“Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” at Vitra Design Museum Gallery

The Vitra Design Museum exhibition “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface”, is the Dutch designer’s first solo presentation outside her native country. The exhibition will be shown from 18 August 2018 until 20 January 2019 at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery.

 

Production Chain for »Flax Chair« Christien Meindertsma (2015)

Production Chain for »Flax Chair« Christien Meindertsma (2015)

 

For Christien Meindertsma, the creation of a product is only one element of the design process. In her unique approach, she explores the mechanisms of modern industrial production, undertaking expeditions to factories and conducting meticulous detective work at waste disposal sites and workshops – while bringing her unquenchable thirst for knowledge to interviews with the protagonists of these adventures. The exhibition focuses on Christien Meindertsma’s work with the materials of wool, flax, incinerator bottom ash and recycled wool. On display are projects such as the »One Sheep Sweater« (2010) – for which she produced garments from the coats of individual sheep – or the »Flax Chair« (2015), an innovative, sustainable piece of furniture made from a now rarely used material, which was nominated for the New Material Award (2016) and won the Dutch Design Award (2016).


 

Practical Information

“Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface”
August 18, 2018  – January 20, 2019
Vitra Design Museum Gallery
Charles-Eames-Straße 2,  Weil am Rhein
Germany

 


As the title »Beyond the Surface« suggests, the exhibition does not merely concentrate on finished products, but also encompasses material samples, prototypes and photographs. A particular focus lies on the production processes behind the completed object, which Meindertsma captures by means of films and publications – a method she refers to as »documentary design«. This renders visible how deeply the designer dives into her subject matter, often exploring a topic for long periods of time and positioning one completed project as a launch pad for the next.

 

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

 

Meindertsma is driven by such questions as: What are the effects of globalized production chains? How do you define transparency? What is the value of local production? How does commodity trading work? And, again and again: Could this be done differently? While the final results of her research vary greatly, they are all united by her interest in the origin of products, their processing, sustainability and transparency. Christien Meindertsma’s work and attitude demonstrate that design is not only the act of creating physical objects, but also a means to critically engage with our established modes of consumption and to disrupt thinking patterns in favour of positive change.

 

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

 

ABOUT CHRISTIEN MEINDERTSMA
Christien Meindertsma (*1980, Utrecht) graduated from the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven in 2003. Among the institution’s instructors at that time were Hella Jongerius, Jurgen Bey and other members of the Droog Design collective. Meindertsma’s most recognized works are »One Sheep Sweater« (2010), which is part of her ongoing work with wool as a raw material, and the results of her »Flax Project« – including a light, a rug and the »Flax Chair« (2015). She has also created documentary films and images in collaboration with photographer Mathijs Labadie and filmmaker Roel van Tour. Christien Meindertsma’s books and products are held in the collections of many international museums, such as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

 

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

»Flax Project«, Christien Meindertsma (ca. 2015)

»Flax Project«, Christien Meindertsma (ca. 2015)

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

 

Meindertsma’s unique working methods were already evident during her student years. For »Checked Baggage« (2004), she acquired more than 3000 objects confiscated within a single week at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, cataloguing them individually in a publication and putting them up for auction. Meindertsma first attracted international attention with her book »PIG 05049« (2007). The publication presents the results of a three-year research project, documenting a wide array of products that are created from a single pig. The 400-page book shows objects such as ammunition, photo paper, brakes, porcelain or chewing gum. The project has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions and many talks, including a TED symposium.

 

Christien Meindertsma, Flax Chair (2015) © Christien Meindertsma, photo: Roel van Tour, Mathijs Labadie

Christien Meindertsma, Flax Chair (2015) © Christien Meindertsma,photo: Roel van Tour, Mathijs Labadie

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

 

The »Bottom Ash Observatory« project (2015) summarizes her research into the extraction of valuable materials from incinerator bottom ash, the residue of household waste incineration. »Fibre Market« (2016) marked the beginning of Meindertsma’s investigations into the possibilities of recycling wool. After its first presentation at the London Design Museum, the project was further developed and led to a collaboration with the last Irish Donegal yarn spinner and a fifth- generation Donegal tweed weaving company, which continues to the present day.

 

Installation view of »Fibre Market« Project (2016) at the London Design Museum (2016) © Christien Meindertsma, photo: Luke Hayes

Installation view of »Fibre Market« Project (2016) at the London Design Museum (2016) © Christien Meindertsma, photo: Luke Hayes

Installation views "Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface" © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Installation views “Christien Meindertsma: Beyond the Surface” © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen

Christien Meindertsma, Research for »Fibre Market« Project (2016) © Christien Meindertsma, photo: Roel van Tour, Mathijs Labadie

Christien Meindertsma, Research for »Fibre Market« Project (2016) © Christien Meindertsma, photo: Roel van Tour, Mathijs Labadie


News source: Vitra Design Museum
Subscribe here to get weekly updates about architecture events and exhibitions.