Friday January 27th, Premsela’s Me Craft/You Industry symposium at the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen, looked at how we can shape the future of industry. The symposium examined past and present design processes and looked toward tomorrow's work landscape – a central concept in the thinking of Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey (Studio Makkink & Bey). The design duo curated the exhibition Industrious|Artefacts: The Evolution of Crafts, on view in the museum through Sunday 12 February.
Makkink & Bey argue that we can use industry to enhance the design of the industrial landscape and foster small-scale, local business and innovation. Symposium participants take an in-depth look at the relationship between industry and craft and the significance of past and present production processes. “We should be thinking about innovative and exciting ways of thinking beyond craft as artistic refuge and towards craft as a production of the new tomorrow,” argues symposium speaker Iftikhar Dadi, art historian, artist and curator affiliated with Cornell University in the USA.
Programme and speakers
The symposium is a co-production of Premsela and the Zuiderzee Museum and Jurgen Bey and has been planned by the designer and researcher Sophie Krier. Besides Dadi (via Skype, due to illness), speakers were philosopher Henk Oosterling, professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and initiator of the Rotterdam Vakmanstad project; architect, designer and researcher Fiona Raby, partner at Dunne & Raby; Christiaan Bolck, programme coordinator and researcher in the Bio-Based Products department at Wageningen University and Research Centre; Icelandic software developer, writer and hacker Smári McCarthy; and designer and Sandberg Institute director Jurgen Bey. Also participating in the discussion were designers Sonja Bäumel, Unfold, Trikoton, Studio Glithero and Forma Fantasma, all of whom are showing their work in the exhibition.
In the exhibition Industrious|Artefacts, Makkink and Bey bring together work by a range of designers to show how the former Zuiderzee region’s historic crafts evolved and how they have influenced contemporary design and industrial processes. Energy supplies are dwindling, the waste mountain is growing, and ever more land is being built on. Each designer in Industrious|Artefacts works to find solutions to these problems in his or her own way. Premsela provided support for preliminary research for the exhibition, which opened in May and runs through Sunday 12 February.
The exhibition and symposium will serve as the basis for a book, to be coproduced by Premsela. It will place Studio Makkink & Bey’s thoughts about the work landscape of the future in a wider context.