Dutch Design Week 2013

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Hugo van der Kallen looks back with content at a turbulent week in Eindhoven: “During the Dutch Design Week I transformed from being a furniture maker into being a product designer.” In the Klokgebouw Van der Kallen presented Circle Elemental Composites, a package consisting of metal coupling elements and wooden beams with which the user creates its own furniture. Both the product itself and the history behind it received much of attention during the week.

The public broadcaster VPRO’s television program Dorst selected Circle Elemental Composites as ‘one of the five designs in Eindhoven that will change your life’. Van der Kallen: “I wanted to create something that transcended being a chair. It had to be able to become a table, a sofa, or a cabinet. And when a part breaks down, there would be no need to throw the entire thing away.” The concept behind Circle Elemental Composites rests on a fair, sustainable base. Not just the materials origins are ethically sound, Circle Elemental Composites also invites the user to change the way he or she conceives the acts of consuming and producing. Broken down components – whether they’re pieces of metal or wood – get replaced and become new raw materials. Not waste.

Over 250.000 people visited in Eindhoven the presentations of more than 1800 designers, spread over 72 locations. At the stand of Circle Elemental Composites the visitor could show of its own creativity. With only ten different elements (four metal coupling elements and six wooden beams) the consumer turns into designer. “Less is more,” says Van der Kallen, “During the DDW this restricted number of elements turned out to be perfectly appropriate to create just more possibilities and functions.

Circle Elemental Composites provokes users to abandon the old ways of consuming and to enter the world of sustainable design themselves.