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4 Editorial

the poltics of design Dutch Artistic Research Event # 2 ANNET TE W. BALKEMA , GUUS BEUMER , PETR A BL AISSE, HEIN EBERSON , HELL A JONGERIUS , FIONA PARRY, FIONA R ABY, ROEMER VAN TOORN

research essays Between Nostalgia And Expectation GABRIEL A HERNANDE Z

Design As Empowerment LUIS IGNACIO CARMONA

Fashion And The Passing Of Time MA AIKE STA AL

research reports South-Korean report Academy A Certain Ma-Ness

M mahkuzine

journal of artistic research WINTER 2008


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Contents

Editorial

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the politics of design

Dutch Artistic Research Event # 2

ANNET TE W. BALKEMA , GUUS BEUMER ,

PETR A BL AISSE, HEIN EBERSON , HELL A JONGERIUS ,

FIONA PARRY, FIONA R ABY, ROEMER VAN TOORN

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research essays

Between Nostalgia And Expectation

GABRIEL A HERNANDE Z

Design As A Tool For The Empowerment Of Producers From Underexposed Cultures To Participate In A Global World Through The Internet

LUIS IGNACIO CARMONA

Fashion And The Passing Of Time

MA AIKE STA AL

research reports South-Korean report Academy A Certain Ma-Ness

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Editorial The concept of the politics of design permeates the entire issue of MaHKUzine#4. To be sure, the politics of design do not refer to intrigues and machinations in the design world creating wicked plots and scenarios. Rather, the politics of design connects with current design fascinations evoked by globalization and sustainability creating novel design perspectives and design trajectories with an undercurrent of making our world a better place. The Research Essays reflect that design attitude. In Design as a Tool for the Empowerment of Producers from Underexposed Cultures to Participate in a Global World through the Internet, Luis Ignacio Carmona introduces the concept of Internet Cooperatives where consumers and producers “will be partners in the development of sustainable, ecological and unique products.” Fashion and the Passing of Time sees Maaike Staal suggest “the term Trash-Worship for designers who use discarded materials in their creations; they employ the remnants of our consumer society as a base for new designs for that same society. In fact, they revalue our own garbage.” In Between Nostalgia and Expectation, Gabriela Hernández argues that “public space is where a culture reflects its past and its aspirations.” Deploying “Baudrillard’s simulacra and simulation theory as background” Hernández develops a specific line of thought in order “to illustrate and understand nostalgia and expectation in different public places from different poles.” In the Dare #2 symposium The Politics of Design - a satellite project of Utrecht Manifest’s 2nd Biennial for Social Design - various speakers address a similar design attitude. Casco’s Fiona Parry reports on positions taken. Speaker Petra Blaisse “uses the curtain as a quietly political tool” that is “capable of altering and subsequently questioning the fixedness of architectural space.” Both Hella Jongerius and Fiona Raby, encircling the symposium as first and last speaker respectively, discuss “how designers can affect the way people think about choice, including choosing to think about the future.” Guus Beumer focuses on fashion design and the fashion industry and “shows how design has affected how we even think about what the future is.” Hein Eberson’s Second Life lecture voices “concerns for a designer in relation to the increasing prominence of online activity and its impact on forms of communication, privacy and security.” One of the concepts Roemer van Toorn introduces is the Society of the And where “ideas once held at a distance by binary opposition can be joined together” creating a “context in which designers and architects must now work” in order to produce “socially responsible design.” In Mahkuzine#4, Van Toorn and moderator Annette W. Balkema further discuss the validity of the Society of the And. Last but not least, the Research Reports point out that “art no longer uses traditional contexts, but appears to create its own platforms able to continuously produce novel, interdisciplinary contexts. That recontextualizing turn also implies that the artist always needs to reflect on the connection of art, public, and public domain.” Wim Marseille discusses the “rhetorical opposition of a ‘why-’ and a ‘why not-’ attitude in the design process while reporting on a series of research lectures in South Korea addressing the issue of global design. (  AWB )

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the politics of design A second Dutch Artistic Research Event - DARE - has been organized by the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design, in cooperation with Casco. The event has been realized in collaboration with the Dutch Aesthetics Federation ( DAF ) and the Utrecht art institutions Aorta, Expodium, Central Museum and the Academiegalerie. In the first edition of DARE ( 2006 ), a curator mixed the disciplines of Fashion, Editorial Design, Interior Design, Urban Design, and Fine Art in the various exhibition spaces. Conversely, for the second DARE edition in 2007, the research projects have been mounted under the guidance of five commissioners in discipline-specific exhibitions. That exhibition methodology was informed by a sharper vision of interdisciplinarity; the Graduate School does not focus so much on educating interdisciplinary practitioners as it aims to foster opportunities for interdisciplinary encounters that could generate novel visions of the boundaries of the various disciplines, while exploring possible transformations. Thus, the discipline-specific presentations - Fashion in Casco, Interior Design in Expodium, Urban Design in Aorta, Editorial Design in Central Museum, and Fine Art in Academiegalerie - in combination with related research screenings, have concentrated particularly on the discussion surrounding medium-specific and disciplinespecific perspectives. The second DARE symposium that took place in Utrecht Central Museum on September 9th was colored by similar attitudes and perspectives. Six prominent designers - Hella Jongerius, Petra Blaisse, Roemer van Toorn, Guus Beumer, Hein Eberson, and Fiona Raby - delved into questions such as: How can we define the role of a designer? Is design able to contribute to solving important ( environmental, social, political ) problems in the world? Does a designer have to contend with both artistic and social responsibilities, and how could we define those responsibilities? Fiona Parry from Casco reported on the positions taken. As a follow-up, a discussion between Roemer van Toorn and moderator Annette W. Balkema emerged. The symposium “The Politics of Design” was a satellite program of Utrecht Manifest 2007, the Biennial for Social Design.

Symposium FIONA PARRY The topic of the second Dare symposium was The Politics of Design. Designers, architects and theorists were invited to speak about the role of the designer in relation to contemporary issues: globalization, consumerism, the environment, and the gap between the industrialized nation and the developing world. One question revisited by a number of the speakers was: in order to be socially responsible as a designer, is it possible or even effective to operate outside of a pervasive consumer culture, from which the design profession is so inextricable and contributes significantly? Or is the better, or sole, option to find methodologies for navigating a socially responsible path through the inside of this culture? The conversation also addressed varied ideas on what it means to be either inside or outside. Architect and theorist, Roemer van Toorn addressed this question, describing the current context in which designers and architects must now work as ‘the society of the And’. Ideas once held at a distance by binary

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opposition can be joined together, the excess of different media and the over-design of our surroundings can no longer be divided from our experience, and ‘our imaginations are suburbanized’. Van Toorn asserted that it is not possible for designers and architects to escape or ignore these conditions if they want to make socially responsible design. He also pointed at the politics arising precisely out of the simultaneous boundaries and lack of boundaries between things, in particular between design or architecture, and everyday life. The designer needs to embrace these contradictions, to provoke political debate and opinion, to enable people also to navigate their relationships to their surroundings and the objects they use. In these conditions he believes it is necessary for designers to think in terms of what he calls a ‘quasi-object’, an object continually understood in relation to people, use, other objects, environments, theories etc. Though of course this relational approach does not necessarily result in socially responsible design, often it falls into what he calls ‘fresh conservatism’: the object functions as a novel ‘gizmo’, or collates elements together in a relationship with no direction, or creates the appearance of a hidden meaning, which stops at appearance. Petra Blaisse described a more pragmatic approach to the relational quality of design, explaining how she approaches a commission, the context of the institution or place she is invited to work, the complex needs of a new development or a city park; the different factors to take into consideration: use, history, access, environmental impact etc. Blaisse designs curtains and gardens, often on a large scale. She works conceptually with the intrinsically relational qualities of these aspects of architectural space; their adaptability for users of a space and their responsiveness to external conditions such as weather and light. Her approach takes the already very relational nature of the design process further: negotiating a precarious and intensely interdependent relationship with a particular architectural and political space. Blaisse uses the curtain as a quietly political tool – in relation to our habitual experience of space – capable of altering and subsequently questioning the fixedness of architectural space, able to affect how public or private a space is in an instant. For example, at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, she designed a white curtain, Shifted Room, rendering the space irregular, as a political statement, ‘giving the space a new meaning’. Many of the speakers recognized that in order to be more socially responsible, designers need to think about how they can activate more critical, sustainable and democratic relationships to objects, spaces and media. The need to look forward to a possible future in order to attempt to reformulate these relationships was also addressed in a number of ways, both through the implications of our present way of living and how to conceive of alternatives. As part of his presentation, Guus Beumer showed how design, the fashion industry in particular, has affected how we even think about what the future is. When haute couture became industrialized in the 1940s, to allow the time to produce a collection and for consumers to familiarize themselves with this new collection, what had up until then been produced in the present was transformed into a future. This fabricated future – nothing more than a forward time lag – feels like something that you can invest in, though actually keeps you thinking continually about the present. In contrast to this example of how design industries can present choices continually replacing one another in a static relationship to support a commercial market, the first and last speakers, Hella Jongerius and Fiona Raby suggest how designers can affect the way people think about choice, including choosing to think about the future, and how we might change our relationship to our surroundings.

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Guus Beumer


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Hella Jongerius seems to conceive of a very particular relationship between the objects she designs and the people who use them, which is completely embedded in the making process. She tries to tell stories with and contain the past in the objects she designs. The overriding statement she made was that she believes, as a designer, in giving people choices. One way she achieves this is through devising industrial processes for large-scale ceramic production resulting in imperfections or a “special character” for each object or upholstery design, with a pattern repeating every three meters rather than every thirty centimeters. These objects are not obviously more socially responsible alternatives to other ceramics or sofa fabrics. Though Jongerius does suggest other orders of choice, with the potential to make people aware of the existence of unheard-of choices; questioning an understanding of mass-produced objects through the introduction of traditional craft techniques into industrial processes, and drawing memories and a collective social history out of objects, not just as finished products but as materials and creative processes. The last speaker, Fiona Raby, took this idea of choice further, presenting a number of speculative design solutions for the future. Future, in the sense that many of them could not be put to use now, as they require a shift in behavior, giving some of them an almost old-fashioned sci-fi feel, although addressing rising concerns ranging from climate change to increasingly fragile personalities. These solutions opened up ways of thinking creatively about how we can change our behavior, in particular, by advocating the use of existing technologies in different ways, rather than assuming that we necessarily need new technologies to confront new problems. Some of the designs also make you wonder about the physiological temperament of a society where solutions are designed for every conceivable problem, again showing the impact our material surroundings have upon us. It is possible that The Hideaway Furniture, which blends into its surroundings, for people who fear being abducted, could end up causing more physiological neurosis than alleviation of fear, providing a physical space as a constant reminder of this fear. Hein Eberson unified many of the ideas raised by the other speakers, speaking about his participation in the online virtual world, Second Life, a world built and activated by its users, in the form of virtual beings or Avatars. Eberson raised concerns for a designer in relation to the increasing prominence of online activity and its impact on forms of communication, privacy and security. The World Wide Web, still in the infant stages of development, presents interesting challenges for those who wish to design this virtual realm. How can we understand virtual space without simply superimposing our conceptions of real space onto it? What do digital beings or Avatars want, how do they relate to objects, their surroundings and each other’s actions? Eberson made the point that Second Life is not over-designed like the real world; people build basic structures, and neither does a website’s success necessarily depend on its visual design, but on the way it mediates communication. Eberson seems to also suggest communication is the main object of design in Second Life. Avatars are in themselves digital lives designed to navigate this world, enabling novel and multifarious forms of exchange and communication. For instance, you can transfer money ( Linden dollars ) instantly from your account to someone else’s by shooting it at them from a gun or you can go to a bank and sit on a payment information chair. Eberson also spoke about a sinister future for Second Life and its inhabitants, and by implication inhabitants of the real world. As Van Toorn said in his talk, we now live in a society where things cannot be held separate from one another, and the boundaries and lack of boundaries between a real person and the digital being they have created and can

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• • • continually re-create are complex, problematic and interesting. A virtual world that allows you each day to be what you want, to do what you want, to look how you want, inevitably reaches points where real behavior and virtual behavior co-mingle in respects which cannot be tolerated, for instance virtual pedophilia. This raises other questions, such as how does one attempt to regulate behavior in this relatively nascent virtual territory? One example Eberson gave was the censorship of the literary word ‘Lolita’, which paradoxically would not be tolerated in the real world. The overriding issue that Eberson points out is that your digital life, and all intellectual and material property you create in this world is owned by a company, Linden Labs, so you can be sold at any moment. At the end of the talk he plays a recorded speech by his avatar, who urges the audience to create as many digital identities as they can, to think about the future. The speakers demonstrated varying ideas of what a politics of design could be: from an intuitive material engagement with society, to a politically aware approach to a particular context, to an attempt to completely reformulate our relationship to objects. In a sense they presented different areas and degrees of consciousness of the framework in which they work, maybe even ( not ) choosing to be aware of certain problems and dynamics that come out of the design process. Beumer and Van Toorn both recognized that an over-awareness of the relationships at work between people, objects, spaces and design does not necessarily result in something more socially ethical than a more intuitive approach. Beumer pointed out that if you do want to step out of the system in which designers develop and market products, you risk losing ‘the classic relationship of intimacy’, creating meta-design, commenting on design to a point that you become so aware of the relationships between things that you have nothing. However it was evident that it is increasingly important for designers to find ways, no matter how conscious or formulated, of recognizing the complexities of a rapidly changing world in which they are heavily implicated, in order to determine ways to deal more responsibly with these changes and the problems they present.

• Hella Jongerius •• Petra Blaisse ••• From left to right: Roemer van Toorn, Henk Oosterling, Fiona Raby & Hein Eberson


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Discussion The Necessity of Hydraulization ANNETTE W. BALKEMA In Roemer van Toorn’s Dare #3 lecture, entitled “The Quasi-Object Formations of Dissensus”, a variety of concepts generate a textual tissue of statements, ideas, and topics. The Society of the And, the QuasiObject, and the Gizmo World are three striking concepts Van Toorn introduces. Not only do these concepts invite one to think along with Van Toorn, they also give rise to critical comments on the text. An exploration of those three concepts and how they are interrelated might reveal whether they fulfill their promise of a novel mode of thought designed for our digital age. Van Toorn’s Society of the And expresses a desire for transformation of what he calls “the dialectic logic of objectivity versus subjectivity, of the near versus the far, of fact versus value, of culture versus the everyday, of the city versus the countryside ( … )” ( Van Toorn 2007: 3 ). We need the new paradigm of the Society of the And in order to “understand reality as being both real AND virtual, human AND non-human, utopian AND dystopian, local AND global, heterogeneous AND homogeneous, cultural AND industrial”, Van Toorn claims ( Van Toorn 2007: 3 ). The sort of logic Van Toorn intends to erase is labeled as dialectic, although his dual oppositions such as objectivity versus subjectivity, culture versus countryside, real versus virtual, and so on rather demonstrate the logic of dichotomy. So, I will assume then that both dialectic logic and dichotomous logic need to make room for the logic of the Society of the And, a step provoked by our 21st century digital age where “old maps, instruments, and categories ( … ) no longer work.” ( Van Toorn 2007: 3 ). Obviously, we all will agree with that. In the digital age, we all long for fluid and streaming forms of thought freed from the rigid chains of oppositions either constituted by stiff, non-moveable binary models or by the wooden, triadic movements of dialectic generalities. Therefore, curiosity about thought and its forms of movement and logic in the Society of the And is the main drive of this commentary text. Surprisingly enough, in the Society of the And, thought and its possible form of movement are not characterized by fluidity and flexibility, but rather colored by one-dimensional cementations or unities producing flat, compressed, conjunctional chains. In that line of thought, Life ( A nd ) - Style become cemented into LifeStyle. Similarly, the notions of RealityTV, WorldMusic, MuseumStore, FoodCourt, and CultureIndustry emerge. How could Van Toorn have come up with such flat, one-dimensional cementation-style unities? Could his fascinating notion of the quasi-object, or better put perhaps QuasiObject, be blamed for that? Or is Van Toorn’s statement about the “one”, i.e., “what in the past was incompatible is now one”, a statement introducing his cementations, be the key to understanding his Society of the And and related cementations ( Van Toorn 2007: 4 )? Before delving into those questions, some investigation into the Deleuzian Logic of the AND and Deleuzian reflections on the One might shed some light on the problematics of one-dimensionality and the nonflexible cementations Van Toorn seems to produce. After all, the Deleuzian multiplicity mode of thought has been specifically created to conquer both the logic of dichotomy and the “false theater of dialectics” ( Deleuze 1994: 8, 10 ).

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In A Thousand Plateaus, the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze - and his coauthor psycho-analyst Félix Guattari - speak of “a logic of the AND”, a logic connected with how to “move between things”, how to “overthrow ontology”, how to “do away with foundations”, and how to “nullify endings and beginning.” ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996: 25 ). In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari create a multiplicity mode of thought filled with multilayered, multidimensional interconnectivities and inspired by all kinds of lines and connections, such as those advanced by mathematician Georg Riemann, with his wormholes and discrete and continuous multiplicities; by grass and its bifurcating roots; and by the flows of swirling particles in quantum mechanics. The multiplicity mode of thought is filled with continuous movements of deterritorialization and reterritorialization, of stratification and destratification, of combatting planes of consistency and planes of development, of smooth space and striated space and their motions of mixing, eveloping, dissolving. Indeed, in the Deleuzian multiplicity mode of thought and its continuous movement nothing could be cemented, because it will immediately break loose and escape the boundaries of imprisonment. Even points and segmentations are always characterized by nonlocalizability, with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as one of the main principles of quantum mechanics hovering in the background. Thus, differently from Van Toorn’s logic of the And and its implicated cementations of RealityTV and FoodCourt, the Deleuzian Logic of the And is connected with a continuous movement between things and the nullification of the beginnings and endings so characteristic of dualist thought. Obviously, the continuous movement of the multiplicity mode of thought fascinates us in our 21st century digital age, since the digital world and its “light of speed” and “electronic perspectives” appear to flow along with Deleuzian streams of fluid concepts, while producing transversing and gliding streams of notions such as incompatible - excompatible, intensive - extensive, intension - extension ( Virilio 1998: 35-45 ). In other words, the multiplicity mode of thought still is an immense source of inspiration in the 21st century; its continuous challenge and fascination makes it hard to beat by any novel mode of thought. Van Toorn’s mode of logic in the Society of the And, creating cementations into the one - “what in the past was incompatible is now one” - does not seem to succeed in that attempt either. At the same time, Van Toorn desires a novel form of thought for our digital age, and indeed intends to surpass forms of thought from a past era. Another notion preventing Van Toorn’s move to a fluid and flexible mode of thought seems to be his conception of the one. In the multiplicity mode of thought, the One emerges as well, but in a manner clearly incompatible with how Van Toorn deploys his notion of the one. In a Deleuzian mode of thought, the One and the Multiple belong to the realm of dichotomy, together with binary oppositions such as subjectivity and objectivity. That instantly demonstrates the claimed incompatibility above, since in one case, the Van Toorn case, the “one” seems a novel cementation or unity in conquering the logic of dialectics and dichotomy, whereas in the other case, the Deleuzian one, the One specifically belongs to the realm of dichotomous thought. How does Deleuze escape the One? Deleuze and Guattari argue that “it is only when the multiple is effectively treated as a substantive, `multiplicity,’ that it ceases to have any relation to the One as subject or object, natural and spiritual, and world and image” ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996: 8 ). Deleuze and Guattari purposefully stress how in their mode of thought, connected to the multiplicity, “There is no unity to serve as a pivot in the object, or to divide in the subject. There is not even the unity to abort in the object or `return’ in the subject.” ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996: 8 ). In other words, there are no cemented unities.

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Conversely, a multiplicity is filled with “determinations, magnitudes, and dimensions that cannot increase in number without the multiplicity changing in nature ( the laws of combination therefore increase in number as the multiplicity grows” ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996:8 ). Thus, Van Toorn’s flat, one-dimensional cementation-style unities celebrating the “one” seem to be at odds with his attempt to beat the logic of dialectic and dichotomous modes of thought. Van Toorn’s concept of the QuasiObject has been suggested as possibly to blame for the realization of the one and its cementations. A Google search reveals that a QuasiObject is a term adopted from Science and Technology Studies, where it signifies a conceptual interstice or indicates a source of agency with the capacity to bypass dualistic oppositions ( w ww.rit.edu/~emsgsh/ quasi-object.htm ). The QuasiObject as an agency to dissolve dualistic oppositions could indeed have led Van Toorn to create the “one” and its related flat concepts, such as RealityTV and FoodCourt. However, the previous line of argument might have sufficiently demonstrated that the QuasiObject as agency producing the logic of the Society of the And did not turn any form of rigid logic into a fluid and flexible one. In my view, a source of agency might bypass dualistic oppositions if and only if such agency could function as a source of compactification, i.e., a form of curling-up producing compactified forms of depth and multidimensionalities ( Balkema 2006: 14 ). During his Dare lecture, Van Toorn mentioned Michel Serres, who deployed the concept of quasi-object in books such as The Parasite and Statues, where he analyses entwined series of displacement and transformations ( … ) ( w ww.rit.edu/~emsgsh/quasi-object.htm ). Michel Serres also appears as a source of inspiration in A Thousand Plateaus, where he purportedly understands physics as an entwined series of “a general theory of routes and a global theory of waves”, and he connects “hydraulics, or a generalized theory of swell and flows” with vortices and turbulences. ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996: 372, 489, 519, n 13 ). The routes and waves, the swells, flows and turbulences show the form of flexibility and movement the Society of the And lacks, but so desperately must crave, in order to be able to escape its compressed cementations preventing it from entering the digital age. However, a hint of movement can be perceived in the Society of the And when “a suburbanization of imagination” is linked to a pivoting “suburb-neither-city-nor-country” image ( Van Toorn 2007: 5 ). In addition, Van Toorn argues that “the quasi object establishes relations ( … ) and also “creates assemblages ( Van Toorn 2007: 10 ) – although Van Toorn’s assemblages do not seem to connect with Deleuzian assemblages as intersecting connections and dimensions ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996: 9 ). Still, Van Toorn associates the suburbanized imagination with the Deleuzian “in-between”, and claims that the suburbanized imagination “creates hybrids, blends and mongrels”, whereas at the same time he urges us to “start thinking in relations and linkages when we want to understand and produce our contemporary reality” ( Van Toorn 2007: 7,8 ). But how could one perform such criss-crossing, multilayered acts in the rigid, flat and compressed Society of the And? Once again, the Society of the And’s lack of any dimensionality only maintains dualist beginnings in cemented things, while still keeping them imprisoned in the logic of dichotomy and dialectics. Indeed, Van Toorn’s conceptual framework necessitates the introduction of Serres’ liquid hydraulization as a machine to transform his mode of thought into a logic of fluidity and flexibility, while producing swells and flows and turbulences and vortices, in ongoing movements and forms of multidimensionality. One concept Van Toorn implicates, the Gizmo World, seems to promise that mode of liquid thought - but only for a moment. In Van Toorn’s view, “unstable” and “multifeatured” Gizmo’s are a form of QuasiObject, producing a Gizmo World characterized by “a sudden explosion of infor-

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mation” ( Van Toorn 2007: 10, 11 ). There are also Deleuzian explosions. The Deleuzian line of flight intolerant of any form, segment or territory, explodes two segmentary lines whereby the line of flight flashes like “a train in motion.” Such explosions herald an increase in dimensions and a process of metamorphosis. ( Deleuze and Guattari 1996: 197, 98 ). Conversely, the explosion of information in the Gizmo World does not seem to have any arena in which such an explosion might occur. Therefore, it just explodes without provoking any transformation. Unless the Gizmo World implicates liquid hydraulics, creating fluid and multidimensional spaces for movements of intertwining flows, turbulence, and vortical intersections, the Gizmo World will continue to be a pseudo-informational world without the streaming information that makes our digital age “so different, so appealing.” ( 1���) 1 ) cf. Richard Hamilton’s painting Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?

REFEREN CES Balkema, Annette W., 2006, “Perception and the Lines of Light”, in Mahkuzine#1, Utrecht: Utrecht School of Visual Art and Design. Digital edition: www.mahku.nl Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari, 1996, A Thousand Plateaus, London: the Athlone Press. Deleuze, Gilles, 1994, Difference & Repetition, New York: Columbia University Press. Virilio Paul, 1998, Open Sky, New York: Verso.

Response Roemer van Toorn Unfortunately, I do not have time to write a fully- fledged reaction to your lecture on my text before Mahkuzine’s deadline. However, a short reaction could perhaps elucidate some points. Foucault remarked that the 21st century might be a Deleuzian century. What did Foucault mean by that? Cynic or Severe? He never elaborated further. However, I believe that late-capitalism indeed functions conform to Deleuzian principles. Digital Capitalism has become Deleuzian – cf. Slavoj Zizek’s and Alain Badiou’s work on Deleuze. What initially seemed to be an alternative - after all Deleuze and Guattari searched for alternatives for the liberation of late-capitalism - has decayed into a refined principle of control. As happens so often, capitalism seems to be eminently capable of incorporating various ideas; we are being confronted with revolutionary conservatism. Again, what Deleuze and Guattari meant to be alternative has degenerated into refined mechanisms of control. I use the And principle of Deleuze and various other theorists as a method to understand reality. The joke of the MuseumShop is only a rapid indication to give the public a sense of what is happening. Ulrich Beck, Manual Castells, Scott Lash, and Negri and Hardt, for example, have explicated in outstanding ways what the problems are. Now that the multitude ( A nd ) and the notion of heterogeneity have been adopted by digital capitalism, it becomes complicated for committed art and architecture to proceed on the same path as the multitude. A plea for differences, diversity and movement is not enough to arrive at liberation; for that, one needs more – cf. what Naomi Klein calls the shock therapy of disaster capitalism. Our models of difference have to choose a direction, know who the enemy is, stick up for victims and the news not told to us by the media.

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Conceptually, I support Deleuze. However, what directions his open systems of becomings will take is extremely vague. Deleuze does not talk about social urgencies, enemies or victims ( the oppressed ) and how one could act progressively from the perspective of the usefulness of things. A plea for difference and movement is not enough, no matter how complex that is. The question is how we could develop heterogeneous concepts that could work progressively; that question has not become easier in our And society. The beautiful thing is, though, that classic models can be brushed aside once and for all in our Society of the And, because both the progressive and conservative movement simply no longer work, as evident in the description Deleuze and many others have given of our society. My society of the And and the idea of the quasi object are nothing but a more accurate account of a reality within which we could develop alternatives. Within the impossibility of existence, the world of the possible might be found. This only matters if we also understand how objects function. The beauty of it is - in contrast to the doom-mongers and negative critics who can only flee from the system - that there are also alternatives within the system of the And, but that requires more than merely generating difference, openness, assemblages and the use of subversivity. Those alternatives also demand a social agenda, knowing who your enemies are and with whom you scale the barricades. Therefore, I frequently refer to the notion of Radical Democracy.

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Roemer van Toorn MA Fine Art, Clara Kerkstra MA Fine Art, Annelies Bloemendaal MA Urban Design, Nataly Gorodetsky Engel MA Interior Design, Jonneke Aartsen MA Fashion Design, ‘Negen Conceptstore’ MA Fine Art, Mike van Buiten MA Interior Design, Lotte de Graaf MA Fine Art, Alejandra Navarrete MA Editorial Design, Thomas Clever


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research essay

Between Nostalgia and Expectation GABRIELA HERNÁNDEZ A novelty today, tomorrow a ruin from the past, buried and resurrected every day, … the city that dreams us all, that all of us build and un-build and rebuild as we dream, the city we all dream, that restlessly changes while we dream it, the city that wakes every hundred years and looks at itself in the mirror of a word and doesn’t recognize itself and goes back to sleep, the city that sprouts from the eyelids of the woman who sleeps at my side, and is transformed, with its monuments and statues, its histories and legends, into a fountain made of countless eyes, and each eye reflects the same landscape, frozen in time,

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… we are in the city, we cannot leave except to fall into another city, different yet identical, I speak of the city, shepherdess of the centuries, mother that gives birth to us and devours us, that creates us and forgets. – Octavio Paz ( 1998 ) To speak of the city is to see and experience its development, its transformation as a result of what we believe in, what we experience and where we want to go. But what happens when all cities are becoming different, yet ultimately identical, when following the urge to belong • •  to the global monoculture? ( Tung 2001: 186 ). How can a city be recognized when the past is being swept away? Most importantly, are we aware that what we build today will fall into ruin tomorrow? It seems a vicious circle where “everything that has been and is no longer what we call historical, in accordance with the modern notion that what has been can never be again, and that everything that has been constitutes an irreplaceable and irremovable link in a chain of development” ( R iegl 1982: 21 ). Identity relies not only on historical assets but also on the ability to find means to adapt these to the contemporary needs of changing cities. Just as the Austrian architect and urban planner Camillo Sitte ( 18431903 ) states in his book City Planning According to Artistic Principles ( 1889 ), where he not only comments on the unfortunate purely technical in• • • tention of city planning, lacking in any artistic approach, but also on the uncertain future of architectural landmarks under these circumstances. The artistic approach Sitte mentions refers to the ability of manipulating or dealing with the different elements in the city in such a way that they could easily be perceived or be recognized by the viewer as a whole. Planning streets so that architecture is perceived and enjoyed, public space enhanced and therefore public life encouraged ( e.g. Lange Voorhout in The Hague and Copenhagen’s network of pedestrian streets ). Sitte refers to the relationship between buildings, monuments and squares that today could be translated to architecture, art and the public domain. The aim was and still is to make art available in the public realm where it would surely influence “every day and every hour the great mass of population” and probably offer better opportunities for old cityscapes and characteristic neighborhoods to survive in the constantly changing urban maze ( e.g. Chelsea, New York City ) ( Sitte 1991: 118 ).

mahkuzine 4, winter 2008


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mahkuzine 4, winter 2008

Today like in the eighteenth century, for most architects and city planners, city planning is usually just an arrangement of parts, which should result in the most efficient communications solutions or the opportunity for displaying design creativity. Numerous urban elements, such as public artworks but mainly architectural forms, are often alien to their surroundings, isolated, forgotten or erased from the complex urban maze, leaving behind little to trace history. Not surprisingly, in several lectures during the Barcelona Forum 2004, this alienation was identified as a consequence of not perceiving and understanding the city as a living organism, as a whole made up of multiple parts, different but always related. In that understanding, the city is a phenomenon where if one existing part changes or a new one is added, it inevitably changes the rest. The contemporary approach of the city does not always offer visible links to the past, which might be due to the fact that today eve• • • • rything is thought of as short-term, and the relevance of places seems to rely mainly on temporal events ( e.g. Paris-plage ) rather than on permanent historical assets ( Forum Barcelona 2004: website ). In this context of contemporary public places lacking links to their past, to their coming into being, my research attempts to understand the need for ( identifiable ) evolving public spaces. I will try to discover if there is a need to somehow experience old familiar environments after experiencing new daring ones. Observe if there is a need to find a real place in real time and consider possibilities of bringing back nostalgia in times of expectation. NOS TA LGI A A ND E XP ECTAT ION : T WO WORLDS

In cities throughout Latin America, the public domain derives from places that are not necessarily comfortable, but suitable for social contact and of recent concern, above all, safe. In the last decade special attention has been placed in recovering the old colonial atmosphere not just as an incentive for tourism but mainly as an incentive for locals to relate to and value their heritage. The different projects focus on saving the colonial towns, rehabilitating the old city centers and, at the same time, bringing back that safe and trusted atmosphere Latin Americans unconsciously long for. For Latin Americans it is necessary to literally see places become what they are, perceive with the senses and establish a sequence to finally understand and feel part of the environment that surrounds them ( e.g. Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile ). It is about experiencing identity and territory… about belonging. Paradoxically in the Western world, at first glance, every place seems to be safe. People enjoy the public realm everyday, when the weather allows it, at any time. Designers strive for new environments and hope in that way to offer new worlds that would generate new experiences in the users, clearly demonstrating that the feeling of expectation rules over the feeling of longing ( e.g. Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam, Millennium Park in Chicago ). Places appear built, manufactured rather than simply the outcome of a long developing process. It then seems that the speed with which space and what is found in it is experienced modifies any preconception. The public is suddenly confronted with multiple forms of representation in architecture as well as in art ( e.g. Frank Gehry’s Marqués de Riscal hotel in La Rioja, Spain and Doug Aitken’s film projections in New York ), that apparently dominate the idea of reality. New fantasy environments, no better than Disney creations, are based on real ones - though modified to satisfy contemporary comfort demands. The simulated hyper experience in new environments threatens to erase the real experience of real places. New experiences may “colonize the imagination” ( Cypher & Higgs: website ) and modify how people interpret reality. It seems like “the world is reconfigured virtually, reality

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• De Omval, etching 1645, Rembrandt van Rijn •• The Omval along the Keulsevaart 1899 ••• The Omval today with the first high-rise buildings of Amsterdam •••• Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chili ••••• Anish Kapoor’s Cloud gate is part of the innovative Millennium Park in Chicago


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itself, in what Baudrillard calls a move into ‘simulation’ ( Baudrillard, 2003: foreword ). In Western culture, today’s society implies shifting from a shared public life to a more individualist, nomadic one where communication occurs mainly through the media, sometimes relying more on images than on text. Social life becomes confined to communications media rather than occurring in the arena of real public places. It is not unusual today to know people who supplement their unsatisfactory reality by means of a virtual Second Life ( Innis, 2007 ). On the other hand it seems as if Latin America is trying to cling to its sedentary, communal public life, to its nostalgia, while slowly striving to keep pace with the Western world. People in growing Latin American cities aim for a fast change, wanting to become part of the global monoculture and with it taking the risk of diminishing any valuable tie with a nostalgic heritage that may still remain ( Tung, 2001: 186 ). Both societies, Western and Latin, seem to be developing in the same direction. Public life also seems to weaken as a result of the developing nature of cities ( mainly in the Western world ) regarding their physical growth caused by migration and urban sprawl. Urban sprawl, with its suburbs ( e.g. VINEX locations ) and exurbs, spawns new lifestyles attractive to young families and wealthy ones respectively. As people are pulled to the peripheral areas, city centers lose their vitality. In trying to stem the tide of this emigration, popular or potential public places are promoted as key locations for urban infill projects. Examples of such infill projects are housing and small commercial buildings that endeavor to entice people back into the cities, sometimes succeeding, but at the same time reducing available spaces for public gathering ( e.g. Samuel Paley Park, New York City ). New cultural conditions, such as sprawl and urban infill projects, mainly in the Western world, do not provide actual spaces to be appropriated by the public, with public value. This might be a consequence of neither people nor place having the chance to grow together hand in hand. People seem not to be able to deeply relate to their surroundings because technically “what prevails is an instrumentalist attitude based on considerations of usefulness and efficiency, from which cautiousness and cherishing are far removed” ( Heynen, 1999: 15 ). Emotionally, there likewise seems to be no urge for attachment. It could be agreed that the public realm in Western cities today, and maybe of developing Latin American cities in the near future, has become “…more a place to go through than to stay in” ( P rak, 1977: 53 ). The goal in the public experience seems to be to accelerate the life expectancy of any existing environment and convince the users that there is a need for new places offering new experiences before the existing ones have expired. Such an “accelerated” approach blurs or distorts any existing connection between original and final or manufactured products. At the same time, with extensive urbanization, this approach manages to dissolve any relationship with the natural landscape, making us believe that the cityscape is the reference for any other landscape ( Felluga: website ). Nature seems incompatible with culture, the natural and the built environment; they do not always seem to articulate with one another. This causes people to fall into a “simulated” world through a simulated history. Therefore, differences between what is real and what we now believe are difficult to discern. Thinking about the colonial plazas or town squares in Latin American cities and the daring and innovative contemporary public spaces mainly in the Western world, it seems people are confronted with nostalgia and expectation, with what is perceived through the senses and with a utopian existence, with a true reality and with simulation.

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mahkuzine 4, winter 2008


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– 17 –

A S IMUL AT ED WORLD

French philosopher Jean Baudrillard ( 1929-2007 ) extensively explains in his theory of simulacra and simulation, how simulated worlds subsume reality. This unavoidable phenomenon is based on the inability to perceive the difference between what is natural and artificial, what is original and a reproduction; between a true real world and a simulated environment. The writings of Baudrillard are mainly applied to the effects of media ( e.g. technology, advertisement, consumption ), but any other forms of representation and communication could be framed within his philosophy. Architecture and public space design, like art, are communications media; they all portray someone’s ideas, someone’s reality that inevitably affects the perception and experience of others in the public domain. The different concepts used by Baudrillard in his theory could easily be translated within the context of public space. Nostalgia survives through the need to hold onto familiar environments, while expectation comes as a consequence of new experimental designs, or simulations, aiming to cross over new borders and in so doing to drift further from reality. As this latter experimental approach progresses, any link to the past, to original environments, which could generate a sense of anchorage on the part of the users, could be lost. People tend to believe that public space offers new and exciting experiences. Consequently, they do not easily relate to past environments as these slowly vanish from the public realm. Simulacra, just like images and icons, can be understood as static representations and can somehow be differentiated from the objects they imitate. Nevertheless simulacra sometimes confuse our perception, since they manage to impeccably reproduce the original. This ability influences our senses and blurs the clear distinction between real and unreal. Simulation, on the other hand, refers to an active representation, an imitation of behavior, enactment, it refers to feelings and experiences. It is important is to note that “to simulate is not simply to feign… simulation threatens the difference between ‘true’ and ‘false’, between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’” ( Baudrillard, 1983: 5 ). Baudrillard explains the evolution of simulacra and simulation, and their assumption of reality in three “orders of simulacra”. The first order is a utopian stage; the simulacrum is purely a representation of the real. The simulacrum is referential and can easily be differentiated from the original. Representations do not possess power themselves as this resides in the original ( e.g. religious icons ). In this first stage the simulacra “…is the reflection of a profound reality”. The second order of simulacra relates to the introduction of mass production and its excellence in reproducing the original with maximum detail. The reproduction “…masks and denatures a profound reality”. It refers to creating an imaginary world with the available tools of the time. When all possibilities have been explored and there is no other border to cross over or discover, the third order of simulacra emerges. In this third stage, the copy or reproduction succeeds in imitating the original so well that it predominates over the original ( precession of simulacra ). The imitation that used to be a sign or duplicate of the real or original itself becomes the real or original. When entering this stage there is no possibility of artificiality, due to the fact that there is no reality-background to draw a comparison, and any confidence in what is based in traditional reality is usually lost ( e.g. cities in the United States live solely in the present ). The simulacra “…masks the absence of a profound reality; it has no relation to any reality whatsoever; it is its own pure simulacrum” ( Baudrillard, 1994: website ). This is the moment where the simulation is a simulation of the other; real and artificial finally coalesce in hyperreality. Hyperreality, a simulation with no original, “an image with no

original copy

detailed reproduction

simulacra

? hyperreality

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Leidsche Riijn, a VINEX location, emerges to alleviate the lack of housing in Utrecht •• Option for urban-infill are pocket parks like the privately owned Samuel Paley Park in New York City ••• A personal interpretation of the orders of simulacra, how the real seems to inevitably fall into hyperreality


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resemblance”, not only takes over and disconnects itself from any preceding reality but also feeds the need for more simulacra, fostering expectation within whomever experiences it ( Deleuze, 1990: 257 ). According to the Mexican poet Octavio Paz ( 1914-1998 ), modernity is the property of Western cultures. Modernity endangers tradition and therefore relates to the concept of time. Time is seen in Western cultures as a linear and progressive process, changing, evolving but never looking back. In other cultures a linear process is difficult to understand. The past is seen as a role model for the present and the future; the concept of time is somehow cyclical or referential ( Heynen, 1999: 9 ). Understanding the nature of Western culture and considering the fact that any hope of reality surviving relies on creating or stimulating intimate involvement of people with it, shouldn’t the apparent linear process become suddenly cyclical? Shouldn’t simulations now aim for the once familiar referential, somehow working backwards to where the real becomes the utopia, and aim for people to once again relate to the real? Employing art as their communications medium, artists and designers in Western countries clearly try to manipulate the public space with their works. They intend to reach their audience with hopes the latter would experience and react ( maybe even agree with ) the artist’s interpretation of “reality”, with the artist’s simulations. Artists create, design modify and finally make simulations of their own or of others’ previous realities generating expectations within the public. With such evolving representations of ideas about a particular reality, it becomes difficult to frame a designer’s work, since it cannot be catalogued as an imitation, a copy or an original work due to the fact that there is no clear starting point of reference ( e.g. Jeff Koons ). No one seems to rely on or clearly refer to old artistic principles, to nostalgic ideas, since what matters is thinking ahead of any trend or noticeable current of thought. Maybe the aim of artists is to introduce more forms of expression or, conversely, to exclude common people from understanding any new form of art. Clearly, though, artists and designers focus on sensations, on creating and generating new experiences, on stimulating expectation, which would hopefully reveal collective spaces and with it facilitate the forgotten public life. Whoever understands and identifies with a new approach and believes in it, believes in the simulated reality it offers, and probably waits in anticipation. However in general, architecture, not limited by forms but probably by technology and materials, is more difficult to manipulate as a communication tool. Architecture not just only underlies the ideals of its creator, about how users could relate to the space they occupy, but mainly focuses on fulfilling needs of space ( f unctionalism ), of private space. Nevertheless, architecture should always consider slightly blending with its context to allow the perception of public life around it. At the same time architecture should try and “ …hold a symbolic and collective function and therefore mean something for the community” ( Baudrillard, 2003: 143 ). Architectural assets, or landmarks, do not merely offer the chance of “structuring and identifying the environment… vital among all mobile animals” necessary to recognize and navigate but also to generate mental anchors to a specific place ( Lynch, 1960: 3 ). These valuable ties between inhabitants and the urban environment depend not only on the accidental presence of landmarks within the public realm, but also on the genius to adapt them to ongoing changes in the urban landscape. Landmarks usually undergo a process of decline over time. Therefore they endeavor to reenact themselves by modifying or considering new values to avoid being left behind. Considering that line of thought, designers should probably strive for some kind of visible sequence of what is memorized ( original ) and what is perceived ( manufactured ) to be enacted, with hopes for the

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mahkuzine 4, winter 2008

spectators to understand and relate. Accordingly, new design proposals should probably allow some kind of nostalgia to be incorporated in new public environments. Just like old water towers are adapted for housing purposes, old railway structures are transformed into leafy promenades ( e.g. Promenade Plantée in Paris and the High Line in New York City ). Considering the consequences nostalgia and expectation introduce into public life, summarized respectively in new anonymous and old familiar environments; and seeing as most of the time there seems to be no way to compromise both extremes; the question arises as to whether the public domain should keep evolving into another simulacrum, falling into the hyperreal, dissociating further from the original, or try to hold on or redirect itself back to a true reality? FROM E XP ECTAT ION TO NOS TA LGI A , WORKING BACK WA RDS ?

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“This moves forward!” shouted the engineer when, over the new railway built only the day before, the second train filled with people, coal, tools and supplies arrived. … ( they ) observed how in the desolate region work, confusion and disorder started, how over the green land stains of coal and ashes emerged, of paper and tinplate. “This moves forward!” shouted a woodpecker, which pecked on a trunk, and watched satisfied how the growing woods and the splendid green development took over the land. – Hermann Hesse Art and architecture are key communications tools for holding onto nostalgia or generating expectation in different ways in different cultures. Old churches, government buildings, train stations, bridges, and urban elements such as public art, fountains, lampposts, benches - why are they relevant? Maybe because the built environment reflects the way societies wish to relate to the world, organizing not just the material world ( objects ) but also influencing actions and thoughts ( e.g. parliament building Córdoba, Argentina ). The public space is where a culture reflects its past and its aspirations. In this line of thought, public space design aims to achieve one objective: to engage the public in public life whether through evoking nostalgia, expectation or a compromise of both. Here are some examples. A nostalgic intervention has taken place in Comayagua, Honduras, one of the many colonial cities in Latin America undergoing a revitalization process not just to stimulate economic development, but so that future generations may identify with their heritage. The project, “Revitalization of the historical center of Comayagua”, sponsored by the Spanish government working together with local architects, has revealed not just a forgotten open space in the heart of the city, with its characteristic fountain and kiosk, but has illuminated its colonial heritage. The different interventions throughout the city are not astonishing or innovative, but small and familiar just like locals are used to seeing. For example, the Cathedral, dating from the early 18th century, has been restored, the main square redesigned, street facades repaired and the streets within the historical center renewed. The project even includes a workshop-school ( Escuela Taller ) where youngsters are given a chance to learn traditional craftsmanship as a means of income, and to ensure the continuity in the colonial style of the area. The new refurbished square attracts inhabitants and visitors, succeeding in strengthening a local identity and generating economic growth through tourism. Projects in most Latin American colonial cities are not innovative but revealing, as they must fit into the culture. Projects focused on the public space do not look to offer new experiences to their users through the

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Jeff Koon’s Puppy Love at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum •• High Line project in New York City which will transform the old railway, running through the west part of the Manhattan, into an exciting promenade ••• High Line project, New York •••• During sunny days people look for shelter under the trees in Comayagua’s revitalized Plaza Central


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introduction of new objects; they simply try to familiarize them with their own richness. In this culture, we are not always able to understand and appreciate unfamiliar environments; we dare to experience what we know. Latin Americans feel nostalgia for a past, a time and place likely around the late 19th century, where European influence played an important role in the development of the society. Public space in Latin American cities was rarely created for the public but became public through appropriation. Since that time, the region has struggled to build up its own identity ( based on 19th-century ideals ). Without being able to completely suppress the powerful influence of and dependence on the Western culture, nevertheless public space in Latin America still differs from the one in Western cities. People identify better with small-scale environments probably because of the possibilities offered when it comes to daily or occasional appropriation by vendors and rituals. At the same time, surroundings rich in historical reminiscences ( churches, fountains, markets, ruins, etc. ) seem more attractive to inhabitants because of memory’s important role in generating identity. The public space seems quite dynamic, keeping a pedestrian scale, and even though in disorder, such places have greater potential to somehow be enjoyable. Nevertheless, rehabilitating these environments might not always draw a positive influence. Inhabitants seem to hold on to what is known, fearing or being denied the opportunity of another future. In understand•  ing nostalgia as an affectionate feeling for a past, it then becomes an escape from reality, just like a simulation, trying to create a perfect present based on an ideal past. Western culture, as mentioned before, is characterized by crossing borders and stimulating new experiences. Projects experimenting with scale, colors, ornaments, etc. take place constantly and seem welcomed with open arms by the users. In this outgoing culture, architecture aims to deliver icons ( e.g. Turning Torso in Malmö ), and art new forms of expression. Design statements are created, drawing spectators away from reality, but maybe offering new elements where people could develop some anchors - or not. To illustrate this thought, the Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam, designed by West 8, a local architecture office, seems an appropriate example. The Schouwburgplein was conceived as a void within the urban maze • • needed to appreciate the Rotterdam skyline. At the same time, it was to be a place enlivened and to a certain extent manipulated by the public. With this in mind, the square was set to become a stage, an outdoor podium, relating itself in that way to the neighboring City Theater ( Pathé ) and the City Concert Hall ( Schouwburg ). Recalling the atmosphere of the port of Rotterdam, the square is an industrial landscape which offers not intimacy but exposure. The industrial character is accentuated by the use of different lighting techniques, materials such as epoxy, metal panels, wood and rubber and by large-scale vertical elements. Four hydraulic arms functioning as lighting towers manipulated by the users provide an ever-changing environment. People react differently towards the design. Some find it interesting and, at night, astonishing; others just view it as inconvenient, cold and unfriendly. Functionally, pedestrians avoid walking on the stage not just because they consider the metal surface uncomfortable but also because the platform ends abruptly without steps; the wooden deck is slippery on rainy days and the resting area does not offer shade or intimacy to the users. In perception, the scale of this urban void seems alien, although the big lighting arms are attractive - for awhile. With all its innovation, the Schouwburgplein succeeds as a design statement, and might attract tourists and youngsters but not people looking for shelter. Surprisingly, the designer, landscape architect Adriaan Geuze, has just completed a temporary installation on the square, a flower sculpture

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• • •

• • • • called City on Fire, City in Bloom, commemorating the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Rotterdam. It will be interesting to see how locals react to such a colorful intervention on the aseptic square. Nevertheless, nostalgia and expectation do not only exist in distant worlds like Latin America and Western countries; they can also appear in a single environment, one as the cause of the other. In 1979, an art piece to be installed in the new Federal Plaza, also known as Jacob Javits Plaza, in New York was commissioned from the American artist Richard Serra ( 1939 ). Serra’s minimalist art piece, Tilted Arc, just like his other site-specific art installations, was a big monumental metal structure clearly contrasting with its context. The intentions of the artist were that while crossing the plaza, along the 36.6 meter-long tilted wall, the audience could become aware of movement through the changing sculpture, and therefore of a changing environment. The structure at the Federal Plaza went too far beyond what common people could grasp with their senses. Art, in this case, tried to be more than a decorative element in attempting to help define the space, generating a new experience regarding the perception of the surroundings. Unfortunately for Serra, the sculpture generated more controversy than admiration after its installation. Tilted Arc, with its simple character, appeared grotesque, disruptive, physically inconvenient and required people to think past the physical attributes of the place to understand the artist’s intention. During a public hearing in 1985 and as a result of a long legal process, it was decided that the sculpture should be removed ( Wikipedia: website ). Traces of the overly ambitious art piece remained on the plaza from 1989 until 1992. In its place, Martha Schwartz, an American landscape architect, offered a lively proposal. The design considered not just the shape and location of different elements in the square but also their nature in order to attract and make the users engage in social contact. Next to this, the use of bright colors and green grass elements contribute to creating a noticeable place within the grey urban landscape. It is interesting to notice how the proposal takes familiar elements from the traditional street furniture characteristic of New York City’s parks and adapts them to new forms ( e.g. benches and handrails ), in this way generating novelty in what is known. The result is far from being an ab-

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• Schouwbrugplein. Rotterdam •• Santiago Calatrava’s noticeable twisting structure, Turning Torso, an icon for the city of Malmo, Sweden ••• Gracious metal handrails •••• Richard Sera’s Tilted Arc ••••• The colourful benches keep the traditional elements but with their new curved path allow different seating possibilities


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stract artistic expression but, on the other hand, manages to be perceptible to anyone’s senses. Stewart’s design implements new daring shapes, contrasting materials and colors without making the public feel alien to it. The new Jacob Javits Plaza seeks to be integrated into everyday life with features its user can recognize and feel comfortable exploring. This kind of intervention does not threaten any creative potential of the designer but helps value a cultural past, in this particular case the great influential ideas of American landscape architect Frederik Law Olmsted ( 1822-1903 ), designer of Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City among others ( Schwartz, 2004: 170 ). Nostalgia translated into contemporary terms seemed to fit better in today’s urban landscape, in today’s public space. Expectation, on the other hand, did not really offer people a place to engage. IN CON JUN CT ION…

I am not sure whether this unexpected historical lesson has been learnt by all: between tradition and modernity there is a bridge. When they are mutually isolated, tradition stagnates and modernity vaporizes; when in conjunction, modernity breathes life into tradition, while the latter replies with depth and gravity. – Octavio Paz ( 1990 ) Through the previous design interventions and using Baudrillard’s simulacra and simulation theory as a background, I tried to picture and understand nostalgia and expectation in different public places from different poles. I assume from it that an intervention in the public domain seems to depend on the culture, on the nature of the spectator. Are people open to new suggestions, or do they fear taking a risk? No matter its nature, an intervention is always a simulation: an escape from a present to the past or to the future. Drifting away from reality into a known or unknown time. I think we should try to somehow reflect the past in the urban landscape of today; of tomorrow; without losing the notion and advantages of our times. I think we need to cherish our origins, our previous and current relationships with nature. To revalue and adapt them to changes but not use them as borders or limitations. We should take advantage of nostalgia to get a better grip on expectation.

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REFEREN CES Baudrillard, Jean, ( 1983 ), Simulations. Semiotext( e ). Baudrillard, Jean, ( 1994 ), Simulacra and Simulation, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

http://webpages.ursinus.edu/rrichter/baudrillardone.html

Baudrillard, Jean, ( 2003 ), Francesco Proto ( ed. ), Mass, Identity, Architecture. Architecture Writings of Jean Baudrillard. West Sussex: Wiley-Academy. Cypher, Jennifer, and Eric Higgs, Colonizing the Imagination: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. University of Alberta.

http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/papers/invited/cypher-higgs.html

Deleuze, Gilles, ( 1990 ), The Logic of Sense, New York: Columbia University Press. Felluga, Dino, Modules on Baudrillard: On Simulation’ Introductory Guide to Critical Theory.

http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/postmodernism/modules/baudrillards imulation.html

Forum Barcelona, ( 2004 ), Session Summaries: Collective Space as Form in Art and Architecture. Barcelona.

http://www.barcelona2004.org/eng/banco_del_conocimiento/documentos/ficha. cfm?IdDoc=2459

Hesse, Hermann, ( 1985 ), Walter Schmögner ( ill. ) La Ciudad, Madrid: Omnia S.A. Heynen, Hilde, ( 1999 ), Architecture and Modernity: A Critique. Massachusetts:

The MIT Press.

Innis, Inez, ( 2007 ). “Leef je Droom”, in: Intermediair nummer 06. Haarlem: VNU Business Publications. Lynch, Kevin, ( 1960 ), The Image of the City, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Paz, Octavio, ( 1988 ), Elliot Weinberger ( ed. ) Hablo de Ciudad. The Collected Poems 1957-1987, 510-516, Manchester: Carcanet Press Limited. Paz, Octavio, ( 1990 ), Tore Frängsmyr ( ed. ), The Nobel Prizes 1990, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1990/paz-lecture-s.html

Prak, Niels L., ( 1977 ), The Visual Perception of the Built Environment, Delft: Delft University Press. Riegl, Alois, ( 1982 ), Kurt Foster ( ed. ), The Modern Cult of Monuments: its Essence and its Development, New York: Rizzoli. Sitte, Camillo, ( 1991 ), De Stedebouw volgens zijn Artistieke Grondbeginselen,

Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010.

Schwartz, Martha, ( 2004 ), Tim Richardson ( ed. ), The Vanguard Landscapes and

Gardens of Martha Schwartz, London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Tung, Anthony M., ( 2001 ), Preserving the World’s Greatest Cities. The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis, New York: Three Rivers Press. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilted_Arc

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Design as a Tool for the Empowerment of Producers from Under​e xposed Cultures to Participate in a Global World through the Internet LUIS IGNACIO CARMONA In recent decades, the growth and influence of the Western world and the multinationals ( globalization ) have led to their over-exposure in the media and communication systems. Information has become a tool of power and control. This has created a situation where cultures with less wealth have barely any access to the media and communication systems and, therefore, have become under-exposed. This research is both a reflection on that phenomenon in the media and a proposal to develop a counterpart for the underexposed cultures. My aim is to get the underexposed to start confronting globalization by using their strong culture as well as their background. I began to reflect on the inequality of the media and communication systems when I was working in Mexico with small coffee producers. In my research, I have focused mainly on examples from the coffee context. Coffee is a global product developed and consumed in different cultures ( in both rich and poor countries ). Lately, small coffee producers have made several proposals in their search for sustainability. In the future, consumers should become more active and less passive. By becoming more active and involved in buying products from small producers, they can contribute directly to the development and sustainability of the underexposed cultures. This will benefit small producers as well as the consumers themselves because they will be able to buy unique products. T ERMINOLOGY

Terms used might have multiple meanings. In this text, however, the definitions are interlinked with culture and communications media. UNDERE XP OS ED : The use of the term “underexposed” is not specifically

related to underexposed countries but to any group of people in any country such as indigenous people, farmers, cooperatives, and rural villages without sufficient economic opportunities or knowledge for publicizing and expressing their culture, needs, and demands in the actual systems of communications media such as the Internet, television, newspapers, and magazines. S M A LL P RODUCER : Families, or groups of farmers/craftsmen, developing

products or services to sell in a local market using their own resources and techniques. Usually a group of small producers is also small in number ( no more than 50 people ) and located outside of big urban centers.

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PAS S I V E CULT URES : Cultures which only receive and consume in the

context of globalization. They cannot share their culture or opinions to improve their cultural context, since they are inclined to accept and absorb the new, global symbols of both culture and market. Therefore, passive cultures do not create new proposals themselves. UNIQUE P RODUCTS : Products developed in the traditional way by small

producers, who use their knowledge and techniques for each individual item. Usually, they do not have a wide distribution and their market is local and informal. SUS TA IN A B LE : “Sustainable development is defined as balancing the

fulfillment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future.” This is the definition as developed for the World Commission on Environment and Development ( WCED ). P ROTAGONIS M : To actively support an idea or cause, to be involved in

pleading and advocating for this idea or cause. 1 T HE COMMUNI CAT IONS MEDI A P OL A RIZ AT ION 1.1 THE CON T E X T A ND ITS P ROB LEMS

In the colonial era, the Spanish conquistadors replaced the social and material culture from the pre-Columbian civilizations, initially by imposition. Gradually, the new colonial citizens came to adopt these new codes as “civilizations icons”. Through time, the material culture has become intertwined with the concept of being more “modern” or “cultivated”, and at present this tendency is also developing inside of the communications media systems. In the current situation, people listen to music in different languages, dress in multicultural clothing and, of course, watch news from all over the world. But when various cultures meet, generally only the passive cultures will change and a hegemonic culture will arise. This implies that, presently, the context of each culture must have a very strong relevance, because that is the only way to become integrated in a global context without being absorbed. The media made the idea of life in a global context tangible, and now they are the most important tool for publishing and preserving the symbols of a joint patrimony. “Our society is constructed around flows of capital, flows of technology, flows of organizational interaction, flows of images, sounds and symbols. Flows are not just one element of the social organization; they are the expression of processes dominating our economic, political and symbolic life” ( Castells 1996: 412 ). In fact, the meaning of “society” is developed by cultures with a strong influence on the images and symbols of the communications media systems. In that context, the minority societies with their age-old traditions are associated with folklore or “pre-hispanic rituals”. So, there is an immense cultural contrast, and the question arises as to how we may integrate these contrasting cultures. The problem begins when information streams are one-sided, i.e., come from the side of the strong cultures, whereas the passive cultures do not have the necessary infrastructure to form a communication system that, over time, might offer a strong counterbalance. Today, images and concepts from the underexposed cultures are taken from and adapted within the media of the dominant cultures to fit the consumers’ preconceptions, without taking the interests and perspectives of the small producer into consideration. For instance, Nesspresso sells good organic coffee from the Latin America coffee makers in a new sealed-serving system where the distribution and packing is developed

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by people other than the producer. That means the consumer never really knows where the product is from nor to whom the money will go. The consumer only trusts the brand. Also, Nespresso, as a “new” coffee product, is branded through marketing, supported by all the icons of civilization, technology, and in the latest advertising campaign, an internationally famous actor.“What else?” ( http://www.nespresso.com/ theboutique/ ) When strong cultures ( and of course brands ) use the communications media to their advantage and develop ever more new codes for life in a global context, they make the information in the global world increasingly complex, since nobody wants to be excluded. You will see thousands of brands marketing and branding in all possible fields. That is difficult for the passive cultures, because time and again they need to adopt new concepts and transform their identity and environment along with those concepts - often without any requirement to do so. “It is the profile of our cultures itself that is in danger of being erased, not only through the irreparable loss of the unique objects that the past left us, but – more important and more irreparable – through the continuous erosion of our own culture, i.e., our capacity to do things our way, according to our own objectives and making use of the vast and multi-layered repertory of all sorts of elements – knowledge, material means, organization and communication structures, symbols, emotions and values – that constitutes the cultural heritage of each and every people in Latin America” ( Batalla 1999: 152 ). The process of adopting the new codes from the media and losing the capacity to be a protagonist depends on the saturation of information and the way the dream around the product is sold, as well as on the background and knowledge that each person has in the passive cultures. 1. 2 B R A ND CON T ROL

Market opportunities for the small producers are limited because in general they do not control the distribution of their products and have no access to valuable marketing information. Small producers are not aware of the opportunities or advantages of their own products. When a new marketing concept emerges and is repeated constantly in all media, the new concept becomes thought of as being a necessity for all people. Similarly, the products are advertised and branded. However, “brands are not products but ideas, attitudes, values and experiences, why can’t they be culture too?” ( K lein 2005: 5 ). “They had to change the way people lived their lives. Adds had to inform consumers about the existence of some new invention, then convince them that their lives would be better if they used, for example, cars instead of wagons, telephones instead of mail and electric lights instead of oil lights” ( K lein 2005: 30 ). Passive cultures without a strong sense of social identity are in danger of becoming “multibrands” themselves when confronted with these new inventions and systems. In some villages in developing countries, young people wear clothes and sports shoes from major brand labels, because they have the idea that this is “cool” and “modern”, though they eat their traditional food and dance to the typical music from their culture. But when they compare their lifestyle with what the media portrays, problems emerge. Then, changing their clothes turns out not “cool” enough, and they begin to distance themselves from their traditional habits. They begin to dissociate themselves from their background and start becoming “multibrands”. If their family is a small coffee producer with access only to life’s basic necessities, they will start to think that something is wrong and wonder why. They see no future in the family business and a subsequent problem, migration, begins.

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This confrontation shows the limitations of the communications media for the small producers. If the media represent a “global context” solely through huge brand names and/or big companies, small producers of coffee will remain underexposed and, as such, they will lose the competition of growing increasingly bigger, of brand labelling, and of fast design in the markets. The fewer tools the small producers have to support their cultural background and productive life, the more easily they are absorbed by the multinational corporations. Starbucks buys organic coffee from Oaxaca in Mexico and sells one cup of that coffee in Mexico city for the price of 450 grams of the same coffee in a local market. The small producer ( and consumer ) should be made aware of this huge contrast and develop distribution and information systems in local and global markets. Surely, when coffee producers would go to town and visit one of the modern Starbucks coffee shops, they know that something is wrong. But what is it? The local producers do not have access to the big media because they usually do not have a brand, a concept to sell, access to advertising design, or money to pay for 10 seconds on television each week or a column inch in a magazine. But who cares when Starbucks and other distributors buy the unroasted green coffee beans in bulk and pay cash in euros or dollars? One can imagine where profit and the business opportunities lie for multinational corporations. Three years ago a new, big, local brand of coffee emerged from three cooperatives located in souther Mexico. They received government support and money, stamps from Fairtrade Mexico, and had high hopes. They developed design, packaging, advertising, a website, and engaged in many public relations efforts. The expectation was that they would enter the local market and be the first big brand of organic coffee coming directly from indigenous, small producers. Unfortunately, Nestlé is Mexico’s top coffee seller with its instant “Nescafe” brand. Also Nestlé spends enormous amounts of money on merchandising inside supermarkets, on television, and urban billboards. No major media company dared risk helping the new local coffee brand, because nobody wanted to lose a big sponsor. Any large corporation has enough money and power to sell dreams and buy perceptions. And that is an immense problem for the underexposed, small producers of coffee: trying to change a perception the market has about coffee from a position outside of the media ‘s sphere of influence. 2 DE V ELOP ING A NS W ERS 2.1 THE LIS T ENING P ROCES S

The messages aired in the media have a very different rhythm from the pace of life in small towns in developing countries. However, one season of a television series can change decades of tradition and culture. For example, in most soap operas the actors and actresses are blond, with a middle-class income and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. These television series hardly ever include an indigenous person or somebody from an other underexposed culture. If they do, it is in the role of the servant or beggar. For the younger generation this leads to a sense of alienation: they would rather be associated with the global culture than with their own, and so traditions and cultures become endangered. Complex situations also arise when, say, a farmer from a developing country returns home after having worked in an urban environment ( be it in his own country or another ): he is regarded as an icon of the external civilization that can improve all the others. He will often bring with him presents, “superlative objects”, and objects are “the best messenger of a world above that of nature: one can easily see in an object at once a perfection and an absence of origin, a closure and a brilliance, a

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transformation of life into matter ( matter is much more magical than life )” ( Barthes 1980:88 ). Thus the objects of the overexposed world become desirable and are compared to the objects of the local culture. The view of the external world is linked with its underexposure in the communications media. When the rural community discovers, within the different means of communication, there are no local images or objects, they have no frame of reference, and so the rural user of the communication system remains an outsider, viewing something alien, far outside his or her own world. One opportunity to change this will arrive when the small producers can preserve their identity in their products and with this develop a proper system of distribution and marketing. Better access and presence in the media communication systems could help the underexposed to create more institutional networks ( government, NGO´s, other small producers ) and by using these networks they can create more capacity and correctly identify ( and create new ) market opportunities. In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA ) came into effect and the process of globalization in South America started with strong market concepts spread through the media. Also the “Zapatista” insurgency drew a lot of attention in the international media. In few months, the “movimiento Zapatista” summoned the ideals of countries and persons. The “movimiento” had ( and in some places still has ) a strong positioning in the media; the “Zapatistas” developed documents, fax, files, websites, local magazines, radio and a big march that was covered by all the communications media. They initiated a new perspective on the indigenous demands and rights in Mèxico. That web of communication grew thanks to interaction with the global media, but what was particularly new was that the “zapatismo” presented itself as a new form of organization, as a strong group stemming from the indigenous people themselves. As an organization, they dealt professionally with the informational domain, where “information transfer may not be the most important part of communication, but the amount and level of detail of the data transferred does determine how effectively it can generate an environment and what the nature of that environment [is]” ( Mulder 2004: 35 ). The “zapatismo” were the first to create a new sense of pride for the indigenous culture through the communications media. This functioned as a starting point for change and an attitude of believing in oneself and presenting oneself to the world. Communications media systems have become important for them as a tool for broadcasting their demands and concepts. In recent decades, products with a traceable origin have become more popular, and the market for these products is growing. The problem is that the opportunities for survival while developing these types of unique products are minimal and short-lived. This is because the global economy demands other quantitative and qualitative production processes. The small producers need to discover that in their difference also lies their strength. They can create new concepts in markets and develop new strategies for sustainable production that will help to protect their socio-economical survival, while staying in charge. This is where networks like the Internet become more important, because no longer are small producers dependent on one source of information; they can develop a local network where every link is part of the total global network of information. 2. 2 MEDI A FOR T HE UNDERE XP OS ED

The communication and education systems are the means to integrate the concepts, codes and signs of the underexposed cultures into the global context. It is really of vital importance to create strong concepts

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in design and communication that will help to expose these cultures, because only then, through using the media communication systems, can they become more independent and have more opportunities. New conceptualizations need to be developed in all viable types of media for them. Publishing outlets and the Internet are the most viable because they are easily accessible and reproduction is cheaper than in other communication systems. Likewise, the Internet provides the opportunity to display pictures, color, sound, text and video, all at the same time. Therefore it is necessary to create new meanings and graphic design in order to boost the interaction with other social agents. Not only is what the underexposed culture has to offer important; the people should also interact with the exposed culture. The communications media could be a strong tool in bringing about integration between rural villages and cities, small producers and consumers, consumers and the environment of the producer. “People understand each other when they think the same way, and they think the same way when they use the same media” ( Mulder 2004: 35 ). Both editorial and graphic design have a relevant part to play in making objective descriptions of the various symbols, languages and cultural background of the various underexposed cultures in order to come to a logical way of exposing these cultures in the media communication systems.For the small producers, social sustainability means the ability to develop their own cooperative systems, so they can improve product quality, distribution systems and product concepts within the markets. They need to trust themselves in order to win the trust of their social context. This trustworthiness is the concept they need to transmit in the communications media. In Oaxaca México, a group of cooperatives called UCIRI, have a strong history in uniting small coffee producers. They have founded a university of organic agriculture, but they also established health services and provide all the technology necessary to transform the “cereza” of the coffee plant into green coffee beans to sell. Five years ago they developed a brand of organic coffee. Yet they lack a strong structure for distribution, packaging, design and brand diffusion. They want to sell good coffee for the local market but remain outsiders to the local communications media. No one is helping them by spending time or money for a new marketing strategy. This means that the underexposed need to develop new alternative systems of promoting their products and culture on the local and global markets in order to be involved and, at the same time, involve the consumer. Another issue is that the consumer is not involved in the production process. For example, one can buy apples or coffee from different countries without exact knowledge of the products’ origin or labor conditions for its grower. When we buy products we trust the brand ( overexposed ) that offers us the products, and do not consider its producer ( underexposed ). Therefore, it is difficult to know where the money you pay for you a product actually goes. I believe that in the future the consumers have to be involved in the production of their products and services. HOW TO IN VOLV E T HE CONSUMERS IN T HE P RODUCT ION P ROCES S ? 2. 3 “ W E A RE W H AT W E S ELL”

As previously stated, many consumers are unaware of the origin of the products they consume. This is not always due to a lack of interest but very often simply because the information is not offered. The product does not motivate the consumer to become further involved. At the same time, most small producers have no regard for the quality of the final product and, therefore, use technologies and processes necessi-

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tated by a market that prefers quantity and size rather than biological qualities of production. The craftsmen and agricultural producers are not the owners of the patents, brand names, and the marketing campaign for their own products. This creates dependence on the companies that market and promote their products. “Nearly three years ago, Ethiopia’s coffee sector launched a plan to take better advantage of its intellectual property. The country applied for the trademark registrations of its specialty coffee brands in the United States, Canada, and other countries…. In June 2007, Starbucks has honored its commitments to Ethiopian coffee farmers. The agreement allows Starbucks to use and promote these coffee brands in markets where trademarks exist for the brands as well as where they may not, in accordance with agreed terms and conditions negotiated with Ethiopia.” ( Oxfam Press Release – 21 June 2007. Oxfam celebrates win-win outcome for Ethiopian coffee farmers and Starbucks http://www.oxfam.org/en/news/2007/pr070621_win-win-outcome -for-ethiopian-coffee-farmers-and-starbucks.html?set_language=en ). Of course the small producers can sell the first part of the production chain. They can sell their coffee beans to the highest bidder and that is all. However, it will be much better when they can execute all the steps in the production chain, and when the small producers are also involved in the distribution and marketing of their products. Another problem the underexposed still face is that contemporary products and services have to have a standard quality and quantity. The underexposed small producers work with their traditional knowledge and craftsmanship and usually do not have the experience to develop products on a macro level. Here the local NGOs have an important role to play. Through standardizing systems, community work and services NGOs ( preferably with help from the local government ) can work together with the underexposed creating standardized quality which will help in the marketing of their products/services. If the underexposed can show that their products are of consistent quality, their products can be sold on an everyday consumption basis; the consumer will begin to trust in their production and products preventing the products from ending up in gift shops. Thus, the position of consumers could change, if their purchase goes from being about helping a forgotten farmer, to being involved in developing organic, hand-crafted products. Both producer and consumer should become partners in the development of sustainable products in different parts of the world. To be involved in the process of production is also to be part of the product. A relevant economic theory was designed by the Chilean Max-Neef ( w inner of the alternative Nobel prize 1983 ). He designed the Human Development Scale that is “focused and based on the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, on the generation of growing levels of selfreliance, and on the construction of organic articulations of people with nature and technology, of global processes with local activity, of the personal with the social, of planning with autonomy, and of civil society with the state.” ( Max-Neef et al 1987:12. http://www.rain forestinfo.org.au/background/maxneef.html ) This theory stresses the idea that producers and consumers have to create a connection and interact in the development and improvement of products and services serving their mutual needs. In a marketing concept based on direct contact between the person buying and the person selling, the needs of both parties are satisfied and global processes can be linked to local activity. Direct communication will create the idea of unity and belonging to the same organization, what is produced, and ultimately what is sold. This is the advantage the producers have over the multinationals. Until now, no brand ( besides Fairtrade brands ) offers the consumer direct

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contact with the producers of their product and vice versa. With that motive in mind, communication systems like the Internet have an important duty to perform. They must foster pro-active attitudes and selfreliance to fuel this development proposal and lead to the conclusion of this research project. 3 CONNECT ING T HE UNDERE XP OS ED S M A LL P RODUCERS 3 .1 CON CLUS ION

The passive cultures with their small producers need to be more than the spectator in the era of globalization; they need to establish a presence in the local and global media and markets. The conclusion of this research is that it is essential to start creating communication between consumers and producers, by informing and involving the consumers in the production process. In so doing, the qualities and advantages of products from small producers will be exposed. The advantage for the producer is that a media presence, particularly online ( website, webshop ), provides a tool to create economical viability and their own sustainable development. The various means of communication, such as the Internet, have engendered the idea of a global community. Therefore, it is relevant and possible to also develop the idea of the local community, and to involve local producers with global consumers; for example, small coffee producers with webshop users worldwide. Producer-consumer communication necessitates the creation of a unique concept of mutual cooperation. That is to say, that they have to share the same expectations for the development and diffusion of the product while being partners of a cooperative through the Internet. This will create room for participation by civil institutions, non-governmental organizations, and suppliers and consumers. All of that can come together in projects to enhance social and economic sustainability. This concept is not based on aid; it is based on mutual participation that will enable the development and empowerment of the small producer and, at the same time, enable the consumer to recognize the origin of the products and services. “The importance of linking small-scale rural producers with growth markets is currently recognized in view of globalization and the expanding world economy, which forces small-scale farmers and processors to be more competitive, to take advantage of market opportunities and to confront threats from imported products with greater economies of scale” ( w ww.ciat. cgiar.org/agroempresas/pdf/manual2_marketopportunity.pdf ) When producers discover that they have the potential to create unique products that can be sold through the Internet, this will confront them with the actual reality of their products. Direct commentary and consumer demands might mean that they have to improve the presentation, quality and production system of their products. They have to take into account the specific desires of the final consumer. When consumers discover that they can also have a say in the quality, design and origin of the products they buy, they will have a voice in what they consume. In turn they may contribute to the commercial development of small producers. When both consumer and producer can interact in a social network through the Internet ( making contact with other producers and consumers ), closer, more direct contact can be created. They will be partners in the development of sustainable, ecological and unique products.

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3 . 2 IN TERNE T COOP ER AT I V E ( P ROP OS A L )

The proposal consists of developing an Internet Cooperative website system that functions as a support to connect in a direct way small producers with consumers directly. It provides institutional information, interactive data about the products, and service guarantees both for consumers and producers. The cooperative website system is divided into three parts: 1 A website for small producers to learn how to develop an online shop quickly and easily. This is accomplished using the system “web in a box”, containing manuals and layout templates for building a website. This system also educates producers in the benefits and advantages of online sales. 2 A “mutual projects” website where the small producers, consumers and suppliers promote the “connectedness” through mutual cooperation and development projects online, in the form of a global Cooperative. The website also puts forth guarantees to support all actions of buying and selling. 3 A webshop that directly connects the consumer with the small producer and his/her products. It is possible to share consumer experiences with the producer, and as such to improve the production standards and satisfy the specific necessities of the consumer. What is means for consumers to be part of an Internet Cooperative for the consumers is as follows. On the web navigator the consumers ( web users ) go to the Internet Cooperative site and select the “shop” option on the homepage ( buy, please, don´t help ). On the webshop´s homepage it is possible to search for a specific product by keyword of by product category. By selecting a category, consumers see all products offered together with the producer´s picture. Clicking on one of these products immediately links to the producer’s website, with a photo catalog of their products and a detailed description of the selection. A complete producer profile is also included. The consumer views all the complete descriptions, photos and producer comments about their products, the exact precedence and sees all the people involved in developing the product. These are factors of transparency in the flow of communication among production, distribution and sales. ( See for an example in http://www.made-by.nl/index.php?lg=en ) Some products offer multiple design options for color, texture, and size. For special requests/orders the consumer can contact the producer by e-mail. There is a link on the website where the consumer can invite other consumers to buy, and in the future, start participating in the process of improving existing products and creating new ones. Another feature of the Internet cooperative system is the option of turning the consumers into shareholders, in the growth and development of the production process. The consumer can find an accessible project list from small producers ( for example coffee producers ) all over the world through the “mutual projects” website. The consumer can search for a project on the world map in whatever country he/she wants to be involved. The consumer may make a financial contribution that will be used by the producers for a certain stipulated amount of time. This way, tangible production objectives can be reached. By participating in this process, the consumers can follow the process of production on the “mutual projects website” and become involved with the producers. After a period of time, for example one year, the consumer’s financial contribution is paid back or paid in products that the consumer can find in the webshop affiliated with the producer.

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In this way the producer will be promoted directly by the consumers. The consumers discover new producers and products and the products are created mutually: “We are what we sell.” Products and services are paid through the Internet payment systems suppliers and the money goes directly to the producer. After payment the buyer/consumer receives an email purchase confirmation, listing the time and method use to make the product, together with information about the small producer and all the suppliers involved in the process. ( See for supplier examples: http://www.worldpay.com/emea/sme/index.php http://www.wirecard.com/all-in-one-payment-solutions.html https://www.paypal.com/ ) On the producer’s webpage it is clearly stated that there may be a difference between the pictures and the actual products. The products are handmade and therefore may vary slightly in color and material. This is a difference that characterizes handmade products. After having received the ordered product, the consumer may have ideas on how to improve it; one might develop a blog about the producer’s products where customers can post comments and view other consumer comments. The local NGO and producers would check the blog frequently. The producer would receive the suggestions on the blog and add a new design or improve already existing products. Here the communication through the Internet is very important. If a new product evolves from this process, the producer will publish it on the website with a note of gratitude to the consumer who participated in the process. However, in this stage that is a premature plan. The innovation and success of the web system can only be achieved when a consumer satisfied with his/her purchase becomes involved with the producer through the Internet. This way the consumer can get to know, try out and promote the products. An important aspect is the identity the producer needs to present on his/ her website. This can be created by photos of the products and of the producers themselves. In the manuals contained in the “web in a box”, the producers can download and follow the procedure to publish relevant and quality photos. Another element that will contribute to the visibility of their web design are photos or drawings of their environment and community. The style of the text is simple and is constructed following the recommendations in the manual. The distribution of text and photos will also be based on the layout templates included in the “web in a box” system; the small producer only has to recollect and fill in all required information. Then it is possible to test and publish it on the Internet using the system contained in the “web in a box” kit. The voluntary work, local and global NGOs, suppliers and Internet connections are important for the expansion of the Internet Cooperative. The websites should clearly present the benefits of being involved, the location of producers and products, why others are involved and how to buy and participate. The result must be that the consumer wants to become involved. ( See examples in http://www.bidnetwork.org/index.php?lang=en http://www.uch.ceu.es/principal/designfortherealworld/home.http:// www.nabuur.com/modules/homepage/home.php http://www.kiva.org/app.php ) Connection to the Internet is becoming more and more widespread and gradually, also where small producers are concerned, the technology is becoming more accessible and various companies are investing in their incorporation to the Internet. ( See examples in http://www.bushnet.net/ http://50x15.amd.com/en-us/solutions.aspx http://www.efreshportal.com/Content/01_01_Home.aspx http://other90.cooperhewitt.org/design/internet-village-motoman network http://www.laptop.org/vision/index.shtml )

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“Establishing sustainability requires vital resources. Based on research gathered from previous deployments, ensuring the following key areas of an Internet connectivity ecosystem can translate into success: – Power – grid based, solar, or manual power generation; – Connectivity - wired, wireless, or satellite service providers; – Devices - servers, personal computers, laptops, thin clients, smart phones, and other tools people use to access the Internet; – Financing - government programs, financial institutions and foundations that provide micro-loans and other means for helping local people afford Internet access tools and services; – Content - locally relevant software applications and information available in multiple languages; – Expertise - training, repair services, and general ecosystem support.” ( Uniting to Accelerate Digital Inclusion, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ( http://50x15.amd.com/en-us/partners.aspx ). So, the small producers, who have been excluded from the market because of distance and lack of contact with the consumer, will be able to come into direct contact with their consumers by using innovative ways of communication. Now is the time to create a market based on local sustainable development, with direct participation in social projects, and to invest in a better quality of life for others and oneself. The sustainability of the local and global communities lies in their capacity to develop through mutual involvement, while beginning with establishing equality in information and distribution networks. REFEREN CES Barthes, Roland, 1980, Mythologies, London: Granada. Batalla, Guillermo Bonfil, 1999, Think in our Culture, Madrid: Alianza Editorial. Castells, Manuel, 1996, The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford: Blackwell. Klein, Naomi, 2005, No Logo, London: Harper Perennial. Mulder, Arjen, 2004, Understanding Media Theory, Rotterdam: V2_ /Nai Publishers.

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Fashion and the Passing of Time MAAIKE STAAL When Gerrit has worn his clothes two days, he washes them. When they look old, or he no longer likes the way they look, he throws them away and picks out something new at Motiva- an institution collecting used clothes. The most important criterion is that they look good on him. The homeless people I have interviewed pick their clothes carefully. Most homeless do not buy clothes, but get them from homeless institutions such as Motiva. “You do want to look handsome, don’t you? I don’t want old rubbish!”, says Gerrit in my interview with him. Ton, Rini, Marcel, André, and Gerrit are homeless people from Amersfoort. Ton says “he doesn’t care about brands” ( though today he “coincidentally” is wearing Nikes… ). Clothes should be approximately his size, and feel comfortable. He does not want to look foolish but how he looks is not that important to him. Marcel, on the other hand, pays a lot of attention to his clothes. Initially, he does not want to be in the photograph, because he isn’t wearing a very nice jacket today, he says. Marcel chooses his clothes based on appearance, and he cherishes his most valuable clothes. In the homeless center, he has his own locker where he stores his best pieces. Other items he exchanges with others, or he turns them back in. André, Marcel, Rini, Gerrit, and Ton get their clothes through various homeless charitable foundations in Amersfoort. Though I assumed they would not care about how they look, they appear to be actively building both an image and an identity through their clothing. Marcel, as well as André and Gerrit refer clearly to current fashion although they wear garments discarded by others as being worthless or “out of fashion”, thrown in the nearest recycling bin, local thrift store, or vintage store. The image I had of homeless people was the stereotype Ari Uyttenbroek and Ellie Versluis put forward in their series ‘Vagabonds’: unwashed, unshaven types in torn, dirty clothes, worn in layers ( w ww.exactitudes.nl ). Because of that look, we immediately label them as homeless vagabonds. Nevertheless, during my research, I discovered that the majority of the homeless in Amersfoort are not recognizable as homeless vagabonds except for the Streetnews in their hands - newspapers homeless people can buy and sell while keeping the profit. Rather, homeless vagabonds want people to think they are tourists or just people on their way to work. ( Magazine Linda, December 2006 ). Why do we always want new clothes, while the old ones are not worn-out yet? Some clothes and other things bear traces of time, giving them soul and character. They cannot be replaced by anything else because of their unique patina. Therefore, I do believe discarded things could serve as interesting starting points for something new. Even pieces of garbage such as tin cans and bottle caps could be used as material to make novel creations. In this paper, I will examine how fashion deals with the phenomenon of reuse as part of the design process. Since the 1950s, various movements and authors have dealt with reuse in fashion. For example, Angela McRobbie states that in the beginning of the 1950s, beatnik girls and women bought the 1930s and 1940s middle class fur coats, satin dresses, and silk blouses in flea markets in order to escape the dictated fashion image of their own time ( McRobbie 1989: 34 ). Through cultural trends such as the 1970s hippie movement

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• André, homeless, Amersfoort •• Gerrit, homeless, Amersfoort ••• Marcel, homeless, Amersfoort •••• Tresjmen, waste creatures, part of design process ••••• Ibid ■ • Ibid


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and next the 1980s punk movement, wearing vintage clothes became mainstream rather than an expression of a certain counterculture. One could say that the difference between the vintage clothes of the hip and trendy and the used clothes of the homeless is found in the goal attained through wearing secondhand garments. Whereas the urban vagabond or tramp does not want to be noticed but seeks to dress like the masses in order to blend in, the fashionable vintage wearer intends to develop an individual clothing style in order to stand out in the crowd. The urban vagabond wants to hide the fact he has no money, while the trendy vintage store shopper is looking for unique and sometimes expensive pieces nobody else has ( anymore ). Strikingly enough, sometimes the goal of secondhand clothes is even to look homeless without being homeless. Mc Robbie refers to looking poor as a stylistic device in the 1960s, “Wolfe poked fun at the arriviste young middle classes of America in the 1960s who were so well off that they could afford to look back and play around with the idea of looking poor” ( Mc Robbie 1989: 26-27 ). In various post-war subcultures, secondhand clothing played a major role. In mimicry of these countercultures, designers also became inspired by secondhand clothes and discarded materials. “Combined with the thrift shop masquerading of the New Romantics, whose theatrical and nostalgic style permeated London clubland in the early 1980s, an alternative set of status symbols was appearing. It fused multicultural and historical reference points to create a look that aestheticized poverty, despite its actual high fashion status and cost” ( A rnold 2001: 24 ). According to Arnold, a new look of aestheticized poverty originated at the beginning of the 1980s. Despite the “poor” look, it was high fashion, with equivalent high prices. Fashion designers used the underside of society as a source of inspiration. In 1981, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo shocked Paris with the collections they showed. “Kawakubo and Yamamoto literally tore Western dressmaking traditions apart at the seams and reassembled them, creating garments that recalled the tatterdemalion clothes of the vagrant and the torn, misaligned and ill-fitting dress of the mendicant” ( McDowell 2000: 443 ). Kawakubo and Yamamoto did not bother about slickness, beauty, and the conventional rules for haute couture or any belief in progress. They showed models on the catwalk in clothes similar to those of urban tramps and vagabonds. In McDowell’s view, the show had such an immense impact because of the erasure of 200 years of craftsmanship. Similarly, Diana Crane describes the impact of that turn in fashion. “Rei Kawakubo ( … ) created clothes in the early 1980s that violated major characteristics of Western clothing as epitomized by haute couture. Western clothes are expected to be symmetrical. By contrast, symmetry is unimportant in traditional Japanese clothing and in the work of Kawakubo… Another characteristic of French haute couture which Kawakubo’s clothes have violated is perfection of craftsmanship; hand stitching is expected to be perfect, the cut impeccable. Rei Kawakubo had designed sweaters that are full of holes and dresses with unfinished ragged hems” ( Crane 1997: 131 ). In other words, Kawakubo did not care about the most important characteristics of Western haute couture. Therefore, the collections of both Kawakubo and Yamamoto announced a breaking point in fashion. Working with used materials and traces of time in clothes can be seen as a postmodernist expression. Important postmodern characteristics are eclecticism, parody, “the fading distinction between high and low culture”, and intertextuality ( Smelik 2006: 156 ). Smelik describes intertextuality as a continuous stream of texts. “Every text is a web of citations, borrowed words and other texts. Of course we are not talk• ing about a narrow conception of text; also images refer continuously

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to each other” ( Smelik 2006: 156 ). Two other postmodern notions characteristic of postmodern culture are pastiche and bricolage. “Pastiche refers to a textual or visual citation, with the mere purpose of repetition, citation itself. The reference has no deeper meaning, because all historical connections have been released”, says Smelik ( Smelik 2006: 157 ). In Smelik’s view, bricolage fits a “copy-paste culture” where everybody could paste clothes and even one’s own identity together. Smelik 2006: 157 ) Another feature of postmodern culture is the substitution of representation by simulation, of original by copy. In that context, Smelik refers to Walter Benjamin who argued that “in the era of mechanical reproduction the distinction between original and copy disappears” ( Smelik 2006: 160 ). Elizabeth Wilson, however, argues that fashion has been postmodern in nature ever since the Industrial Revolution because back then there were already stylistic characteristics being recycled from preceding periods ( Wilson 1990: 224 ). But not all postmodern traits are applicable to fashion. Not until the 1960s was the belief in progress cast aside by certain countercultures and the boundaries between high and low culture began to fade - think of the beatniks and hippies, who came from all layers of society and visited flea markets in huge numbers. From then on, recycling and deliberate wear and tear can be noticed frequently in clothes and the fashion image. It took until the 1980s for the boundaries between mainstream and subculture to fade; punk-style clothing was even for sale at big department stores. In that same era, more and more designers turned their back on a modernist belief in progress. However, some designers still live up to modernist utopian ideals. Nevertheless, the 1980s seem to be a starting point for a mainly postmodern sort of fashion quoting from and referring to former styles. From “recycling” and “reusing” those styles, it is only a small step to reusing materials, garments or complete collections. Designers working with secondhand materials, often use bricolage techniques. Bricolage is commonly accompanied by an eclectic method of working because of the combination of all kinds of objects and materials from different styles, cultures, and eras. When the bricolage technique is not employed, the reuse of existing material is more like a pastiche as a visual quotation. However, contemporary fashion as a whole is also eclectic without pastiche or bricolage because of the coexistence of many different styles. By using clothes from other eras in the present day, the here and now and the past coexist; in that sense, we also can speak of intertextuality. Thus, the phenomenon of secondhand clothes only used by the poor has been transformed. Nowadays even haute couture designers turn to discarded clothes for their designs. This is a clear example of the fading of boundaries between high and low culture; another trait of postmodernism. The difference between original and copy likewise disappears whereas recycling makes that even more complicated, by using the original in a new design, producing clothing that is neither copy nor original. All in all, the reuse of materials clearly seems to fit a postmodern era. Several terms pop up to describe clothing styles in the postmodern era. In fact, the terms Trash-Worship, Deconstruction Fashion, SurrealistUtilitarianism, and Fashion-after-the-Fashion all find their roots in postmodernism. I propose using the term Trash-Worship for designers who use discarded materials in their creations; they employ the remnants of our consumer society as a basis for new designs for that same society. In fact, they revaluate our own garbage. Though the term Trash-Worship might sound a bit negative, it describes quite well the incorporation of secondhand materials in fashion. According to Allison Gill, Deconstruction Fashion deals more with

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Comme des garçons in fra apparel


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tattered clothes which are unfinished or deliberately undone, while Surrealist-Utilitarianism’s main component is bricolage ( Gill 1998: 25 ). “He ( Martin Margiela, ed. ) studies found objects around him and thinks, `Aha! How can that be made into clothes?’ “( http://www.fashion​ encyclopedia.com/Le-Ma/Margiela-Martin.html ). That sounds exactly like the description for a bricolage technique - only one of the many methods for working with discarded materials. Barbara Vinken has introduced the term Fashion-after-the-Fashion to nuance our view on postmodernity, and especially to describe the relationship to time. According to Vinken, Fashion-after-the-Fashion is different from other postmodern expressions. It is not simply eclectic in mixing and matching accessories and styles from all time periods. Fashion-after-the-Fashion offers a reflection on the passing of time, and proposes a different intercourse with time; one which is not simply nostalgic, nor lives up to the utopic ideal where the preceding fashion is replaced by the present one. Fashion-after-the-fashion describes a broader area than Trash-Worship; namely all fashion in which the element of time, especially the elapsing of time, plays an important role. This valuation of patina is not new, as the name Fashion-after-theFashion does suggest, but it is about a revaluation of old values. In reflecting on the ageing process, Caroline Evans states, “Patina was a signifier of social status until the eighteenth century, when it was eclipsed by the consumer revolution that formed the bedrock of the modern fashion system in which status is marked by novelty rather than by the signs of longevity and age… Yet at the end of the twentieth century, just as one group of designers began to play with historical citation in the most up to the minute clothes, so too did another group begin to introduce the theme of patina into their more avant-garde designs. The signs of ageing, and the idea of a history, were replicated in the work of a number of designers whose work was not overtly historically themed but which, instead drew on motifs of refuse, detritus, remnants from the past which were transformed in the present” ( Evans 2000: 104 ). So values from before the “mode-de-cent-ans” ( the period between Charles Fredrique Worth in 1957 up until the 1960s ) became important again. The word “fashion” in Fashion-after-the-Fashion might also be a point of discussion in relation to secondhand clothing. Do the secondhand clothes of a urban vagabond differ that much from the vintage discoveries of the hip youngster who wants to distinguish himself from the masses? Why would the one not be fashion, while the other would? As for a designer who uses secondhand clothes in his or her designs: Is that fashion or a collection visibly inspired by the 1950s? Fashion-after-the-Fashion as well as Deconstruction Fashion, TrashWorship and Surrealist-Utilitarianism are examples of the so-called bubble-up effect - a fashion which rises upwards from the lower echelons, from the streets to the catwalk. But working with traces of time in clothes could be seen within various street styles long before fashion designers started working with this seriously in the 1980s. In the context of street styles and the secondhand, Angela McRobbie claims, “Most of the youth subcultures of the post-war period have relied on secondhand clothes in jumble sales and flea markets as the raw material for the creation of style. Between the 1960s and 1980s a series of recycling of clothes were connected with the development of Punk, the New Romantics, Glamour and cross-dressing styles. All of these were street-fashions, created on the margins of commodity capitalism, which in time began to feed back into the fashion industry which either reproduced the originals or mimicked the modifications achieved by the street-styles” ( McRobbie 1989: 26 ). According to McRobbie, secondhand clothing played an important role in most post-war subcultures. The clothes worn by the “members” of these street styles were

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copied by the fashion industry, and were made available to the mass market through the regular shops. However, on the catwalk the issue was still mainly the New Meaning or the Improved, in keeping with the prevailing accepted belief in progress. It was not until the 1980s with the show of Kawakubo and Yamamoto in Paris that a change occurred. These Japanese fashion designers inspired other designers such as Martin Margiela, Susan Cianciolo, Jean Colonna, Jessica Ogden, Shelley Fox and Robert CaryWilliams to work in different ways with traces of time in their designs. Martin Margiela creates new designs from secondhand clothing and other used materials. He often employs the linings from old clothes on the outside of new garments. Susan Cianciolo paints, bleaches and prints fabrics, then tears them apart and puts them back together again while constructing clothes as if they were sculptures. Jessica Ogden uses mainly secondhand fabrics like old curtains. When Ogden uses new materials, she first treats them and creates stains to imbue them with “feeling”. Robert Cary-Williams says about one of his designs “My kimono dress is tattered so it will leave pieces behind everywhere it is worn until there is only a little bit left at the top, then it has had its life… Some pieces will be at a party and others will be at someone’s house, like some of the spirit of the garment is left everywhere“ ( Evans 2000: 105 ). As stated above, Barbara Vinken calls the phenomenon of reflection on the passing of time Fashion-after-the-Fashion. She argues, “I think Fashionafter-the-Fashion is a phenomenon which originates in the beginning of the eighties. It tries to attain exactly the opposite of the ideal: it wants to design time… ( Vinken 2006: 32 ). Traces of transitoriness: that is the material Fashion-after-the-Fashion is made of. This new look adorns itself with time instead of with dreams. The clothes bear witness to the passing of time. This differs from a revival of historicism in fashion erroneously labeled as ‘postmodern’; the look is eclectic and obviously arbitrary” ( Vinken 2006: 32 ). Thus, Fashion-after-the-Fashion, Trash-Worship, Surrealist-Utilitarianism, and Deconstruction Fashion are all examples of the so called bubbleup effect. The visible wear and tear, loose seams, and secondhand clothes from the catwalk were already worn on the streets years before. Deliberately worn-out clothes are also part of several subcultures. Visible ageing or worn-out clothes are specifically common in the biker culture. In the mid-1940s it was worn-out jeans; in the mid1950s Rockabillies sported aged denim; in the mid-1960s the greasers donned secondhand helmets, ripped jeans, and leather jackets with torn sleeves. In other leather/motorcycle related styles, we see a persistent interest in worn clothes. Many hippies - according to Polhemus a generic term for Beatniks, Folkies, Surfers and Psychedelics that began to fall under a common moniker between 1965 en 1967 ( the Summer of Love ) - wore secondhand clothing and worn-out clothes with patchwork and embroidery as a sign of anti-materialism. ( Polhemus 1994: 64-65 ). An interest in old, used, and overtly cheap things was characteristic of the entire hippie lifestyle and their desire to position themselves outside the dominant consumer society. In Polhemus’ book, the Rastafarians - originating in the 1930s in Jamaica and rising to prominence in the 1970s - with their army surplus clothes and other secondhand clothing are a definite influence. Other groups favoring secondhand clothes are the Punks in the mid-1970s, New Age travellers in the early 1980s, Indie kids from the early 1980s, Grunge towards the end of the 1980s. Subcultures also use other forms of “waste” in their outfits in addition to textiles. For example, Punks and Cyberpunks in the early 1990s used safety pins, bin liners, etc. In the context of Punks and bricolage, Polhemus states, “The French use the

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• Shelley Fox, Collection 1998: burnt felt with stripes •• Jean Colonna, Collection Spring/Summer 2004 ••• Susan Cianciolo •••• Robert Cary-Williams, Collection Spring/Summer 2004 ••••• Jessica Ogden, Collection Summer 2005 ■ • Greasers during 1969 festival ■ •• Hippie, London 1971 ■ ••• Indie Kids ■ •••• Proto-Punk Philip Sallon with friend Yelena in 1976 wearing home-made clothes from garbage liners


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word bricolage to refer to an act of creation which cobbles together existing, ‘found’, often unrelated bits and pieces. It is an appropriate label for what was unique and revolutionary about Punk style. Whereas all previous styletribes had chosen their sources of inspiration with an obvious historical logic, the Punks just grabbed whatever caught the eye. Such sartorial anarchy was ( and is ) central to Punk style/ideology, and it is also this quality which arguably has most directly influenced mainstream style and fashion.” ( Polhemus 1994: 93 ). So, in Polhemus’ view, bricolage makes the Punk-style unique and revolutionary. The hippies loved to wear handmade ( secondhand ) clothes as a protest against mass production and Afghan coats to convey a back-to-nature feeling. The Punks, however, used everything which shocked or seemed interesting: latex clothing from the sex industry, denim jackets in Rockabilly style, and hippie badges held together with a safety pin. The Do-it-Yourself mentality is the basis for Punk thought. Pick whatever interests you, mix and match, cut and tear, i.e., you are your own tailor or stylist. According to Polhemus, it was exactly that element which had the greatest impact on mass fashion. Rather than dressing from head to toe in one designer, you simply pick and choose the elements most appealing to you. The combination of designer clothes with H&M, or of vintage with a jacket from an exclusive boutique, originates in that era. Bricolage is one of the techniques used repeatedly by designers such as Martin Margiela. But many things are possible within the area of reuse. In fact, since the mid- 1980s, starting with Margiela, working with secondhand materials has begun to expand. Novelty is not the highest attainable ideal in fashion; the past plays an important role as well. HOW TO DO IT YOURS ELF

There are many different ways to portray the passing of time in designs: by giving new materials an old, lived-in or used look or reusing old materials. I am mainly interested in reusing old materials because of their unique appearance and character. They are interesting to work with since you are able to create one-of-a-kind pieces where every garment looks different and shows a unique history of wear-and-tear, stains, and discoloration. Such pieces cannot be reproduced industrially. FI V E ME T HODS OF WORKING W IT H DIS CA RDED M AT ERI A LS 1 LITER A LLY

Re-use of old clothes, in their old function but with new owners: vintage stores, homeless people, and clothing export to other countries. Even some fashion designers use secondhand clothes literally; in addition to

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their own collection or to make a statement. For example, in his 1990 Fall/Winter collection, Martin Margiela showed a vintage man’s shirt on a female model. In their 2007 Fall/Winter show, the Dutch children’s brand Imps&Elfs used a secondhand blouse in their jeans. 2 AS A S OURCE OF INS P IR AT ION

For his 2005 Spring/Summer show, Martin Margiela designed an entire collection only using exact replica’s of vintage clothes. In retail this has been happens for a long time. After World War II, the Allied soldiers left their clothes behind. These clothes became popular and extremely desirable garments for the Dutch population. The American jackets and coats and the English Monty coats also served as a source of inspiration for the Dutch fashion industry ( Meij et al. 1981: 31 ). 3 REUS E T HE S H A P ES

A re-interpretation in which the original shape of the garment has been revised, reshaped or changed, but the original function is maintained. One example is Martin Margiela, who removes the lining from a dress and sells it separately [image 22], turns two jackets into one new one, and bleaches rockband t-shirts, cuts them to shreds, and sews them together by hand to form one t-shirt. 4 NE W FUN CT ION

For example, a jacket no longer worn as a jacket, but remodeled into a pair of pants. The former function is often unidentifiable unless you knew of it beforehand. Esmé Valk makes costumes from old mattresses. The work is supposed to evoke the “hossen”, a ritual during Carnival. She also uses old textiles in her paintings and other objects. Bas Kosters often constructs his odd creations from unusual material. The Heineken parasol recurs frequently in his designs. Another young Dutch designer who loves to work with discarded materials is Jan Taminiau. In his graduation collection, he used PTT mail carrier bags to create his dresses, but his recent work is more subtle. In his Summer 2007 couture creations, he made shorts out of the bottom of old beach chairs to be worn underneath his dresses. Of course we also see at Maison Margiela many examples of uncommon materials given new function. From subtle and wearable, as in the collection shaped from parts of furniture, to museum-like garments in which the old shape is very clearly visible and recognizable as in the painting dress, and the suitcase jacket.

Martin Margiela, lining for a long dress,. Collection Spring/Summer 1992 and 1997 •• Esmé Valk, performance visualizing carnival “hossen” ••• Bas Kosters •••• Jan Taminiau, graduation collection ••••• Martin Margiela, Collection Spring/Summer 2007 ■ • Martin Margiela, Collection Fall/Winter 2006 ■ •• Martin Margiela, Collection Spring/Summer 2007


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This method sometimes leads to very experimental, seemingly un-wearable clothes. In the case of Margiela, his museum like clothes can be seen as a statement or as a way to generate media attention in order to stimulate the sales of his more wearable lines, and also to draw attention to recycling. 5 THE M AT ERI A L AS A BUILDING B LOCK

Reuse of the material in which the old purpose is totally obliterated. Details like pockets and zippers are disregarded; only the fabric is employed as basic material. Martin Margiela made rosettes from the outer fabric of costumes. Using this, he formed the front side of a waistcoat. From the suit lining he made more rosettes for the back. Margiela also designed a dress made of fabric strips. Secondhand silk scarves were bleached, and cut into slivers. These ribbons were hand-braided to make a long dress and a top. The Dutch children’s label Flobberdewotsky uses secondhand textiles to create new garments with the help of regular clothing patterns. For example, they use old tablecloths, bedspreads, potholders, curtains, sheets and blankets, lampshades, and sometimes secondhand clothing. These five methods demonstrate that there are many ways to give old textile and other waste materials a new life. Working with secondhand material is an almost inexhaustible source of inspiration for designers. Working with previously used materials exhibiting certain forms and signs of patina has influenced the design process. Different shapes and the discovery of new possibilities are offered by the appearance and history of old materials. Materials we would normally throw away now obtain a new function and play again a role in both fashion and society.

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REFEREN CES Arnold, R., 2001, Fashion Desire and Anxiety – Image and Morality in the 20th

century, London: I.B. Tauris Publishers.

Crane, D., 1997, “Postmodernism and the Avant-Garde: Stylistic Change in Fashion Design”, In: Modernism/modernity, Volume 4, number 3, September 1997, 123140. http://muse.jhu.edu Deelen, P. van, 2006, “Geen huis geen geld geen liefde”, In: Linda, December 2006: 122. Evans, C., 2000, “Yesterday’s emblems and tomorrow’s commodities, The return of the repressed in fashion imagery today”, In: Bruzzi, S. and Gibson, P.C. ( eds. ), Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis, London: Routledge. Gill, A., 1998, “Deconstruction fashion: the making of unfinished, decomposing and re-assembled clothes”, In: Fashion Theory. Volume 2, Issue 1, 25-50, Oxford: Berg Publishers, McDowell, C., 2000, Fashion Today, Vienna: Phaidon Press. McRobbie, A., 1989, Zoot Suits and SecondHand Dresses: An Anthology of Fashion and Music, London: Macmillan. Overduin, H., Jonker, N. Zuthem, H. van, Meij, I, Dercom, C., 1981, Massacultuur, Mode voor iedereen, Confectie 1880-1980,. Den Haag: Haags Gemeentemuseum. Polhemus, T., 1994, Street Style – from Sidewalk to Catwalk, London: Thames and Hudson. Schacknat, K., 2004, “Unbeschreiblich Weiblich”, In: Teunissen, J. en Brand, J.,

De Ideale Vrouw, Nijmegen: SUN.

Smelik, A., 2006, “Mode en de media: van haute couture naar beeldcultuur”, In: Brand, J., Teunissen, J., Zwaag, A. van der ( eds. ), De Macht van Mode, over Ontwerp en Betekenis, Arnhem: ArtEZ Press. Svendsen, L., 2007, Mode – Een Filosofisch Essay, Baarn: Uitgeverij ten Have. Vinken, B., 2006, “– De eeuwigheid – een ruche aan een jurk”, In: Brand, J., Teunissen, J., Zwaag, A. van der ( eds. ), De Macht van Mode, over Ontwerp en Betekenis, Arnhem: ArtEZ Press, Wilson, E., 1990, “These new components of the spectacle: fashion and postmodernism, In: Boyne, R. en Rattansi, A.( eds. ), Postmodernism and Society, London: Macmillan. Wilson, E., 1993, “Fashion and the postmodern body”, In: Wilson, E. and Ash, J. ( eds. ), Chic Thrills, Berkeley: University of California Press.

www.maaikestaal.nl

• Rozema&Teunissen, 1999 graduation collection •• Flobberdewotsky ••• Martin Margiela, Collection Spring/Summer 2007


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South-Korean Report Design is a global event. When the plane touches down at Incheon International Airport in Korea, my first impression is: “This is just another part of the global culture.” The similarities are more obvious than the differences, yet slight twists in emphasis will reveal another world. Banners that show the pride of winning World’s Best Airport in Operational Efficiency Excellence prelude my sense of the local identity: a country striving for competence, comfort and coherence. The Korean economy has recently emerged from an era of hardship. Obviously, a society rushing for success has a smaller amount of interest in reflection, culture or environment. Nevertheless, interior design professors meet annually to discuss the developments in their profession and education. The biannual convention of the International Federation of Interior Designers ( IFI ) was hosted in Busan by the Korean Society of Interior Designers ( KOSID ). The topic of conversation concerned an exploration of the latest tendencies in design. And since Dutch design is celebrated around the world, the briefing of my lecture was to show its derivation. From the experience of earlier interactions with a Korean audience I had learned that the quality of the interpreter was crucial. Thus I asked Bokyoung Ju, an alumna of our MAHKU course, for her assistance. In preparing the lecture, we started to investigate the way Korean designers understood and appreciated Dutch design. A crucial point proved to be the preconception held by many Koreans that design is aiming for balance and consistency. To clarify the Dutch open and more optional design, the research was extended to factors in Dutch culture underpinning the designer’s mentality. Under the title: ‘If there is no truth, the Dutch will design it’, we offered an introduction to how a design attitude based on the cultural background of negotiation in trade and democracy can be relevant in today’s global society. This content addressed a prominent concern among Korean designers; namely, how their competence in making comfortable designs could express a Korean identity coherent to the discourse of contemporary global design. In the IFI/WING workshop, I took the opportunity to confront Korean students with a Dutch design process. While other groups were analyzing the theme of ‘water’, I started to let the students playfully discover the properties of water itself to arrive at design principles deriving from this material. Starting experientially was unfamiliar, but the practice was well accomplished. It appeared to be more difficult to reflect on the outcome of the found principles in order to link them to a broader social or philosophical context. It seemed almost impossible to exceed the domain of form, expression and comfort and use more abstract and connective ways of thinking to implement a social level. The amazing thing, however, was that while I had already given up the challenge, students sensed something new and eagerly kept on questioning my intention. Eventually some of them managed to employ their creative approach for an innovative concept that contributes to society. A final lecture was organized at Hong-ik University. Although the meeting was intended for students, half of the auditorium was packed with professors and designers who were curious to see the ‘double Dutch’. In an intense reflection, Bokyoung Ju and I essentialized our experience so far and condensed it into a rhetorical opposition of a ‘why-’ and a ‘why not-’ attitude in the design process. The why-attitude is defensively seeking rational authorization and ends up in a concept-based design.

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The research here is often theoretical, objective but indirect, and leads to a well-balanced design that easily becomes too complicated to communicate clearly. The why not-attitude starts with a simple story line and draws attention to an option that can originate from more experiential ways of research and is, therefore, more direct. It explores a visualized scenario, while keeping new options open and, so, continues the creative process in design that facilitates possibilities. As an example of the open design process, we mentioned the Galleria Department Store in Seoul by UNStudio. In their design, they took ‘Big Detail’ as a guiding principle, and countered the excess of neon advertising in the city with a façade full of small silver glass discs that appear neutral at daytime but light up most brightly and colorfully at night. The issue triggered a question in a delicate area, since the building appeared to disturb the social life in the neighborhood. It took me a long time to understand why my response to include all circumstances and seek solutions in any medium was appreciated so much. It showed how a flexible competence could increase comfort and coherence. ( Wim Marseille )

Academy In the next two years, the professorship and research group Artistic Research intends to explore the position and situation of the art academy as such. Today, the concept of “academy” seems to be a crucial one in the practice of visual art. At various exhibition locations, curators focus on the academy as an educational trajectory in addition to their traditional job of showing visual work. For example, in 2006, the Museum for Contemporary Art in Antwerp ( Muhka ) and the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven jointly organized the large-scale program A.C.A.D.E.M.Y. In addition, the 2006 Manifesta planned a biennial consisting mainly of a temporary art academy project at Cyprus. Unfortunately, because of the incompatible views of Manifesta with those of the local authorities, that Manifesta program has never been executed. Eventually, part of the Manifesta academy project was realized by Anton Vidokle, one of the Manifesta curators, in the unitednationsplaza in Berlin. During the panel discussion Art Education Today - a project running parallel to the Frieze Art Fair 2007 - with speakers Saskia Bos, Tobias Rehberger, Ralph Rugoff, and Anton Vidokle, the latter reported on the Manifesta academy project. According to Vidokle, the current educational turn is related to how the role of visual art is in a process of transformation, as far as the spectator and the public is concerned. The paradigm of the public exhibition was already formulated at the time of the French revolution in the 18th century. From that point onward, and thus also in our day, exhibitions had to contribute to a critical, social awareness and a conscious sense of citizenship. Vidokle argued that the American artist Martha Rossler has demonstrated particularly in her work that the traditional art public has disappeared over the last two centuries. At the same time, art seems to have adopted the role of entertainment for the masses in their leisure time. That makes it increasingly difficult for art to have any impact on society. Yet, in spite of the end of consensus in public space today, both artists and curators still want that 18th-century sovereignty once given to art. In stressing that desire, they develop exhibitions demanding attention for more effective models, while including the concepts of education and participation in the form of experimental academies as places of possibility. An example of such a place is Berlin’s unitednationsplaza.

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However, are such exhibition events indeed the appropriate locations for attaining a solid reflection of the academy? Shouldn’t the academy issue be explored from within the academies themselves? Those questions are the point of departure for the professorship artistic research group in the coming years. In addition, the professorate will organize a yearly conference in the context of art and academy. The first conference, A Certain Ma-ness, will be organized in collaboration with the Brussels St. Lukas Academy in De Brakke Grond, and is planned for spring 2008. In response to the academy issue, the research group “Academy” will delve into didactic strategies and models in order to be able to deal with the situation of transformation in visual art. The practice of the current visual artist seems to be increasingly characterized by the concept of expanded practice as a field of possibilities and exchanges in an intermediary space, hovering between various forms of perception and thought. In that sense, art no longer uses traditional contexts, but appears to create its own platforms able to continuously produce novel, interdisciplinary contexts. That recontextualizing turn also implies that the artist always needs to reflect on the connection of art, public, and public domain. However, the traditional art academy with its disciplinary relationship between lecturer and student does not provide the necessary tools to anticipate the novel artistic situation. In order to develop an adequate curriculum, a more natural role for critical theory seems to be one of the more urgent requirements. Theoretical reflection should no longer be a singular approach, but indeed participate in the academy’s curriculum, in the form of a committed exchange between critical theory and creative practice. Part of the required reconfiguration of theory and practice seems to be necessitated by the Bologna-based rules, stressing the connectivity of academic or university-based education and artistic education. Thus, the evolving academic structure of art education results in tutorials focused on individual artistic production increasingly being replaced by group discussions dealing with context and presentation. During these discussions, novel key words such as artistic research and artistic knowledge production pop up as ingredients for various forms of reflection within the art institutions. Yet, the danger lurking in these developments pertains to traditional academic discipline. After all, artistic thought has always surpassed the boundaries of any discipline whatsoever. Therefore, the research group artistic research intends to focus on the pre-conditions of a curriculum able to surpass the formatting power of academic thought. At the same time, space should be created for different and exploratory forms of critical thought. ( HS )

Conference, A Certain Ma-ness, Amsterdam, March 7-8, 2008 Too many conferences currently being organized by art academies draw attention to the recent development of PhD in art trajectories. Of course, as such that PhD discussion is useful. Yet, an even more important issue today pertains to the specificity of MA programs of art academies. After all, it is the master’s program, focused on research, that prepares artists for a possible PhD trajectory; it is the master’s program that offers artists various perspectives on their professional careers; and it is the master’s program and its strong emphasis on the specificities of its

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curriculum that forces the bachelor’s program to reflect on the particular structure of its own curriculum. Moreover, in spite of the obligation to effectuate the Bologna rules by 2009, many European countries interpret the concrete implementation of the master’s program in various ways. In some countries, a one-year program is offered, while other countries concentrate on a two-year program. Some countries have had master’s programs in fine art for many years, whereas others hardly adhere to a deadline for the implementation of a master’s program. These clear-cut urgencies indicate a definite need for an international expert meeting and conference addressing the issue of the specificity of the Ma Fine Art programs. The conference A Certain Ma-Ness will take place in Amsterdam on March 7-8, 2008 and will be organized by the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design in collaboration with the Brussels St. Lukas Academy. In order to explore the specificity of an academic master’s degree in fine art further, three distinct issues will be discussed. 1 The issue of the specificity of Ma-competencies. Is it possible to map the various skills required for the Ma-program particularly with regard to a reflective and critical attitude, and a conception of both knowledge production and research? 2 The issue of didactic strategies. Is it possible to determine how a MA curriculum is characterized? What are adequate didactic strategies and educational models? What is the relationship between those educational strategies and models and the research practice of lecturers? 3 The issue of the research environment. In what way -political, facilitating, infrastructural - could the Graduate School contribute to the development of a research climate in art education? The conference consists of two parts. On day one three parallel workshops will investigate the major issues. The first workshop is for students of various European art schools, the second one is for lecturers, and the third one for policy makers. The results of the workshops, summarized by their respective moderators, will serve as the starting points for the symposium on day two. Three panels will tackle the issues raised. Panel one, Competencies: Clementine Deliss and Simon Sheikh. Panel two, Didactic Strategies: Mick Wilson and Daniel Birnbaum. Panel three, Research Environment: Bart Verschaffel and Ute Meta Bauer. In MaHKUzine #5 - Summer 2008 - the conference lectures and outcomes will be extensively discussed and illustrated. More information: www.mahku.nl

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M mahkuzine 4 journal of artistic research Winter 2008 mahkuzine, Journal of Artistic Research Hosted by the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design (  MaHKU  ) ISSN: 1882-4728 contact mahkuzine Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan 50 3582 VA Utrecht The Netherlands mahkuzine@mahku.nl website www.mahku.nl editorial board

HENK S L AGER (  g enera l editor  )

A NNE T T E W. BA LKEM A

A RJEN MULDER

B IB I S T R A AT M A N

editorial consultants

KL A AS HOEK

W IM M A RS EILLE

CHRIS V ERM A AS

M AS CH A VA N ZI J V ERDEN

final editing: A NNE T T E W. BA LKEM A language editing: JENNIFER NOL A N translations: GLOBA L V ERNUNF T design: Ma HKU/ M A Editor ia l De sign (  T HOM AS CLE V ER  ) . typeface: Swift ( by GER A RD UNGER ) , B E A k zidenz Grote sk

earn MaHKU is part of the European Artistic Research Network, together with Helsinki School of Art, Helsinki; Malmö School of Art, Malmö; NCAD School of Art, Dublin; Slade School of Art, London; Vienna School of Art, Vienna. participants

A NNE T T E W. BA LKEM A Lecturer in Analysis in Spatial Design, MaHKU, Utrecht

GUUS B EUMER , Director Marres and NAI, Maastricht

P E T R A B L A IS S E , Interdisciplinary Designer, Inside Outside, Amsterdam

LUIS IGN ACIO CA RMON A , MaHKU Graduate Design, Editorial Design

HEIN EB ERS ON . Lecturer Editorial Design, MaHKU, Utrecht

G A B RIEL A HERN A NDE Z , MaHKU Graduate Design, Urban Design

HELL A JONGERIUS , Product Designer, Rotterdam

W IM M A RS EILLE , Courseleader MA Interior Design, MaHKU, Utrecht

FION A PA RRY, Curatorial assistant Casco, Utrecht

FION A R A BY, Professor of Interaction Design, Royal College of Art, London

M A A IKE S TA A L , MaHKU Gradaute Design, Fashion Design

ROEMER VA N TOORN , Professor Projective Theory Program, Berlage Institute,

Rotterdam

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