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Die Neue Sammlung acquires shadow play by Jongerius and Schouwenberg


Die Neue Sammlung, the design museum at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, has acquired ‘A Search Behind Appearances’ by Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg.

In 2015 Jongerius and Schouwenberg wrote a manifesto to express their criticism of the design field and make a plea for a renewed idealistic agenda. In 2016, at the invitation of the Serpentine Gallery and La Rinascente, they created a follow-up with the shadow-producing installations of ‘A Search Behind Appearances’. This time focussing on the potential of design.

In 2017, the installations were part of a site-specific exhibition that Jongerius and Schouwenberg created for Die Neue Sammlung. The exhibition raised questions on the gap between how we experience design in daily life and how we read the meaning and value of those objects in the context of a museum display.

A Search Behind Appearances reflects on the state of affairs in design and prompts a consideration of the meanings that hide behind appearances. It does so through a sophisticated shadow play. Ingeniously animated and automated small-scale machines assemble and dis-assemble iconic objects and words into their constituent parts. The ever-shifting shadows of these intricately orchestrated movements are projected onto specially woven fabrics.

Angelika Nollert, director of Die Neue Sammlung, on the acquisition:
“The installation ‘A Search Behind Appearances’ is of great importance for our museum because the Neue Sammlung is a programmatic collection of contemporary design.
This multi-part work addresses many aspects of the current discourse: The questions of innovation and sustainability of design are just as relevant here as the question of the responsibility of design processes for designers, for consumers, but also for the exhibiting and mediating institutions.“

hella en louise portret

Louise Schouwenberg and Hella Jongerius

Photos by Roel van Tour

Breathing Colour at the NationalMuseum in Stockholm

Breathing Colour at NationalMuseum

October 17, 2019 - March 1, 2020

In 2017 commissioned by the Design Museum London, the touring exhibition Breathing Colour is now opening on October 17, 2019 at the NationalMuseum Stockholm.

The show is made up of a collection of specially designed objects that demonstrate how our experience of colour and form is affected by changing daylight throughout the course of a day. Just like at its last venue, Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Hella Jongerius and artist Mathieu Meijers have selected artworks from the collection to accompany and emphasise the three sections: Morning, Noon and Evening.

For more information, please visit www.nationalmuseum.se.

Photo BC

Wallpaper Design Award 2017 for Landscape

Landscape – designed by Hella Jongerius for Danskina – has been selected for the 2017 Wallpaper* Design Award.


2017 Sikkens Prize

Hella Jongerius has been chosen to receive the 2017 Sikkens Prize for her extraordinary work with colour. The ceremony will take place at De Doelen, Rotterdam on March 26.

“Hella Jongerius’ work puts colour centre stage. Never one to follow commercial trends, she has developed a use of colour that is uniquely her own. Jongerius has been researching colour pigments and the connection between colour, fabric and light for years. Her 2011 project The Daylight Wheel is an exceptional example. Through her publications, Jongerius encourages a critical approach towards design practice. Beyond the New - A Search for Ideals in Design (2015), the manifesto she wrote together with Louise Schouwenberg, has become a source of inspiration for designers, promoters and students all over the world.” – Board of the Sikkens Foundation

The internationally renowned prize counts as one of the most important art awards in the Netherlands and has been awarded to Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier, Donald Judd, Bridget Riley and most recently architect David Chipperfield. 

Visit the Sikkens Foundation for more information.

Hella Jongerius: Breathing Colour

28 June – 17 September 2017

We see the world in colour but rarely do we appreciate how colour shapes what we see. Drawing on years of research, designer Hella Jongerius presents Breathing Colour; an installation-based exhibition that takes a deeper look at the way colour behaves, exploring shapes, materials, shadows and reflections. Through a series of phenomenological studies and experiences, the exhibition will make us question one of the most elemental aspects of design. On show at the Design Museum London. Click here for more information.

Daylight Wheel, 2011, Hella Jongerius
Photo credit: Roel van Tour

Beyond the New

Beyond the New


Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg

Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg have written a Manifest in which they plea for ideals in design and call upon designers to take the lead in a much-needed change of mentality.

The designer and design theorist criticise the obsession with the New for the sake of the New, and deplore how the discipline lacks an intimate interweaving of the values that once inspired designers, as well as the producers of their ideas: making the highest possible quality accessible to many people. 

From the text:

“What most design events have in common are the presentations of a depressing cornucopia of pointless products, commercial hypes around presumed innovations, and empty rhetoric.”

“It is absurd and arrogant to begin the design process with an empty piece of paper. Cultural and historical awareness are woven into the DNA of any worthwhile product.”

“Know the companies that share your moral and aesthetic values. Know the others too.”

“Count the blessings of industry. Industrial processes have greater potential than low-volume productions of exclusive designs, which reach such a limited market that talk of ‘users’ can hardly be taken seriously. Industries can make high-quality products available to many people. We should breathe new life into that ideal.”

A printed version of the Manifest, designed by Studio Joost Grootens, will be available at two locations during the Salone del Mobile in Milan (Tuesday 14 – Sunday 19 April 2015):

Z33 - Atelier Clerici. Location: Palazzo Clerici, Via Clerici 5
Design Academy Eindhoven. Location: Ventura Lambrate, corner Via G.Crespi and Via dei Canzi

# beyondthenew

For more information please contact: press@jongeriuslab.com
(at request a Dutch version of the text is available)

Hella Jongerius (NL) is an industrial designer and art director. Louise Schouwenberg (NL) is a design theorist and head of the master’s programme Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven.

The publication is supported by Design Academy Eindhoven, Design Indaba, and Z33.