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We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new department heads in its Bachelor's programme. Starting on 1 September 2019, Thomas Lommée, founder of the design studio Intrastructures, and Mario Minale, partner at Studio Minale-Maeda, will be tasked with defining the curriculum and agenda of two new departments, with the mandate of developing them over the coming years.

Creative Director Joseph Grima comments, “As an educational platform engaged in the research and development of bold new forms of design practice, the Design Academy is excited to welcome Thomas Lommée and Mario Minale as new department heads. Their work as designers has for years been at the forefront in the definition of new ideas, materialities and economies in design, and we look forward with enthusiasm to them adding their vision and commitment to excellence to our Bachelors school”.

Thomas Lommée (Bruges, 1979) who was trained at the DAE and the Institute without Boundaries, Toronto, is the founder of OpenStructures (OS), an ongoing exploration on durable and democratic forms of design. Openstructures is a modular construction model that links modularity to open collaboration and unfolds through a continuously evolving process by a community of authors that test and evaluate its potential within the field of design, art and architecture.

Together with Christiane Högner he is partner of OS_Studio, the creative studio and major driving force behind OpenStructures. Earlier he founded Intrastructures, ‘a pragmatic utopian design studio’ applying product-, service- and system design as tools for change.

Lommée has been lecturing at numerous design institutions all over Europe. He taught previously at DAE's ‘Social Design’ and 'Well-being' departments and co-founded a studio on crowdfunding-based design at the ENSCI - École nationale supérieure de création industrielle - in Paris. He lives and works in Brussels together with Christiane Högner and their two children.

Mario Minale (Naples, 1973) founded the Studio Minale-Maeda together with Japanese designer Kuniko Maeda in Rotterdam in 2006. Minale graduated in Industrial Design from the University of Wuppertal, Germany. After his Bachelor’s degree he continued his studies at Design Academy Eindhoven where he met Maeda and obtained his MA degree. In recent years Minale has been teaching at the Design Academy as tutor and is a professor of product design at Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe.  

Minale and Maeda explain that they had a very like-minded approach to design despite their different cultural backgrounds. What brought them together was an interest and very broad perspective on contemporary material culture. Their work is situated between products, research and experiment, between utilitarian needs and the expression of culture. Their research goes into the implications of consumerism. To improve life quality, they look into the possibilities between mass-production, the cultivated skill of the artisan and the digital realm. To do so, they have delved deep into the realm of crafts among weavers and upholsterers in Italy and porcelain craftsmen in Japan and digital production. The combination, integration and translation between those domains lies at the heart of their research into material and production methods. Mario Minale was born in 1973 in Naples and lives in Rotterdam.

Published: 02-Sep-2019 13:25


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    Thomas Lommée (photo by Anne Morgenstern) and Mario Minale (selfportrait)