Masterstudents from Design Academy Einhoven created their own interpretation on Designing Scarcity. Their designs took part in the exhibition.

Vicky Kuhlmann (IT)
‘Volume Economy’

“Let’s imagine that each of us has a box (= a volume) where he/she can put his/her belongings. Everything that is bigger than the box, like cars, is shared. This would bring us to reflect and think hard about what we exactly need and what not before taking it with us. Do you really need 20 pairs of shoes? Or is it smarter to have two pair of shoes and some food? (…) What if we really could just own 0,6 m3 of things? And what if each time that we throw away something we lose the respective volume? (...) As a student abroad I see with how little I can live with, with how little I can be happy. What would happen to the economy and to production if we could just own so little? Will we start to produce smaller things, using less material? If we would lose the volume of things we throw away would we build more lasting and durable products?”

Fiona du Mesnildot (FR)
‘THE MISSING SQUARE THEORY How to use the non-existent?’

“Facing scarcity or abundance, how optical illusion makes us able to cheat on our mind to find the balance we need? (…) The familiar grid that shapes the standard chocolate tablet is inherited from the World War food rationing to regulate the consumption of this rare commodity. Now the chocolate tablet could be considered as a basic sweet in our daily food consumption. We break it following the grid, as we would follow a dotted line, without expecting that there could be a more satisfying way to cut a piece. The missing square tiles puzzle, created by Winston Freer, could bring this implementation of satisfaction by providing the pleasurable illusion of an infinite chocolate tablet (…) Could this geometrical trick be a new kind of golden ratio for the economy to create surplus from standards and provide an illusion of growth?”

Hannah Hiecke (GE)
the ‘Common Multiple – Standardisation is an effective reaction on needs’

“Standardisation appears in all fields and areas. Focusing on its functionality an object is reduced to its most effective form. The project “Common Multiple” collected examples of rationalisation and standardisation from architectural history as stored in the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut. Working with standardised systems in the post-war period was quick, cheap and logical, making it an expedient solution in times of scarcity. The organisational structure of these urban grids also boasts a visual language of its own. Here lies the origin of – nearly utopian – city planning and building.”

Hongjie Yang (CH)
‘The Post-Natural Arctic’

“By the end of the 21st century, the human landscape will be drastically altered by climate change. A warming world will likely cause the northern latitudes to become the last refuge of the agriculture, while the rest of the world might face dramatic shortages. However, conventional agriculture will face serious challenges in the future arctic due to its unique conditions which are caused by both nature and humans. Project ‘Post Nature Arctic’ envisions the agricultural landscape in the Arctic in the year 2100, when technological innovation has blurred the traditional understanding of nature and the distinction between the “made” and the “born” disintegrates. Thus this project perceives humans as the catalysts of natural evolution, and explores the potential and limitations of “man-made” nature in the realm of agriculture.”

Sarmite Polakova (LT)

“I was inspired by the scarcity of food we have created by replacing gardens with concrete walls. By taking advantage of the ‘geveltuin’ law, building walls have been transformed into vertical gardens providing the citizens of a city with additional source of food. Imagine a city where every house has a garden on its walls. Streets changing their colors according to the season. Have you already seen the tomato house?” Polakova’s ‘gardening walls’ have their historic precursor in the citizen gardens that popped up all over Germany after the Second World War, during great famine, such as in the garden of the burnt-down Reichstag in Berlin.

Giada Ganassin (IT)
‘The backside of the archive’

“During the First World War, when paper became scarce, the Dutch architect Willem Dudok used his wife's musical scores to make sketches on the blank pages in between the musical pieces. For this reason Het Nieuwe Instituut preserves many musical scores in its archive unbeknownst to most people. To open this silent archive and reveal a bit of its treasures, a process of digitalization has been initiated which consists in scanning the front side of the documents and displaying them on the website. However, the backside of the documents remain physically but not digitally preserved while, like in Dudok's case, the backside adds context and information to the front side.” During the opening of ‘Designing Scarcity’ this Friday we will play music from the archive: the document DUDO d81 will be finally brought to life.

Christine van Meegen (GE)
the ‘Common Ground. Platforms through Networks’

"Common Ground aims to bring three things together: spirit, space, material. And: people. It is a tool that makes use of abundant resources and unused space, where food is central as a basic need that brings us all together. Common Ground focuses on environmental concerns, promoting alternative structures in design. Making the environment the subject of work, Common Ground creates places where furniture, architecture, city and landscape are constantly in relation to one another, reflecting human needs, interacting and transforming over time. Common Ground wants to make complex systems more accessible by improving networks through rituals and shared responsibility, and finding new ways of looking at the world around us.It’s time for cooperation."

Sarah Daher (BR)
‘Nature Bubbles’

“’Nature Bubbles’ is a series of insights that speculate about the different ways we will experience nature in the future. Often, our relationship with nature is based on control and domination. Nowadays, we try to integrate and bring back the natural environment to our homes and cities. But my interest lies on how this relation could take different paths. Can this control and domination be used to empower wilderness and provide different contexts for nature inside the urban space? Or what if this relation of power in the future occurs to be the other way around? Could we develop a direct symbiotic relation with plants? Is nature the new investment for the future?”

All images made by the students