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DDW Trend: The Museum of Design

11 October 2019

Stilled Life exhibition,<br /> Rive Roshan gallery
This year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) presents 8 design trends that mark the most important developments in the field of design. This trend is all about the role of design in a museological context.

It is not a matter of course that a designer should make something as tangible as a utilitarian object. For example, it could be an abstract concept that uses design to question a theme such as functionality, production or aesthetics. Or it is more of an experience: something to look at or undergo. If the functional objects can be used at home, where do these concepts, ideas and experiences belong? The Museum of Design trend collects these abstract designs. Sometimes they are transformed into a physical object, but they are often directly about the visitor.

A Museum Collection

If the design world was a museum, what would it look like? The Amsterdam studio Rive Roshan answers this question from within the design world with the exhibition Hybrid Times in VEEM. With the new platform for creative talent, Form Editions, the designers are now acting as curators for the first time. It is not only a thematic presentation of artisanal work by young national and international designers, it is also a critical comment on the contemporary design and art world. This often still intimidates the general public. Form Editions tries to make this world as accessible and transparent as possible. The doors of The Museum of Design are wide open.

A new movement has always left tracks in the past. One of the key figures in the Dutch design world is Gerrit Rietveld. His ideas are a source of inspiration, as can be seen in the exhibition RIETVELD RE_NEWED Design Factory, to be seen in TQ5. WOTH Wonderful Things magazine and designer Aart van Asseldonk act as curator here. In this exhibition the work of contemporary designers is shown in the context of Gerrit Rietveld. His pieces of furniture are more than just utilitarian objects and express a vision of society, materials and social views. This makes him the first conceptual designer who was able to come up with something radically new. Today's designers each respond to this vision in their own way. Maarten Baas, for example, rebels against it with his Smoke Chair, Bert Jan Pot adds a layer of colour and Richard Hutten draws on Rietveld's geometric design language. For example, colour and shape are used to express ideas in designs.

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The designer as a product

Can the conceptual design be implemented to such an extent that an object is no longer needed? This is questioned by the exhibition The Object is Absent. This project further minimizes the importance of the object. The exhibition at MU Artspace, curated by Alexandre Humbert, Tom Loois, Lucas Maassen and Angelique Spaninks, shows alternative, all-encompassing, new objects that fit into the present time. In this way, this exhibition is in line with Rietveld's views. As a reaction to over-consumption, the curators are looking for ways to create value from nothing. There are no objects to be seen, but there are designers and their attitudes, their ideas, their bodies and their minds. The Object is Absent is about how design can be experienced through playing, singing, dancing and tasting.

© Ontwerpduo

Designs to experience

Experiencing an object gives a museum-like effect. You cannot use the objects, but you have to experience them in a different way. One way of doing this is through looking. As in the installation by Ontwerpduo. At DDW19 they launch Aptum, a new brand for custom-made lighting. These are light installations that surprise the visitor and coerce them into adopting a different perspective. In the Kazerne they show an adapted version of the lighting system Contour.

© SOM tales of perfume

Experiencing design is not only limited to looking. The senses smell and taste also have the designer’s attention. SOM tales of perfume gives the visitor a special experience based on scent. The interactive installation OMNIA, also on display in the Kazerne, contains five unique scent compositions that have been composed in such a way as to evoke memories in the visitor's mind. The concept is based on the idea that everything is connected, also a trend within DDW19. Especially for this project, the four members of SOM worked together with a specialist in human behaviour. The result is an experience for the senses.