HELLA JONGERIUS (NL)

Related Projects: Belgrade Design Week Festival 2007

Hella Jongerius’s research on colours, materials, and textures is never complete. All her questions are open-ended, and all her answers provisional, taking the form of finished and semi-finished products. 

Hella Jongerius’ (1963, the Netherlands) work combines the traditional with the contemporary, the newest technologies with age-old craft techniques. She aims to create products with individual character by including craft elements in the industrial production process. Jongerius sees her work as part of a never- ending process, and the same is essentially true of all Jongeriuslab designs: they possess the power of the final stage, while also communicating that they are part of something greater, with both a past and an uncertain future. The unfinished, the provisional, the possible – they reside in the attention to imperfections, traces of the creation process, and the revealed potential of materials and techniques. Through this working method, Jongerius not only celebrates the value of the process, but also engages the viewer, the user, in her investigation.

In 1993, after graduating at the Academy of Industrial Design in Eindhoven, she founded the Jongeriuslab studio, where independent projects are developed as well as work for major clients, including the upholstery fabric company Maharam, the interior design of the Delegates’ Lounge of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, cabin interiors for the airline KLM and the installation ‘Colour Recipe Research’ at the invitation of curator Hans Ulrich Obrist for the MAK (Vienna). Since 2012, Jongerius has served as Art Director for the rug company Danskina and since 2007 as Art Director of colours and materials for Vitra.

Recent projects include the publication of the book ‘I don’t have a favourite colour’ for Vitra (2016), the exhibition ‘Breathing Colour’ on her colour research for the Design Museum London (2017) as well as an exhibition and an accompanying publication ‘Beyond the New. On the Agency of Things’ with Louise Schouwenberg for the Pinakothek der Moderne, Die Neue Sammlung Munich (2017).

Many of Jongerius’ products can be found in the permanent collections of important museums (such as MoMA, New York, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam). Since 2009 Hella Jongerius lives and works in Berlin.

www.jongeriuslab.com

Belgrade Design week unlike so may other city design events has a wonderfully essential vibe about it. Nothing pretentious in the air but big bags of energy and enthusiasm. It feels like the Serbs haven't already decided what design is and so are open and ready to riff off the ideas that come in to sharp focus over these precious days. The city itself has a gritty charm about it which complements the event perfectly.

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