Design in Boijmans Autumn 2010
November 2010

Hella Jongerius-Misfit

What is design? What is handicraft? What is decoration? How can the relationship between people and products be enhanced? These questions underlie almost all the works by the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius (1963). She provides no definite answers, simply shows the many possibilities.

Design: Thonik
Design: Thonik

'Hella Jongerius – Misfit' gives you a unique insight into her working methods, experiments and novel products. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen shows her innovative vision of design.

In the 1990s Jongerius introduced artisanal imperfections and individuality into industrial production methods. She explores the ‘misfits’, the individual differences between various examples of a design and the visible traces that reveal the maker’s hand. Jongerius also uses historical motifs and narrative decorations in her work. Sometimes decoration becomes so important that it almost breaks loose from the flat surface and assumes three-dimensional form. Research into colour has been the key theme in recent designs. Here, too, Jongerius goes in search of irregularities and stratification in perception. She does not find the qualities she seeks in the normal colour palette that industry uses—paintings, though, give her what she is looking for.

Hella Jongerius (1963) is known internationally as one of the most important designers of her generation. In 1993 she started Jongeriuslab, her studio in Rotterdam, where she designs her own products, and products commissioned by Dutch and international companies. In the 1990s Jongerius introduced artisanal imperfections and individuality into industrial production methods.

Things to do
The museum is organizing other events to run alongside the exhibition, including a family day on 2 January and a themed afternoon with lectures on 22 January 2011. Hella Jongerius will be interviewed in episode 13 on Boijmans TV. This episode will be transmitted on TV Rijnmond at 5.30 p.m. on 16 November; afterwards it will be posted on, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s online video channel.

The exhibition was put together by guest curator Louise Schouwenberg and was made possible in part by a contribution from the Ahrend Fund managed by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds . The exhibition was also made possible by Maharan, Vitra, Royal Tichelaar Makkum, Kettal, Camper and kt COLOR. Hella Jongerius – Misfit is a key theme of the official programme of Holland Art Cities 2009-2010.