By Gabrielle Kennedy
Graduate Bart Joachim van Uden (in collaboration with visual artist Rick Veugen) has won Maarten Baas’ Kick That Ass award for his two projects “Cathedral” and “Marble Earth". This a new prize designed to celebrate a certain spontaneity that Maarten feels is sometimes lacking in end-projects.
“I am a designer. I also teach at the academy, plus I graduated from there,” Baas says. “So I really understand what the students are going through and I recognize their struggle.”
In judging this year’s graduation work, Maarten was looking for a project that revealed the genuine pleasure of experimenting and creating. “Sometimes you see work that is clearly not designed to impress teachers or get everything just right,” he says. “Sometimes it is really obvious that a student has designed something that he or she really thinks needed to be done. There’s a genuine enjoyment to it all.”
Bart and Rick made a 1:100 scale model of the Notre Dame de Reims - one of the last communally created works of art still standing today. The project is about the mental space that creation demands - a space for dedication, repetition, perfection and patience. It is also about time - the great European cathedrals were built to last, design today is not, and nor is this model.
Bart’s second project “Marble Earth” is about challenging our deceitful approach to cheap chipboard furniture. Rather than cover it in a decorative top layer of fake wood, he applies images taken from Google Earth that look like expensive stone.
The idea for the Kick That Ass prize is that each year the winner will be selected by the previous year’s winner based on the same criteria. The previous winner will also design the trophy. For this year’s trophy Baas whipped something up by combining two standard trophies from the local trophy shop.