A beautiful day by the lake….
Or rather a beautiful day at Dutch Design Week, which had this immersive set-up, relaxing at a projected shore of a lake.
We had a very pleasant day at Dutch Design Week today. Some interesting things, but it did seem less inspiring than other editions. Maybe because we could roam and linger less this year. Our 3 yr old shared the experience with us, and that means my attention was with her a lot of the time. But some exhibits simply weren’t all that. Like reinventing the cellar to store fresh produce?
Last week was the annual Dutch Design Week. A good reason to visit Eindhoven in the south, which over the past years has turned into a innovation and creativity hub as well as a city renewal hotspot. I’ve visited regularly in the past years and every time you find new endeavours on the crossroads of high-tech, design, art and science, business, and citizen activism. When we were looking for a new place to live we considered Eindhoven because of this palpable elan (we ultimately decided against it due to travel times to other areas). Instead we visit every now and then, e.g. for Dutch Design Week.
We had a pleasant day browsing through various exhibits and expositions, and enjoyed talking to the designers, engineers and craftsmen who created the things on display. For lunch we had pizza from a mobile wood fired oven, outside on a surprisingly mild day.
One of the designers showing their products is Bas Froon, whom we know since our university days. In the past few years, after a decade and a half of business consulting, he went to art academy, and now exhibited a machine he built to create products from a single material (a fiber enhanced plastic fabric) The material is soft and flexible but can become hard and very strong when heated and under pressure. It is for instance used in the automotive industry to make car bumpers. Bas built a cross between a 3d printer and a clothing iron to be able to selectively heat and harden parts of a piece of this fabric, from a digital design. That way you can make a baby carrying sling for instance from a single piece of fabric including all the clasps and fasteners and the cushions for the infant.
I got some ideas about temporary furniture for a possible next unconference at home, from a project by a local packaging company challenging designers to come up with other uses for their cardboard.
Also fun to see plenty of Ultimakers in use.
While at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven I came across ‘Edible Growth‘: 3d printed edible pastries.
The interesting part it is that spores of mushrooms and seeds of small plants are printed within a little ‘basket’ of pastry, on the basis of your design. The spores and seeds sprout and grow over a period of five days, and then your little starter is finished. If you let it grow longer it will get richer in taste (more mature mushroom, bigger green plants), allowing for your personal preference. The pastry serves as food source and packaging for the seeds and spores.
What you end up with is an edible item that comes without waste products (no packaging, no left-over material etc.)
The project was conceived by Chloe Rutzerveld. She did it as her graduation project for a bachelor in industrial design at TUe, and in cooperation with TNO, a Dutch research firm. In the past she has worked on other food related projects. Reducing agricultural foodprint, waste streams, and food miles are part of the values she incorporates in her designs.
During the Dutch Design Week I came across Carolin Schulze’s “Bugs Bunny” (Falscher Hase in German), a project 3D printing foodstuffs using mealworms as material. She sought to work on both the general western aversion against eating insects, and the reduction of resource use to provide proteins. With a home built 3D printer she printed bunny (and grashopper) shaped snacks made of mealworms.
On 14 October she both won the public design award and the design award for most interesting experiment of the Burg Giebichenstein art academy in Halle, Germany where she is in her 2nd semester of an MA in industrial design.
Starting from ‘raising’ your own crop of mealworms, which you then shred into a past for your 3D printer, you can create various shapes that no longer generate the aversive reactions insect shapes normally create in western Europe.