotamian and Persian statues.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, Zangana shows his work ‘Shaping from Intuition’, in which he researches into shapes of the Kufic script and discovers how the history of the region is told through the hands of the old calligraphy masters. The work can be seen as an exploration of the relation between this monumental writing style and the rise of a religion that prohibits the making of images and sculptures, a religion that has come to destroy so many art treasures. As Zangana reduces age-old cultures to two-dimensional decorative patterns, the original volume that is so important to the Kufic calligraphy disappears over time and leaves the script slimmed down to mere lines.
Rogier Arents is fascinated by science, the transfer of knowledge and the meaning of the image within scientific disciplines. He developed a variety of projects where scientific knowledge was translated into a more accessible visual language.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, Arents will show a project called ‘Heart Calligraphy’, a collaboration with biomedical engineer Bin Yu. As a Chinese calligrapher believes that the mind leads the brush, his goal is to vividly and honestly convey his mind to paper. Inspired by this philosophy, Arents and Yu researched how biodata can be translated into a sensitive visual language in order to enhance self-awareness. this resulted in a biofeedback installation in which the heart leads the brush. Participants explore the physical, cognitive and emotional influences on their physiology, and the resulting prints are abstract portraits depicting the subconscious processes of the human body.
Siba Sahabi shows how cultures can influence one another and how this exchange can lead to new expressions. Her focus lies in the shared history of Europe and the Middle East. Sahabi translates cultural heritage into contemporary design though an interpretation of both historical forms and concepts. These concept take shape in a wide range of centre pieces for the interior- from vases and lamps to room dividers. Through the experimental application of different materials, such as paper, felt and resin, Sahabi plays with the perception of surfaces and structures. At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, a cross section of her work will be exhibited. For instance ’Mudéjar’, inspired by the Moorish architecture of the 12-17th century in Southern Spain, resulting in a room divider. Or ‘Between Two Rivers’ named after the ancient Greek translation of the term Mesopotamia – which was the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of the pottery wheel – shows a series of sculptural vessels made of felt.
With a clear interest in textile design, Simone Post has evolved a passion for material adaption and technique. Her designs evolve around experimentation, material research and a fascination for production processes. She aims to collaborate with businesses on different levels to explore the boundaries of the industry.
On show at Ventura New York – the Dutch edition is her graduation work ‘Post-Vlisco’. Vlisco is a leading producer of batik-printed fabrics for the African market. To ensure its leading position in a niche market, Vlisco removes any material from the production line that fails to meet their standards of the highest quality. Using folding and cutting techniques, Post created patterned rugs inspired by the big rolls of textile in the factory. With endless possible colour combinations, a unique product is created with every rug. This way, what was once waste, now holds value. Together with the Dutch company LABEL/BREED an efficient production method is being set up for these carpets. In addition, her entire process is carefully documented in a book, fully made and published by Post herself.
Studio Jeroen Wand modifies and alters traditional combinations of materials and techniques. As a production method is directly influences the form and function of the product, these are not just means to an end. The work is a result of bold experiments and continuos research. Within this process an aesthetic emerges that allows for an infinite and colorful play.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, Jeroen Wand will present two projects. ‘Phases’ shows multi layered vessels that come to life by immersing them in different mixtures of liquid plaster. The initial vessel keeps its clean design, whilst the outer layers become rough and irregular. Through the contradiction of keeping control and letting the plaster react freely, the material shows its autonomous qualities and capabilities. ‘Paper Chair’ shows a chair that is made of just paper. By pressing multiple layers of paper together in a mold, the material turns strong and solid. Through usage, the chair will slowly tarnish, which enhances its beauty.
Lizan Freijsen is fascinated by fungi and the fact that people attempt to ban all moulds and moisture, spots form their everyday environment. With her project ‘Maintain A Stain’, photographs of moisture spots caused by leakage were transformed into wallpaper and installed in new houses. By doing so, Freijsen brought the beauty and history of the moulds into the home, changing something that is perceived ugly into something that holds value. Next, Freijsen expanded her collection with traces of stains and decay as carpets and blankets. By using textile as a medium, she is able to bring the detailed beauty of the moulds to a new level. During Ventura New york – the Dutch edition, three woolen carpets, a lichen blanket and the original photo-archive will be on show. Lizan Freijsen will be present and is looking forward to meet you.
Studio Rik ten Velden designs with a clear focus on research and experimentation with materials and manufacturing techniques. Ten Velden aims to express the beauty of materials through visible constructions.
At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition two projects are shown to demonstrate this vision. ‘The Knitted Collection’ was inspired by experimentation with a beautiful knitting machine. A removable woolen shades are applied at elegant steel frames constructed in such a way that it is easy to switch to a different color shade. Second, ‘The Knotted Collection’ originated from a visit to the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam, where Ten Velden received a crash course in knotting techniques from senior craftsman. He knotted for three months straight to perfect his technique. Applied in a chair and a lamp, only a single rope is used to knot on object. The forms reflect the maritime inspiration of ‘The Knotted Collection’.
Susanne de Graef is driven by her fantasy and by her will to discover the essence of it all. Starting off on a poetic base, her final designs make a transition through technology. Drawing inspiration from concepts of light, movement and the circle of life, De Graef aims to make a product an experience. At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, her illuminating ‘Rhythm Of Light’ project will enchant with its grace. The designs for these lamps are based upon the shape of a cricoline, a 19th century hoop skirt, transforming an historical approach of grace into a modern day product. Having intrigued viewers since it first came to light as a student project, De Graeff developed and produced an evolved version in new color gradients.
Ward Wijnant is fascinated by special proporties of materials and examines these to come to surprising designs. He aims to merge craftsmanship with industrial applications. At Ventura New York – the Dutch edition, Wijnant will show two projects. ‘Space’ features a curved mirror that functions both as a light as well as a reflection of its surroundings. The light enlarges the reflected area, creating an illusion of extra space whilst dispersing the existing daylight. When switched on, the silver surface becomes translucent and the reflected world disappears. In ‘Twisted’, craft wrestles with industrial strength steel. The furniture is formed by twisting iron bars by hand and bending them into shape. Extraordinary human strength and formidable force are combined in the manufacture. The interplay results in bends and curves that can not be reproduced, producing one of a kind, unique objects.
Designer information written by WantedDesign New York.
With its marquee events during NYCxDESIGN in May, WantedDesign is a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the international creative community at large throughout the year. Founded in New York City in 2011 by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign has established itself as a constant and staunch supporter of U.S. and international design via events, conversations, and partners and its yearly programming aims to nurture New York City’s design dialogue.
Ventura Projects are curated exhibition areas that present the latest developments at the forefront of contemporary design. Each Ventura Project involves carefully selected exhibitions that also feature temporary initiatives, special projects and/or creative hospitality concepts. Whether as a design district or integrated exhibition, Ventura Projects stands out with its focus on content, creativity and experimentation.
NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s official citywide celebration of design will return Tuesday, May 3rd – Tuesday, May 17th. Spanning all disciplines of design, NYCxDESIGN creates a collaborative platform for cultural and commercial opportunities, elevates established and emerging design practices and increases awareness of and appreciation for design by all audiences.
The Creative Industries Fund NL is a Dutch cultural fund that provides grants for innovative projects within design, architecture and e-culture. In addition, it stimulates crossovers with other cultural and social sectors. Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Creative Industries Fund NL has an Internationalization Programme designed to strengthen the global reputation of the Dutch creative industry, build enduring networks and broaden the market. It is this Internationalization Programme that has made the exchange with the South by Southwest festival possible. The Creative Industries Fund NL is supporting 14 Dutch parties who are presenting their projects, products and ideas at SXSW 2016.