Wednesday, June 11, 2008

John Thackara lecture

John Thackara lecture

John Thackara

John Thackara is a enterprising design lecturer, author and symposiarch. He leads a number of design projects including Doors based in Amsterdam and DOTT from the UK. He has advised numerous government organizations on design including the Dutch government and the European Commision. Constantly travelling, Thackara has lectured in over 40 countries and written 12 books about the predicament of design in contemporary society. His primary research focus is to answer explore advances in technology and how it affects our lives, that is, not what technology and design can do, but what can they be used for.

Transcript of Interview:
This transcript begins mid talk; Thackara has been introducing the St Etienne Design Biennial which as Director of Doors, he is co-ordinating. The subject being discussed in the nature of objects to comprise the Biennial and whether could be contributions from the Design Academy masters students.

*** represents inaudible dialogue.

QUESTION (Saron Paz) - Usually we find in design that the things that succeed are not always the things that work the best… we like simple things that can make a difference in our lives, but some things are very efficient, but no one will actually use them…

> Exactly. And thank you for saying that. That’s we need to find out the difference between something that is clearly brilliant but is never going to make any difference, versus, that looks sort of “hand to mouth” or *** but will make a difference. So the criteria is, how do we know the difference between those two things. So for example, Cisco Systems has decided that $500,000 video conferencing machines, about which they say, nobody need ever go in an aeroplane again, if they have one of these things. Its just bullshit, whereas, maybe some man in Kerala makes telephones calls work better for people so that we wouldn’t feel isolated when ringing up our mothers and loved ones, having no longer the possibility of going on aeroplanes, which the future I am facing for myself. Two extremes. And I don’t know the answer by the way. 12 months. Its 5000 square meters this show. It’s a bloody huge empty space.

QUESTION (Saron Paz) – So what about setting up criteria for *** any object?

> Yes. So I am happy for all suggestions, whether its criteria, or individual exhibits, I don’t mind. I foolishly agreed for the 50th time in my life for a too small timetable. And um, I am just entering the maxium anxiety phase, well, after christmas, when there is no more time left, at all, is when I will panic in a major way, so if you can find someway to help me I would be very very grateful.

QUESTION (Guy Keulemans) – I think that when you said “first aid kit” I think you hit the nail on the head, because if we soon get to the point where we cannot produce new objects, it’s all going to be about repairing the stuff we have, so first aid kits of repair kits for all these things –

> Well I had this conversation with someone recently who said, it all sounds very mcuh like going into hospital – but can it be beautiful, can it be a beautfiul first aid kit.

QUESTION (Guy Keulemans) - And can we create more attachment by repairing things?

> Well a bit part of this show will be people lashing up wireless networks from old nintendo consoles and stuff, because that’s part of it. And a friend who called *** who runs a festival called Pixelate, and there is a whole world of completely insane hardware and software hackers out there, which is just one bit of it but in terms of the rest of it… things like design software, do you encounters you know this “lifesycle analysis” this is a very sort of heavy and boring subject ,but various people are making tools to help designers understand the material consequences of a products. Do we need one of those? I think we need one of those in one of the tents. But there are all these snake oil salesmen, software companies, who do we believe?

QUESTION (Frans Parthesius) – Well, I would like to thank you for coming and talking about something very close to our hearts, and *** thankyou for bringing John here.

> Well, your welcome, and really I need help and between now and after christmas it would be great to figure out something tangible. Its 5000 square meteres before you agree to anything rashly, it’s a bloody huge shed. **** The risk as already been taken *** to genetically engineered ones ***** Do you know Stelarc? He’d now growing an artificial ear on his arm.

End Transcript.


John Thackera’s lecture was interesting and mainly concerned the activities of the British design initiave DOTT, which applies design thinking to problems usually considered in other disciplines (such as healthcare, sociology, nutrition). Its does strike one that as much as designers can offer new solutions in these areas because of their fresh persective, it also means they can become lost when delaing with subject matter out of their experience or training.

The St Etienne Design Biennial that John discusses in the discussion after the lecture, sounded full of potential as a design exhibition focussing on new well considered solutions. On Thackara blog website, he repeats his call for young designers to submit ideas based on the concept of “first aid kits” for technology and design. Hoever, the Biennial is due to begin in November and while Thackara’s conceptual initiative does not seem to have such a presence on their website, the exhibition does include references to urban planning and eco-design solutuons, as well as the usual fashionable new chairs and other meaningless products.

Thackara’s blog however, can be recommended for any design student as a casual and timely discussion on contempory problems in design. Recent posts touch on urban planning for increasing food localisation, the problems of bulk retail refridgeration, and the concept of “de-growth”.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hans Wilschut workshop Rotterdam

Lyric Reflections on Urbanism
by William Hunter

On Wednesday, May 28, 2008, Rotterdam based photographer Hans Wilschut delivered a lecture titled, ‘Lyric Reflections on Urbanism’, for the Design Academy Masters Department SOURCE program. Prior to his early evening talk, Wilschut conducted a workshop with the Masters students. In a personal narrative fashion, Wilschut presented examples of his recent work, mainly large format photographs depicting urban conditions across the globe. In these images, the artist attempts to spark a dialogue with the city. Admitting a keen interest in the boundaries between public and private domain, Wilschut wishes to challenge the viewer to sharpen their gaze. He believes that people too often merely walk the streets of cities oblivious to the details which tell the true stories. Wilschut asks “What exactly are we looking at?”

The piece ‘Rock’ portrays a type of incredible world. Using trickery in perspective the viewer tends to question or doubt the realistic nature of the illustrated scene. This method, as in much of his work, would seem to indicate signs of digital editing. But Wilschut is quick to defend this falsity. He admits using the computer in the production process, but notes that if the piece is planned correctly then no digital editing is required. In most of his cases, once the image is shot it is ready. Wilschut describes himself as an urban explorer, traveling landscapes with or without permission. These explorations often lead him to places hidden from view or places that people don’t manifest. An example of this was an image taking from the top of a heavily trafficked suspension bridge in Shanghai. The view from the camera, perched atop the bridge, looks to the directional axis of a bustling street below. The fascinating aspect of being in a place where people don’t exist, a place we don’t quite understand, and the vantage point achieved reflect the city in ways we haven’t seen.

The recent work, aptly titled ‘Landmark’, is perhaps Wilschut’s most socio-critical to date. In it we see the city from above. The image’s central focus is a building that has partially collapsed do to a severe rainstorm 3 years prior. The artist sees the building as a symbol of reverse urbanization as the building still stands in its deconstructed state. Adding to this commentary is the fact that the photograph, due to consciously chosen fading light and angle, is nearly a perfect architectural photograph, a genre in which the artist disassociates himself from, despite buildings and urban environments being the focus of his work. But this photograph isn’t highlighting new architecture, rather than exposing the economic malaise of the city.

In fielding a question following the talk, regarding the themes of his photographs, Wilshcut simply states that he creates works that stand alone rather than belonging to a formal series. And while there may seem to be reoccurring subjects of urban decay and industrial scenes, he would simply be too bored with the serial method.

Hans Wilschut workshop and interview

Hans Wilschut Interview May 28, 2008
William Hunter (interviewer) Fumiaki and Gina (cameras/video)

WH: You say that the photographic study is a dialogue with the city. What does that mean for you?

HW: It means that I go to the city and try to react on the things that wonder me, that give me ideas and I can never predict what will happen. So the city sort of dictates what I will do.

WH: And is the product that you develop; is that sort of the answer to these questions or the dialogue, the conversation that you have? Do you see as sort of giving anything back to the city at all with this conversation? Or is just about the city’s feeding you these new things?

HW: Yeah the city is feeding me. I’m not really looking for answers actually. The city gives me reasons for other questions- not in the literal way, more in a process, as a process.

WH: You also mention that your images reveal what only the photographic eye can see? Does this mean we’re missing something or being too quick with our naked observations?

HW: Oh yeah. I think nowadays we are so use to image, with everything that comes, with all the influences that come towards us. Such as internet- we can travel the whole world through the internet. By television, by what you see on the streets, or the billboards. Image has become a very flucterative thing. I think if you take time- the photographic eye takes time for this. Sort of creates a moment of slowness.

WH: Right, rather than being lazy. The general person kind of going around is spoiled by the images. They don’t do enough investigation into things- seeing behind something.

HW: Do the fact that we consume image very quickly, we make conclusions very quickly as well. For me, the aim of making photographs is to slow this process down. And raise more questions. Not to aim at answers, but to get the process of thinking about the environment going.

WH: What’s the longest amount of time you have spent trying to capture and produce an image?

HW: On the spot you mean? Or…

WH: Well because you mentioned that, sometimes you have to- you go in- if you see something, going around a city that interests you and you take these quick photos as almost like documentation and memory devices to then possibly go back and then to capture it in the real way you want to. And you’ve also mentioned going to places that you’re not supposed to be at. Not necessarily trespassing, but sometimes its harder to get to a certain place. So what’s the most challenging piece or project that you’ve been involved with where it took more time to get what you wanted or to realize exactly what you wanted out of a site?

HW: I have a few actually. But an interesting one is one I did in Lagos last year, of a building that was collapsed partly, which made the building controversial because it was showing lack of direction by the city government. In Lagos they did not want tourists to photograph the building, so it was guarded by soldiers in every angle, every street. For me I found this location on top of the highest building of Lagos Island and to obtain this permission, I think only that cost me 4 days, 4 days of waiting in corridors and going from different stages and hierarchy of the company. And then at the moment that I thought I had the picture, coming back in Holland, there was something wrong with the light. It didn’t match, so I had to go back a few months later and I had to go through the same process again. Which was altogether a pretty long process of taking this photo.

WH: You’re talking about ‘Landmark’?

HW: Yeah, ‘Landmark’

WH: That goes to my next question. That’s one of your most recent projects. How does that piece represent your general, total ideas on urbanization, where it’s at now, for that one it was about- you talk about it being a regenerative urbanization, like the opposite direction, since it was collapsing or had collapsed?

HW: Before that I used to photograph a lot of urbanization things that were the result of capitalistic societies. So, architecture that exists through in investments. So here it totally reversed. When a country doesn’t play a role in the global economics, its somehow can result in a shape of architecture that is almost organic. For me that was an interesting change.

WH: With most of the pieces you do, you say you’re asking this question ‘What’s really there”. “What’s really behind what we see or don’t see”. What is it about that that interests you? It might be obvious what that is because you just have sort of an imagination that goes beyond what is always kind of presented to us. But how does that fuel your work? It seems to be that driving force behind what you get to seek and what you photograph. It’s always this sort of back door thing, whether it’s an industrial plant, or these backyards, or the city from a viewpoint that most people aren’t at. We’re not always on top of buildings. We experience most things from the street level. And a lot of your photographs take us to places that we haven’t been.

HW: Yeah it reveals something from another point of view or another harmony or disharmony of the city. But I don’t understand your question actually.

WH: Well, what is it about this sort of, this thing beyond that interests you, that seems to be very central to all your pieces? What is it about that, rather than, as other photographers might be, they take pictures of what exists. Its almost just a documentation of either a culture, or…

HW: Right, like a registration of things.

WH: Yeah.

HW: Well it’s the urge to see the things differently. It’s the urge to photograph in a lot of cities and still the urge to leave behind with only one city, the one that’s in my mind, that’s a result of the choices and not the geographical connection. I’m using real cities to make almost unreal photographs of them as if they were constructed.

WH: It also seems that a lot of your pieces are night scenes. I don’t know if that’s an effect that you’re getting after you take it, in the studio or… a lot of them seem to be- the sky is very dark and therefore you get to really see these lights of the city or a place, whether it’s a street light or all the lights of the buildings. Is that true or do you have other, do you take, do you also have pieces that exists during the daytime.

HW: I do have some. I do have some. It has to do with the subject of the photograph. If I would shoot something very literal, very boring, very naked as a subject, I might choose for daylight. I don’t want to make it more than it is. Sometimes it’s really interesting to see the influence of light to feel the intensity. Somehow the intensity of a place becomes more real if it’s a night seen for me. And also the fact that through the night light, it’s a tool to alienate the scene from reality. I’m very interested in taking the time for light, finding the right situation by the scene that I’m shooting.

WH: Maybe the last thing. How much time goes into the actual production of the photo? After you’ve got the image, after you take the picture and you bring it back to the studio?

HW: Well, most of the time goes to letting it rest. I usually make big prints as sketches, so like 140(cm) wide or so. I try to understand if a picture stays powerful or not. This can take half a year, and sometimes even longer. I just finished a work that I kept 4 years waiting or so, and after realizing now it’s the right time, now it’s fitting all together. But maybe you want to know how much time I spend behind the computer for post production- this is not so long actually.

WH: So often or hopefully you just get the shot and when it’s ready to be processed it’s almost there.

HW: Yeah. I do have some shots that I know on the moment of shooting that they are powerful. It happens a few times a year. But this is rare actually.

WH: And it seems like your work has taken you many places. Has there ever been a place that really surprised you or that you saw something in a place that you wouldn’t have imagined.

HW: Oh it happens all the time actually. That’s the interesting part of going to cities with the only goal of trying to understand the city in terms of making photos of it. And it means that sometimes I miss parts of a city that others usually see.
WH: Do you always do that? Are you always the photographer? Are you ever just the visitor? Or are you always looking at cities that way now?

HW: Actually I went to Turkey for a holiday and then I came to realize that it was very interesting to go back for photography and then I saw the city in a totally different way. But I had to disconnect from the other experience. It was difficult because I had been a tourist already. I had to change the approach. And it resulted actually in a work that expressed the feeling of being a tourist. It was a hotel situation that felt like a prison, because it was not finished yet at the moment I shot it was still concrete and there was only one person living in it- you could tell by the little light- it was a guard. But this particular photograph totally represented my feeling as a tourist being in such a resort disconnected from the other culture, which a lot of tourists do. They just go there. They eat there sleep there, they swim, they party, and they don’t enter the country or leave the resort.

WH: Do you guys have anything?

FG: What were your interests when you were a student? We are students now…?

HW: Actually when I was a student I studied painting. I painted very abstract paintings. But at that time I already made drawings of city details, which I made more abstract in the paintings. Funny thing is that nowadays I make a lot of abstract photographs, starting very sharp and very real, but by the tools that I have, I try to get more distance from the reality. So I’m sort of back where I started.

FG: Ok thanks.

WH: Good?
FG: Yep.

WH: Ok.

Lidewij Edelkoort lecture

Lidewij Edelkoort interview

Lidewij Edelkoort was born in Wageningen, the Netherlands.Since 1975 she works in Paris as coordinator of two research centers on trend-forecasting : studio edelkoort and trend union;She is also the publisher of two best known trend magazines- bloom and view on colour.Li Edelkoort is involved in a humanitarian project heartwear, a non profit organization which helps craftsmen in developing countries export their products with respect on their skills, culture and work conditions. Since 1999 Li Edelkoort is chairwoman at the design academy of Eindhoven.

We met Li Edelkoort in Design Academy Eindhoven on March 12th 2008.

We did the interview based on exchanging keywords.

Fast food
Old fashioned






Strong… killing


Nuclear energy
Maybe... coming

Droog design
Droog design I think will almost have a revival

A form…and family like an extended family, like friends, neighbors


Dangerous, discutable( debatable)

Cultural differences
Sometimes I think people makes more than they really are, I think there’s also a lots of things in common, maybe the aspect is slightly different but still similar.

Is it possible?

Bored, that’s what we do, we make more bored

24 hours… around the clock

Survivor of the planet

Finally rest, sometimes I can long for because how nice to be never wake up. No I’m joking, I think we should try not to be so fearful of death, it’s not easy but I think it’s important.

What's your biggest fear?
My fear is maybe it’s to be regress.

Who are you in few words?

My name is Li, from Lidewij
Family name is Edelkoort.

I was borned in The Netherlands long time ago.
Double virgo which means I’m very synthetical and analytical
I cannot prevent myself for making analysis which has to become my job.

My job is to find fragmence of the future already now.
By digging all these fragmence like archeology of the future.

I’m finding these ideas and stocking even without knowing. And one day I just can see.
So my profession is to predict the future and to help industries, service industries, and creative industries to prepare the future better, not to do big mistakes.

And my second job is chairwoman of the Design Academy Eindhoven already for several years now.
Education is my big passion.

I live in Paris and I have other jobs like editing magazine, doing humanitarian design with a collect if of friends.
I travel a lot and my schedule is full. But I enjoy what I do because I can always be curious and not thinking about the past too much. It keeps me very young mentally and be able to work better than better. It’s amazing you can train the intuition like an athlete. The more I listen to my intuition the better I can perform.

How can you work with your intuition?

I just listen, it is like a person whisping ideas in my ears. If somebody phones me with big question in industry even on the phone in my head already has a sort of film which starts to turn and the solutions starts to immerge. I have a crazy imagination and I never would have to make like lots of other people. I have the idea it’s like already known. So I’m not a designer, I’m preparing the frame work for the designer.

Believing intuition is also giving power and confirmation to your self confident. What do you think about that and what’s the process?

Most of the time we lose the intuition because we don’t listen to it and simply discard it. But if we listen to it and research the reason, we can arrive to a greater solution. It’s a sort of passage way. Of course behind the intuition, there’s also analysis, good sense, movement, evolution and other rational things. But intuition remains the most important.

I’m just transmitting the ideas, I’m like capturing them, analysis them and give it back.
It stays only a moment in my body.

Few words about the humanitarian project Heart Wear.

We make crafted materials, garments in Morocco, India and Africa. We help few communities around the world to develop. We restyle for our current universe without losing the origins then we sell it and return money to the tailors.
It’s a small project existing for 15 years between friends. We do it for joy and I hope we can develop it into a more worldwide organization.

Some suggestions for humanitarian designer.

If you go into the humanitarian field, you need to be very very strong. You need to be idealistic and realistic at the same time. Because people who are going to get help, they are greedy, needy so you can not be a soft type of person. This field is not fashion but it’s a long term development, it’s another way of working. It’s better to balance the carrier, give part of time for humanitarian project and making money and have fun somewhere else.

I don’t think we have to suffer to help people, if you are happy, strong and powerful then you can help. You have to love yourself before you can give.

Ellie Uyttenbroek and Arie Versluis lecture

Ellie Uyttenbroek and Arie Versluis lecture

For 13 years Ari Versluis and Ellie Uttyenbroek have been documenting street fashion in cities around the world. Beginning in Rotterdam, they have now canvassed the street of London, Beijing, and Cape Verde among many others, and been featured in many magazine and galleries around the world. Their method, as you will soon see, is highly stylized, unique and beautiful. And unlike most of not all other street photography, it is very probing: it questions our notions of identity, uniformity, and culture. INFLUECE MAGAZINE has said their work is “a direct assault on the mythic formula that photography plus the street equals authenticity.”


1. When I look at the work, I think I can immediately understand your function Ari as photographer, I think that this is because, even in the age of Photoshop, we are conditioned to believe the camera does not lie. But your function Ellie, as a stylist is more curious – could you explain how much your work influences the final photograph?
Ellie’s role seems to be in initially identifying the subject matter for each series and recognizing fashion, body type and body language traits that define a group. Additionally she will make minor adjustments to these traits during photography to realize their uniformity more strongly. This does of course corrupt the documentary integrity of the work, but then they don’t claim to be objective documentary makers.

2. All the photographs express the concept of uniformity, but also differences within tight parameters. For example, Morrocies you have the subjects wearing street wear so similar it almost becomes a uniform, whereas in Combat I noticed that body types are perhaps more a uniform than anything else. Is the point of the project, to expose unexpected expressions of uniformity?
I think yes, that is the primary, albeit possibly subconscious, intent of their work. They did not say this in so many words, but I think it’s a reflection of their Dutch-ness – a desire to dryly critique an institution that expresses the idea of individuality by mockingly showing that it does the opposite.

3. How long does it take to assemble a complete 3 by 4 block? What this more difficult working outside of Rotterdam?
Each block or series takes a different amount of time depending on the availability of subjects and their willingness to come into the studio. So for slutty teenage self-obsessed girls its no problem, but its harder with Muslim women who need to ask permission from their patriarchs. One series, Morrocies, took almost a year to complete.

4. In many, if not most blocks, you get the feeling that you set up a photo studio on the street and invite people in as they walk past. But for others, such as Formers, which I notice features Li Edelkoort, it must be a different system, can you explain that?
Actually the majority of the work involves inviting people into their studio over an extended period of time. So the sense of “street” probably derives more from the fashion application than anything else, the studio backdrop being sufficiently neutral although somewhat artificially contrived.

5. In an interview with the Guardian English newspaper, you mention that you like to dress similar to those you are taking photographs of? Can I ask, isn’t this practically very difficult, and doesn’t this possibly put you in uncomfortable situations of looking like you belong but not in other contexts (like the way you speak?)
Sorry this was not addressed in their lecture so I don’t know how this is managed, other than to say that they are outspoken and direct like many Dutch people and probably don’t have any problem sparking up conversations with strangers.
6. In many articles about your work, the word “language” is used frequently, and of course the way we dress is a visual language, but it occurs to me that fashion does not function exactly like language – for example, language and accents are strongly related to geographic areas, where fashion has more of an ability to cross geographic borders and be contained by cultural, gender or age borders. Do you see the work you do as a kind of cartography, a mapping of these borders?
Ari and Ellie confessed early on in their lecture that they are not themselves prone to sociological analysis of their work. Which does mean that I cannot. So yes, I think their work does create a social cartography, an interesting one because it is so explicit. Fashion has always been used to distinguish social groups from one another, but the presentation of this critique usually relies on the single exemplary image, so by visual grouping Ari and Ellie make this critique immediately tangible.

Prepared and written by Guy Keulemans, M&H masters program, Design Academy Eindhoven.

Marjan Slob lecture

Marjan Slob lecture

Marjan Slob studied philosophy in Utrecht and journalism in Rotterdam. Since her graduation she has worked as in independent writer and journalist and has published widely in general media on topics related to philosophy, technology and visual culture. She also organises public debates and moderates discussions within her field of interest. For the Rathenau Institute she has made two books, Another Me: technological interventions in human identity (2004) and Knowing for sure: interviews with politicians, rulers and scientists on dealing with uncertainties (2006). For the Centre of Ethics and Health she has made the study Freedom of choice or the obligation to choose: an exploration of opinions on the ideal of choice in health-care (2006). The last three years she has worked on the conceptual and societal implications of brain-research, aiming to make these accessible to a lay-public, both on a national and on a European level. -Centre for Society and Genomics

The Marjan Slob lecture that took place at the Witte Dame, Design Academy, Eindhoven in front of many bachelor and master students on the 7th of may, 2008 was a big success. Marjan Slob conducted her lecture on her philosophical vision of Fantasy novels. The lecture was based primarily on her philosophical standing where she elaborated on ideas such as romanticism and enlightenment. The lecture was a very thorough insight into the concept of Romanticism. Following the lecture was a dialogue between Slob and a group of masters students. Slob gave her philosophical insights into a range of students projects that consisted of a council organised prostitution project specific to Eindhoven as well as a Sao Paolo based public project. Slobs feedback was quite interesting and a lot of students gained a deeper understanding of their project material from the discussion. For further information regarding both the lecture and the following workshop please see accompanying videos. For further information regarding Marjan Slob then please see

Lawrence Malstaff

Lawrence Malstaff lecture

Lawrence Malstaff lecture

The Long Now

Lawrence Malstaf is a young Belgium artist that studied industrial design in Antwerp. Most of his works are very technological installations were the users have a new feeling of space and a new conscience of their own bodies.
Lawrence said that he liked very much the formation he had as a designer because he sees an artist learning much more art history and styles than materials and technology, which are very important to his work and also a source of inspiration.
He started working with theatre, as a scene designer. The main performances were connected to dance. We can observe that in this beginning his work was very much linked to the human body, the ephemeral and movement, things that are still part of his works.
Lawrence said that his first works as an artist were a kind of reaction against what he used to do in theatre - a collective event targeted to a group of people (an audience) which is usually passive, with the same perspective in the work. The first art pieces he designed were very individual: only one person could experience the installation at a time. One example of it can be “Mirror” (2002), an installation where he confronts the person with his/her own image through a mirror. But the experience is not only audio-visual, it is specially about change and movement: the mirror shakes, and, in a certain moment the image of the spectator also disappears.
Another experiences also focused on the individual and the totality of the human senses are “Periscope” (2001) and “Shaft”(2004). The first, an outdoor project, consists in a house with a glass ceiling and a monitor. The person lay under this ceiling and, outside the house, there’s a balloon with a camera, filming the person that is laying down inside. The balloon is released, and the person watches his/her own image getting smaller and smaller, getting lost in the infinite size of the universe. “Shaft” is also a contemplative experience, where the person lays under a big transparent tube. Inside it, porcelain plates seems to dance. In a certain moment, the plates brake and fall over the spectators head, which, of course, is protected.
“Nevel”(2004) is a bigger scale project, with more social interactions. It consists in a labyrinth with moving walls. The movements of the walls force the visitors to relocate themselves and adapt to the fast-changing environment. In the same “physical space”, machine and restriction themes, we have Lawrence’s “Compass” (2005) and “Tollen” (2006). “Compass” is a machine adapted at the user’s waist, which guides the person through an imaginary space, simulating barriers and more fluid passages. “Tollen” is a performance where spinning tops interact with each other. Here, the objects seem to be alive and to make choices independently.
One of the most interesting works of Lawrence Malstaf is “Shrink”. It consists in “packing” a person between 2 layers of plastic and hanging it. Although we can see the breathing tubes, the images are very shocking and impressive, the person inside seems to be suffering. However the relates are that the experience is quite comfortable, just like a big hug, and you feel relaxed. Like a re-conceiving moment, a re-birth.
Another very beautiful project is “Boreas” (2007). It is made of 64 plastic tubes which with a lot of technology slowly bend and come back to the original form. It looks like hairs or a field in the wind because the movements look very natural. People walk through it and experience this natural/mechanical space.
Other important works of the artist are “Sand Bible” (2000), “The Long Now” (2002), and “Sauna in Exile”(2002).
During the lecture, Lawrence showed not only pictures of his works, but also videos, and he said still it was not enough. He believes that the importance that the so-called soft senses (smell, touch, balance, taste) are very underestimated. Without them it seems to be quite hard to represent his work, because it is about total experiences.
About his timing, he thinks he is quite slow, and he said he develops about 2 or 3 projects a year. This is also because there are few people working with him and the projects are very demanding, as well as the other related activities.
Lawrence Malstaf is really an intuitive artist whose installations seem to be increasingly immaterial and more experience focused. If, in one hand, history and science are things we are taught in dogmatic ways because of the enormous need for accuracy, on the other hand our experiences are to a huge extent biased by our memories. These experiences should be generated by addressing all five senses without giving priority to the communication-technologies which are today still limited to the audio-visual. And the public becomes a physical part that is essential to the installation and experiences things from within.

Ursula Tischner workshop

Timo de Rijk

Timo de Rijk workshop

Timo de Rijk studied art history at the University of Leyden, The Netherlands. He got his PhD in 1998 at Delft University of Technology on the thesis The Electrical House, design and acceptance of electrical domestic appliances in the Netherlands. He has written a few major and several smaller publications on the history of design, i.a. on Art Deco in The Netherlands. He produced TV-programs on design history and he is a regular organiser of exhibitions. He is member of the art and design committee of the Dutch Raad voor Cultuur (Advisory Board of the Dutch Government).

Introduce :
conventional typographic, 19C~20C, one color presentation, 1950 Antonio Gaudi, atmosphere -theater, multi-media, experience presentation.
Importance of routing, design routing, playing with people.
Showed picture – Smile man in the jail, job exhibition in cubic space, store “ CINZANO”
Out of context, unexpected context.
Program :
What are you going to say ?
- contents
- context
Metaphor :
Most important communicate contents.
Value of life. Life is money? How to deal with it.
Animal farm.
Obvious metaphor, River – function of metaphor
Tango – traffic jam.
“ Do you think we’ve overdone the metaphor?” - coffee building


Choosing a subject
Choosing a metaphor
Collecting material
Making a presentation