Design Column #1 - Micro Impact
In the summer of 2012, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen started Design Column: a series of presentations for which current affairs provide the inspiration for the theme. Every three months, a subject from the news will be singled out in Design Column.
Design Column # 1 is entitled Micro Impact; it was provoked by the discussion that broke out around the publication by the Erasmus Medical Centre of its study into avian influenza. The first in the series of Design Columns concentrates on microscopic life. Thanks to research it is possible to gain more knowledge of the smallest components of life, which in turn inspires designers to develop new applications and forms of expression. All the works in the exhibition are to do with microscopic life.
Boijmans@PICNIC: in discussion with...
Design Column is not only intended as a presentation, but also invites reaction and conversation. September 18th, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg gave some background to her study. She suggested that the biotechnological revolution is one of the most important changes of the twenty-first century. The lecture and discussion will took place at the PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam. More information is available at the PICNIC website.
In the film Policing Genes, Thomas Thwaites talks about a fictitious tracking method for illegally manipulated plants. In it, bees bring pollen as evidence to their hive, and then the location of these plants can be deciphered from the movements the bee makes in the hive. Policemen on horseback and on bicycles are already a common sight; soon we will have policemen in beekeepers’ outfits. The video shown in this presentation can be viewed here. The designer’s website has more about this idea.
This work by Iris van Herpen is inspired by the world of small organisms, which becomes visible under an electron microscope that is capable of magnifications up to a million times. For her collections, Van Herpen is often inspired by things whose presence goes unnoticed and yet influence our daily lives, such as micro-organisms or radiation from mobile communications. Iris van Herpen’s website has more about her collections.
This work by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Sascha Pohflepp shows how utility items can be constructed from plants or living organisms. By rewriting the DNA or influencing the growth, nature could be able to grow ready-to-use parts for products. The long air roots of a plant become pipes and a misshapen squash functions as a handle. There is more to see about this work on the websites of Ginsberg and Pohflepp. This video of the work can be seen, together with the drawings, in the exhibition.
Suzanne Lee developed an alternative textile from a mixture of green tea, sugar and various micro-organisms. Under the influence of heat, a fermentation process is started during which the bacterium, nourished by the sugars, form thin threads of cellulose. The threads stick together to become a layer at the top of the mixture. After two to three weeks, the layer is thick enough to be harvested. The material can be dampened and shaped in a mould or can be processed in its dry state into a garment. For more about this project, please visit her website.
ieke Bergmans was recently nominated for the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011. Her CRYSTAL VIRUS, which is on long-term loan to the museum ison showin the exhibition. It consists of a series of unique vases which are made by placing the hot glass in the glassworks directly on a piece of furniture. The glass spreads like a virus over the chairs and tables and leaves a black burnt stain behind. You can find out more about the work of Pieke Bergmans on her website. In this film, Pieke Bergmans talks about her Light Bulbs and the interior of the Llove Hotel, which gained her a nomination for the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011.
Visualization of genetically engineered bacteria
Nadine Bongaerts and Eva Brinkman try, with a variety of activities, to connect science with other fields, such as art and politics, by making it more accessible for different target groups. ‘Visualization of genetically engineered bacteria’ are prints that show how, with the help of genetic manipulation, bacterium can be deployed for such things as breaking down oil, purifying water or making invisible hazardous substances visible. View here the website of Biotecture.
Matthijs Munnik gained recognitions with his nomination for the Rotterdam Prize 2011, and here he presents his ‘Microscopic Opera’. In this installation, you can listen to how the specific rotational movements of five different mutations of the microscopic C. Elegans worm is transformed into music for an opera. In this film, Matthijs Munnik talks about his Microscopic Opera.
Design in Boijmans
This exhibition is part of the ‘Design in Boijmans’ programme. This summer design has been spotlighted in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. With the renewed arrangement of the museum collection and several design exhibitions, in 2012 a lot of attention is paid to design in the museum.