Designer and documentarist
The atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant when Design School Kolding’s youngest and so far only international affiliate professor, Dutch Designer Christien Meindertsma, gave her inaugural lecture. Her talk was an interesting journey through a selection of her own design projects and into her documentary design universe. A universe which in itself can be characterised as an eternal journey and exploration of materials and methods, which pushes our perception of the world and the products that surround us.
Design that documents and creates reflection
From early on in her career, Christien Meindertsma has made an international name for herself with her inquisitive and explorative approach to the world and the products that surround us. In 2009, she received an INDEX award for the project "Pig 05949", in which she systematically examined what each part of a pig is used for and in what products we, as consumers, encounter the pig.
Materials, methods, processes and communication are the focal points when Christien Meindertsma is working on this type of project, which she refers to as Documentary Design, and she creates documentary stories with a unique eye for detail and the little things. Stories like the one about the Dutch woman who knitted more than 500 sweaters. Without recipes and with no one to give them to. She had to leave her house and Christien Meindertsma decided to give the sweaters life by making a photo book and creating a huge happening outside her home that will surely put a smile on your face.
Check out the film
A personal journey
Christien Meindertsma is modest when she talks about the way she works. Big words like “vision” and “purpose” are not part of her vocabulary:
”The nicest things to find are in the weirdest places and in the details. Therefore I enjoy doing my own research and seeing where it takes me. My work is a personal journey”.
Christien Meindertsma also designs commercial products and briefly spoke about the price you pay for success:
”When your things show up in magazines and shops and become popular, they will get copied. That’s inevitable”.
But in true Meindertsma fashion this too made her detect a story that needs to be told.
Christien Meindertsma studied at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. She works in a cross field between materials, production, design and art, with a strong focus on sustainability and how we create and use products. Her work has been exhibited at MoMA, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York and the V&A in London, among others, and she has won a number of awards.
For the next five years, Christien Meindertsma will use her competencies in the areas of external examination, research, teaching, and lectures at Design School Kolding and thereby strengthen the school’s profile within textiles, sustainability and communication.