We must begin this post with a small confession.
Something we were too scared to tell the good folks at Dutch Invertuals personally.
We first came across the Dutch Invertuals design collective @ Milan 2009.
Where we walked out of their show after 36 seconds.
It was our fault.
We were tired, hungry and on our way to the opening of a Belgian product design showcase.
We shouldn’t have gone. It was the wrong moment on the wrong day for experimental Dutch design.
We spent a little longer at their Dutch Design Week show in Eindhoven.
Titled “Matter of time” the preparation for the show began some 600 years ago when the then residents of what is now Eindhoven built an entrance gate to their settlement.
More recently, building work near the main train station uncovered the hidden remains of the wooden gate.
Although the town authorities considered various plans for the remains, they were ultimately left lying around.
The designers behind “Dutch Invertuals” heard about the wood and developed “Matter of time”.
9 design studios accepted the challenge of translating the symbolism and value of the wood into contemporary design project.
Eindhoven based Daphna & Laurens, for example, have created “Basis Table” with pieces of the wood as the legs – the position of the legs corresponding to the position of the wooden posts as discovered.
Elsewhere Mieke Meijer has conceived “realtivitytimepieces” that measure time not in hours and minutes, but through the volume, weight and temperature of the wood; while Raw Colour reduced the wood to its basic elements, the fibres, transformed them into paper onto which the annual rings are drawn with the aid of a plotting machine. The resulting pile of paper being a mechanical representation of the natural wood.
One of the most interesting projects is “Drawn by time” by EDHV. Designed to see if one can visualise the wood, EDHV attached pencils to sections of the wood and then placed them onto sheets of paper.
Now obviously as the wood dries out with the associated expansion and contraction there is movement, what is interesting is both the amount of activity and that recognisable patterns develop.
And that one of the larger pieces is making an apparent break for freedom; by DDW Monday it had already taken its first step of the paper block. We imagine it is now heading towards the market square.
As with all concept exhibitions, at “Matter of time” what one visitor finds fascinating and challenging the other finds plain daft.
And vice versa.
What matters is that all exhibits in the show combine to create a complete experience.
One or two of the works may need a little refining, but that doesn’t distract from the overall quality of a highly enjoyable exhibition
Dutch Invertuals are planning taking “Matter of time” on tour and a date for Milan 2011 is almost confirmed.
And we promise to be in a better mood when we visit it.
More details can be found at http://www.dutchinvertuals.nl/