WTD "What's the deal?" – A Transnational Project on Young Urban Cultures …


29. October 2014

The new modernism – Willa Stoutenbeek

by Susanne    Filed under: Amsterdam,Design,Research ReportsComments Off on The new modernism – Willa Stoutenbeek

In the fourth part of our research about Dutch design: Willa Stoutenbeek. After ten years of working in the fashion industry, Willa Stoutenbeek was fed up with its superficiality and started focusing on sustainability. She founded W.Green: a creative communication agency for sustainable fashion and lifestyle. To her, it is important that the brands and products she works are driven to improve things. Relevance is her key word: if a product is useable, high quality and esthetical it’s relevant and therefore sustainable. Willa sees sustainability as the new modernism and relevance as its criteria. Since it is hard to make a product that is 100% sustainable, you need to focus on the steps where you can make a difference, she thinks. “After all, it is possible to make a difference if you reunite and collectively decide that you don’t accept the things as they happen.”

In the beginning of 2015 Coolpolitics/Lokaalmondiaal will be curating an extensive program on design and sustainability in Amsterdam. You can read more about the research in the Art Intervention designreport (ENG) by Amal Al Haag.

The new modernism – Willa Stoutenbeek from What’s the deal? on Vimeo.

22. October 2014

Young designers vs. big companies – Michael Schoner

by Susanne    Filed under: Amsterdam,Design,Research Reports,VIDEOSComments Off on Young designers vs. big companies – Michael Schoner

Already the third report from our Dutch design research. Today a different voice from 3D designer Michael Schoner. Living in a throw-away society, nothing is designed to last a long time. Does it even matter? Architect turned 3D designer Michael Schoner doubts it. He is German but has been living in Amsterdam for nine years now. In his designs, he explores anything that has to do with 3D, geometry, rhythm or space. Sustainability is not one of his priorities; in fact, he even challenges the idea that young designers can oppose the big companies that set the rules of the industry. Michael Schoner himself for example has designed one chair that is being produced by a sustainable company, but he wonders whether that really makes a difference. The big companies produce so much compared to the young sustainable designers, that it isn’t worth it to take on the “big boys”.

In the beginning of 2015 Coolpolitics/Lokaalmondiaal will be curating an extensive program on design and sustainability in Amsterdam.

Young designers vs. big companies – Michael Schoner from What’s the deal? on Vimeo.

20. October 2014

The big gesture: the Nomadic Sculpture evolved in episode III and moves underground in episode IV

by Tuncay    Filed under: Munich,SkateboardingComments Off on The big gesture: the Nomadic Sculpture evolved in episode III and moves underground in episode IV

Willy Brandt is a name that is symbolic for the last period of modern politics in which the big gesture determined the fate of a nation for decades. John F. Kennedy’s speach in Berlin which is monumentalized by the quote “Ich bin ein Berliner” or Willy Brandt’s kneefall in front of the Monument of the heros of the Ghetto of Warshau in the year 1970 were such moments in German history.
Why do i mention this? The 3’rd episode of the Nomadic Sculpture recently took place on a square in Munich that is named after Willy Brandt from 11’th till 13’th of september. So i thougt it would be nice to recover the story around the name.

WTD EpisodeIII Munich-Riem 2014 from What’s the deal? on Vimeo.

We all are used to walk over such places without even recognizing their names or the historical background. I think it’s very helpful to read the character of a city by studying those details. However it’s interesting that there is a disturbing contrast between the clear image and meaning of the historical persona of Willy Brandt and the imperfect, vaguely defined and unclear character of the place named after him. This was actually one of the main reasons why it caught our attention.
The Square is situated in one of the younger quarters of Munich called Messestadt Riem and is surrounded by a huge hotel complex and a shopping mall very near to the new fair area. The architectural ensemble is one of the boring examples of postmodern German masonry and shows less profile.
But the square was supposed to break out of this monotony. Its main feature is a water fountain that nearly covers all the area. It is drafted as a huge circle overlaid with a special pavement and supposed to be flooded equally. The concept belongs to the German artist Karin Sander but the organisation of the construction failed in many ways so that the surface of nearly half of the well is damaged and the flooding system does not work properly.
The square now looks quite abandoned and empty in a certain way. The passers by just walk around it on their way to the metro entrance or in the opposite direction. The only function of the place – which has nearly double the size of Munich’s central city square, Marienplatz – is to be passed by as fast as possible. So it perfectly answered the demands of our project.
We built the sculpture in the shape of a big question mark, as this sign is kind of a symbol for the whole project. Unfortunately it rained a lot so we could’nt really present on our topic which was “creative consumption”. We planned to offer a showroom for sustainably produced objects and products especially in the fashion field. We invited for example Marissa Brendel who is running the fashion label Afridiva (afridiva.com) which produces fashion items made out of selfmade tissues or recycled material in Madagascar. She sells it in Europe and tries to support the producers back there. Marissa planned a fashion show using the Nomadic Sculpture as a catwalk but unfortunately the weather destroyed all those nice plans.
However, we had one day with almost no rain and  a lot of kids of the neighbourhood came by who were little impressed by the weather, for they had really waited for days to ride the sculpture. So they came with skateboards, rollers and bikes. We really had to look after them because they were quite wild though.
Fortunately we had Tobi Albertross (albertross.de) on the site who held a skateboardworkshop assisted by the skateboardartist Tomcat. They supported the kids with the necessary safety outfit. It was interesting to see that the kids after a while understood the modular principle of the sculpture by themselves and tried to reposition the elements. So it happened that we could create a wonderful interaction which showed how much the kids identified themselves with the sculpture. They really were eager to be part of the creative process.
One of our partners at this event was the youth organization of the municipal library of Munich, lead by Raphaela Müller. She organized a media project which pointed to the problem of plastic surplus production. With simple experiments and creative interventions the kids themselves succeeded to get the public involved and to have people of all ages participate. At the end they created a wonderful shortclip which documents the process:

See more pictures of the event on our –>> Flickr-Site

And now we go for Episode IV: The Nomadic Sculpture will visit “Maxforum”. This is a rather huge art space run by the municipality of Munich in the very city center. It is an underpass wich is positioned on Munich’s most expensive shopping area. We will move in with the sculpture and have special guests who will work on it with projection mapping. 22’nd of November will be the opening and we will stay there till 10’th of january.
We will deliver more news soon. If you are around, don’t miss it:


16. October 2014

Re-imagining Design Processes – Borre Akkersdijk

by Susanne    Filed under: Amsterdam,Design,Research ReportsComments Off on Re-imagining Design Processes – Borre Akkersdijk

Today, we are bringing you the second report from our Design research with wunderkind Borre Akkersdijk. How a product comes into being is the single most important thing, according to the designer. Besides the final product itself, of course. That is why his design process doesn’t start with “buying nice fabric and cutting a pattern,” but way before: with the way the product is made. Borre then tackles every step of the production process himself, from the machine, the material to the final creation. Even though sustainability isn’t the very first thing that occupies him when he is designing, it is something he always bears in mind. According to Borre, sSustainability should be considered normal in the production process: “As a designer, you can raise awareness that sustainability should in fact be considered that way: as a normal component of the design process.”

In the beginning of 2015 Coolpolitics/Lokaalmondiaal will be curating an extensive program on design and sustainability in Amsterdam.

Re-imagining Design Processes – Borre Akkersdijk from What’s the deal? on Vimeo.

8. October 2014

Art Intervention: a report form the cross section of Design & Sustainability

by Susanne    Filed under: Amsterdam,Design,Research ReportsComments Off on Art Intervention: a report form the cross section of Design & Sustainability

In the first months of 2014, Coolpolitics has researched the trends, developments and needs from designers around sustainability. We read a lot, visited artists, exhibition and events, and interviewed several designers and artists about the role of designers, their (social) responsibility, the definition and complexity of sustainability as a theme, reuse and upcycling, and the Amsterdam (and Dutch) design community.

With leading artists and designers such as Borre Akkersdijk, Renny Ramakers, Michael Schoner and Marjanne van Helvert we discussed themes as ‘cooperation and networks’, ‘upcycling playfulness’, social design: message meets product’, and ‘old materials and new methods.’ You can read more about about the research in the Art Intervention designreport (ENG) by Amal Al Haag.

Together with Lokaalmondiaal, we have created a series of videoreports, featuring Marjanne van Helvert, Michael Schoner, Borre Akkersdijk, Luc van Hoeckel & Pim van Baarsen, Rickard Engström, Willa Stoutenbeek and Desiree Hammen, where we explore the developments and challenges on the cross section of Design and Sustainability. The coming weeks, we will publish these videoreports here on the WTD blog. We start with textile designer and cultural theorist Marjanne van Helvert, discussing mass produced fashion, artisan methods, the re-use of materials, and her manifesto Dirty Design.

Dirty Design – Marjanne van Helvert from What’s the deal? on Vimeo.

7. October 2014

Creative Lab at Villa Waldberta in Munich

by Hertha    Filed under: Creative Lab,MunichComments Off on Creative Lab at Villa Waldberta in Munich

From October to December this year, the international artist residence Villa Waldberta will host ten artists engaged in the WTD-project. Villa Waldberta – owned by the City of Munich – is located in Feldafing near the Stanberger See and offers scholarships to artists from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to stay in this house for a few months. The Creative Lab participants are working on projects related to the themes of WTD: Sustainability and young urban scenes.

Short description of the artist’s work at the Creative Lab:

Matthias Wermke – FSPU 

Matthias Wermke will work on the utopian vision of urban wasteland in Munich. He investigates the boundaries of public space in urban environment through different kinds of interventions and performances. In his work he temporarily overrides limitations and constraints, often without permission or invitation. The aim is to question common standards and to show the beauty beyond these standards.

Bert Scholten – MEDIA DESIGN

Scholten Bert

Bert Scholten’s recognizable scenes embody contemporary society and its cultural codes. It is about wasting time on internet, city life, subcultures, group behavior and how scenes and social networks are knit together. Subjects of interest are irony, goodwill, fun, authenticity and boredom. Scholten will combine animations, music and zines in a site specific installation. It will function as a time document of contemporary codes and culture.

Mac Krebernik – MEDIA DESIGN


While staying at the Villa Waldberta during the What’s the Deal? residency he will be working on an interactive installation about the correlation between skateboarding, wood consumption and forestry. He will create a virtual world with forest, cities and skate-parks and project this on a wall. This system is supposed to be self-regulated and additional interactive elements will be added to enable the audience to manipulate the system.

Team “Causa Creations”: Tillman Hars, Gayatri Vijayshima and Georg Hobmeier – SERIOUS GAMES

Vijayshima_Gayatri_2014  Hobmeier_Georg_2014

The team “Causa Creations“ Georg Hobmeier, Gayatri Vijayshima and Tillman Hars will use the residency to thoroughly test their current project “Burn the boards“ which has been developed together with the university in Vienna. Its objective is to inform people of the consequences and danger of E-Waste. With the help of a Serious Game where the player takes over the role of an Indian laborer in a factory in Mumbai, the impact of the current e-waste recycling system on the laborer will be shown.

Lisa Simpson – DESIGN

Simpson Lisa

Lisa Simpson is a sewing agent. Searching for rhythm and melody in the movements of a seamstress—hacking into garments—Lisa Simpson makes music out of making clothes. By transforming wardrobes she is questioning contemporary consumption habits, bringing forth a discussion around the sustainability of the fashion industry. Lisa will produce a set of recreated garments to be shown and sold at the Design Concept Store in Maximiliansforum and at the final event. She is open to hold a workshop, inviting the local community to investigate mending, altering, patching up, and sewing their own clothes and providing a DIY platform to make new clothes out of old ones, hacking into garments that are no longer in use. She also plans to do her music-sewing performances together with artists from Munich.

Onur Ceritoğlu – DESIGN


His work can be considered as long term projects based on research and participation. Mostly he uses found objects and materials that are elements of architecture and design. The work has a critical look on decay on material properties, recycle and reuse of constructional waste. Onur will build a sustainable sculpture in the Villa Waldberta. The project will be based on the work called ‘Evci’ (Home-body), an art work assembled of found (discarded) furniture parts. It will be made available to different users who can transform the art work according to their needs in their flats. Every temporary ‘user’ of the work will reinterprete the form and function of the object.

Jurij Bobič and Petra Gosenca (Collective GUMB) – DESIGN

Bobic_Jurij_ 2014-02   Gosenca_Petra_2014-02

Jurij Bobič and Petra Gosenca founded the Collective Gumb In 2011. This collective is exploring new creative ways how to turn waste into objects of everyday use. During their stay, both artists are going to explore unusual combinations of used man-made and natural materials, creating unique lamp shades. In the last few years they have been increasingly involved in urban gardening as well as foraging for wild food which has led them to a broader view of resources at hand.

The first products of the Creative Lab can be seen at Episode IV of the Nomadic Sculpture starting November 22 at Maximiliansforum in Munich. The end results will be presented at the final event of WTD in June 2015.

1. October 2014


by Uveber    Filed under: Ljubljana,Mural Art / Street Art,What's The Deal? generalComments Off on CALL FOR ENTRIES: MURAL ARTS RESIDENCY 2015 IN LJUBLJANA


What’s the Deal and Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture (Ljubljana, Slovenia) are pleased to announce its mural arts initiative. The mural arts residency is offered to artists who want to develop and present their work addressing the theme of consumption and sustainability.

The residency offers a three-week stay in Ljubljana. Artist-in-residence will receive a fee of 1000 EUR net. It will take place for three weeks in the February 2015 – March 2015 period. The final dates will be set in an agreement between Kino Šiška and the selected artist. There is a budget for materials and services for realizing the work. Travel costs to and from Ljubljana will also be taken care of.

Participants must be EU residents or residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Former Yugoslav republics or Turkey. Artis from Slovenia will not be accepted.

Younger artists (under 35) will receive a more favourable treatment. Inclusive approaches that would involve an active role of local (Ljubljana’s) artists, designers or other practitioners in development and/or realization of the project are also preferred.

Deadline: November 17, 2014

For more details and technicalites on how to apply, please refer to this link.


© WTD 2014
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