For the second time in a row, Lidewij Edelkoort exhibited her design collection to the public. Over the duration of two years, since the last time the works where on show in the Institut Néerlandais in Paris in 2013, the collection evolved and expanded significantly. The exhibition has been realised in collaboration with Kazerne Eindhoven in the Netherlands who hosted Edelkoort’s collection from June 2015 until February 2016.
Dutch design from the perspective of autonomous design.
Edelkoort was one of the first to recognise the phenomenon of autonomous design in the mid-1990s. She then picked up the trend, drew attention to it and made sure that it became widely recognised. She also made the artists she stimulated and inspired aware of the power of this form of design, challenging them, in particular, to incorporate more of their own individual personalities into their design work: a set of individual characteristics which would speak through their work, express their feelings, and enabling public and users alike to value or understand their work without the need to be experts or connoisseurs, simply because they could feel it. Examples of this are the ‘Smoke Collection’ from Maarten Baas, ‘Big White Pot and Red White Vase’ from Hella Jongerius and the ‘Knotted Chair’ by Marcel Wanders. It was Lidewij Edelkoort who took Dutch design as autonomous art and helped transform it into an internationally recognised concept. And throughout this period of time she assembled her own collection of design, art and objects, creating a portrait and timeline of design at the turn of the century. An open-ended collection.
Lidewij Edelkoort: ‘Composed of work from the most important designers working around the turn of the century, many of them with links to the Netherlands, the collection shows how attitudes to design have changed and are coming of age. The evolution of autonomous design is a focal point. The works of a number of local heroes is on display, alongside world-renowned talents, celebrating the creative spirit of the city of Eindhoven, and representing a feather in the cap of education.’
‘I am honoured to be the first guest curator to present an exhibition at Kazerne; I find it particularly satisfying to be able to show my own art and design collection here in Eindhoven, where I spent seventeen years working in education and presenting exhibitions. This exhibition demonstrates what has been achieved here in Eindhoven, and how these achievements have then gone on to influence the world. The collection also shows really well what great creative spirits are capable of, and I hope it will inspire new generations of creatives to dare to go further, to seek genuine renewal and to make the necessary leaps forward.’