Dutch Design Week – Student Work

The Dutch Design Academy graduated 171 students this year, and one of the perks is that they get to exhibit their senior project at Design Week.  With 250,000 attendees (DDW’s figures), this is a powerful draw to keep students in the area through the end of October.  I talked with one student who had graduated in January and stayed in Eindhoven for the last 10 months just so that he could exhibit at the Design Academy exhibition, which is just one part of the overall Design Week.

DDW 2016 - Wood Veneer as structure
Dutch Design Week 2016 – Elliot Kendall and Charlotte Pommet

And as you can expect, student work is student work.  Flawed, naive, and immature all describe the work in this part of the exhibition, and as they get more experience, they will become more fully formed, their work will progress, and some of them will become the new design leaders in worldwide design practice.

The piece to the right was strictly an exploration of using wood veneer for structural applications by two students (Elliot Kendall and Charlotte Pommet) working collaboratively.  Interesting work, compelling in its simplicity and its industrial application as well as its form.  I think this is the germ of an idea that will age well and develop into something more.  They experimented with veneer in these ribbon forms, as well as with rolled tubes and laminated D-shaped modules.  Maybe furniture….

Some of the students were experimenting strictly with form or with function –

DDW 2016 - sorting surfaces
Dutch Design Week 2016 – Hayo Gebauer

This is a series of surfaces in color and shape designed to hold multiple objects for display.  A graduate from Braunschweig University of Arts, Germany, Hayo Gebauer then moved to Eindhoven for his masters program, graduating this year.

As I walked among the displays, I thought about the diversity of work, the teaching that goes into the program, the pool of students available to the school, and wondered why we don’t have more of this in the US.  Certainly one reason is that the Dutch and EU governments partially fund this education.  But on reflection, I think it has to do more fundamentally with the way the school thinks about design education, and how our schools approach the same subjects.

More of that later. Now to some design work I have been putting off for far too long.