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Ines Sistiaga and Beer Holthuis have been awarded the prizes for the most far-out and outspoken talent and for the most professional approach among the graduating Bachelor students of 2018.


They were announced as the winners of the Melkweg Award and the Rene Smeets Awards on 4 September at a ceremony to mark the opening of the 2018-19 academic year at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE).

They were chosen by a jury consisting of Martijn Paulen, director of Dutch Design Foundation, Studio Makkink & Bey co-founder and designer-architect Rianne Makkink, José Maasse, senior design at Royal Mosa and DAE alumnus, director of the Hoesbergen Consultancy Peter Hosebergen, and Gerard Baten, senior designer at DaF Trucks and DAE alumnus.

Beer Holthuis won the Rene Smeets Award for professionalism and an awareness of feasibility and potential for industry collaboration, named after DAE’s founding father.

His winning project was Tactstrap, an anklet that uses eight different haptic feedback devices to deliver information from a mobile phone to the wearer via a tactile interface. The free the wearer from having look at or hold a screen when performing tasks like following directions or checking their speed.

“Beer knows how to funnel super-smart technology into a base that both works and surprises,” said the jury. “Beer designed a new application that emphasises haptic information processing in lieu of continuous visual input. A smart design with manifold interesting applications for ease of use, for example in sports or care.”

The other nominees for the Rene Smeets Award were Jim Brady, Sarah Brunnhuber, Lotte de Haan, Sara Kaiser, Mathilde Nakken, Freek Peters and Teddy Schuijers.


Winner of the Melkweg Award Ines Sistiaga together with Creative Director Joseph Grima. Picture by Angeline Swinkels.

Ines Sistigia won the Melkweg Award for unique and outspoken talent with her project Tactile Bond, which explored the possibilities of combining 3D technologies, biology and knitting to create assisted healing devices that support different tissues in the body. It proposes translating data from an MRI scan into code for a knitting machine to create a fully customised brace.

“Ines laces together a range of different disciplines: care, orthopaedics, coding and the knitting industry,” said the jury. “As well as performing extensive material and construction research, Ines not only considered what a (knee) brace user actually requires, but also an aesthetic point of view to ensure the aid looks stylish and colourful. Her research is wide ranging, complete and conscientious.”

The other nominees for the Melkweg Award were Sia Degel, Diego Faivre, Cale Joachim-Godefroy and Jordan Morineau, Zofia Nowakowska, Janne Schimmel and Moreno Schweikle, Sabine Silarãja and Adelaide Tam.
 
“Every year the jury is surprised at the quality of the nominees’ imaginings, designs and creations,” said the jury. “The nominees endeavoured to connect a range of different disciplines. In doing so they acted as bridge builders or translators of the different languages unique to the various professional sectors. They had the courage to distil major themes into personal narratives.”

The two winners will each receive €2000 euros and a cup designed by DAE graduate Olivier van Herpt. The winner of the 2018 Gijs Bakker Award for best graduate project was also announced during the ceremony.

Last year’s Rene Smeets Award was given to Simon Dogger for The Emotion Whisperer, a device for the visually impaired that uses a pair of connected glasses to translate body language and emotions into haptic feedback on a phone. The 2017 Melkweg Award was given to Marie Caye for SAM, the Symbiotic Autonomous Machine, which sought to explore a possible future where machines could exist as self-sustaining workers in the food industry.

Published: 05-Sep-2018 18:23

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  • Ines and Beer win Melkweg and Rene Smeets Awards 2018

    René Smeets Award 2018. Picture by Angeline Swinkels.

  • Ines and Beer win Melkweg and Rene Smeets Awards 2018

    Flowers presented to the award winners. Picture by Angeline Swinkels.