Highlights from Dutch Design Week 2022
Once again, Elementa visited the annual Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, and below are three favourite exhibitions from this year’s edition. The selected exhibitions reflect on the role and agency of the designer, and on ways of performing critique.
Collective Doh (Plan-B)
Collective Doh is a newly started collective consisting of Design Academy Alumni. The exhibition at Plan-B during this years Dutch Design Week was the first collaborative exhibition as a collective. In the words of the group itself, “As a way to respond to the pattern of puking solution-looking answers in front of great urgency, the collective initiates to start from narratives of the individual's entangled reality. Interested in the permeability of literature in their lives, each artist implies the method of essay writing into their design practice.”
Onomatopee: “Design in Conversation” & “Despise design, all bless the Fair!”
This year Onomatopee hosted several exhibitions, including “Design in Conversation” and “Despise design, all bless the Fair!”. In the first Onomatopee invited five designers to respond to questions such as “What should a designer know?” And “How do their different expertises and critical understanding inform their practice?” by crafting an object and reflecting on how they think and work. The featured designers were Bruno Baietto, Ramón Jiménez Cárdenas, Flora Lechner, Eleonora Toniolo, Jannis Zell & Lisa Ertel.
The latter exhibition, “Despise Design, all bless the Fair!” is inspired by the seven deadly sins, and the collective exhibition targeted the monetized culture of design fairs and challenges the represented practices within. Via evocative performances the group of 14 designers presented the sinful side of design celebrations seen from the figurative teachings of Sloth, Pride, Wrath, Envy, Greed, Lust and Gluttony. The included artists and designers were The Ironing Board (Marta Ríos and Miguel Parrrra) (Pride), Hsin Min Chan and Shun-Chih Chang (Sloth), Ned Kaar and Scylla (Bianca Schick and Sofie Topi) (Wrath), James Grünfeld and Flora Lechner (Envy), Bruno Baietto and Sergi Casero (Greed), Xsenofemme (Ines Borovac and Ginevra Petrozzi) (Lust), Alejandro Cerón (Gluttony).
Lastly, The Snoepwinkel took place in a container on the Plan-B area, and was initiated by Ida Blichfeld and Anna Resei. The participating artists and designers were Adèle Vivet, Carlos Sfeir, Chongjin Chen, Clara Schweers, Ida Blichfeld, Meghan Clarke, Anna Resei, Tadeas Podracky and Thomas Woltmann.
In the words of curator, Pete Fung; “Does sugar-coating our designerly critiques make them more enticing and easier to swallow? The design world is so often weighed down with ambiguous exhibition texts, self-absorbed research projects, feel-good speculative proposals and fetishisations of craft. For DDW 2022, we challenged a group of thinkers, designers and makers to create edible design critiques: Some made literally from sugar and its associated ephemera, others looking at the complex social and cultural surroundings of candy: the desire, the addiction, the (un)sustainable consumption, the exploitation, the novelty and exchange. Visitors are invited to lick, suck chew, munch and enjoy the surges of dopamine as the critiques swim through their digestive tracts and seep into their subconsciousness. With this pseudo candy shop, we are interested in reimagining what shapes and forms critique can take within our contemporary culture. How do we move beyond preaching to the choir, inviting others into these often inaccessible subjects as a form of critical engagement with the public?”