Open Circle Lab
For more than 40 years, the ArtEZ Product Design course in Arnhem has trained product designers to become the makers of the future. Students shape their own contemporary vision of design through our international expertise and focus on the multi-faceted possibilities within the field. Together with ECCO Leather students developed new leathers and worked on a futuristic interpretation of the ECCO shoe.
Mixed Surfaces is a project inspired by patterns in nature and the way humans influence and interact with them. Using a two-piece mold, patterns are pressed into the leather, creating a three-dimensional texture. This multidimensional surface creates shadows, making the patterns stand out and mirroring the natural surfaces of the earth.
Merel believes by 2020 we will live in a Hybrid Society where contrasts will merge with each other. We will no longer see the world as one thing or another, but a composition of all things working together. This outlook results in a fluid way of living where we will need to seamlessly transition from one situation into another. It creates a society in which everything continuously transforms and we must be very flexible — an ideal that should be reflected in our fashion. This need for adaptability translates into materials that show fluidity and flexibility, and reflect a true sense of individuality.
The Grid Tranquillity
In the near future, there will be even greater technological developments. Virtual reality will become available to all and a new space-age is almost destined. As we’ve seen in the past, there is a societal reaction to every new development. For example, in the 1960s, the Zero movement was a reaction to abstract expressionism. With all of our world’s current and future changes, people will crave an outlet for calm and simplicity. This project is a response to that desire, embracing the beauty of simple lines, grids, colour contrasts and distortion.
In the future, people will begin to colonize Mars. A new kind of traveler will come into being — a pioneer who will discover the unknown as we inhabit Mars. The harsh conditions on the red planet will require high-tech equipment that provides protection and free movement. On Earth, we will be influenced by this exploration. Fashion will respond by using low-tech materials processed with high-tech machines to recreate the equipment used on Mars.