HKU Design is proud to present the work of eight alumni during this year’s Milan Design Week, or ‘Salone Internazionale del Mobile’, from 9 to 14 April 2013.
The HKU Design course trains established designers who are forging new connections and exploring new applications both within and outside their discipline. It is not individual discipline solutions that social issues demand, but innovative, applicable solutions. As such, the HKU Design course is in the midst of society. Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Product Design and Spatial Design are the traditional disciplines that present barriers to transcend.
HKU Design exhibits post-graduate work that surpasses traditional disciplines. The curious, dedicated and enterprising approach of the designers is crystallised in unusual material uses. Joost Haas, for example, takes you on his quest to make cardboard seaworthy, Winde Rienstra links traditional crafts with contemporary individualism, Lieske Schreuder demonstrates how snails-excrements is not waste, but a raw material, Robert Glas handles tealeaves as if they were gold, Renée Boute gives spoiled vegetables a raison d’etre, Rianne Mast astonishes the public with her living construction, Judith van Vliet makes even cocktail sticks fashionable and Mickey Philips presents infographics in ceramics.
Renée Boute, Robert Glas, Joost Haas, Rianne Mast, Mickey Philips, Winde Rienstra, Judith van Vliet, Lieske Schreuder
Robert Glas: The Golden Mountain
In early 2012, Robert Glas left for Java, in Indonesia. He bought five kilograms of fresh tealeaves in the tea garden The Golden Mountain, enough to make one kilogram of tea. He imported the tea to the Netherlands and photographed it leaf by leaf. Skipping all the usual intermediate trade steps, he presents an exact representation of one kilogram of tea, in 4,121 photographs of hand-picked leaves. The tea harvested the same day was auctioned on 28 March 2012 for $1.81 per kilogram.
Joost Haas: Tell it to the marines
Joost Haas has developed a new, sustainable material from paper fibre, which is fully recyclable. The material is comparable in its uses with MDF and plywood, both of which are non-sustainable.
During the material research, Joost Haas used the paper fibre plates to design, for example, a boat, built to stand up to paper’s greatest enemy: water.
Joost Haas carried out the research and development for the new material in collaboration with Prima (interior consultants) and PilloPak (packaging manufacturer).
Judith van Vliet: Western uniformity
Walking along the street, if you half close your eyes, in the Netherlands or in any other Western country we all look terribly similar. Not only because we are all people, but also because we move in the same daily rhythms and adopt the same looks.
Judith van Vliet has designed a collection with a uniform basis, the Western suit. From this suit she allows personalities to grow in natural materials, such as wood, rushes and cotton. Her aim is for people to show more of themselves, to demonstrate more of their individual, unique character. This is reflected in the collection.
Lieske Schreuder: Snails
During a snail plague in her garden, Lieske Schreuder developed a fascination for snails. She discovered, for example, that the creatures eat wonderful patterns into paper and that their droppings take on the colour of the paper.
To study snails and investigate the possible uses of snail pooh, Lieske Schreuder built a veritable snail laboratory with various living areas for the snails. So far, she has used the droppings to design floor tiles and thread, but the project is still in the process of development.
In the agricultural sector, potatoes, vegetables and fruit (PVF) are divided into three classes: class 1, the ‘perfect’ specimens for the supermarkets; class 2, with minor defects, and class 3, which deviate by more than 10 percent from the ideal image. The majority of class 3 disappears directly onto the compost heap.
Together with souschef Willem Versteeg, Renée Boute has compiled a number of recipes with rejected vegetables and fruit as the main ingredient. After experimenting extensively with a traditional paper maker, she has also produced hand-made paper from various vegetables and fruit. Both the recipes and the paper can be found in Renée Boute’s surprising cookery book which shows there is nothing wrong with rejected products.
“A room is like an item of clothing; it is a second skin that protects your body against exterior influences”. Rianne Mast seeks a dialogue between a room and its user, with dynamic rooms, as opposed to the static rooms we are accustomed to. She has designed a dome based on a mathematical formula, the Fibonacci sequence.
The principle of the formula can also be found in the biological environments, as in the bifurcation of trees, fir cones and fruit. Changing the shape of the ceiling and the façade provides the innermost part of the room with fresh air or blocks out unwanted sun.
The tone of Winde Rienstra’s latest collection is significantly darker than we are used to from her. She has been inspired by both the Mexican death cult and the ancient Japanese world of samurai and geishas.
In Winde Rienstra’s vision of mourning as a transition phase, which she expresses in this collection, we also see references to the greater shifts in our lives. The natural progression in our terrestrial life, in which each ending it also a turning point, marking a new beginning, just as dark is naturally followed by light.
As in Japanese jisei (death poems), Winde seeks forms that, for her, express the lament and portray this wandering and straying into these borderlands.
In February 2012, Mickey Philips visited the Greek island of Naxos to experience the immense impact of the crisis there. Her experiences differed enormously from the one-sided image of the crisis in Greece presented in the Dutch news.
Mickey Philips wanted to break down the prejudices concerning the crisis and designed Fassaria, based on all the stories, photographs and information she collected. Fassaria is a series of ceramic beakers showing, in a kind of infographics, the top 5 sources of income of Naxos’ inhabitants and their spending limits.