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Real innovation, they say, often starts with a social problem. Mart Veldhuis, student at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), noticed before he graduated how high his student debt had risen. It made him – like many of his fellow students – feel “stressed, pressured and insecure”. Instead of throwing in the towel, he chose to make a life-size tapestry out of his problem (which had by then amounted to €35,933). “Because carpets have been used for centuries as a narrative form to interpret social and political developments.”

Also read: Even in de toekomst kijken op de Dutch Design Week

This lavishly illustrated work of art will be hanging on the wall during the Dutch Design Week. Literally every square centimeter shows a slice of life of a debt-ridden student. The tapestry, made by the family business EE Exclusives from Heeze, is now ready for a buyer who wants to free Veldhuis from his debt at a stroke. In other words, an indictment and a solution in one!

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    Ode to the rut

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    Pascal Eijgenrook

    At first glance, the work of Pascal Eijgenrook from The Hague, with her ‘Ode aan de sleur‘ (Ode to the Rut), is not so conspicuous, but rather understated. In 372 ceramic tiles (1 month, 31 days, 12 different procedures) she depicts the endless repetitive life that she lived due to corona. She explains: “It seemed that we were doing the same things over and over again and not having any new adventures anymore. This was something I felt very intensely. The exasperation about what I was doing and seeing became worse and worse.”

    It was with this insight that the solution was also born. “Since no change was coming, I decided to start seeing the value of the rut I was in. And in doing so, capture the endless rituals we repeat every day. We underestimate their value because they are not being pointed ut to us and we’re not being reminded of them. This was how I found an entry point. My research was to focus on the positivity that a rut brings with it. When you think about it, it’s actually a kind of meditation.”

    Converted grain silo

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    Stella van Beers’ feed silo cum hiker’s hut

    The work of the two young artists is on view at the Design Perron, one of 120 locations in Eindhoven dedicated to Dutch Design Week which this year hopes to attract 335,000 visitors over the course of nine days. The largest exhibition space is in the Beursgebouw, where the Graduation Show from the Design Academy Eindhoven will be held. Above the many eye-catching exhibits in the enormous hall, towers the tiny house cum hiker’s hut designed by Stella van Beers.

    Van Beers converted an obsolete animal feed silo that she bought on Marktplaats for 35 euros. A silent protest against the housing shortage for young people perhaps? The designer is already quietly contemplating a series of hiker’s huts for recreational areas. With the shrinking livestock population, more silos could become obsolete over the coming years. Whether sleeping in the hut will be comfortable enough is something Van Beers wants to try out after the DDW.

    Shuttle service

    The work of 2,600 designers is being exhibited during the DDW, and there are lectures, networking events and shows at numerous locations. The organization makes it easy for visitors who want to travel from one side of the city to the other by providing a shuttle service. For the full program, visit www.ddw.nl.

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    Personal Info

    About the author

    Author profile picture Arjan Paans is editor-in-chief of Innovation Origins. Between 2003 and 2008 he worked in Berlin as a foreign correspondent. Aftewards he was a news manager for several Dutch newspapers. Arjan is married and has one son.