Hidden Heroes – Vitra Design Museum // Matter of time – Dutch Invertuals
The Hidden Heroes exhibition, curated by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, shows 35 of these everyday classics, telling about their history and significance.
The Hidden Heroes exhibition, curated by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, shows 35 of these everyday classics, telling about their history and significance. The first port of call of the round-the-world travelling exhibition is the Netherlands. On show at the Designhuis in Eindhoven from Saturday, February 12 through Sunday, May 15.
The Hidden Heroes are pure manifestions of their function. They do what they must do without asking for attention. That’s what makes them so appealing. Almost unnoticed, they have set the standards: for the way we dress and eat, for our ways of transportation, in fact for our whole daily life. Besides, the history of their origins provides more insights into the broader context of our cultural and industrial history. The story of the pencil, for example, tells us something about the democratisation of writing and education; the tin can bears witness to the industrialisation of food processing; the ubiquitous containers indicate the emergence of globalisation and the global trade in products. The small, sticky Post-it notes have successfully spread worldwide almost simultaneously with the computer, since they offered the last chance for handwritten annotations in the increasingly dominant world of digital word processing. And the press stud, the zipper and Velcro have, each in their own way, given fashion a different image.
Matter of Time: brings history to life
From an extraordinary table to reinvented tools such as axes, drills or scrapers and from special paper to ‘relativity meters’. Nine designers and design bureaus, united in the collective Dutch Invertuals, present a unique exhibition based on the medieval oak wood that more than 600 years ago served as the foundation for the city entrance to Eindhoven. This exhibition is on view in the Designhuis in Eindhoven from Saturday, February 12 through Sunday, May 15.
Remnants of the medieval city gate that once marked the western entrance to the city are on view in the underground bicycle shelter under the 18 Septemberplein in Eindhoven. Archaeologists have uncovered a foundation and brought some 50 oak piles to the surface. Taking that ancient wood as their starting point, nine designers and design bureaus have given free rein to their creativity.
Under the name Dutch Invertuals they worked together before –in varying composition – at occasions such as presentations and exhibitions during the Salone del Mobile, the Dutch Design Week and ELLE Inside Design. According to Wendy Plomp, designer and initiator of Dutch Invertuals, this design collective has sprung from the idea that a mix of individuals can together create an unexpected world, partly because in a collective various design disciplines are represented. The exhibition Matter of Time, briefly on view during the Dutch Design Week 2010 in the space of design studio Edhv in the Fuutlaan will now be shown again at the Design House.
Through experimentation and research, the participating designers have translated the value and symbolism of the medieval timber into contemporary designs. Not only in the form of pure (consumer) goods or objects, but also through images, insights and stories. It is particularly the essence of time and the characteristics of the material that have been used as a source of inspiration. The Dutch Invertuals have processed the oak wood anew by using traditional techniques. They visualise the transient nature of the material. They give it a second life as a foundation. And they transform the ancient wood into sensory objects, sound images, interaction instruments and relativity meters. Like the Eindhoven Dagblad wrote: »Wood charged with history. A very special presentation that every true lover of design or art must have seen.«