Design Academy Eindhoven:
Top five graduation projects 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Synergy of Colour by Yannic Alidarso, Design Academy Eindhoven, Art Direction by Petra Janssen, Photography by Femke Rijerman

WGSN-homebuildlife is currently visiting Dutch Design Week 2011 in Eindhoven, a highlight of which is the graduation show at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven. This year the presented projects are organised under the categories of Human, Nurture, Delight, Useful, Conscious, City, Nature and Masters. As explained by Academy Chairwoman and curator of the exhibition Ilse Crawford, the themes are "deliberately ordinary because design is at its best when it addresses real needs. These are all projects that have a firm connection to life and a desire to make sense of it."

Here are our top five projects from the show. Look out for the top twenty projects, which will be published on WGSN-homebuildlife next week.

The Synergy of Colour by Yannic Alidarso, Design Academy Eindhoven, Art Direction by Petra Janssen, Photography by Femke Rijerman

The Synergy of Colour by Yannic Alidarso

How can you increase consumer awareness of a product’s origins? Yannic Alidarso’s solution is called The Synergy of Colour. His bare, elm wood cabinet is designed to be decorated using natural pigments people collect themselves. Think of stinging nettles for a deep green colour or wild heather for purple. Once placed in Alidarso’s Colour Extractor, the selected organic material is ground into a fine pulp and mixed with transparent paint. This is fed into a flexible tube connected to a needle embedded in the soft wood of the wardrobe. Slowly, the natural pigment seeps into the wood, returning some of the forest to the tree.

Peeling Paradise by Rianne Koens, Design Academy Eindhoven, Art Direction by Petra Janssen, Photography by Femke Rijerman

Peeling Paradise by Rianne Koens

Anyone with a bowl full of fruit has one: a paradise of fruit skin, rind and peel. It is here that most of the flavour in fruit is to be found — wonderful taste intensifiers for both food and drink. And Rianne Koens has designed a series of kitchen products to make their processing easier: Peeling Paradise. The process begins with an extra fine peeler which removes only the most flavour-intense top layer of the fruit. This is in turn dried on stackable driers. It can then be crushed and scattered with the pestle and scatterer. Or, it can be used to make tea or lime water with the help of the splash. Inspiration for delicious combinations can be found in the accompanying book, filled with wise suggestions.

Shades of Light by Aoife Wullur, Art Direction by Petra Janssen, Photography by Femke Rijerman

Shades of Light by Aoife Wullur

Aoife Wullur has developed a new way of weaving electronics and fabric together. Several widths of very thin conductive yarn form separate little circuits in the fabric. The low voltage current in the coin cell batteries around the edges of the fabric feed the led-lights on a colony of little metal spiders. Their magnetic legs connect the positive and the negative wires, and cling to each other and the next layer of fabric. They perform a play on light, transparency and layeredness; changing their position will create new patterns and shapes. Shades of Light adds a new dimension to curtains, draperies and screens.

Bird Bricks by Fanny Hofstra, Art Direction by Petra Janssen, Photography by Femke Rijerman

Bird Bricks by Fanny Hofstra

City birds depend on buildings for shelter, but today’s buildings are so well insulated that birds have difficulty finding places to construct nests. The house martin, spotted flycatcher and house sparrow are now all listed as endangered species. It is for these birds that Fanny Hofstra designed her Bird Bricks: components that contain nesting space. The bricks are set into the walls during construction. Bird Bricks meet all requirements of the birds as well as building regulations. Once city birds nest somewhere, they return every year and their young take over their nests when they grow up.

Landscape Linnen by Jo Szczepanska, Art Direction by Petra Janssen, Photography by Femke Rijerman
Landscape Linnen by Jo Szczepanska

Being ill is no fun. To add some cheer, reduce stress, and help people back on the road to recovery more quickly, Jo Szczepanska created some very special bedcovers: Landscape Linnen. Research has shown that distraction minimises the amount of pain a patient experiences. And so, she devised a special blanket printed with games and puzzles. It comes complete with colourful markers so both patient and visitors can spend quality time drawing on this warm, soft canvas. “It’s about having an experience beyond the bed, inviting social interaction and stimulating a positive approach to illness,” she says. Made from bamboo, the blanket even has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. In addition, sensors in pillows and sheets allow doctors to monitor the heart rate and sleep patterns remotely, while a patient recuperates at home. With her Health Codex, Szczepanska has taken her interest in alleviating illness one step further. The codex is a combination of a medical dossier, filing system and personal scrap book, all in one. It features everything from general calming techniques to humorous postcards to send friends and family. With both projects, she reveals that design can play a healthy role in the healing process.