‘Earth Matters’ refers to the worldwide development regarding sustainability and respect for earth’s resources. In the worlds of design, science and business, these aspects are of great importance. By using the four themes, ‘Honouring Origins’, ‘Collecting Ingredients’, ‘Reinventing Materials’ and ‘Sustaining Production’, the exhibition ‘EARTH MATTERS’, gives the visitor a better understanding of a sustainable cycle and the importance of material studies. The exhibition shows experiments – from fashion to design – that contribute to a sustainable making process, either on a small or a large scale. All projects encourage people to think about the source of materials and the creation process, not only through innovation, but even more by the re-evaluation of crafts and locally produced products. The exhibition is curated by Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano, together with the TextielMuseum.
“This young century has brought about a moment of reflection and radical change, making up for a century of ecological abuse, consumption, greed and violence. At this point, we feel the urge to explore alternatives and use natural ingredients, which gives us hope for the future.”
– Lidewij Edelkoort, exhibition co-curator
EARTH MATTERS is an expansive survey of new works, looking at innovative design objects, garments, textiles, yarns and materials. More than 40 international designers, artists and manufacturers transverse the 4 exhibition themes:
The origins of a fibre, the name of the weaver and the face of the artisan each become intrinsic to understanding an object’s identity and soul. Like knowing the source of our food, materials are explored by designers interested in the unique aspects of the animal or plant species. A new generation of designers retrace their roots and research their history, sometimes going back to the beginning of time.
SANNE VISSER, The New age of Trichology, photo: Tom Mannion
Like foragers looking for food, ecologically-conscious designers hunt and gather organic ingredients, creating a colourful language tinted for today’s greener times. They show us how manufacturing can avoid excessive pollution. Several investigate the properties of individual plants, like contemporary botanists cataloguing their qualities, reconnecting society to nature. Environmentalism is interwoven with sustenance, particularly when it comes to the oceans.
TAMARA ORJOLA, Forest Wool, photo: Design Academy Eindhoven/ Ronald Smits
Material is the message in today’s design world, with designers looking at both low and high tech ways to reinvent the elements with which they work, all the while staying connected to the Earth. Recomposed from scraps of matter or reinvented with both natural and synthetic ingredients. Recycled and reincarnated, cultured and cultivated, to give new life to texture, fibre and colour.
JÓLAN VAN DER WIEL in collaboration with Iris van Herpen, Magnetic Shoe, photo: JVDW Studio
Designers aim for a more sustainable production process and make us aware of the polluting ways we make textiles today. They seek to use little to no chemicals and water, work as energy-efficient as possible and manufacture locally, often experimenting with recycled or upcycled materials. They also revive cottage industry techniques and return to old looms to establish innovative studios.
DOSA, Light blessings sorting marigold petals
Today, we are witnessing a shift towards a combination of this functionality and natural beauty. Artists and designers are looking for refined aesthetics. The TextielMuseum has all the ingredients to introduce visitors and users to the basic principles of ‘making 2.0’: personalisation, sustainable development and manufacturing and the use of new techniques.”
– Errol van de Werdt, directeur TextielMuseum
About the curators
Lidewij Edelkoort is one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters; she is also a curator, publisher and educator. Along with co-curator Philip Fimmano, Edelkoort Exhibitions creates dynamic design exhibitions for international museums and institutions.
Exhibiting Designers & Artists
ANANAS ANAM (ES), MARJAN VAN AUBEL (NL), ALIX BIZET (FR), BOLT THREADS (US), FERNANDO & HUMBERTO, CAMPANA (BR), NACHO CARBONELL (ES), DOSA (US), PIET HEIN EEK (NL), KIKI VAN EIJK (NL), FISHER FOUND (US), INDIA FLINT (AU), FORMAFANTASMA (IT), FRIENDS OF LIGHT (US), NINA GAUTIER (CH), GOLDEN JOINERY (NL), ALY DE GROOT (AU), NIENKE HOOGVLIET (NL), MARLÉNE HUISSOUD (NL), INTERFACE (US), MARKUS KAYSER (DE), DIRK VANDER KOOIJ (NL), TOMÁŠ GABZDIL LIBERTÍNY (SK), JULIA LOHMANN (DE), ANKE LOUWERS (NL), LAURA LUCHTMAN & ILFA SIEBENHAAR (NL), CHRISTIEN MEINDERTSMA (NL), SANNE MUISER (NL), TAMARA ORJOLA (LV), SARMĪTE POĻAKOVA (LV), PROVENANCE (US), DIANA SCHERER (NL), THOMAS STRAUB (DE), SALEM VAN DER SWAAGH (DE), SUZANNE TICK (US), THOMAS VAILLY & LAURA LYNN JANSEN (NL), SANNE VISSER (NL), BIRGITTA DE VOS (NL), LYNETTE, WALLWORTH & ANONHI (GB), JOLAN VAN DER WIEL (NL), THE WILLOW GROUP (IS), FLORIS WUBBEN (NL)
EARTH MATTERS is a visually-rich 136-page colour publication with texts and essays by the exhibition’s contributors and curators.
header photo: ‘Out of Chaos’ by Thomas Straub (2006)