Louise Schouwenberg

Head of department

Louise Schouwenberg studied psychology (Radboud University Nijmegen), sculpture (Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam), and philosophy (University of Amsterdam) – a variety of studies and practices that have turned her into an art and design theorist who links an understanding of the hands-on artistic process to a philosophical research of art and design practices. Her main interest is the close relationship between people and things and the intriguing ways in which they mutually shape each other.

Schouwenberg has written and contributed to various publications, including Zeen on photographers Scheltens & Abbenes (Case Publishing 2019), Questioning Design (icw Joost Grootens; Design Academy Eindhoven 2018), Beyond the New – On the Agency of Things (icw Hella Jongerius; Walter König Verlag 2017), Material Utopias (Sternberg Verlag 2017), ‘The city contains narratives’ (in Brick. An Exacting Material; Architectura & Natura 2015); ‘Shaping Experiences’, on designer Konstantin Grcic (in Panorama; Vitra Design Museum 2014); and she has contributed to various monographs/catalogues on artists and designers, including Robert Zandvliet, Hella Jongerius, Jurgen Bey, Alexander van Slobbe, Joris Laarman, Wieki Somers, Yvonne Dröge Wendel, Ruta Butkute. Currently she prepares various publications, including a text on current views on craftmanship (at the request of the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Ljubljana).

Apart from writing, Schouwenberg has (co)curated exhibitions, among others for Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, Gallery Fons Welters Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam, and the Textile Museum Tilburg. She has teached and lectured at various art academies and universities, including the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague, and Politecnico di Milano (faculty Architecture and Urban Studies). Since 2010 Schouwenberg is head of the Master Department Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven. Since 2019 she’s a guest lecturer at Kunstakademie der Bildenden Künste in Nürnberg, Germany.

In the course of three subsequent years Louise Schouwenberg has collaborated with designer Hella Jongerius: during two subsequent Salone del Mobile events in Milan they presented their critical views on design by way of the manifesto Beyond the New (2015, at Palazzo Clerici), and the shadow play A Search Behind Appearances (2016, at La Rinascente storefront windows; commissioned by Serpentine Galleries London). In 2017 Schouwenberg and Jongerius curated the exhibition Beyond the New for museum Die Neue Sammlung / Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (10/2017 – 9/2018). Parts of the same exhibition were presented at the MUDAM museum in Luxemburg from October 2018 until January 2019. For this presentation, Schouwenberg and Jongerius invited filmmaker and former Contextual Design student (and current tutor) Alexandre Humbert to react on their installations and a work from the museum's archive (Alvar & Aino Aalto). 

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Part of the installation A Search Behind Appearances.


Overview of Beyond the New at Die Neue Sammlung / Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (Nov 2017-September 2018). The installation Upside Down - Reading the Archive consisted of cabinets from the museum’s archive. By placing them with their backs on the floor instead of upright, visitors could still see the visual characteristics and intuit the cultural meanings of the exhibited objects. At the same time, they were invited to imagine how these same objects would have shaped people’s daily lives if their functionality were still intact. On the wall, textile panels were draped with woven words, sentences, and questions that provided the visitors with clues for reading the manifold meanings and agencies of design within a ‘white cube’ exhibition space.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor zeen scheltens & Abbenes

Four publications by Louise Schouwenberg