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Joseph Grima, DAE Creative Director, welcomed visitors and “now former students” to this graduation ceremony. “Design Academy Eindhoven is not just any design school. It is one which is looked at, as a point of reference, by people all over the world who are involved in design. You influence others. What a huge responsibility.” He then went on to say how essential it is to be critical and challenging about what design can contribute to the world, and that these new alumni now know what design needs to address, today. In particular, this year’s graduates tackled the big issues: the environment – in particular rethinking what it means to be alive in shocking and surprising ways; the politics of division and discrimination – social justice and how to structure society identity and need for privacy – protection and safety in a digitalised universe; experiments in materiality, colour and form; and the intersection of all these things.

Continuing on his tradition of referring to the epiphany of the 20th century designer and futurist, Buckminster Fuller, Joseph Grima appealed to all congregated: “the role that designers fulfil is larger than you and your own tasks to keep and inspire yourself”. He encouraged these fresh designers to go forth and make their contribution to the world and their communities.

The workshop award for the student with “the best manners” was then presented by the workshop instructor team, led by Terry Weerdmeester. There were three nominees; Cas van Son, Rick Maarsen and Sarah Brunnhuber, with the award going to Sarah Brunnhuber.

Mechtild van den Hombergh, Interim member Executive Board, introduced each of the 8 department heads, who spoke briefly about their students: Man and Identity, Man and Motion, Man and Well-being, Public Private, Man and Leisure, Man and Communication, Man and Activity, and Food and Non Food.

Man and Identity: Marty Lamers talked about the culture of “eccentricity” in this group, the origins of the word meaning “off-centre and outspoken”, and presented his four “peculiar” students. Marty also announced that Sarah Brunnhuber and Sia Hurtigkarl Degel had graduated Cum Laude.

Ilse Crawford from Man and Well-being rewarded Don Kwaning and Inés Sistiaga with Cum Laude bachelor degrees. She shared how the group was a great example of not ‘doing it alone’ and that most projects were done with outside companies, or with others and mentioned a project involving a goldmine in Columbia to elevate self-perception in a colonial world, how broken bones might be healed using beautiful braces made with the help from an MRI scan, and care homes that pair the elderly with the new Dutch.

Presenting the large group from the Man and Leisure department, Irene Droogleever Fortuyn spoke of her personal interest in this particular day. Lidewij Edelkoort, former Artistic Director of the Design Academy and former head of this department, had been an external examiner of the graduation projects earlier that day. Irene received confirmation from Lidewij that “the special force of the school is still there”. There were two Cum Laude students; Pierre Castignola and Pauline Wiersema.

Man and Communication was the department with the most graduates, headed by Catelijne van Middelkoop. Catelijn was able to gain a new perspective into this year’s graduating class and was glad to witness a sense of community and the courage to explore new, threatening and yet exciting areas. “Many of these many students – whose quality I can definitely vouch for – had transferred from other departments to mine; only five students on the stage originally started off in Man and Communication”. She announced the three students graduating Cum Laude: Soline Bredin, Seokyung Kim and Moreno Schweikle.

Oscar Pena, department head of Man and Activity, described projects that reflect on contemporary issues, like how to save the ocean, or stools structured from data, new dripping machines for ceramics and even a nuclear survivor kit (which Oscar hoped the world will never need). The following students had received a Cum Laude: Carla Joachim-Godefroy, Felix Mollinga and Jordan Morineau.

Finally, Marije Vogelzang presented her all-female Food Non Food students, joking that this evening they were calling the department ‘Food Non-Man Food’. Marije rewarded Cum Laude to Adelaide Tam: “In Dutch we say we keep the best horse in the stable, but in this case, it’s a cow! Adelaide made a thorough, objective, subjective research on the life of a cow on a dairy farm and in meat production. She did it in such a beautiful and moving way, that it made me cry when it was presented.”

Graduation projects 2018 show that additive methods are popular, but how and why they are applied was diverse - from cage-like structures that grow crystals to create organic lamps, to visualising the 24-part molecular structure of strawberries, to a stool that is structured according to the user’s weight and lower height, and a 3D printer using paper pulp. Handwork was to be seen in the form of wearables and carpets, but even knotted furniture, too. And robots were put to use by capturing the sun in novel ways, dripping liquid clay to shape a vessel or add decorative motifs onto ceramic pieces, and knitting a tailored brace to literally knit a broken limb. From a material point of view, there were many experiments with linoleum, investigations into the fading pace of natural dyes and also the language of fatigue in printing machines. There were poetic expressions of seaweed, actual poetry composed by AI (artificial intelligence), the metaphor of a brass paperclip in exchange for a cow’s life, and even new notions such as jewellery to customise the shared clothing of a projected future. Further, there was modular office furniture for those who fear their desks, and even mutant office furniture challenging how we perceive generic mass-produced objects today. Objects were created depending on their method of manufacture, others were modified depending on the data they received, while others were transformed owing to an element - such as time, light, overuse - in the production process. Economics, happiness, social media were also topics that were fearlessly examined in projects by the 2018 Bachelors Design Academy Eindhoven Graduates. It’s close to impossible to describe the projects in overarching, collective terms - they were so incredibly varied.

All Master students projects will be on show at the Graduation Show 2018 during Dutch Design Week held in October. After 20 successful years within the walls of the DeWitteDame school building on Emmasingel, the 2018 edition of the annual Graduation Show will expand into the former Campina Milk Factory near the Kanaaldijk-Zuid, Eindhoven.

Published: 04-Jul-2018 12:05
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    Bachelor Graduates June 2018