With Alchemist, Designer, on 16 October 2021 during Dutch Design Week 2021, Het Nieuwe Instituut celebrates both the completion of the New Material Award (2009-2018) and the launch of the new publication Lithium. States of Exhaustion.
Algae, mycelium, shells, blood, sweat or waste are increasingly used by designers to replace more polluting materials and to mitigate the environmental impact of their work. Designers source, forage, cook, mix, grow materials, and later recycle and reuse them as they reach the end of their life. Finding alternative energy sources in wind, solar and bio materials to power processes and outcomes is also at the core of contemporary design practice. In this event, designers will be joined by artists, performers, biologists and anthropologists to reflect on this continued human search for materials and unlimited energy.
On this occasion, ‘designer alchemists’ including Daria Biryukova, Roos Meerman and Basse Stittgen join artist and architect Luis Lecea Romera, editors Francisco Díaz, Anastasia Kubrak and Marina Otero Verzier, architects and researchers Godofredo Pereira, Pedro Alonso and anthropologist Emily Martin and, in the company of general and artistic director of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Aric Chen, explore our eternal search for alternative materials and unlimited energy.
The programme consists of two parts, with the emphasis before the break on the development, application, and processing of new materials, and afterwards on the search for sustainable sources of energy. Meet previous nominees of the New Material Award, hear their interpretation of the meaning and legacy of design, and how they position themselves in the chain from raw material to waste. Finally, together with the editors and several contributors, celebrate the publication of Lithium. States of Exhaustion!
- 15:45 Doors open
- 16:00 Performance, The Posthumous Aural (2021) by artist Luis Lecea Romera
- 16:15 Welcome and introduction by Aric Chen, general and artistic director of Het Nieuwe Instituut
- 16:20 New Material panel discussion with previous New Material Award nominees Daria Biryukova, Roos Meerman, and Basse Stittgen, moderated by Maarten Westerveen
- 17:10 Break
- 17:25 Book launch of Lithium. States of Exhaustion (Ediciones ARQ and Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2021). Editors Francisco Diaz, Anastasia Kubrak, and Marina Otero Verzier in conversation (live and online) with Pedro Alonso, Godofredo Enes Pereira, and Emily Martin
- 18:25 Drinks
The Posthumous Aural
The Posthumous Aural, by intermedial artist Luis Lecea Romera, occupies a conjectural space of grief through the vibrancies of non/living matter. A sonic act of inquiry on the material and cultural performances of the dead body-object, as well as the necropolitical and spatial consequences of its accelerating commodification.
New Material Award
Raw and used materials, like the products they make, are part of a chain. They have a history, taking on a temporary form before being incorporated into a waste stream from which new materials and products can be created. The synchronicity between the cycles of formation from materials and the life cycle of the designed environment has disappeared, especially with technological developments shaping our understanding of design. This was not initially seen as a problem, but this design perspective saw the earth as a seemingly inexhaustible source ready to be exploited. Designers are increasingly aware of their effects in the chain and, where possible, they intervene. In our daily actions, designers can not only develop an awareness of the consequences of our choices, but also offer alternatives.
Lithium. States of Exhaustion.
Since its discovery, lithium was presented as a cure for the exhaustion that the capitalist economy exerts on bodies. Prescribed for treating mania and depression since 1817, lithium is today better known as a vital element for the transition to renewable energies. Yet, the increasing dependence on its extraction is resulting in the degradation and collapse of entire ecosystems. On a journey through salt flats in Bolivia, evaporation pools in Chile's Atacama Desert, and European spa resorts, Lithium. States of Exhaustion take us to the subjects and objects powered by this extraordinary element. Published by Ediciones ARQ (Chile) and Het Nieuwe Instituut, this bilingual and bipolar book brings together the arguments of architects, academics, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, philosophers, journalists, and activists on lithium extraction, pharmacology, and mental health.
Reinterpreting Design Heritage
Dutch Design Week 2021
During Dutch Design Week 2021, the Network Archives Design and Digital Culture (NADD) is organising an event about using and reinterpreting design heritage. Experienced practitioners, including designers Bas van Beek and Toon Koehorst, director of the Van Abbemuseum Charles Esche and NADD programme manager Brigitte Jansen, discuss the ways they use archive materials, and how they give them a new interpretation. The event will be moderated by Flora van Gaalen, head of programme at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Creative Holland Live #3: Go Far With Fairs
Dutch Design Week 2021
During Dutch Design Week, on 20 October, the internationalisation platform Creative Holland organises a talk show to help cultural entrepreneurs achieve their international ambitions. What financing options does the government offer for those first steps abroad? Which international (design) fairs really matter? Would it be better to attend a trade fair, or on a trade mission? And how can embassies and consulates help?
EVJ x Het Nieuwe Instituut: Take Home an EVJ!
Dutch Design Week 2021
What happens to the idea of value when an everyday consumable becomes an object to take care of, even when you don’t own it? Designer Elisa van Joolen and Het Nieuwe Instituut present the EVJ, the institute's first official museum bag. Users never own the EVJ, but take care of it for a time. For Dutch Design Week 2021, from 16 to 24 October, Elisa van Joolen and Het Nieuwe Instituut present a limited edition of 25 EVJ bags, made especially for DDW.