Dutch Design Week Report: Favourites from VEEM


Having only one day to spend at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven is not nearly enough to see all that is potentially interesting. Out of all that was on offer, VEEM seemed like possibly the most varied and interesting thing to see, and it surely did not disappoint!

People walking at the front of a large building mostly covered in blue material, with the text "VEEM" over the entrance in lights.

VEEM was an international mix of designers and creative makers, both established and just starting out, presented on two floors of what is normally used as a multilevel car park. The industrial surroundings matched nicely with the exhibits, and gave it all an atmosphere of things being truly built up and made there, and new things emerging.

Sustainability and new materials were very strong themes among the exhibitors, with some nods to traditional techniques also here and there. It was not an easy job to pick out the most interesting exhibits, as everything seemed to have some intriguing angle or approach. Let’s check out the most interesting finds!

UMPRUM / ACADEMY OF ARTS, ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN IN PRAGUE: CZECH CRAFT IS HERE!

Traditional craft techniques meet new materials and design ideas in the works of Czech students.

Red vessels made out of seed beads.

Various imaginatively woven materials in different shapes and colours.

NEWTAB-22: SEA STONE

Studio Newtab-22 from Korea looks for “overlooked materials” to use in new, sustainable and aesthetic ways. Project Sea Stone seeks to utilise the 7 million tonnes of seashells discarded by the food industry every year to produce a new material that can be used like limestone.

Four different seashells in dishes, next to them four small dishes with material ground from those seashells and next to them material produced mainly using the ground seashells.

PIERRE AZALBERT, BENTON CHING, KARLIJN SIBBEL: RE-FLEX

Re-Flex is a new material you can mould and re-mould yourself, using a moderate amount of heat. The inventors wanted to help extend the lifespan of objects by making it possible for the user to form them into something different once they were no longer needed in their original form.

Dinosaur shapes made out of the Re-Flex material, one flat, one folded to a standing position.

A three-part diagram about shaping the material, with the stages "original shape", "hold in shape" and "new shape".

TEXTILELAB AMSTERDAM WAAG

TextileLab Amsterdam combines digital fabrication processes, craft techniques, textile knowledge and material research into relevant opportunities for the textile, fashion and material fields. This is done according to the principles of Waag, using both technological and creative innovation side by side to achieve more sustainable, circular and ecological solutions. Their Material Archive is an open source archive of DIY sustainable materials.

A large book with the text "Atlas of Sustainable Colour" on the cover, with different coloured swaths of cloth spread into a circle around the book.

Papers and materials on top of a table with the title "Emotionally Durable Textile" visible on one of them.

MIRA NAMETH: BIOPHILICA – LOCAL PLANTBASED MATERIALS

Working with urban plant waste, Mira Nameth has spent a year developing both flexible and rigid materials that are sourced, created, recycled and composted locally. These new, biodegradable and recyclable materials have already been on show in several places, including Milan Design Week.

Shapes formed and cut out of a leather substitute material.

Different coloured circles cut out of a leather substitute material and arranged into a collage on a wall.

Different coloured squares cut out of a leather substitute material.

AALTO UNIVERSITY: CHEMARTS

Chemarts brings to design the idea that in a circular, closed loop system materials are merely stored in products, and can be used again and again.

Swaths of different materials dyed blue.

Swaths of white materials woven into different geometric textures.

Squares of different materials and finishes.

Round shapes in clear, white and black glass.

WHHW COLLECTIVE: WORKING HARD OR HARDLY WORKING

WHHW explore the ideas, theories, social impacts, creative output, and processes surrounding labour. What kind of work makes something more valuable? What is the value of creative work? When have we worked enough for something? WHHW wants to challenge our work-related values.

Three clear, acrylic shields hung from the ceiling on chains, each has the text "Team human" in white on a pink, green or blue background.

Two tapestries with woven representations of old industrial information posters.

VLISCO & CO: THE YOUTH OF AFRICA

Vlisco & Co is a platform for young Africans to express modern culture, and to connect them for debate, to define and to demonstrate. “Nowhere in the world will the young generation resonate as they will in Africa.”

A pink metal frame holding three photos of young black men; two solo portraits and one photo with three men.

Pink metal frame holding several photos of young black people.

EUNJI JUN: FROM PEELS TO CASEIN

Eunji Jun experiments with the use of different biodegradable materials. Combining food waste and casein brings out new colours and textures into a material that is fully biodegradable and recyclable.

Several small slabs in different colours of a material made out of casein.

Round and square shapes made out of casein.

THE SWEDISH SCHOOL OF TEXTILES, UNIVERSITY OF BORÅS

TXTL showcases bachelor and master students’ work and explorations of different weaving techniques to achieve new functionalities. like the self-supporting 3d weave and the two-sided, pleated knit.

A duo-toned piece of textile woven into pleats.

A self-supporting, 3D woven textile in grey, white and orange.

SUPERTOYS SUPERTOYS X STUDIO PIM TOP

Supertoys Supertoys wants us to connect in a loving way with the objects around us. Together with Studio Pim Top they dreamed up a space where there would be as little difference as possible between humans and objects, the self and the world.

A pink circle on the floor with several pieces of pop art syle furniture on it. Two abstract paintings on the wall.

ACADEMIC DESIGN CENTER: YOUNG POLISH DESIGNER: STUDIES IN REALITY

Fresh Polish design graduates present their ideas for creating a better society and their observations on the world of today and tomorrow.

Two long cardigans with photographic images woven onto them.

Squares and small slabs made of different coloured glass and ceramics.

A white, metal-framed chair with a seat woven directly onto it.

Rounded wooden shapes with soft, white ropes run through each.