Cutting-edge Dutch designs combine form and function 

click to enlarge Anouk Wipprecht’s wild “Spider Dress 2.0,” made in collaboration with with Philip Wilck, is on view in “Hands Off: New Dutch Design at the Confluence of Technology and Craft.” - COURTESY JASON PERRY
  • COURTESY JASON PERRY
  • Anouk Wipprecht’s wild “Spider Dress 2.0,” made in collaboration with with Philip Wilck, is on view in “Hands Off: New Dutch Design at the Confluence of Technology and Craft.”
Tableware made from potato scraps, a 3D-printed chair containing a living fungus and a dress that detects invaders in the wearer’s personal space are a few of the objects on view in an exhibition of forward-looking and functional Dutch designs.

“Hands Off: New Dutch Design at the Confluence of Technology and Craft” at the Museum of Craft and Design contains art created by about 20 significant designers from the Netherlands, considered a world leader in design innovation. The works make substantial use of technology and combine aesthetics with a constructive, often environmental, purpose.

Curated by author and design editor Zahid Sardar, the exhibit also illustrates cutting-edge and witty qualities that have made Dutch designers influential since the 1990s. Divided into four sections – TechnoCraft, BioCraft, NaturoPaths and Hands Off – the furniture, lighting, clothing and other items in the show exemplify new approaches to traditional forms.

Featured artists include Dirk Vander Kooij, creator of the “Chubby Chair,” who programs his 3D printer to release a continuous line of curved, melted plastic (created from recycled synthetic materials), which forms an eccentrically stylish chair that is as hard as wood.

Eric Klarenbeek creates products that have a negative carbon footprint. He constructed his “Mycelium Chair” via 3D printing, using a mixture of water, straw and mycelium (threadlike masses of fungi). Into the chair he inserted living mycelium fungus, which grows in ways both aesthetic and practical.

Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, from Studio Drift, re-create effects seen in nature. Their “Shylight” chandelier descends from the ceiling, unfolds like a blooming flower, and then refolds and withdraws upward. Ingredients include stainless steel, LEDs, silk and robotics.

Mahmud and Massoud Hassani’s “Mine Kafon” is a gravity- and wind-powered land-mine detector made from bamboo, iron and biodegradable plastic. Fitted with a GPS chip that can locate land mines, the device was inspired by the Hassani brothers’ early years in Afghanistan, where children, trying to retrieve wind-blown toys, were injured by mines.

Anouk Wipprecht creates fashions equipped with artificial intelligence. Made in collaboration with Philip Wilck, her “Spider Dress 2.0” – inspired by the territorial behavior of arachnids – contains eight legs that react protectively when an unwelcome presence enters the wearer’s environment.

Additional highlights include DUS Architects’ 3D-printed tableware, made from potato scraps; Daniel de Bruin’s almost old-fashioned, analog 3D machine, which produces pottery that looks handmade; and Random Studio’s “Kissing Machine,” which creates random video pairings of solo kissing moments to suggest common humanity.

IF YOU GO

Hands Off: New Dutch Design at the Confluence of Technology and Craft

Where: Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third St., S.F.

When: Tuesdays-Sundays; closes Sept. 13

Tickets: $6 to $8 (free for ages 12 and under)

Contact: (415) 773-0303, www.sfmcd.org

About The Author

Anita Katz

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