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p. 4 p. 5 interview / index 1 let us all concentrate on the things that truly matter bert meijer on science and society His mother said he could go and study anywhere, as long as it was in Groningen, not too far away. When he was a young boy he had no specific interest in chemistry, but he was interested in science in general. He could just as easily have been a physicist, he says. But he became a chemist, and a good one, too. At the University of Technology in Eindhoven his ideas come to life. Literally text mirte meeus so. Bert Meijer is a people-person, and anything but a photo boudewijn self-important scientist. But he is passionate. bollmann
interview / index 1 - bert meijer p. 6 p. 7 interview / index 1 - bert meijer How are chemistry and our lives interrelated? The discussion surrounding the improvement of the human Chemistry is everywhere. You cannot imagine what life would performance through medical or genetic intervention is an important be like today if my field of study had not evolved the way it has. one to Bert. John Harris (who works at Manchester University and Without drugs, the average life expectancy would have been is the author of Enhancing Evolution) thinks it is our moral duty to much lower. In this context, chemistry is constantly making enhance people’s health. Genetic intervention can help accelerate the contributions to our lives. Colourful clothing, the way we know evolution of mankind. Before Bert had heard John Harris’ argument, it today, would not have existed without chemical processes. he had his own thoughts about embryo selection and related issues. Within my field of study everything is made up out of molecules. Now, he sees things quite differently. And there is the snag, because they are everywhere, and therefore they are not really anywhere because everyone is used How do you feel about the relationship between technology to having them around. What bothers me is that when people and ethics? think of chemistry, they think of messy things and explosions. Whereas there is no other field of study that has allowed us to Before I had heard Harris speak about accelerating the page 88 live in such a clean world. evolutionary process through genetic manipulation I thought: visual What is ethically justified and what is not? I had my own reportage thoughts about embryo selection. How far can you go? After I Not only is Bert a man of the world, he is a social creature as well. An and then oil would come out, but this would be incredibly had heard his argument I thought: This man is simply right. He outward-looking observer of the world. Moreover, he is a person who How do you arrive at decisions? difficult. We will have to research this new thing step by step, gave a good example about vaccination in children. If there are asks questions. Where do we come from? Does the universe ever end? and even then I am not sure it will work. But I firmly believe in A while ago, when I turned fifty, I went travelling through vaccinations available, and you would not vaccinate children, And if it does, how is this possible? its potential. I find it difficult to do the most important things Australia. I needed to think about whether I was on the right you would find this unethical. If you know there are groups first. I do a lot of things by relying on feeling. When you work track, to consider if I needed to change. I needed time to think. of children in other places across the world who do not get What keeps you lying awake at night? on so many new things you cannot substantiate everything. Why do I do the things I do? Are they useful? Some people these vaccinations, should you then stop vaccinating the other Two things. I will lie wondering if we could produce a primitive Emotion is an important factor. thought I needed time to think about my marriage (laughs). children? The fact that there are groups of people who do not cell in a laboratory and how I would go about it. And I lie awake But it did not have anything to do with that. I wondered: is have access to certain sources is a problem that has always been page 79 thinking about the energy problem. It is obvious that the way what I keep saying right? I started reading. My conclusion around. We cannot stop progress ; we cannot stop knowledge page 38 Ratio versus emotion. Relying on feelings, is this somethinginterview we are living on this earth with six billion people simply does was that I needed to change some things, but I did not need from increasing. The big problem is that the world is full of article a scientist is allowed to do? not work . Not the way we are doing things now. There is too to change professions. selfish people who will only think of themselves. But when much CO2 in the air, we are burning up too much oil… In fact, My feeling tells me that I have a thing with this new particle, problems come too close… The ultimate form of regenerative we are doing everything in unsustainable ways. And this needs something special. If I knew exactly why this particle was medicine would be if we had an organ ready at a laboratory He likes to put things in perspective. To think about the things that to change. Thankfully there are many people who are convinced going to be ground-breaking to my research, many more people somewhere as soon as some part of you stopped functioning. truly matter. This man’s head is not occupied exclusively with science. that things need to change, but how they should change, well, would start working on it. With some things, you do not know If you were to create complete humans for their spare parts, But he is devastated when something fails. that is easier said than done. beforehand exactly where they will lead, because you have not like in the film ‘The Island’, that would be unacceptable. This yet discovered what you cannot do with them. But I am well discussion is a very important one to help us determine our What place should science take in our society? aware of the things that have been done and what the problems limits. It should be held with every nuance. There are people who argue that there would be just as much have been with other particles. You cannot know everything I think it is a shame that we as scientists have been unable to CO2 in the air if there were no people on the planet. precisely, and you do not have to. make it clear to the public what possibilities we have at our Is this discussion held about other organisms, besides I am not saying that we are the culprits, but we have never burnt disposal to solve future problems. We are all so preoccupied human tissue? up as much oil as we are doing right now. But this is only one with the problems of today, tomorrow, and the day after. This is Many people think that scientists work entirely from aspect. In a general sense you can see that our way of living is quite painful to me. As a society we are completely preoccupied Lately I have been having discussions about the genetic their ratio. not sustainable. I think that if you are truly worried about your with our holidays, which is really quite short-sighted, isn’t it? modification of corn. Of course, there is a danger to this, but children’s children it is simply not possible to go on like this, Ratio and the subconscious. What exactly the role of the In any case, I believe we should try harder to inform each other we must also realise that in Africa, millions of people are dying and not work collectively at tackling the problems lying ahead. subconscious is… With me, ratio and the subconscious honestly of the problems we face in our society. Science plays because of a lack of food, which is also unethical. If we could Because these problems reach a great deal further than having blend into each other. I think that inspiration and surprise, an important role here. We have a country full of intelligent grow food that would need, for instance, only limited amounts to cut your holidays a day short, or an item of clothing not for example, are just as important as ‘knowing’. people, and yet the whole of the Netherlands is up in arms when of water, because it had been genetically modified, then why looking as good on you. These are luxury problems. What I find the Toppers-act does not win the Eurovision song contest. With not do it? the most annoying is that as a society, on top of these luxury all due respect, but those are not songs, are they? Please let us Where do you get your inspiration? problems, we are also making cuts in the education of our all concentrate on the things that truly matter. I think it would A selfish person will limit his fellow human beings. Man is a children. Can we not at least give them the knowledge they will From anything and everything. If I were to think too long about leave us with a lot more spare time to do fun things, too. wolf to mankind? need to solve the problems facing them in thirty years’ time? my sources of inspiration it would turn into some romanticised story. Sometimes an idea will come to you when you are Most people have a selfish disposition. I have it too, to some Any idea where we will be in ten years’ time? working under pressure of time. I will need to have an idea extent. Scientifically there is nothing wrong with the storage of Quite a few ideas… by nine o’clock, and as I ride my bicycle to the TU (University In ten years? The next step? If I knew, I would start working CO2 in the ground. Still, I would not be too excited if they were page 63 We have just discovered something new. I spend a lot of time of Technology), suddenly the coin will drop. Sometimes I will on it straight away. Some of the things facing us now, will to do it right underneath my home. So I understand. It is not a article thinking about a new type of particle we have developed. It is think about it for the longest time, and sometimes I will hear still be facing us in ten years’ time. In regenerative medicine, bad thing if we are worried for ourselves, as long as we make folded in a unique way, just like a protein. My gut feeling tells others talking, and it will make me think: ‘but isn’t it something for instance, we have been busy reproducing bits of organs sure we educate our children well. Our future problems are so me we could do so much with this. I think I could very well use different altogether?’. It is beyond you. Hardly anyone ever in real tissue. When ‘reproduced’ organs can no longer complicated that we will need great numbers of well-educated it to build catalysts. I mean, you could turn them into neat, gets an idea out of the blue. You are standing on the shoulders be distinguished from ‘real’ organs, this will bring about people to solve them. Which is why I am passionate about my job functional little factories. What I would love to do most is to of giants, constantly discussing your ideas with others, and an enormous progression. But the developments in nano- as a teacher and about transferring the available knowledge to build one of those factories that you would feed with sunlight, suddenly you will make that connection. I trust my feeling. technology are also succeeding each other rapidly. the next generation.
p. 8 p. 9 interview / index 2 anyone who is talented has the obligation to share their talent frank veenstra on culture and music It was the boy who lived next door to him who inspired Frank Veenstra to always carry a list in his trouser pocket of musicians he still needs to check out. He was crazy text about music and passed the bug on to Frank when he rob van kaam & mirte meeus was thirteen. Ever since then he has been unable to go photo boudewijn without it. Frank breathes music. bollmann
interview / index 2 - frank veenstra p. 10 p. 11 interview / index 2 - frank veenstra Has music been a constant factor in your life? Music has been like a connecting thread throughout my life. You have to be open to it and give an artist a real chance. Although my interest broadened when I went to music college. And this is the great thing about art as well, that it is often a I am the sort of person who regularly visits a museum, sees victory over yourself. You will take something in that you had films, and reads literature. So in a cultural sense I have quite a never before thought possible, you never dreamed you would broad range of interests, and in music as well. Contemporary appreciate anything like it. It does not necessarily have to be classical music and twentieth century music on the one hand, beautiful either. Something banal or hideous can also give and on the other hand alternative pop, Indie music. Those are you a wonderful artistic experience. You have to work hard to the two I am most fond of, and the combinations of these types understand art. Most people are not really prepared to put in of music I find especially interesting. The distinction between the elbow grease in this respect, they just want to watch the one classical music and pop music is totally irrelevant, genre thousandth episode of Deal or No Deal. distinctions are beside the point for me. A concert is the best sensation there is, it beats listening to a CD. The term ‘classical’ refers to times gone by. You will have a unique experience of the artist, because the next day, the concert will be different. Even a CD that is not great will come to I think the average person would see it this way. But people life when you hear and see the artist performing it. Unfortunately, are still writing so-called classical music every day. Like in not everyone seems to feel this way. pop music, there are many different styles and forms of classical music. Really? To see if you can create something? Sort of a pioneering role? Is this a recent development or is it part of a bigger trend? Oh yes, I am always working on a few songs, it is a Yes, I enjoy pioneering, getting doors to open. I also do it, for In music, too, there is a cyclical movement. The number of It is striking to see that the music created today is often, biological need.’ example, by working with other European concert halls. By concerts visited varies, it fluctuates. One moment people are even when it is considered innovative, a crossover between doing so we can get the bigger names to come to Eindhoven. looking for small-scale acts , and the next moment they prefer page 83 different genres. Do you think we will see the birth of a bigger, more popular artists. article completely new sound, a new genre? Programmer becomes musician? After studying in Utrecht, Frank went to work in Enschede first, and page 31 There will always be original minds who will think of I do not know. I never felt like, when I hit thirty, I want to do then came to Eindhoven. And not without a reason. The cultural Where in this cycle are we now? visual something new that will make people go ‘this is new to me’. this, or in five years’ time I want to do that. I have always beenreportage climate is favourable here, the way Frank sees it. Here, you are allowed Modernism was new, post-modernism was new; what are we a person who has followed his intuition. I have always been I think we are moving back towards the smaller acts. It comes to try out new things. going to see next? I am not convinced there will ever be any passionate and ambitious, but things have always come onto my back in all forms of music. In classical music there is a greater page 94 new music that will actually bring about that shock of being path. It is still always a search, always; life is like that, and this demand for tonal music. If you were writing tonal music ten What would be a good breeding ground for creativity? article new . Of course in the fifties Rock ‘n Roll was a completely new is what makes it great for me: that you keep discovering things years ago, no one would have taken you seriously; now, it is thing. I do not see anything like that happening again. I think and that this is how you find your answers. In my view there should be breaks in activity, where there a common phenomenon. The fluctuations have become less page 132 the musical cross-fertilisations will determine the musical is room to develop things . As soon as a town becomes too fixed, violent in the course of time, the peaks seem not as high and case study landscape. Mainly because people today grow up with people will be rather more focused on each other. They will try the lows seem less deep. What have been the important questions on your search? classical music and pop music and a hundred more different to hook up with certain trends, because those are the hip things music genres. Love, and beauty, these to me have probably been the main to do. Eindhoven offers enough space for people to play, which When do you say something is a work of high quality? subjects. Everything you do, you should do it with love.’ makes it easier for original minds to come forward and set to Frank Veenstra is a philosophical thinker who is very strict with work. In ten years’ time this may have changed. People have a That is difficult to determine. As George Braque put it: ‘There What role should music play in our daily lives? himself. Take every step with love. Make the difference in your tendency to limit themselves; it is one of the shortcomings of is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.’ A really important one of course. Research has even proved that own world. Frank worries about how we treat each other and mankind. Wanting to do everything themselves and being able I think this is very true. The question, ‘what exactly is it that you become a more sociable person if you regularly practice or nature. Things could be so much better. to say: ‘this is my thing’. moves me,’ is beyond the ratio. What is quite important on the play music, and that it will have positive effects on your body. other hand, is that it is real and original. It does not have to be Music has so many functions. It can be pure entertainment, it innovative, but what is important is that it has some uniqueness. Have you ever been afraid of the future? On the other hand, you are allowed to claim something that can broaden your horizon and enrich your mind. People often you have created, aren’t you? expect a programmer to say: ‘Ah, this is good for you, it will be No, I haven’t. Fear is the worst driver. It is the thing that causes Do you strive for this uniqueness in your own life? spiritually enriching,’ and things like that. Well, this may of people to finish each other off, fear of the unknown or of what is Oh certainly. You should stad for the things you do and you course be true, but it can also be entertaining, fun. different. Which is part of my work as well; I want to introduce should be proud of them, but you should also be able to share In everything. It happens without my doing anything about it, people to new things. This is something that has been deeply your pride. Anyone who is talented is has the obligation to because I am in this state of mind. engrained in me. I am always curious about things I do not share their talent. Is music a 24-hour occupation for you? know. Which is not normal, I know. Most people instead want Should music be timeless? Yes, it is also a hobby for me. I have a band, I just wrote another to do the things they already know or that are accepted. Does this mean that things like MySpace and YouTube are hit single this morning. (laughs) I once had a discussion about this with Spinvis. About good developments? permanent value. He thinks this is nonsense; things can just By experimenting yourself, you try to get other people… I think they are. I regularly check these sites, looking for be beautiful at this point in time. I agree with this, but of course, Over breakfast? …to feel tempted, and look beyond their own preferences and inspiration or new discoveries. But I always like to listen to the sublime works of art will last a few centuries. Even though I am I get up every day and start playing the guitar. their own experiences. entire CD; you cannot get at the artist’s personality until you do. not sure if this would be the ultimate achievement.
p. 12 p. 13 interview / index 3 we need immigrants far more than we will ever understand charles esche on man, foreignness, and imagination As the director of the Van Abbemuseum, it is Charles Esche’s job to connect us and them. As a person, Charles mediates between locals and internationals and between people in power and those on the margins of society. As a foreigner living in Eindhoven, he balances between our world (how we behave), and his world (how he acts). We text freek lomme expect him to introduce imagination, the tool of art, as a photo boudewijn form of cultural mediation. bollmann
interview / index 3 - charles esche p. 14 p. 15 interview / index 3 - charles esche Piet’ (a blackfaced helper of Saint Nicolas), the Festicumex Being an expat yourself, how would you estimate our current Festival, and like the recent conference we had with Sanja civilization appreciates the expat? Ivekovic. These were moments when you could sense that the Well, if you speak about civilization, you immediately speak of museum was making a difference that the museum was offering a western civilization that has always dealt with immigrants something that was not or could not be offered elsewhere. In from all over the world. However, our notion of civilization has addition, those projects focused on something specifically from become rather fixed. It has been given a clear set of values, and Eindhoven: an exhibition or cultural phenomenon here. So, page 45 those values have come under strain since we have been faced these attempts at making art connect with a wider range of article with the consequences of globalism for example. I think it discussions within society are our way of understanding this is hard for people in Western societies to understand and powerful relationship between art and life. The questions that accept the consequences of trends such as globalism because we ask ourselves in this discussion relate to something that goes it asks for a real change in our self-perception. The power to beyond the development of art. They relate to the development determine what happened in the world was in Western hands, of our society. I hope that there is a certain significance as to from, arguably, the Renaissance until quite recently, perhaps what I do in this regard – that it can show a way of working that 1945, perhaps around the oil crisis, perhaps 1989. The expat or others can develop further.’ page 147 immigrant now comes into a country or a culture that is lessinterview secure in its own worldview , in its own rightness, and their What would you consider fruitful networks for Eindhoven? presence exposes the urgency of this pressure. It disturbs what seems to be a calm situation. But, to be dramatic, if you consider A network is what we make of it . In the art field, it doesn’t page 119 Auschwitz as the death of Western European culture, then we function to produce work in the studio and wait for it to be article are living as zombies now. The civilization we try to keep up is difficult for someone protecting the rules to know what they it can simply be taken over, but it is not desperate and critical discovered. That gives far too much power to the middlemen then a zombie civilization, a life after death and that is probably are protecting. In the end, it is not so much the breaking of the enough yet to renew itself from within. So we have arrived at a and destroys the independent action of artists. The museum much more apparent to someone with one foot outside the rules but the view on the rules from another standpoint. What is very crucial moment in time. should be seen as a gateway to an international network for culture than with their whole body inside. The problem we have valuable here is critical thinking and the possibility to reflect on people here in the city – a network that does not only include as a culture is then, do we want to try to live out our zombie what we do and why we do it. From that point of view, expats or artists but connects to other fields, disciplines and knowledge How can we engage with this on a more personal level? You, existence in comfort and leave it to the next generation to deal immigrants have a great deal to offer a host community. centres. For artists, the museum is not really a place to hang for example, are very closely engaged with local factors, but with the consequences, or can we resurrect ourselves and define your painting; it is a place where you can meet people. I want simultaneously, you seem to be a global citizen? How do you anew what we stand for and to ask other people from around to offer people access to the networks I have and to share with The notion of the expat seems quite restrictive, because see your role? the world to join? I think the latter is possible but it remains theirs. That is what the idea of Your Space was and is – a place it says ‘this is you and this is me’ in a very plain, formal challenging. For instance, if you ask ‘what is Dutchness?’, Honestly, I think you just carry it through as lived experience. where meeting and exchange can happen at other levels. You way. But this ‘me’ is highly vague when it is used in such an people will reject that question or they will say vague and I am not sure you cope with it on an emotional level. One of the know as well as I that we need to work on this further but it abstract way. Likewise, the ‘you’ can be just as vague. kind of meaningless things like ‘tolerance’, or that they are an problems with a position like mine is how to say no. This is a also requires commitment from people in the city to engage. individual instead of a Dutch person. No one will define it for Definitions like these are always given in the negative. You only luxury problem that seems almost a bit embarrassing for me to I sometimes think the sense that the subsidized sector is page 25 fear of limiting it, so Dutchness becomes a kind of secret to know who you are by defining the other. Therefore the expat, say. So, I do not know if I am merely surviving while thinking only getting smaller results in a kind of cynicism about new article the immigrant, which can only be guessed at. It is similar in or ‘allochtoon’ in Dutch, provides a way of defining Dutchness I am just self-propelled. Tomorrow I am going to the biennale developments. If more people need to compete for a smaller pot European countries but maybe a bit more tangible here. What within Dutch culture. I would add that all Western European in Venice. Why? Well, if I am being honest because somebody of money, then each will get less. It is a kind of zero sum game this civilization, this culture, actually is remains in a sort of countries have this problem. We are not unique in this, but we has organised the trip and I don’t want to waste it. Of course, in which initiatives are dangerous. That is why I like initiatives limbo, not defined but not renewed either. have our own unique way of living with this problem. The ‘you it is a professional obligation and an opportunity to promote like yours or Luc Sponsorlee that generate stuff and try to do not being me’ is the only way that defines the expat: ‘you’re not the museum in the world. In fact, we will announce a new things for themselves. They avoid the passivity that relying us’. The only way out of this is to look for another larger identity collaboration with Barcelona and Ljubljana museums there. on state funds can generate. This is something we deal with How do you relate to this, being formally foreign like European or human. We seemed to want to try that after We need to generate such an international environment from every day in the museum, but networks can be a way to flatten in Eindhoven? 1945, but now it goes back to national forms of identification. out of Eindhoven and ensure the cultural elite know where relationships like this and give people a new sense of useful, if For a foreigner it is sometimes difficult to adapt since no one A project like Be(com)ing Dutch in the museum sought to we are aiming. But on the personal level, I feel sometimes just always relative, autonomy. will tell you what the culture expects. As an expat I can learn by contribute to investigating why that has occurred. carried along by the growth in worldwide cultural events. doing, which is often quite fun and amusing, but means I have When I feel happiest is when I can go back to places and develop Your tone just turned quite angry, can you explain what to do something wrong and have someone tell me it was wrong lasting relationships with artists or museums for Eindhoven So we need expats as our negative, as a mirror of ourselves? caused it? in order to learn. It is in an odd way the kindness and tolerance – such projects as the Middle East meetings, or working with page 71 that makes it more difficult, or at least slower, than in a more I think we need the outside , however much it is also present Detroit and Chicago. That’s when the travelling makes sense. It is more passion than anger I hope. I think artists in the article determined cultural environment. inside the country. We need immigrants far more than we will Netherlands have in a way been force-fed with subsidies and ever understand. The culture needs the foreign in order to that has limited their room for action. I am not for reducing You deal with hundreds of people, work with dozens ofpage 164 remain a culture and not to disappear as some kind of subsidies, but more for making them conditional and related So, if we declare a cultural need for more expats, we state a organizations and have initiated a great number of newlecturis historic heritage . The only way to introduce newness is to certain basic social objectives, because I believe art is a part need for people breaking the rules? networks, stretching in numerous directions, as the museum through encounters with the foreign on the formal, social, of the social matrix. The real autonomous artist is one who website shows. To what extent does this reflect the person The fact that there are no outspoken rules also makes it difficult aesthetic, and other levels. We have done so historically through has fought for his or her autonomy in the face of subsidies and Charles Esche? for people to be open to someone who is breaking them. One, trade, colonialism and the way the avant-garde incorporated patrons, not one who simply demands it of the supporters. because of uncertainty, two, because they are not even sure other aesthetic traditions; this is how we have constantly The fact that the museum is moving more in the direction of That’s too easy. I also think that the stress on artistic autonomy themselves if this person has actually broken the rules. For renewed our culture. That is why our civilization, in a way, died Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, is clearly in the educational system leads to extreme individualization of example Geert Wilders’ judgement of someone breaking the in Auschwitz – because that ideology wanted to make everybody something that I have brought. This is something new. The the art field with each artist striving for his or her own interest. rules will differ considerably from the way Rob van Gijsel, our the same. The only hope for civilization is for outside factors to museum used to focus primarily on the Northwest of Europe To be honest, I think we need to connect to each other more mayor, would judge them. This means that individualization come and renew it. But this is a difficult thing in a culture that and North America. And the focus on socially engaged practices across disciplines and specialisms. Art could make a change in page 113 has made it difficult for immigrants to know what the rules is rich enough to protect itself from change if it decides that it is something I introduced. To try and, hopefully, position society . After all, only together could we change the world for case study are, whether you can break them or not. But it also makes it wants to do that. Western culture is not yet so destroyed that the museum as a public space with debates like the ‘Zwarte the better!
p. 16 p. 17 interview / index 4 life around the corner is where we can be of influence anne mieke eggenkamp on generations and design As a child Anne Mieke would help her mother with her work as a dressmaker. She was fascinated with laying out the pattern sheets and tracing the patterns. Her father ran a factory. Entrepreneurship is in Anne Mieke’s genes. She studied at the Arnhem art school and then plotted text out her own course. From playing business women with ingrid swinkels & mirte meeus her friends as a child, to business director of the Design photo boudewijn Academy Eindhoven. bollmann
interview / index 4 - anne mieke eggenkamp p. 18 p. 19 interview / index 4 - anne mieke eggenkamp What role does your background in graphic design play now? People see a job such as business director very much as a… I get up earlier to be able to meditate. For someone else it may position. That is not at all the way I see it. I actually think that work to get on a treadmill and run, for my husband rowing what I am doing now has a great deal to do with designing. It on the river Amstel every day does the trick. I do not preach is about making strategic plans, about building on something. meditation, but it works for me because it is disconnected from These are processes in which you have a role to play and that the stimuli I want so much and from all the things I want to see, you direct and where you must convince others that this is taste, be present at, and experience. You simply cannot handle the right direction. But you also literally shape it, you literally all of it as a human being. In order to be able to do all the other determine the content of what it should be. things and to translate them, I need peace. What makes something catch people’s eyes? When is an object a What is the most meaningful thing for you? striking thing? What is the designer’s way of seeing things, and how I think education is the most meaningful thing in life, because it does design from Eindhoven stand out among other design? Questions enables you to transfer onto others the way you see things, your that have been asked a dozen times at least, but still we wanted to hear experience of things in life. This is a transfer of knowledge, but from Anne Mieke how she sees things. mostly the passing on of experience. If only people knew how If it is something I do not immediately understand, it strikes me. happy this can make you. I really think it is an undervalued and Something that stands out from the context in which it has been become visible. The best time is when we have our graduations, the street right in front of me. I never even thought about it, an underpaid profession. The salaries in our education I think placed, I am sensitive to that. But it is about the message as well. then we get to see what the current generation is working on. I just picked up the can, flung it back into his car and said ‘We are scandalously low. When you see how much it matters. I am more easily tempted by content than by exterior. What The generation we currently have in our school consists of don’t just toss things out onto the street around here.’ He got 95 percent of the students leaving our school, and that is quite page 139 makes a thing stand out is not something that is fixed, no, this children who have been raised in digitalism from the start . out of his car and <bam>. I really do not think of myself as a a few, end up in good places in the world. With both feet firmly visual is the interesting thing. When you are a designer you become When they were born, the computer was already there. starry-eyed idealist, but this laziness is so annoying! I travel on on the ground, they take up their places in society and they willreportage sensitive to the way things are or appear, it is a combination There are enormous differences in behaviour between the the silence zone in the train at least three times a week, and at find their way whatever path they choose. And whether or not between the two hemispheres. It is quite an intuitive thing, and generations. The interesting thing is that they use a computer least once every week I have to tell someone ‘This is a silence they turn out as good designers is not even that important to then at some point, analysis or ratio steps back in again. This or a device in a completely different way from me; I am a child zone.’ And then they will want to start a discussion on what is me. But they do know what this world is about and they are able interaction between intuition and ratio works quick as a flash. of the sixties. Seeing this, and allowing it into a school is of the silence… then I take a deep breath and say: ‘Well, I think there to do something with it. They are able to contribute, they can It is not something you do consciously, it presents itself. People essence; not to become stuck in some old thing, but anticipating. are a few things in life about which there can simply be no think of something that might make the world just a little say that music is the quickest thing to stir the senses. You do One of the trends happening now is not that students turn away discussion: silence is silence.’ bit better. not need to be very ‘knowledgeable’ about it, it either touches from this, but that they develop a huge craving for mechanisms What are your favourite places, besides the train? you, or it does not. With visual things, all kinds of things get alongside it, alongside the digital and the electronic, a desire How are we to find Eindhoven among the rest of the world? in the way; conventions, taste, you name it. As a designer you for the mechanical. For the past few years we have seen a need I love being in Amsterdam, I love riding my bike around that have to open up your senses. All designers are good observers. to create things that are readable, tangible. Simply by sticking a town. I like being in a stimulating environment. But what I Eindhoven does not always realise that a great number of The thing you recognise in the work of our students is their plug into a socket or things with wind-up systems: mechanisms. love most is being completely disconnected; no phones, no people know this school, without even knowing where exactly conceptualism, which is a completely vague concept, but what it This is a very funny movement. A second trend that we have references to the present. In an environment that combines Eindhoven is. It has been a very conscious choice to add the actually says is that the design question, or the initial question been seeing is an incredible love of the material. A few years ago a view, water, plants, and that is in contact with the horizon. word Eindhoven to the name Design Academy. It states our which is often behind a product or a service or whatever, that things were more about form, but this is now shifting towards When I go away on vacation I will look for such places and as pride of being Dutch and expresses that we want to commit it has been thought through, and that it is a question that is not the material. The feel of things, the way things look, where they soon as I get into my car, everything will just fall away. I do not ourselves to the identity of this place. Furthermore it seems just of interest to the designer, but which is recognised by others come from, how they were made. The sensitive and tactile sides. need my computer, my phone, I do not need any of it. as if Eindhoven is exclusively about design, but technology is as well. So the design is never a simple formal solution along the A third movement is the handicraft, the process of creation. certainly something that is characteristic of the region, too.page 101 lines of ‘right, now let me design a new mug’. That is not what An attention to the way the product is manufactured and a love What Philips has done for Eindhoven is phenomenal. It is a Where do you find your answers? article Eindhoven stands for. Eindhoven is: ‘well, the assignment is: of creating . shame really that this is not treated with more respect. It is such what are the constituents of drinking behaviour and how can we I find my answers in nature, but also in a growing awareness of a great story, and one that is known all over the world. But now reduce waste?’ These are much further reaching questions with the things going on inside my head and my heart. This is also it seems to be exclusively about the humble light bulb; I think it What do you philosophise about? which we actually want to challenge students to do something because of my age. As you get older, you get this sense that you is a shame. and to take the assignment and interpret it in their own ways. We are all crippled by problems halfway across the globe. have less and less time left to do the things that are meaningful. This is what Eindhoven is. It is not the shortest, quickest, or best It makes us think: ‘what on earth could we do about that?’ I find my answers through regular meditation. How do you put things in perspective? page 47 way, but it is an organic process that will meander towards a But life around the corner, this is where we can be of influence. visual solution . Dutch Design is linked so strongly with Eindhoven We determine the way our own public spaces look. The entrance I think I am a person who loves their profession very much andreportage So on the one hand you look for stimuli in the city, and on the because the leading designers came from Eindhoven when the to your building, for instance. Even though you may not own practices it with passion. I hope I can make a small difference. other hand you find peace in nature. Is there any interaction phrase was coined in the nineties. This is still resonating in it, and even though you may share it, the point is to agree with But I am equally fond of humour. How important is it actually, between the stimuli and the peace? the outside world. Actually, Dutch graphic design has been of a each other anyway about what it should look like. The little the things we do? I sometimes feel like saying ‘What is the very high standard for the past seventy years, but it was never things. Everyday life is what is on my mind. I need both the stimuli and the peace every day. If I cannot actual point to all this?’ Our ego gets in the way for all of us, page 170 called Dutch Design. It has been forced into a framework that disconnect in nature, then I will disconnect by closing my eyes. doesn’t it? And none of us want it to; I sometimes long to have colophon is too narrow, so that we should be asking ourselves: should we I could sit in the bathroom here for three minutes and I will have no ego. But do you let it direct you, do you accept it, or do you How do you apply this in your own life? change the connotation of the term? Or do we need a new term? transported myself completely into a different state of mind. perhaps have to laugh at it sometimes? When I am in company By being more critical about these things, even when I am in I have had this all my life, come to think of it, but I started it I will sometimes think: ‘What is this all about?’. Outside art other places. Talking to people and asking them why they do after I had had an accident with my motorcycle and ended up education I will very often be the only woman and then I will What are the striking trends in the design world in 2009? certain things. I was once given a tremendous belt in the face in hospital. My head was too full and I realised something had see myself in this male dominated world. My father is no longer Trends get picked up by people who are sensitive to trends. And while I was waiting at a red light. There was a jeep next to me to change. I can handle a lot, but it is not healthy. As a child I with us, but then I can hear him roar with laughter; ‘Would you this is what makes our school quite special; this is where trends with the widows open, and this man tossed a drink can out into would draw, and withdraw to my room; now I do it differently. look at my daughter sitting there!’
p. 20 p. 21 interview / index 5 we are getting better at realising that a product is part of a bigger system hans robertus on electronics and alliances He is the director of the Dutch Design Week, works as a Senior Director Research, Development & Innovation at Phillips Design, and as a spearhead for the Creative text maud van der Conversion Factory he works on innovative projects on poel & mirte meeus the cutting edge between technology and design. Hans photo boudewijn Robertus is always on the go. bollmann