November 07, 2019
The Design Academy Eindhoven is a reliable breeding ground for future design talent. This year's graduation show is no exception. Here are our favourite furniture projects.
PAUL COENEN - BORDERS OF ASSEMBLY
Materials provide an endless source of inspiration for designers. In Paul Coenen's case his weapon of choice is industrial sheet metal, well known for its strength and flexibility. These are laser-cut, bent and inserted into slots to realise three-dimensional designs, which rely on the inherent tension of the metal sheets to hold the objects together with nary a screw, bolt or sweaty welder in sight. The resulting bench and shelves are not only clever but also exude a cool space-age vibe. Ikea - take note.
See more: Paul Coenen
CARISSA TEN TIJE - BOTTOM ASH
As far as materials go, bottom ash, which is the residue left after household rubbish has been incinerated in waste-to-energy power plants, is about as unglamorous as it gets. But not for Carissa Ten Tije, who develops techniques to turn bottom ash into a terrazzo-like material, which can then be used to make benches and other furniture. This act of recycling the waste material from another recycling process is no empty green gesture - afterall on average the waste from every Dutch household creates 57.5 kg of bottom ash. That's a lot of benches.
See more: Carissa Ten Tije
MICHELINE NAHRA - A DINNER FOR ONE
Another common theme amongst designers is the desire to evoke a sense of place. Inspired by the constant building and rebuilding of war-torn Lebanon, designer Micheline Nahra deconstructed a large table and four chairs and used the materials to construct a small table and one chair. These beautifully crafted items of furniture feel rather otherworldly and melancholic, heavy with memories of past family gatherings and a sense of displacement.
See more: Micheline Nahra
FEDERICO ROSA - ACQUA ALTA
From strife-riven Lebanon we travel to the flood-prone city of Venice in Italy, where the infamous acqua alta (or high tide) regularly overcomes homes, shops and restaurants with inches of water. Designer Federico Rosa draws attention to this environmental plight with a series of tables and chairs which have bronze-tipped legs featuring barnacles, seaweed and other detritus commonly brought in with the floods. This is a witty and thought-provoking reminder of the effects of climate change and a perfect souvenir for the homesick Venetian abroad.
See more: Federico Rosa
GIANMARIA DELLA RATTA - PASTA SHOOTAH
Italy is renowned for its deep historical heritage, great design and, of course, its amazing food. Inspired by the humble pasta, a culinary icon which arguably touches the Italian psyche more than anything else, designer Gianmaria Della Ratta has translated the extrusion process used in pasta factories to new materials and created tables, chairs and accessories which look remarkably like last night's dinner at your local Italian restaurant. Conversely, he also borrowed 3D printing technology from the design world to create some rather unusual looking pasta in partnership with a Michelin-starred restaurant in Eindhoven. A deliciously inventive way to explore the complex relationship between food, design and national identity.
See more: Gianmaria Della Ratta
LUIZA GUIDI - MAYA
Artists and architects throughout history have been inspired by the way light can transform colours and atmospheres. Designer Luiza Guidi aims to follow the footsteps of acknowledged masters of light such as Tadao Ando and Luis Barragan with the Maya light, a rectangular metal frame with an inbuilt LED strip which is fixed to the wall on one side. The frame can be opened or closed like a window, which changes the angle of the light and the shadow it casts on the wall, creating a three-dimensional light sculpture which is beautifully evocative.
See more: Luiza Guidi
BORIS BRUCHER - HOMESET
A pervasive theme amongst the works of this year's graduates is the impact of social media on everyday life. Designer Boris Brucher, who is clearly in tune with millennials, points out how platforms such as Instagram and Airbnb fetishise design classics in images of ravishing interiors which are eagerly consumed by people who are ever more removed from experiencing the real objects. He has created a number of "chairs" by printing images of design classics onto cloths which are then draped over structures constructed with scaffolding poles, thus highlighting the yawning gap between what looks good in an image and what feels good in reality. Images of these "chairs", ironically, will probably do well on Instagram.
See more: Boris Brucher
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