October 24, 2018
The Design Academy in Eindhoven has a well-earned reputation for nurturing future design stars. It should therefore come as no surprise that their graduation show is full of delightful and thought-provoking design ideas. Here are a few that caught our eyes. Enjoy!
Few people know that when the natural tannic acids in oak get into contact with iron rust, the resultant oxidation process turns the oak into an attractive shade of indigo. Designer Rebekka Evers harnesses this process by soaking iron wool in vinegar before brushing the rusty solution onto planks of oak, which she then makes into tables and other objects. A beautiful showcase of the magic of chemistry.
See more: Rebekka Evers
3D printing is widely seen as the cutting edge of manufacturing. Fascinated by the similarities between this futuristic technology and the natural process of growing crystals, designer Felix Mollinga created a series of lights which combine the two processes: creating a 3D printed frame around which natural mineral crystals are grown, layer by layer. The end product is an intriguing combination of industrial formality and the randomness of nature.
See more: Felix Mollinga
Indoor-outdoor living is all the rage, but with so many people living in small houses where should all the outdoor furniture go? Designer Frea Zwaag's ingenious answer is to create Wova, a sofa which incorporates two outdoor lounge chairs cleverly moon-lighting as armrests. Just slide them out and voila! Seating capacity is doubled.
See more: Frea Zwaag
Most people hate to be out in the rain, a mentality designer Mirl van Hoek set out to change with the +2 Degrees collection of raincoats. These have in-built funnels, tubes and pouches for you to collect rain water, squirt them at your friends and make puddles wherever you want. And why not? Afterall, global warming is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of rainfall, so we might as well make rainy days fun.
See more: Mirl van Hoek
Designer Jordan Morineau has created a series of wall-mounted LED lights which are powered using a system of pulleys and weights, not unlike a grandfather clock or mechanical watch. Moving the weights or rotating the fixture would generate enough electricity to switch on the light for about 2 minutes. Not the most practical lighting solution perhaps, but certainly a great way to showcase the beauty of mechanical movements and remind us of the value of electricity.
See more: Studio Joachim Morineau
In today's throwaway society it is not easy to establish emotional connections with stuff that we own. Designer Pierre Castignola believes we need to adjust our relationship with objects from "master and slave" to a relationship of "equals". His State of Possessions floor lamps, for example, are designed to encourage interaction and hence mutual respect. One of them would only switch on if you pour it a glass of water, whilst another would switch on if you hang a coat or scarf on it, and a third one switches on when it is tilted at an angle. These lamps with attitude are definitely worth developing good relationships with.
See more: Pierre Castignola
Growing up in a small town in the Netherlands, designer Doris Verlaat had been through thousands of gossipy coffee breaks with her neighbours but yet never felt completely fitted in. Her questions about what is considered "normal" are expressed in an intriguing coffee set. The cups, pots and saucers may look strange at first sight with mutant handles and other parts sprouting out in unexpected places, but on closer inspection all the parts are from the same familiar sources, just composed differently. Thus all are different and yet the same, and vice versa. Whichever shape the cup comes in, the coffee certainly tastes the same.
See more: Doris Verlaat
Natural materials are often sanitised, homogenised and transformed by the time they are turned into objects we use. Designer Sho Ota wants to showcase the natural beauty of materials, especially wood, by turning it into furniture which highlights and exaggerates "faults" such as knots, even creating extensions out of plastic to demonstrate what branches these knots could have grown into. Back to nature has never looked more appealing.
See more: Sho Ota
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