4x Talents of the Graduation Show

Every year it is one of the highlights of Dutch Design Week, the Graduation Show. An annual platform for the nearly two hundred graduates of Design Academy Eindhoven. This time however, there will be no show and no platform. At least physically. All projects can be viewed online. In this article we share the stories of four talented students (and their projects) who graduated in an eventful year.

Greenify - Simply Choose Green by Jan Willem van Vulpen

The project developed from a joint academy assignment to turn waste into new products. Why don't we tackle the problem at its core, Jan-Willem van Vulpen thought. Why don't we try to prevent having waste at all? Together with Roey Alfassi he developed the idea for Greenify. An online platform with green alternatives for products you plan on buying. From shoes and bags to energy and electronics. The idea is to become the world's largest open community, where consumers can buy, compare and rate products on their sustainability.

“On true sustainability”, Jan-Willem adds. "I am looking for products that we can continue to reuse. Too often we see products being greenwashed, instead of providing real solutions. We hope to develop our own tool in the near future to verify how a potential purchase has been produced."

Landschaap by Pollyanna Moss

In the Netherlands, there are about 150 shepherds. Men and women who call herding their part-time or full-time job. Pollyanna Moss became interested in the individuals within this group. She followed five shepherds and witnessed how they care about the wellbeing of the flock, and how committed they are to preserve the biodiversity of the landscape. Although for most people this work goes unnoticed.

Pollyanna sought to make their contribution manifest by creating five blankets from the wool of five breeds of sheep: the Drents Heideschaap, Kempisch Heideschaap, Mergellander, Schoonebeeker, and Veluws Heideschaap. Each blanket paints an intimate portrait of a shepherd and their relationship to the flock and the countryside they inhabit.

Watch until the End by Gavin Jones

Normally Gavin Jones' large rattling installation would have been at the Graduation Show in the Campina Factory, but now this piece of performance design covers most of the living room in his student residence on the Hoogstraat. ‘Watch until the End' consists of four machines, created out of a personal fascination for the mechanical functionality of these things. A crucial element is the camera mounted at the core, streaming live images of the different movements of the machines.

Through Covid-19 the idea of the live stream has been strengthened, says Gavin. "Online you’re only seeing a very limited proportion of what the machine is doing, and so it kind of deludes the sense of a greater functionality." People can check the live stream at The Surfactant Continuum every day from 10 am till 6 pm.

Klankbord by Laura Hoek

Laura Hoek already finished her graduation project at the end of January, an interactive installation where people come together to have a debate. Not quite up to date anymore, she says, referring to the semi-lockdown we're facing right now. The underlying theme, however, has become very topical over the past few months. Social distancing seems to further polarize our political debate. 'Soundboard' creates room for the feelings behind opinions. Participants share their thoughts and opinions about a statement by placing a physical weight on a tilting table. In political and other discussions our votes are often translated into statistics, but here you experience how your opinion shifts the balance”, Laura says. 

The pawns are made of porcelain. "You notice that people handle them with care. They want to prevent the pieces from tipping off the board, so they take the position of the other participants into account.” Meanwhile, a digital screen depicts background information and feelings of everyone involved. ‘Soundboard' was developed in collaboration with the municipality of Eindhoven.

Dutch Design Week is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. This year’s virtual edition will take place from 17-25 October. The online Graduation Show can be viewed here.

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