Dutch Design Week

The Netherlands

In Russia, where I’m from, everyone is talking only about crisis and politics right now. Some people panic and claim USSR will be back soon — cold war, no one has no food, no internet, no nothing. Some pretend everything will be ok — well, maybe we’ll all be a little bit more poor, but hey, I just bought a new iPhone and went for a weekend in Europe, look at this nice happy picture of me. The truth is, no one knows what will happen next. And everyone is scared, more or less.

Here, in the Netherlands, it’s different. People live their lives, talk about their routines, discuss things that surround them. And work on these things. What colour will these things be, what texture, will they get along with each other. I have a friend here, he’s dutch, not a designer at all. Moved to the Hague a month ago. And he still has almost no furniture in his apartment, sleeps on the floor. Why? Because he can’t just buy anything, he wants everything to look great. If you ask me, I can’t understand this. I was raised different. If you have nothing, you just buy something and then, someday in the future, when you have time, money and it won’t be so urgent, you’ll see. Maybe change something. That’s how I was taught to think.

Anyway, it was the first time I went to Dutch Design Week, and it was something very unusual to me. So many things and all of them so different. Wood, iron, textile, hand-made, hi-tech, all mixed together. Most of the pictures I show here, will be from students of Design Academy Eindhoven. They all do a research as their graduation project, and that can be anything. Lamp, filled with water, that will give light from bacteria that usually lives deep, deep in the ocean. A new method of carving wood. Luminescent textile. Great ideas, great implementation. Most things are prototypes, of course, but they look extremely professional.

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Funny thing is, when you first enter, it all looks like gibberish to you. Strange things, strange models. Why do they do this?

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Why are these people wearing these suits?

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Why the hell will anyone need such skateboard?

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Cutting food in slices as a graduation project? Hmmm.

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Huge variety of chairs.

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Or tables. Or other furniture. Or just random pieces of wood.

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Shoes, handcrafted or 3D printed.

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Textiles, imitating human skin and hair. RGB pixel pattern, enlarged and printed. Same effect — grey from the distance, three colours, when you come closer.  Embriodery. People talking when doing embroidery, a social project, bring different generations together, while learning craft. Just the way it was earlier.

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Some things are less art and more production. Clothes, porcelain, vases, toys.

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Some things are pure art. Huge thing from a cardboard. Go inside, and hundred of rubber balls will bang on these walls in random order and imitate sound of falling rocks.

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Hand-made wooden car.

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A robot.

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Things are things, no doubt. Today they are here, tomorrow they are gone. But what stays, is our ability and wish to work, to move forward. To do something, rather then just talk and complain. To be good at something. Yes, a lot of bad things happen around. But is it a good reason enough to stop being yourself and play into games you do not even understand?

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Graphic and typeface designer.

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