Author: Kinga Kowalczyk

Kiki van Eijk, The Joy of a Playing Child

Interview with Kiki van Eijk Eindhoven, 19.09.2016 Kiki van Eijk is an artist, craftsman and designer who does not follow any trends. She is incredibly versatile, working with fabric, ceramics, glass, metal, wood and other diverse materials with ease and control. In her design she fuses art and craft, knowing she can turn a loose drawing into an object that cannot only be functional but also artistically appealing. When I think about her design it is immediately clear that she is a creator who intuitively knows what is wrong and what is right for each piece. A graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, Kiki concentrates primarily on her own collections, but also has worked on projects for, among others, Design Academy Eindhoven, MOOOI, Häagen-Dazs, Bernhardt Design, Forbo Flooring, Venice Projects, Hermès, Nodus, Rijksmuseum and a number of private collectors. KK: How do you define design? KvE: First of all, I think design has only existed since the Industrial Revolution, because before that it was artists who would make everything. They would make paintings but they would …

Out of the Lab, In Conversation with Nicolas Henchoz, EPFL+ECAL Lab Lausanne

 Design is an agent of change, which can help us make sense of what is happening and turn it into our advantage. Alice Rawsthorn   Kinga Kowalczyk: Nicolas Henchoz, you’ve had an interesting career path. By training you’re an engineer; you studied material engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and also journalism. You’ve worked as a reporter, art director, writer and curator. In 2007 you founded the EPFL+ECAL Lab, which is “a design lab that explores opportunities and issues related to emerging technologies”. Your mission is to create meaningful design that translates disruptive technologies into a user experience that strives for more than just aesthetics. It’s important to say that the EPFL+ECAL Lab is not an academic laboratory in the traditional sense, and it doesn’t form part of any particular faculty either. It is fostering a relationship between the academic and industrial worlds, partnering technology received from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne with commercial manufacturers. Let’s talk a little about disruptive technologies first. How do you define them? Nicolas Henchoz: I wouldn’t …

H. Craig Hanna, a retrospective at the MNHA Luxembourg 

Briefly Noted H. Craig Hanna at the MNHA Luxembourg   …And then you look at a Rembrandt, it’s just… You see where you have to go… Miles and miles of work ahead of you… There are other aspects of making a great painting than just the skill involved in trying to be an old master. If you see a technique before the painting, it is a problem. … How could my stuff look different? … I finally discovered plexiglass and I started to paint with ink. It changed everything for me. Underneath this chaotic ink painting that I do, there is a knowledge of a figure… Years of drawing… I have this visual sensitivity… Certain colors together will produce this incredible emotion. H. Craig Hanna Inside the Ink-the life and art of H. Craig Hanna, an audiovisual essay by Willy Crank 

Jasper Morrison, Thingness and The Good Life

I made these drawings while visiting Jasper Morrison’s Thingness at The Design Museum in Zurich. When I was looking at these funnels and 19th century irons, in the back of my mind I was wondering, why are we so keen on classifying and organizing everything? Thingness is a treat to visit. The exhibit is more than a collection of objects designed by Mr Morrison, it also documents his influences, processes, and the stories behind the design. The show is divided into two sections. The first is a retrospective selection of projects starting from the eighties, along with some images from The Good Life, a project Morrison has been cultivating for a number of years and is the result of his obsessive need to document ordinary and yet, for some reason, fascinating objects and situations, “clever solutions to everyday problems solved with modest resources”.  The second part is titled My Collection and presents pieces chosen by Morrison from the vast collection of the Design Museum. Thingness gives us the opportunity to peek into the mind of a designer whose esthetic …

Wojciech Zamecznik, Photo-Graphics

Briefly Noted Warsaw, Zachęta – Natonal Galery of Art Wojciech Zamecznik, Photo-Graphics Photography and film combine the features of the biological and the technological eye, and perhaps thanks to that they are able to merge two models of knowledge–the optical, which is deemed passive, with the participatory one. It could be asserted that for Wojciech Zamecznik, photography and film were ways of being in the world and the tools for changing it. Therefore, that which supports the hegemony of seeing–photography, perceived as the “witness” or “trace”–becomes a tool for its deconstruction or gradual modification. Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska, The Power of Seeing /’

Activism by Design

In the new issue of Traces published by Casino Luxembourg – forum d’art contemporain there’s an article I wrote last year. Design awakens desire. Design infatuates and seduces. And design has the beguiling power to stoke our appetite for contraptions and gizmos we don’t yet possess and hardly need. There’s no question about it, design is a business, and as such it feeds on us. This is the sophisticated and predatory ecosystem modern designers must fit into, although the reason they get into design in the first place might be a need to do something worthy, to solve problems, to change the world. Dennis Elbers and Sven Ehmann, the curators of Resolute: Design Changes, are showing how the design community, empowered by technology, is experiencing a change in which independent creative individuals, with the help of crowd funding, open source platforms, and social media, can have impact on society. “Resolute is the outcome of an ongoing conversation between me and Denis Elbers, the force behind the Graphic Design Festival in Breda”, said Sven Ehmann when …