Going Dutch (Design Week 2012)

by Stefmanovic

Today we went to the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The original plan was to go early in the morning so we could see as much as possible. I’ve been going for several years (2 other ones to be exact), and each time I came back with some sense of inspiration to do something cool (and ending up not really finishing it).

However… The plan sort of changed, met up with Aldrin in Delft last night. Lamenting this country’s hostility towards anything slightly intellectual and pondering if we are actually moving towards ideocracy. We escaped the city, taking a train to Rotterdam. Back in the city that never changes we ran into Martin, my fellow neo-contemporary destructivist. After some beers, smokes and more beers we returned to my place to have some more beers.

Closet architect that I am, we ended up talking architecture and showing each other our inspirations and works. It resulted in us building a plan (more on that at a later time…), which prevented us from going to bed in time in order to wake up early to go to Eindhoven. We ended up discussing, drinking, brainstorming until 6 in the morning. Of course under the influence of The Big Lebowski.

We wake up, late, we step outside, right into a 1 minute hail storm, then rain, then no more rain but cold as fuck. Summer’s over kids! We miss our train, we lose Martin, we miss our tram, we miss the train again and then almost miss the next train because we had to get pizza from the Turkish guy behind Central Station.

So we finally arrive in Eindhoven, the plan was to be there around 10:30, we ended up there at 13:30. Not such a big deal.

In short, Dutch Design Week 2012 was…cute. We ran into Delilah and her brother, nice to see her again.

The Design Academy had some science fiction project which would normally get excited, too bad the execution of the project was rather disappointing. The project’s called Under Tomorrow’s Sky and it’s basically a fictional future city. This sort of thing normally gets me really, really…well it gives me a metaphorical boner. Looking now at the website I’m actually thinking it’s rather cool. However, at the exhibition it did not feel that way. It left me with a feel as if it was randomly put together, as if the creators just collected some random scrap from various authors, designers and even completely random children and crammed it together.

On the other side of the building we were lured by something ‘Play the Future’. I was hoping for something rather interactive, something… Special, and better executed than the previous thing. We ended up being lured into the academy’s library to a closed basement with a television screen playing fragments of Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis. The exhibition area contained several projects. Some interactive architecture thing that didn’t work, robot designs we’ve seen a million times before and television screens with stuff you don’t really have the time for unless you stay the entire week in Eindhoven. There was one really cool project though, namely ‘Bulletproof skin’ by Jalila Essaidi. Just follow the link if you want to check more about it.

We went outside again, Delilah left, me and Aldrin continued to the Nano Market. The Nano Market is basically one of those old mobile supermarket trucks filled with concepts of futuristic products made by designers. Normally they have cool new stuff. This year however, we could witness regurgitation. There were some new products though, but they left me with a sense of emptiness and understanding for those who wish to destroy the Western world for the evil decadence that it is.

If it were up to these designers, menopausing women will menstruate pearls, basically turn them into oysters. Dogs will shit colored poop, that way you morons on the street will see the feces better, and it will be absorbed into nature quicker. In other words, it encourages stupidity from both dog owners (who should train their dogs to shit next to a tree or something) and people in general (who refuse to look where they’re walking). Then there was lipstick which contains 24 karat  gold, giving your lips the bling they need. Once again the microwave wine was pulled out of the shelves. This is actually a nice one, but it has been exhibited two years in a row now (making this the third year). You basically put the wine in the microwave, depending on how long it’s in there, the type of wine changes. So you could get Merlot, Sauvignon, etc. The last piece I noticed in their folder were the ‘placebo bullets’. It’s basically for those of us who like to shoot people but are too much of a sissy to deal with the traumatic event of murder. Placebo bullets allow you to shoot your friends without killing them. Fun stuff!

We picked up Aldrin’s girlfriend Daphne and went to check out the architecture department. Most cool stuff normally happens there. But even the architecture department of the Technical University of Eindhoven couldn’t get me excited. We wandered around the city some more, freezing our asses off, after which we checked out some more design. Some of it interesting, others not so much.

In the end I felt a bit let down. I know not every year can be truly glorious, but this just felt like regurgitation and decadence. I wonder when and where we will see some new groundbreaking stuff.

Any suggestions?