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Written by Žan Kobal

During the third trimester of the 2018/2019 academic year, our first year Masters students took part in the latest incarnation of the collaborative project, looking at the multilayered concept of a border as a method for design production. Commissioned by A/D/O, MINIs creative hub facilitating cultural and creative exchange, and Z33, the project used the framework of borders to invite participants to challenge perceptions of confines, push the boundaries of the discipline and step into unknown territories.

During kick-off on March 25, the students were greeted at TAC by Jan Boelen, Social Design head, and Tibor Bijl, the projects coordinator, with a short introduction. They were followed by lectures by DAE alumni Irene Stracuzzi and Giuditta Vendrame, on how their practices are related to borders. The morning program ended with short introductions by the six external tutors; Guus Beumer, Frans Bevers, Rianne Makkink, Malique Mohamud, Martina Muzi and Barbara Visser, who gave insight into the thematic focus the group of students assigned to them will work on.

During the next couple of months the groups of 3-5 students, mixed between all four Masters departments, worked on a variety of topics. From researching the vertical borders and looking into space, to the social and political implications of the Belt and Road Initiative, the notion of a border proved to be a rich and fruitful research starting point, revealing hidden frictions of our contemporary mode of existence.

This became clear during final evaluations on June 3rd, where the tutors and heads of departments were faced with imaginative work proving the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas and skills. The projects presented extended past the walls of DAE, with a number of them engaging with communities and audiences across the Netherlands. Working mainly in Rotterdam, Giulio Fuzzi (SD), Federico Santarini (ID) and Marek Glogowski (SD), presented a project titled “Mapping Florida Water”, researching the bodega as a cultural center of the diasporic community. The trio presented an on-site installation which maps the commodification of spiritual products sold there.

Taking a more global approach, Coltrane Mcdowell (SD), Serina Tarkhanian (SD), Agnete Bierholm (CD) and Ana-Lyn Wolf (ID), looked at the fundamental problems of mass tourism. Through their project “Travel Cultures”, the group speculated a near future in which the microbiome takes a central role of information exchange, providing a more egalitarian framework to rethink and observe the problematics of contemporary tourism. Taking a similar, global approach, a group consisting of Gavin Jones (CD), Anna Oxholm Iversen (SD), Chou Yun-Ting (SD) and Taylor Shum (ID), looked at the routes an avocado needs to take to satisfy our eating and Instagram needs. Researching how bad an avocado really is, the project raised questions of personal moral values and guilt, searching for the border between right and wrong.

“The Zoo of Diplomacy”, a project by Meghan Clarke (CD), Astrid Birkedal (ID) and Alina Słup (SD), shed light on the hidden diplomacy behind pandas, a surprising political tool employed by China. The many concurrent storylines of diplomacy were represented in an abstracted zoo scenography, a miniature world of soft power. Looking to be freed from the political implications of our contemporary world, Matilde Losi (DCW), Matilde Patuelli (SD) and Adele Vivet (CD), turned their attention towards the International Space Station, only to realize that for freedom there is no space in space.

In an unprecedented move, Francois Chambard (CD), Manon Aubry (SD), Shen Weixiao (CD), Sergi Casero (ID), Sofia Bresciani (ID), Miguel Guevara Parra (CD), Victoria Plasteig (SD), Charly Blödel (SD), Tasminder Marsh (DCW), Žan Kobal (CD), Lydia Hwang (CD), Anna Jakob (SD), Zeniya Vreugdenhil (DCW), Anna Dryaeva (SD), Minthe Xue (SD), Pete Fung (CD) and Charlélie Flamant (SD) decided to work as a group of seventeen. Forming a collective called (Un)known, they worked closely with Het Nieuwe Instituut acting as a satellite to the program of Neuhaus. The collective questioned design education, aiming to brake the barriers between different educational institutions, and design at large. Their research manifested itself in a collection of Border Objects, on view in Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam until September 13.

 

 

   

Published: 11-Jul-2019 10:41

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  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

    Photography by Boudewijn Bollmann

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders

  • MA Project: Design at the Borders