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Graduation Show ’12
Up Close Wide Open

Design that matters exhibited at Design Academy Eindhoven

As a departure from the austere, yet limited, formal language of Design Academy Eindhoven, the Graduation Show 2012, UP CLOSE WIDE OPEN, sub-brand was developed as a tool of repetition, imprinting a consistent graphic voice and functioning as a cohesive thread across this highly varied, immersive exhibition. With seamless implementation across various contexts, the graphic vocabulary is able to embody the familiarity of a memory, appearing in the periphery as a reassuring anchor throughout the entire exhibition experience.
Besides curating and designing the exhibition, we created the catalogue, online project directory, wayfinding and signage as well as the collateral and promotional material for the event.

Up Close Wide Open   A Critical Perspective on Design Academy Eindhoven
By Danielle Arets   ‘Zooming in and zooming out’ will be the central theme during the 2012 edition of Design Academy Eindhoven’s renowned Graduation Show. Curators Catelijne van Middelkoop and Ryan Pescatore Frisk are allowing visitors an opportunity to get up close and almost personal with the designers. Through a series of debates, critical and in-depth articles, documentaries and special tours – concentrated on specific subjects – you will be able to see Design Academy Eindhoven from up close. Very close. In short, the academy’s doors will be flung wide open to all.
‘Step a little closer, and closer still if you like, and yes, of course you can touch the work. But most importantly, talk to us.’ This is the motto for this year’s Graduation Show. For 10 years the show has been Design Academy Eindhoven’s platform for presenting the final projects of all its graduates. And this year, too, visitors will be able to admire more than 137 graduation projects; all of them will be placed under scrutiny. As always, the young recent graduates will be present to answer any questions about their work, but they will also have the opportunity to further explain it in presentations, debates and critical articles.   Using the title Up Close Wide Open, the curators Catelijne van Middelkoop & Ryan Pescatore Frisk are presenting an exhibition where visitors can zoom in and zoom out on the various design projects. They can view the designs from very close-up; the material, the approach and the research process are all explained in full detail. But they can also zoom out and focus on the socially relevant subjects which form the basis for the projects.   And like the students, the school itself is also scrutinized, as well as placed in a wider perspective. This year Design Academy Eindhoven is celebrating its 65th anniversary. Over the past few years the academy has made a name for itself with the great number of talented designers who have gone from a convincing start to having it made in the international design market. Over time, the school has also been given a number of ambitious nicknames, from the School of Cool (Time Magazine) to a School of Excellence (Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk). The design world is always making new demands on design education. Design Academy Eindhoven is taking its role as an excellent academy seriously, and does not shy away from the debate in this process of social reformation, sharing its thoughts on how best to prepare the designers of the future through design education.   The curators have been able to lift the school’s critical and probing attitude to key level during Dutch Design Week. This year’s Graduation Catalogue, for instance, will not only give an overview of selected graduation projects, but the sizable book also provides additional content to interpret the work. All the graduation projects are presented in a similar way in the exhibition, i.e. by exhibiting and questioning the work. Each day of the exhibition will be centered on a central subject, a pressing issue in society that plays a crucial role in the future of design education. The issues will be explored based on the graduation projects, critical debates, a daily guided tour and background information.   The Program:
The Opening Weekend   During the opening weekend (opening: Saturday 20 October) visitors can learn about the history of Design Academy Eindhoven. Dr. Ronald Jones will speak about ‘The 65%’ and how education is moving from Knowledge Production to Wisdom Creation. This process of transformation which is currently also underway at the school will be expounded via a debate on design education. On Sunday 21 October we will be exploring the subject of social design. What is the significance of designers’ increasing involvement in the design of social processes; what, for instance, can they contribute to health care? But also: how do we address the question whether it is possible in our times to be anti-social? As an example Noortje de Keijzer has created a knitted boyfriend as a safe and informal friend who does not require talking to. Jan Boelen, Head of the Master’s course in Social Design, will be giving a lecture this Sunday on the usefulness of social design, and he and a number of design researchers from the Strategic Creativity research unit will be setting up a special ‘care’ design tour past the various graduation projects.   Design As Second Nature   On Monday 22 October the subject ‘second nature’ will be tackled, especially the relationships between designers and biologists, physicists or chemists, and the consequences human intervention can have for nature. Laura van Os, for instance, has developed an ecological pesticide based on rhubarb to battle the Varoa Mite, arch enemy to the bee. Internationally famed bio-designers like Daisy Ginsberg, William Meyers and Koert van Mensvoort will be discussing a number of graduation projects with graduates and alumni. The experts mentioned here will also compile a design tour for this day that will include work which illustrates this second nature.   Measurably Better   The following day, Tuesday 23 October, will focus on data visualization. The special design tour ‘The Quantified Self’ will reveal how designers are zooming in ever more closely on the user and creating designs with which people can take a close look at themselves and come to a self-analysis. As an example, in his Life-Patterns-objects Bram Amendt has explored how personal sounds (e.g. a person’s own child) or ambient sounds can be transformed into shapes. It has resulted in a surprising interplay between the aural and the tactile world. By contrast, in his project Measuring more to feel less, Michael Boulay is wondering if all this measuring always leads to the desired effect. Measuring equipment for sufferers of diabetes, for instance, can bring on substantial additional stress, which in turn adversely affects blood sugar levels. He believes that more intuitively oriented measuring equipment may offer a solution.   Nourish-ing   Wednesday 24 October will be the day of Bread and Games (panem et circenses). There will be some tasty and cheerful presentations on the menu that day, featuring a contribution from the spectacular chef-performer Andre Amaro. Yet there will be no lack of critical appetizers on this day either. We will be taking a look at some pressing problems in food supplies, but also at the changing relationships between cities and the countryside. Marloes van Bennekom graduated by creating an Outdoor Pharmacy with which she intends to express the relationship between nature and disease. In our everyday environment we can find a host of medicinal plants and herbs; Bennekom wants to point this out with her pharmacy. Based on a similar thought, Maaike Schuitema has created a Food Pharmacy which offers our daily ration of fruit and veg in the shape of medicine. DAE tutor Ester van de Wiel will explore new ways of practising urban farming and take a more in-depth look at our relationship with the urban environment and the countryside in a talk with students.   Twitterature   Many designers may be visuospatial thinkers, but a growing number of graduates is becoming involved in the ways in which design is discussed in talks, blogs and tweets. On Thursday 25 October we will therefore be tackling design writing and blogging. As an example, in het project Anonimus et Libertas Eva Storck points out the anonymity of blogging, which she believes is debasing public debate. The extreme views and personal points of view expressed anonymously through blogs rarely lead to clarifying new insights. Roy Verbakel is also asking a few critical questions about new media, but in his case he focuses on the lack of physical tools. He has developed a special ‘brain pen’ with which he is drawing attention to ‘the thinking hand’; the idea that a thought process develops alongside the physical act of writing. During the afternoon, the platform Design Debates (an initiative taken by Design Academy Eindhoven with MU, Onomatopee, Premsela, Capital D, Stichting Alice, and Krabbedans) will be organizing a debate at the Designhuis, centered on the question How much design can we digest?   E-value-ate   In times of crisis it is especially wise to consider the question what your added value as a designer can be; more importantly, especially when times are rough, there will often be a tension between following your ideals and earning an income. What would be a smart way of manifesting yourself in a shrinking market? On Friday 26 October we will be following a number of students and alumni who are visualizing this tension, and a range of self-made designers will show us how they managed to sell their stories. Some of them will present a finished product that is instantly ready for introduction (during a boom), others will invest in long-term projects (often out of idealism).   There will also be a conference on Friday of the four-year research program CRISP (Creative Industry Scientific Program). A program in which Design Academy Eindhoven is collaborating with the three Dutch Universities of Technology, the two Amsterdam universities, and 60 businesses. Designers, researchers and R&D teams from the businesses are joining forces to set up a research project. What is the role of designers in such interdisciplinary teams and how can we best align design education with the situation in practice?   Design & Context   During the closing weekend we will be zooming in on ways of presenting the different forms of design. What would be the best way of bringing design-based research into the limelight? Our curators, Van Middelkoop and Frisk, will be present themselves today to elaborate on the added value of their layered approach to curating.   With the programe as described above, Design Academy Eindhoven is focusing on a critical line of approach during Dutch Design Week. A healthy attitude that has remained unchanged over the past 65 years and that may well be the very thing that represents the school’s unique excellence and strength. The academy’s graduates invariably acknowledge the fact that the school has helped them master a specific attitude to their work, or better still, to life. One that is socially involved, and characterized by an ongoing search for ways to shape our day-to-day lives and to play a significant role in this process by coming up with inspiring, challenging or critical designs. Or, as the subtitle of this year’s catalogue phrases it so aptly:   137 individual perspectives, engaging aspects of contemporary life with the intent to transform our shared future.

Links

Graduation Show 2012 Website

Graduation Show 2012