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After decades of devoted work at Design Academy Eindhoven, Ilse Crawford, Head of ‘Man and Well-Being’, and Oscar Peña, Head of ‘Man and Activity’ announced that this season will be their last at the school. The end of their tenure, motivated among other things by the growth of their successful practice in London, marks the completion of a period of extraordinary academic commitment throughout which they have formed over 1200 students into professional designers.

Ilse Crawford has been the Head of 'Man and Well-Being' for twenty years and has been combining this with her own design studio Studioilse through which she has pioneered with the power and potential of wellbeing values across the field of design, from furniture to interior environments.

Ilse states that it has been a great experience to work with students who represent the world of tomorrow. It has been a privilege to explore together what it means to be better humans and design for that. The inter-connection, interdependency and cooperation always were both a challenge and a feast. Oscar Peña is a creative director, product designer and the co-principal of Studioilse. Oscar has been the Head of 'Man of Activity' for twenty-three years. He states that it has been a great journey to be able to mentor young and curious minds throughout the years. ‘To stimulate, inspire and challenge them to become active participants in creating a better world for all of us. I will miss that.’

To mark the end of Ilse and Oscar’s decades within the DAE, they curated the show HOPE at the Kazerne that was designed by Buro Bélen and produced by Studio Anne Ligtenberg. Ilse and Oscar state that: ‘Hope is a state of action and effort is one of our most powerful catalysts for change.’ The show thus holds an optimistic message for the future from the departing heads: ‘that small changes can make big differences.’ The hopeful projects are designed by students, past and present, from DAE departments led by Ilse and Oscar.

Joseph Grima, Creative Director of DAE, states that the Executive Board is most grateful for their contribution to the academy. ‘Both of them have given so much of their vision and energy to DAE and shaped it to what it is today. Ilse and Oscar build up an incredible practice, both in and outside the academy, which is a remarkable achievement.’

The follow-up for both positions has already started. DAE looks forward to announce more about this before the summer.


Published: 13-May-2019 16:48


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  • Ilse Crawford and Oscar Peña step down as Heads DAE

    Oscar Peña and Ilse Crawford. Image credit Artifort.