Knopstoel dining chair by Hanna Kooistra from Artez school show

Nine projects from ArtEZ product design students that rethink everyday objects

Porcelain-covered handbags, extension cord ornaments and a vaccination board game are among the student projects featured in this school show from the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Each of the nine works below was created by students from the school's product design department, which describes itself as "a laboratory for experimenting with the future".

ArtEZ University of the Arts

University: ArtEZ University of the Arts
Course: Product Design Arnhem

School statement:

"For more than 40 years, ArtEZ Product Design has been educating new generations of designers. We believe this department to be more than merely a place for education. We aim to function as a laboratory for experimenting with the future. This generation has dealt with the reality of ever-changing challenges and explored what, for them, is the role of design. Their graduate projects are a response to this, crossing boundaries and asking questions through context, form and material.

"We help our students develop their own vision of life and explore new dimensions of design practice and theory. The department works with a studio method, meaning that students are taught by practitioners who are active in many aspects of international design practice.

"Throughout the course, students' abilities for thinking and making are continuously stretched, so that they can develop their own artistic practice. Throughout the programme, we ensure that our students receive proper coaching and develop excellent expertise so that, as future designers, they will have the opportunity to leave their mark on the world of tomorrow."

Surplus by Eline ten Busschen from the ArtEz school show

Surplus by Eline ten Busschen

"My design practice is constructed like a lab, to reevaluate waste streams and show the unused potential of materials. In the Surplus collection, loose, unspun heather wool is combined with 3D-printed PLA.

"The bioplastic is dyed using different natural pigments, creating a new kind of filament with its own aesthetics. The wool and filament can be coloured with the same pigments but due to the difference in material, they show a different intensity and hue.

"In my research, I work with shepherds, technicians and researchers to gather the different materials. For me the network, within which my lab is located is important. The designer is part of the network but not central in it."

Student: Eline ten Busschen
Email: [email protected]

The Long Event by Ruben Hoogvliet

The Long Event by Ruben Hoogvliet

"My graduation project started with rethinking ceramic crafts and experimenting with techniques that would allow me to work more spontaneously, without the interference of a plaster mould. I developed a method that involves dipping light, moisture-absorbing structures into liquid clay and hanging them to dry, so they completely deform under the weight of the clay.

"In this process gravity always has the final say, creating a continuous back and forth between the natural force and my creative interventions. My research highlights my fascination with visualising the temporary nature of appearance and the objects remind us of the moment in which they were co-created with gravity and time.

"The collection contains two types of objects – some that focus on functionality, technical expertise and reproduction, and others that embrace the experiment and its multitude of outcomes, which results in unique pieces."

Student: Ruben Hoogvliet
Email: [email protected]

Weeds by Jeroen van Kempen from the ArtEz school show

Weeds by Jeroen van Kempen

"The extension cord has become an umbilical cord, symbolising the potential to connect people to technology. But the presence of a power strip annoys us, so we force them behind our TV sets, cabinets and sofas. They are like unwanted weeds.

"My graduation collection is a provocation that hopes to extend the value of these objects by researching the context in which they proliferate. The Weeds series consists of different types of artificial foliage that can be added on to existing extension cords, power strips and wall sockets, in an effort to change our perception of these objects.

"In my studies, I explore 'what if' scenarios and give new, physical forms to an otherwise discarded context as well as rethinking its potential implications. For me, the narrative of a design is always about value and how someone relates to the object in question."

Student: Jeroen van Kempen
Email: [email protected]

Stages of the Ordinary by Hanna Kooistra

Stages of the Ordinary by Hanna Kooistra

"In my collection Stages of the Ordinary, the everyday object is reframed as an ornament – an idea with a long history that goes beyond just being a decorative layer. To me, it is a form of communication, a guide in functionality, a manner of production and an indication of origin.

"I selected objects that function just fine but aren't appreciated in the home. First I dissected them to get to their essence, then I built them up again and made them contemporary. My search for new interpretations is a dynamic design process of stacking, cutting, stitching, flattening and folding existing images and shapes.

"The collection includes a chair inspired by the antique Dutch knopstoel dining chair (top image), which can be folded together into a two-dimensional plane. The chair brings image together with product, decoration with construction and function with functionless."

Student: Hanna Kooistra
Email: [email protected]

Alter-Aging by Myrthe Rosema from the ArtEz school show

Alter-Aging by Myrthe Rosema

"Having a positive attitude towards growing old extends your live expectancy by 7.5 years. And with the population increasingly ageing, it's time to change the way we are getting older! The Alter-Aging project consists of four proposals that want to start conversations and show ageing from a different perspective.

"A-Just a Chair, for example, forms a zimmer frame or wheelchair from a normal seat and chair frame. I want to change not only the look of the products but also the context in which they are sold, to remove the stigma around them.

"I am a social designer and idealist and I like to provide a critical but often optimistic view with my work. I would like to find partners and collaborators to further develop my project and myself as a designer and to do a masters in social design in the future."

Student: Myrthe Rosema
Email: [email protected]

VACCIN by Jeanne van Straten

VACCIN by Jeanne van Straten

"My final project explores the importance of vaccinations and herd immunity in an educational design framework. In order to provide clarity about vaccinations, I designed an educational game. Because by playing, we learn to work together and to think strategically. It is one of the oldest methods of education.

"The game has two players: the virus and the vaccination. These two players both try to conquer the board by putting down as many pawns as possible. The game board is filled with pawns that represent the immune system and can be infected or vaccinated. While the vaccination works hard to protect people, the virus spreads to the still unvaccinated.

"I see myself as a creative anthropologist, I study people and use social contradictions as starting points for my work. I create scenarios, conversations and teaching methods to gain new insights."

Student: Jeanne van Straten
Email: [email protected]

The house as a product by Thijs Swinkels from the ArtEz school show

The house as a product by Thijs Swinkels

"In my graduation project, I explore how we can live differently from three different angles. One project is a modular home system that stays with you throughout the different phases of your life and another is a next-generation camper that combines living and travelling without limitations.

"The third is explores an alternative way of life, where work and leisure come together based on my current circumstances. As a student, I will graduate with student debt and realise that finding a place to live or buying a house might be difficult.

"By developing a workbench that functions as a home at the same time, I have the opportunity to save some money at the end of the month and ensure that I can pay off my debt more easily."

Student: Thijs Swinkels
Instagram: @thijsswinkels
Email: [email protected]

Stretching Perspectives by Janneke Spaan

Stretching Perspectives by Janneke Spaan

"In my graduation collection, the idea of pattern mapping plays an important role. By reviewing patternmaking as a form of topography, I developed materials that rethink objects, techniques and applications. Through modelling and repetition, I manipulated the materials to become 3D models that stretched upwards from the textiles.

"During this process, the development of topographic drawings, patterns that can be read and sewn by hand or machine, became a leading guide for my collection. 
Pattern mapping connects a combination of craft experimentation and technical expertise, resulting in an alternative and innovative approach.

"The collection consists of two footwear lines and one accessories collection, as well as a series of prints that are based on an autonomous way of working and represent the base of this entire research."

Student: Janneke Spaan
Instagram: @jinnihq
Email: [email protected]

Liquid Statue by Gijs Wouters from the ArtEz school show

Liquid Statue by Gijs Wouters

"I used porcelain as a base ingredient for my collection, which in turn is made of clay – a raw material once of great value but now outdated by time and technology. The clay mines that I have witnessed during field trips to both Cornwall and China have left their marks on the natural landscape, even though the industry is slowly disappearing.

"In my project, I have used the material in a contemporary way to create new applications and questioned the identity of porcelain with the aim of creating a flexible version of the material for use in accessories.

"This led to an experimental research project and an archive that chronicles the material samples and their specific qualities and possible applications. Based on this material research, I developed a series of samples into a range of products."

Student: Gijs Wouters
Email: [email protected]

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and ArtEZ University of the Arts. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.