Very much in keeping with the DMY Berlin 2014 focus on “Social Design” the DAD Galerie Berlin is currently presenting an exhibition devoted to works by the Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop created in context of the Mumbai, India, based Tiny Miracles Foundation.
Founded in 2010 by Laurien Meuter the Tiny Miracles Foundation works with the Pardeshi community, a community of some 700 individuals who live rough in Mumbai’s red light district, on a range of projects with the aim of helping them move away from the extreme poverty in which they find themselves.
To assist them achieve this aim Laurien Meuter engaged her cousin, the Amsterdam based, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate, Pepe Heykoop to help the foundation develop income generating projects: products that the community make and market themselves.
A selection of which can be viewed, and purchased, at the DAD Galerie Berlin.
Perhaps the best known of Pepe Heykoop’s Mumbai projects is the Paper Vase Cover: essentially a paper sheath with an embossed triangular structure, the sheath can be folded so as to allow it to fit around any bottle; and so transform said bottle into a vase.
In addition the DAD Galerie Berlin are presenting prototypes of a forthcoming folded paper lamp family that Pepe Heykoop premièred in Milan and the Matka Vase; a further development of Pepe’s 2011 Skin Collection the Matka Vase sees disused metal water carriers covered with remnants from the local leather industry to create a collection of objects which, and to borrow from the vocabulary of the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge exhibition “Transformations – Concepts of Re-using Things”, transform worthless to valuable.
Just as important as the works themselves however is the project’s raison d’être, the income generated for the Pardeshi community and that the projects genuinely make a difference. A collection of photographs and a short video help explain more about both the background to the Pardeshi community, the Tiny Miracles Foundation and how the products are made. And the difference they make. Financially and socially.
Pepe Heykoop & Tiny Miracles Foundation can be viewed at the DAD Galerie Berlin, Oranienburger Str. 27 (im Kunsthof), 10117 Berlin until Saturday June 14th.