Product design is a mainstay of any design school, but we are consistently impressed by the ability of Design Academy Eindhoven graduates to elevate product design to a much more conceptual level, creating products that are clever, thought-provoking and often surprisingly delightful. Here are a few from the 2017 class which caught our eye.
Bored of bags that are all utility and no style? Marjolijn Senders comes to the rescue with the Urban Wicker collection of bags, which are inspired by her mission to bring together traditional craftsmanship and modern industrial techniques. Her chosen materials are natural wicker, well known for its tensile strength, and industrial polyester, which are woven together to create an integrated fabric combining the strengths of both. The resulting bags, which include a rucksack and a shopper, look like space-age baskets and are sure to turn heads.
See more: Marjolijn Senders
Child geniuses (and how to create them) was on the mind of Kristaps Politis when he came up with the idea of Printstrument, a 3D-printed modular musical instrument. The idea is to create a fun and incentivising musical instrument which can increase in range and complexity with the addition of new modules as the child becomes more proficient. Sounds wonderful to us!
See more: Kristaps Politis
Belgium is well known for many things: chocolates, Eurocrats and the blackest marble in the world, which is mined from the quarry at Mazy. Florence Louisy is impressed by the high thermal inertia of this unique material and designed a series of products which capitalises on its ability to absorb and retain heat. These include a "mural" which, when mounted above a fireplace, helps to deflect and radiate heat long after the fire is out; a stool with the black marble as its seat, a bed warmer and a dish warmer.
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Technological progress may have vastly enhanced our capabilities, but we sometimes need to be brought back down to earth and be reminded of our limitations. Designer Thom Bindels tries to do so by creating three tools inspired by philosopher Hannah Arendt's definition of "active life". The futility of "Labour" is demonstrated by a wheelbarrow that automatically ejects its contents; "Work" (and our desire to leave our mark in the world) is represented by a shovel that compresses soil into blocks; whilst a double-armed sand drill portrays "Action" and the need for collaboration in our daily lives. Thought-provoking and very hard work.
See more: Thom Bindels
In a bid to modernise the ancient craft of marquetry, designer Dita Pane created a series of plywood panels decorated with inlays using other inexpensive woods, all manufactured with the aid of laser cutters and CNC machines. The end results look fresh and contemporary and would work well for furniture or decoration.
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Simone Smelt is an interdisciplinary designer fascinated by our perception of space. The Speculum soft tone mirrors create an illusion of space with a captivating "worm hole" effect which changes course when you touch the mirror. Beautiful, poetic and no doubt very good for taking selfies.
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Netflix and video-on-demand may have turned every living room into a centre of entertainment but nothing quite beats the romance and full sensory experience of watching a movie at the cinema. So, in an attempt to tempt us off our sofas, designer Milan Tak has created a mobile cinema to take the movie experience to the road. The is essentially an Art-Deco style trailer complete with screen, projector, sound system and, of course, a popcorn container, all attached to a bicycle. Perhaps not the best option for viewing quality, but definitely full marks for fun.
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Thomas Van Der Sman one day discovered the delights of the industrial extrusion welding gun and decided to showcase what it can do. He ended up creating a ping-pong table out of polyethylene sheets which have been welded together using a unique orange weld. The end result is not only very stable but is also graffiti-proof and fully recyclable.
See more: Thomas Van Der Sman