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(Archive) Alchemist, Designer

This project was part of DDW 2021
Lithium. States of Exhaustion, 2021. — © Graphic design: Eduardo León

With Alchemist, Designer, on 16 October 2021 during Dutch Design Week 2021, Het Nieuwe Instituut celebrates both the completion of the New Material Award (2009-2018) and the launch of the new publication 'Lithium. States of Exhaustion'.

Alchemist, designer

Algae, mycelium, shells, blood, sweat or waste are increasingly used by designers to replace more polluting materials and to mitigate the environmental impact of their work. Designers source, forage, cook, mix, grow materials, and later recycle and reuse them as they reach the end of their life. Finding alternative energy sources in wind, solar and bio materials to power processes and outcomes is also at the core of contemporary design practice. In this event, designers will be joined by artists, performers, biologists and anthropologists to reflect on this continued human search for materials and unlimited energy.

Book launch and panel discussion

On this occasion, ‘designer alchemists’ including Daria Biryukova, Roos Meerman and Basse Stittgen join artist and architect Luis Lecea Romera, editors Francisco Díaz, Anastasia Kubrak and Marina Otero Verzier, architects and researchers Godofredo Pereira, Pedro Alonso and anthropologist Emily Martin and, in the company of general and artistic director of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Aric Chen, explore our eternal search for alternative materials and unlimited energy.

The programme consists of two parts, with the emphasis before the break on the development, application, and processing of new materials, and afterwards on the search for sustainable sources of energy. Meet previous nominees of the New Material Award, hear their interpretation of the meaning and legacy of design, and how they position themselves in the chain from raw material to waste. Finally, together with the editors and several contributors, celebrate the publication of 'Lithium. States of Exhaustion'!


15:45 Doors open
16:00 Performance, The Posthumous Aural (2021) by artist Luis Lecea Romera
16:15 Welcome and introduction by Aric Chen, general and artistic director of Het Nieuwe Instituut
16:20 New Material panel discussion with previous New Material Award nominees Daria Biryukova, Roos Meerman, and Basse Stittgen, moderated by Maarten Westerveen
17:10 Break
17:25 Book launch of Lithium. States of Exhaustion (Ediciones ARQ and Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2021). Editors Francisco Diaz, Anastasia Kubrak, and Marina Otero Verzier in conversation (live and online) with Pedro Alonso, Godofredo Enes Pereira, and Emily Martin
18:25 Drinks

New Material Award exhibition, 2018. — © Photo: Ilco Kemmere.