Social Design Tutors

Jan Boelen

Head of department

JAN BOELEN (b. 1967, Genk, Belgium) is artistic director of Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium, artistic director of Atelier LUMA, an experimental laboratory for design in Arles, France, and curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial (22 Sep–4 Nov 2018) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Since the opening, Z33 House for Contemporary Art has been fashioning projects and exhibitions that encourage the visitor to look at everyday objects in a novel manner. It is a unique laboratory for experiment and innovation and a meeting place with cutting-edge exhibitions of contemporary art and design. With Z33 Research, design and art research studios established in 2013, Boelen is transforming Z33 from exhibition-based to a research-based institution. At the initiative of Z33 and the Province of Limburg, Manifesta 9 took place in Belgium in 2012. As part of his role at Z33, Boelen curated the 24th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2014.

Boelen also serves on various boards and committees including the advisory board of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee in the UK and Creative Industries Fund in the Netherlands. Boelen holds a degree in product design from the Media and Design Academy (now the LUCA School of Arts) in Genk, Belgium.



Michael Kaethler is a researcher and writer situated at the crossroads of art, design, curating and sociology.  His work focuses on making passages between different ways of thinking and practicing, body and mind, art and science etc….which has led him to pursue a broad range of topics, themes and theories.  Michael’s current focus is on design as ethnography and on re-interpreting the curatorial through communication theory.  Previously, Michael was a UN human right’s researcher in conflict and post-conflict countries. He holds an M.A, M.Eng and PhD



Nadine Botha is an artist who works with research, writing, publishing, and exhibition making to explore how invisible social, political, legal, economic, and cultural systems design our objects, bodies, technology, homes, cities, and experiences. One of her projects is The Politics of Shit in which she explores the politics of the portable flush toilet in Cape Town’s ongoing toilet wars. The Politics of Shit is now expanding into film, academia, and media. Other activities include being the assistant curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennale in 2018, and editor-at-large of DAMN magazine. She is the founder of deSIGNIFY design, media, and art consultancy. In 2005, Deep South published her poetry collection Ants Moving the House Millimetres. Her poems have been featured on Poetry International and The Common and published in various magazines in South Africa.



Stéphane Barbier Bouvet is an artist whose work fuses ideas of design, sculpture, and display. It develops, simultaneously, as a practice, a form of knowledge, and a comment. His oeuvre often comprises commissions that entail the mediation and alteration of existing conditions. His approach relies on an open-field system, applying a methodology of design on the various cultural fields in which he intervenes, specifically questioning the notion of exhibition and the status of objects. Graduated at École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) in 2006, Barbier Bouvet opened the collective initiative 1m3, an independent exhibition platform (2006-2013). Together with Benjamin Valenza, he also initiated Kaiser Kraft, a construction program that works on contracts within the art field (since 2010). He co-founded the Dirty Art Department at Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam in 2011. Stéphane Barbier Bouvet is represented by the gallery Truth and Consequences, in Geneva, and Salle Principale, in Paris. He lives and Works in Brussels.



Brecht Duijf graduated cum laude at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2006. Since 2010 she teaches at the bachelor department Man and Wellbeing and since 2016 at the master department Social Design. From 2014 on she’s co-director of buroBELéN, a half material research driven and half material application driven studio. Working towards wearables and interiors and everything in between. BELéN's projects have been part of exhibitions curated by Paola Antonelli, Jan Boelen, Ilse Crawford, Joseph Grima, Alice Stori Liechtenstein. They have been commissioned by Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Atelier Luma Arles, Schloss Hollenegg for Design and Textiellab Tilburg amongst others. Objects and researches have been acquired by Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Vitra Design Museum Weil am Rein, Design Museum Den Bosch, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam.



Dick van Hoff is part of Vanhoffontwerpen, a design studio that keenly focus on how a product works, the intuitive movements of the user and the enjoyment of use. Functionality, quality and the relationship between the product and the user are of paramount importance. Functionality is more important than aesthetics, but that does not mean form follows function. The designs are icons that capture your heart, often robust in shape, yet reflecting subtle detailing…



Jesse Howard is a designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. His work focuses on reimagining everyday objects in response to new forms of digital fabrication, distributed development, DIY communities. As an initiator of the ongoing collaborative platform Hacking Households, his research often centers around a close investigation on how the tools and practices of open source software development could serve as models for new networks and systems of production. After earning a degree in mathematics from Colorado College, Jesse relocated to the Netherlands, and graduated from the designLAB at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2011.

Alexandre Humbert

Workshop tutor

Alexandre Humbert was trained as a product designer (Contextual Design, Design Academy Eindhoven) and gradually developed a fascination for, and expertise as filmmaker. He currently focusses on video as a design practice. "As designers we are storytellers, we are not designing chairs but ways of sitting.” Humbert has created a range of ‘object interviews’ in which designs converse with each other regarding their existence. The first interviews were shown at Palazzo Clerici in Milan, during the Salone del Mobile in 2017, where Design Academy Eindhoven presented ‘DAE #TVClerici’, curated by Jan Boelen. Humbert contributed with surprising narratives derived from talking objects – for some a scary premonition, for others a lively new take on the life of things.



Anastasia Kubrak is a designer and researcher, working in R&D department at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. Her interested revolve around sociopolitical and environmental implications of emerging technologies. Her writing has been published by platforms including the Site Magazine, the Institute of Network Cultures, ARCH+ and Nichon-Nous dans l’Internet; her work has been exhibited at venues such as Science Gallery Dublin, the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, Seoul Mediacity Biennale, WORM, Onomatopee and Van Abbemuseum. She holds MA in Visual Strategies from Sandberg Instituut, and BA Man & Communication (cum laude) from Design Academy Eindhoven.



Eric Klarenbeek & Maartje Dros Klarenbeek ∞ Dros studio connects creatives, designers, architects and local crafts. They search for new meaning and principles in technology, resources, objects and spaces, for unexplored connections between materials, production methods, makers and users. Scale and appliance are irrelevant.

Maartje Dros and Eric Klarenbeek form a designer duo combine social design with technology. Their aim is to challenge and explore the use of space by connecting history, crafts and new technologies in archetypical objects to invite and evoke new use of space.

Gabriel Ann Maher


Gabriel A. Maher is a designer currently living and working in the Netherlands. With a background in interior architecture, Maher’s practice is essentially focused on relationships between body and structure and an interest in objects and systems. An emerging methodology seeks to create situations where research and design come together in performance. Questioning design and media practices through queer and feminist frameworks has become a core position and approach. Their investigations confront a range of intersectional concerns, which frame concepts of gender, race and class as well as highlight how the body, identity and subjectivity are positioned, organized and managed. Until 2012, Maher practiced and taught interior architecture and design in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Currently, they are Designer in residence at Iaspis, as part of the international program, in Stockholm.



Angela Rui is an Italian curator and researcher based in Milan, working in design theory and criticism. She got her PhD with Andrea Branzi in Exhibition Design at the Politecnico of Milan, Faculty of Architecture (2011). She recently collaborated as researcher with the Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam) for the Neuhaus project, the temporary transdisciplinary academy for more-than-human knowledge; among other projects, she co-curated I See That I See What You don’t See, the Dutch Pavilion for Broken Nature - the XXII Triennale di Milano (2019), the 25th Design Biennial of Ljubljana (2017) and the accompanying book, both titled Faraway, So Close, and  the 2015 edition of Operae, the independent design festival based in Turin. She has been design editor for Abitare magazine (2011-2013), and curated the editorial project of Icon Design magazine (Mondadori, 2015-2017). Until 2016 she taught at the School of Design (Politecnico di Milano) and at the Master of Interior Design program at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan). She currently teaches at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Social Design Master.



Jon Stam Commonplace Studio is a design practice that distills the power of meaningful digital things and transforms them into material interactions. The studio is comprised of designer Jon Stam (1984, CA) and hard- and software engineer Simon de Bakker (1979, NL). Their common works have been commissioned and showcased worldwide; in Dubai, Milan, at MUDAC Lausanne, during Manifesta, at Sotheby's and Shanghai’s Power Station of Art. The studio has been recognised nationally with the DutchTalent Award from the Creative Industries Fund NL, as well as internationally with the Designers of the Future Award from the premier forum for collectable design Design Miami/.



Fabrizia Vecchione is Exhibitions Manager at Herzog & de Meuron, and is currently based in Basel. Previously, she was project coordinator at Documenta 14 in Athens (2017). In the past she was an editor at architecture magazines Mark, Amsterdam (2010–2011) and Domus, Milan (2011–2013). She also worked at OMA, Rotterdam (2013-2017) leading projects such as Monditalia, one of the main exhibitions of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale; the redesign and content management of the website; and media plans for several major project completions. She holds a Master in Architecture from the University of Florence.



Henriette Waal is artistic research director of Atelier Luma, a design research lab in Arles in south of France. At Atelier Luma she is leading a field work research in Mediterannean Wetlands, focused on creating a design network that is maker-driven and maker-led, connecting local designers, scientists, farmers and institutes using social design as a tool for transition. Her research contributes to new transnational ways to organise and make design integrating remote southern european, african and near eastern wetlands communities. As an artist and designer her work was awarded by the International Award for Public Art for her placemaking approach. As curator for Mediamatic’s Bio-me program, Waal has developed a cross-disciplinary platform for knowledge exchange about brewing practices and design with micro-organisms. Waal’s projects have been exhibited worldwide in institutions such as Venice Biennial, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Pioneer Works NYC, Dutch Design Awards and the XXII Triennale di Milano. In addition to founding a number of socially engaged art and design projects Waal has taught since 2013 in the Social Design Master Program at Design Academy Eindhoven in the form of on site projects such as Color Geographies.

Guest Tutors