Our world rapidly changes and with it the position of the designer. But how to work in a world of abundance that screams for less products, less new, less more? What do you create as a designer in this world that screams for making sense, new strategies and different positions? The position of the designer is more and more that of a hybrid who works in many different contexts: industrial, architectural, handmade. Working in each context has specific social impacts on global or local levels and to realise products, projects and solutions that are clever, these have to connect to all kinds of realities. To operate successfully, knowledge of the context that you work in is needed with an understanding of the strategies, politics and history that are part of it.
For me design can be fun, but a designer is not a decorator and no longer only involved in the design, but critical and actively engaged in design processes and strategies to design products and projects with impact. Being a designer and producer myself and having seen the struggles of craft and industrial companies, retailers, communities, galleries and users over the years, allow me to combine different realities to solve complex holistic puzzles and implement new design strategies. This is what I like most of all today.
At Design Parade Hyères 2022, small settings of works are shown in the 'piscine' that came about in the different stages of my career. They are accompanied by the frugal films, animations that show a part of my work that is not always visible in the final results: efficient materials use. In the 'squash' REX is presented. As in the frugal films, the aspect of reducing plays a role here as well. It is not only about the design of a chair, but also about the world behind it: the strategies to reduce waste and material and to optimise reuse of valuable recourses. REX is the first Dutch deposit chair. A process and communication was set up that I was heavily involved in as a designer. Frugal & fun. And that is what I like most of all today.
See the exhibition in the Piscine of Villa Noailles HERE
Photos: DP: Design ParadeATA: Alphons ter AvestIH: Ineke Hans