'€˜Supermodels'€™ Celebrates Dutch Design

Hans David Tampubolon

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta

Jakarta, posted: Thu, August 13, 2015 | 10:13 am

A good design is more than just beauty '€” that'€™s a lesson an ongoing exhibition is trying to instill.

The exhibition, titled '€œSupermodels'€, celebrates a century of Dutch design and architecture through the use of 3D-printed miniature models of furniture, iconic architectural landmarks and modern versions of the Dutch dollhouse.

Designs from renowned architects and designers '€” from Gerrit Rietveld, Martin Visser, Bruno Ninaber van Eyben, Marcel Wanders, Joep van Lieshout, Ineke Hans to Maarten Baas '€” are on display at Erasmus Huis in Kuningan, South Jakarta until Aug. 29.

The show presents three focuses: Dutch design chairs, Dutch architect-designed houses and the presentation of the 21st century Dutch doll house.

In the design chairs section, 120 chair miniatures from hundreds of designers of various eras are exhibited in protective glass boxes attached to the exhibition room.

Each miniature chair is produced in the same white polyamide and at the same 1:6 scale, enabling a perfect comparison on the variations of form.

In the next section, the exhibition showcases scale models of a selection of iconic Dutch houses designed by Gerrit Rietveld, Van Doesburg/van Eesteren, Jan Benthem, Hans van Heeswijk and other architects.

The iconic Dutch house scale models are exhibited in the center of the room. One of them is the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht. This house was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld for Truus Schröder-Schräder and her three children.

UNESCO had named the Rietveld Schröder House as a world heritage site in 2000 and it is considered as an iconic architectural design for its ability to connect the inside and outside with its wall-free concept.

Another Dutch architectural landmark featured in the exhibition is the infamous Sodae House in Amsterdam.

The house, designed in 2009, is a representation of the creative ways of utilizing the building regulations in the Netherlands to create a simple yet futuristic and timeless design for a building.

The building regulations in the Netherlands oblige all houses to use sloping roofs on two sides, with the intention to make them conform to traditional style, but that makes it almost impossible for architects to create new and innovative house designs.

However, for the Sodae House, the designer, Don Murphy from VMX Architects, managed to apply these rules in a different manner and eventually was able to create a completely new and contemporary form of a Dutch house.

The exhibition also displays the modern interpretation of the Dutch doll house from a diverse selection of 45 designers '€” such as Makkink & Bey, Claudy Jongstra, Mijksenaar, Kossmann.dejong, Krijn de Koning and DUM '€” who have designed various interiors for hotel rooms, offices and exhibition galleries at a scale of 1:12.

'€œSupermodels'€ offers an overview of the creativity of Dutch designers, artists and architects while showing that the fame of the current generation originates from a rich history of design.

The '€œSupermodels'€ exhibition is an initiative of Concern, the Netherlands-based design studio that, among other things, created the interior of the Restaurant Stedelijk and the vitrines in the design collection presentation at the museum.

The traveling exhibition first premiered in April 2013 during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy, before moving to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and is now in Jakarta.

Concern'€™s creative director Gilian Schrofer conceived the idea for Supermodels when the studio took part in a number of trade missions over the years.

After traveling to various countries, Schrofer realized the importance of building a global network among designers to allow them to collaborate and give birth to innovative design ideas. The '€œSupermodels'€ exhibition concept was then conceived.

For Schrofer and his team at Concern, the exhibition was more than just for showing off Dutch designs, but also an opportunity to both teach and learn about good designs from other designers in other countries.

By initiating '€œSupermodels'€, Concern has become more of a network than a traditional design bureau.

For each project they work on, they always try to create the best possible team for the specifics of the project.

The philosophy underscores Schrofers'€™ belief not to be a signature designer, but to dig deep into the DNA of a client and create a design that best fits that DNA.

'€œIn '€˜Supermodels'€™, a good design is one that is smart: That it is not only beautiful, but there is a sort of a different level that is making a change by being smart,'€ Schrofer told The Jakarta Post.

'€œSo, it [the design] is making a change or filling in a daily need that nobody has thought of.'€

For Schrofer, a good design is about using interiors to influence people'€™s subconscious behavior.

For example, a shop owner wants to guide its customers through the store, tempting them into buying something. In other cases, such as a bar, the designers must find a concept that can make customers stay longer and order more food and drinks.

 '€œThe idea behind '€˜Supermodels'€™ is to show the quality of Dutch design and I know a lot of designers are busy with bigger questions than only making things beautiful.

And in this show, a lot of those designers can expand a network to have this kind of talk, to help other countries, other people to change and make better designs and make a better world,'€ he said.

'€œWe, as Dutch, we are strange people. We are always a little bit modest; we make fun of ourselves, but we can definitely be very good as designers to change things.'€

'€” Photos by JP/Jerry Adiguna

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