During Dutch Design Week, e52 will be introducing you to the festival’s Hidden Gems. Nine special designers who we feel are the stand-outs of this edition. A different Hidden Gem will enjoy the limelight each day of DDW. Today: PopCore.

Curators Tijs Gilde and Emma Wessel will have their PopCore spread out through Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week. During the festival we will have the chance to enjoy another exhibition (PopCore), a concert (PopConcert), a dinner (PopDinner), a lecture (PopTalks), and much more. The end goal: to represent the ideas of the millennial.

“We wanted to give a new generation of designers the space to show off their work,” says Gilde. The fourteen exhibitors are mostly Design Academy Eindhoven alumni. It’s a concept for millennials, by millennials.

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    According to Gilde, this generation is characterised by its diversity of talents and interests. “Today’s designer can focus on industrial design one minute, and then evolve to look only at fashion the next year. The designers give themselves freedom of movement within different disciplines. That is the mark of the millennial.”

    Gilde believes that the consumer side of the millennial always wants something different, too. “It’s a notoriously difficult group to reach with a marketing campaign. They’re not usually materialistic; they don’t have much disposable income and they’re not interested in things like cars or houses. On the other hand, the millennial is often positive about life and constantly on the lookout for life’s ‘real values’, innovative design and good production quality.”

    De tafel van den Berg.
    The table by Job van den Berg

    This versatility is reflected in the designs on exhibition during PopCore, like a modular sofa. “A sofa used to be good for an afternoon nap and a lazy evening for about 20 years. Now it’s replaced after three years.” The modular sofa can always be rearranged or taken apart, and changes can always be made to the design.

    Material is a keyword in the designs that visitors will see during PopCore and there is a protest against the waste of material among some. “Fashion duo Anoukx Vera make leggings on demand so as to minimise material waste as much as possible.” There again, we also see a lot of experimentation with material.

    Het product van Anoukx Vera.
    The product by Anoukx Vera

    That’s the case with Job van den Berg, for example. “He uses a pretty exclusive technology in the Netherlands: the rubber press. His unconventional way of working the machine allowed him to press special structures into metal.” His research culminated in the making of two coffee tables.

    What should be especially clear from PopCore is the versatility of the millennial. “That’s why, in addition to the exhibition, we have PopClub, PopTalks and PopFood.” The latter will feature a dinner showcasing the cooking styles Design Academy student Crys picked up from her years of travelling across the world. Originally from Hong Kong, her home cuisine will form the basis, while her other travels will be reflected in the visualisation of the food.

    The versatility of the millennial which Gilde, Wessel and the fourteen other designers want to define also comes through in the nature of PopCore. What started out as an idea for an exhibition at DDW has blossomed into a concept. “After DDW we want to further develop PopCore into something that doesn’t just appear at a design week. We aspire to create a 360 brand covering all kinds of disciplines.”

    The Nine Hidden Gems of DDW was made possible through the collaboration with Dutch Design Daily and DDW curator, Katja Lucas. Want to check out the Hidden Gems for yourself? Urban Exploring Tours and Koga will be organising a special bike tour every morning and afternoon where you will see the selected designers. For more information, click here.

    Text: Bob Munten


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