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TextielMuseum: Earth Matters

The exhibition, curated by Li Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano, focuses on design developments regarding sustainability and respect for the planet’s resources

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Text by Rab Messina

The purpose of Earth Matters, a new exhibition at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, is to provide visitors with a better understanding of a sustainable production cycle. Curated by Li Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano, it shares experiments —large and small, from fashion to industrial design— that contribute to a sustainable making process.

The common thread for the featured works? They all ask the public to consider the source of their materials and how innovation can lead to re-evaluate crafts and locally manufactured products.  “This young century has brought about a moment of reflection and radical change, making up for a century of ecological abuse, consumption, greed and violence,” said Edelkoort. “At this point, we feel the urge to explore alternatives and use natural ingredients, which gives us hope for the future.”

Projects by more than 40 designers, artists and manufacturers —including the Campana Brothers, Formafantasma, Nacho Carbonell and Piet Hein Eek— are divided into four themes. ‘Honouring Origins’ urges designers to explore materials by focusing in the unique aspects of the animal or plant species from whence they came. In ‘Collecting Ingredients’ they show how manufacturing can avoid excessive pollution. ‘Reinventing Materials’ has designers looking at ways to reinvent the elements of their work through technology, while staying connected to the Earth, and ‘Sustaining Production’ features locally manufactured projects where little to no chemicals and water are used.

These initiatives, eventually, have a visual impact on the resulting pieces, which become a marker of our times. “Today, we are witnessing a shift towards a combination of this functionality and natural beauty,” said Errol van de Werdt, the TextielMuseum director. “Artists and designers are looking for refined aesthetics.”

Earth Matters is open until November 26, 2017

Overview exhibition ‘Earth Matters’ Photo: Josefina Eikenaar/TextielMuseum
Overview exhibition ‘Earth Matters’ Photo: Josefina Eikenaar/TextielMuseum
Designer: DOSA, a collaboration between Christina Kim & Mark Eden Schooley (2017) Photo: DOSA
‘Forest Wool’ Designer: Tamara Orjola Year: 2016 Photo: Design Academy Eindhoven / Ronald Smits
‘Tactile Corpuscles’ Designer: Sanne Muiser Year: 2014 Photo: Studio Pluis
‘Changing Vase’ Designer: Dirk vander Kooij Year: 2013 Photo: Studio Dirk vander Kooij
‘Hair by Hood’ Designer: Alix Bizet Year: 2015 Photo: Juliette Delforge

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