Kunst- und Designbezogene Wissenschaften

Gastprof. Ben Shai van der Wal und Louise Schouwenberg

Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg, Beyond the New. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München / Munich,  Photo: Roel van Tour

Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg, Beyond the New. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München / Munich,  Photo: Roel van Tour

Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg, Beyond the New. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München / Munich,  Photo: Roel van Tour

Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg, Beyond the New. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München / Munich,  Photo: Roel van Tour

Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg, Beyond the New. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München / Munich,  Photo: Roel van Tour

Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg, Beyond the New. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München / Munich,  Photo: Roel van Tour

Praxis und Theorie

The program carries the German title Praxis und Theorie, and aims at creating a fruitful interaction between the artistic practices of the students and newly gained theoretical insights. Lectures are offered on a range of philosophical themes which are closely related to, and relevant for, various cultural practices. The professors will offer advice for reading specific texts and will give making assignments, so as to guide the individual students in translating concepts into artistic works. Apart from this, they take time to discuss other projects the students work on, to try and link them to the theoretical lessons.  


Beyond the New – On the Agency of Things

In the course of three subsequent years Louise Schouwenberg has collaborated with designer Hella Jongerius: during two subsequent Salone del Mobile events in Milan they presented their critical views on design by way of the manifesto Beyond the New (2015, at Palazzo Clerici), and the shadow play A Search Behind Appearances (2016, at La Rinascente storefront windows; commissioned by Serpentine Galleries London). In 2017 Schouwenberg and Jongerius curated the exhibition Beyond the New for museum Die Neue Sammlung / Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (10/2017 – 9/2018). Parts of the same exhibition were presented at the MUDAM museum in Luxemburg from October 2018 until January 2019. In 2019 Die Neue Sammlung acquired the installations for its vast design collection. 
The images show an overview of Beyond the New at Die Neue Sammlung / Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (Nov 2017 - Sept 2018). The installation Upside Down - Reading the Archive consisted of cabinets from the museum’s archive. By placing them with their backs on the floor instead of upright, visitors could still see the visual characteristics and intuit the cultural meanings of the exhibited objects. At the same time, they were invited to imagine how these same objects would have shaped people’s daily lives if their functionality were still intact. On the wall, textile panels were draped with woven words, sentences, and questions that provided the visitors with clues for reading the manifold meanings and agencies of design within a ‘white cube’ exhibition space. In 2017 Walter König Verlag released the publication that accompanied the exhibition: Louise Schouwenberg & Hella Jongerius, Beyond the New – On the Agency of Things, 2017 (graphic design Irma Boom).



Programme of the Winter Semester 2020-2021 



One of the main challenges of any designer or artist is the translation of concepts into matter. In this course lead by Louise Schouwenberg and Ben Shai van der Wal, the students are introduced to a palette of philosophers who have bent themselves over the issues of phenomena, concepts, words, things and being. Our main aim is to get a grip on some complicated ideas and how to translate those ideas into one of the most mundane objects available: a chair and translate those ideas into the booklet you make about your process and research. 
This course is designed to provide an intellectual and crafting challenge to all practitioners of the design and art discipline. Even the most sobre object we use in daily life, can implicitly reveal another message, another story. And thus it can become possible to design a chair for Plato, a chair for Baudrillard, or a chair for Heidegger, whereby the materiality, the form, the function, the appearance, reveals what you have learned about Plato, Baudrillard, Heidegger, ….. How you design and present your ‘chairs’ is up to you: by way of actual physical chairs one can sit on, by way of scale models of chairs, by way of sketches, by way of an animation or drawing or non-physical projection. Choose a format that fits your talents and your interests, a format that relates to the discipliine of your course. 


Apart from the chair designs, you create small booklets in which you gather all texts you wrote and the reference images you gathered. Also these small booklets will be designed in such a way, that they reveal their contents by way of the design features.
-    Students will be guided in the process of translating ideas into 3 chairs and will be guided in the process of translating ideas into a booklet.
-    After each lecture and seminar students will work on designing a chair based on the ideas of the discussed philosophers.
-    Each chair will be accompanied by a +/- 500 words text analysing their translation choices.
-    On 16th of januari the students will choose one of their conceptualized chairs to continue working on and present on Feb 5th. And on the 16th of January, the students will be advised on how to create their small booklets.
-    Scheins will be awarded to students who have adhered to the tasks.
-    If, for some reason, you cannot fullfil the above tasks, you can propose an alternative and discuss it with the professors. 





16th oct. 2020 Opening lecture and seminar Ben
-    Plato, Latour and the Dialectic of Things. 


30 oct. 2020 Online seminar Louise
-    After a short introduction on how to translate concepts into artworks or designs, in which Louise will present and analyse many examples, all first chairs by the students will be discussed, and advice is given on how to improve them. Apart from speaking about chair designs, Louise will also offer examples of graphic design, which not only has organized a text, but reveals something of a text’s content by way of the choice of fonts, page layout, etcetera.
14th nov. 2020 Lecture and seminar Ben
-    Baudrillard, Foucault and the Subject of Things


Nov. 2020 online feedback Louise
-    Students can send their proces images to Louise, and receive feedback via mail and / or individual Skype talks. At times, group feedback sessions are organized via Zoom.


19 dec. 2020 Louise and Ben
-    Heidegger, Derrida and the deconstruction of Things. After the lecture, Louise and Ben will discuss and analyze the chair designs you have made thus far.


Januari 2020 online feedback Louise and Ben
-    In the course of January you send texts and images of your process to both Louise and Ben, who will offer feedback and advice via mail or zoom meetings. In January you also work on the creation of small booklets, which contain your texts and process images. Mind: also the designs of the booklets should reveal something of the philosophers you have researched. Which fonts and page design would fit Plato best? Which fonts and organisation of images and texts would fit Derrida best? Something to experiment with.


16th of januari 2021 Louise and Ben
-    You present the outcomes thus far (three chair designs), and together we choose the chair to be developed into perfection for the final presentation. 


5th of Februari 2021 Louise and Ben
-    Final presentation of the chair designs, as well as the experiments leading up to the final one. 
-    Final presentation of your booklets, containing the texts you have written, reference images and images of the chair designs

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