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


4. November 2015

What’s the deal? at the Mag het Licht Aan Festival in Amsterdam

by Hertha    Filed under: Amsterdam,DesignComments Off on What’s the deal? at the Mag het Licht Aan Festival in Amsterdam

The ‘Mag het Licht Aan Festival’ is a festival for idealists and those who want to make the world a better place. With a program full of inspiring philosophical in-depth talks, exhibitions of art and photography, theatre as well as new forms of music. Among many contributors to the program such as Het Filosofisch Kwintet, Marli Huijer, Henk Oosterling, was also Coolpolitics as the Dutch project partner of “What’s the deal?” with a talk about ‘A More Sustainable Me’ led by Dutch Radio and Television presenter Pieter van der Wielen. The guests participating in the talk were Willa Stoutenbeek (Sustainable Fashion Industry), Tom van de Beek (sustainable entrepreneur) and Nynke Schaaf (sustainable economist, entrepreneur and program maker at the Dutch Television). The talk resulted in a lively interactive debate between guests and visitors about three subjects: sustainable life, sustainability with regard to family and friends and sustainability with regard to work and education.About one hundred people participated actively in the talk while even more people followed the discussion from the outside of the discussion arena. The talk attracted a very mixed group of visitors: from young to old, from very idealistic to very practical, makers as well as consumers, men and women.

During and after the debate, the Art Intervention booklet “How to change the world as a designer” was distributed amongst the audience. The booklet presents the designers who had participated in the Art Intervention activities of What’s the deal? as well as their work shown in a 10 day long exhibition at the festival “what’s the deal? – moving urban cultures” in Munich in Junie.

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25. June 2015

Day 9 at the moving urban cultures festival: Designday

by Hertha    Filed under: Design,Events,Munich,What's The Deal? generalComments Off on Day 9 at the moving urban cultures festival: Designday

After a few days at the Moving Urban Cultures festival dedicated only to the exhibition and live concerts during the night, Friday was full of activities related to design. With discussions, presentations, a food happening and some good Indie music at Import Export, there was surely something for every kind of taste.


Ever wondered if there’s a new design culture in Europe? The participants of the first talk on Friday (Jurij Bobic, Onur Ceritoglu, Philipp Weber, Ralf Josef and Shevia Limmen) were discussing this topic and brought up some interesting thoughts. Due to Philipp Weber and Ralf Josef, who both took part in the Art Intervention Amsterdam, there’s a big difference between Dutch design and German design. In the Netherlands storytelling is always seen in the work of designers, which makes it also more sustainable, as we tend to keep things longer which have a meaning for ourselves.

Jurij Bobic and Onur Ceritoglu both pointed out that their work is always influenced by their cultural background and therefore disagreed that there should be a one world design. Shevia Limmen added that for her the main reason of designing is to create something personal, so a one world design would just be boring.

It’s hard to answer the question if there’s a new design culture in Europe, but the discussion showed, that young designers are occupied with sustainable topics and are trying to make a change with their work.


“There is no garbage” quoted Denis Oudendijk and started the following presentation of REFUNC, giving an idea of what waste architecture means. Based on waste material, REFUNC creates experimental structures and mobile micro architecture thus extends the life-cylce of materials. For me it was surprising and inspiring at the same time how waste materials like palletts, old A/Cs or fridges can be used in an arty but also usable way for citizens.


WTD_Tag5_1_133What would the design day have been without meeting the designers of the exhibition personally? Susanne Esken, coordinator of the Art Intervention Amsterdam, gave a short introduction of the exhibition by explaining the idea of sustainable design. After that the visitors had the chance to talk to the artists and designers – a great opportunity for new insights.


My personal highlight on this day was the so called Dinner happening. Without any expectations I found myself around 8pm behind the Kreativräume surrounded by a tempting smell. Laborküche München in cooperation with Foodsharing had prepared a delicious meal for all the visitors: enjoying a healthy dish with rice and the personal choice of veges with a relaxed audience while listening to the DJ set was the perfect ending of a long day!

21. May 2015

WTD Exhibition, June 11 – 20, 2015

by Hertha    Filed under: Creative Lab,Design,Events,FSPU,Munich,Nomadic Sculpture,Urban biking,What's The Deal? generalComments Off on WTD Exhibition, June 11 – 20, 2015

The „Moving urban cultures“ festival is all about workshops, live-concerts and talks about sustainability and young urban cultures. But there’s something else: in the past two years international artists have created various works for the „What’s the deal?“ project that will be exhibited during the whole festival.

Wandering around the Kreativquartier, without doubt, you will soon reach the „Kreativräume“, were the exhibition is located. Enter Hall 5 and find yourself in the middle of the project „From Space to Place to Utopia”: this project is about urban wasteland in four european cities. The artists’ task was to find an abandoned space and to show the present state through a photography. Then they should create a work about how the space could look in future. Eventually they invented wild utopias of how they wished the spaces be like. The selected cities were Munich (Max-Joseph Platz, Kreativquartier and Viehhof), Ljbuljana (Tobacno), Hallein, Austria (rooftops) and Amsterdam (Stenenhoofd).

Following the exhibition to Hall 6 and 7 you will experience the WTD Lab and the Art Intervention Amsterdam. The WTD Lab is a reflection of artists from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Turkey and Slovenia about sustainabiltiy. Their art work shows alternative solutions about this frequently discussed topic. The Art Intervention Amsterdam is dealing with how designers could change the world. Fourteen european designers engaged themselves in a multi-disciplinary manner with the subject of sustainability at the beginning of this year and will present their far-reaching results in the exhibition.

Leaving the inner area you’ll stumble across a wooden sculpture populated with skaters doing there tricks. The so called Nomadic Sculpture is located opposite of the Import Export Kantine and is once again ready to be skated on. Next to it you’ll find artistic and unique trikes on display which were constructed during the Schmiede Bike Lab, also ready to be tried out. Both art works are excellent examples, how the (sharp) distinction between art and commodity item can become blurred.

For more information about the artists and the work the infocenter is happy to help and provide you with all requested materials. Texts, pictures and videos about the background, research and results of the project are on display.




20. May 2015

New.Design.Culture, June 19 // What’s the deal? – moving urban cultures

by Hertha    Filed under: Amsterdam,Design,Events,Munich,What's The Deal? generalComments Off on New.Design.Culture, June 19 // What’s the deal? – moving urban cultures

Design and sustainability is the motto of Friday, June 19. A group of international designers and artists from various backgrounds have approached the idea of sustainability – the practical as well as the conceptual side and will represent their ideas and works during this interesting and exciting day.

Starting with a workshop about Design & Compassion with Sasa Kerkos and Sebastian Cavazza you will gain insights from socio-political movements, global economy and the idea of creating from your personal ideals for a better world.

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What would the world look like without a manual? This is the topic of the following discussion of Denis Oudendijk, who calls himself a Waste architect, and will surely give some mind-blowing impulses.

The day continues with another highlight: The exhibition of the Art Intervention Amsterdam who is dedicated to the main topic “How to change the world as a designer”. Fashion performances about Fair Fashion Food, a Dinner Happening and a Live-Concert of Gurdan Thomas as well as a DJ Set of YAYOILOUISE from Ljubljana are the perfect end of a productive and interesting day.

6. May 2015

WTD Final Event program out now

by Hertha    Filed under: Design,Events,FSPU,Munich,Mural Art / Street Art,Nomadic Sculpture,Uncategorized,Urban biking,What's The Deal? generalComments Off on WTD Final Event program out now

Finally we can show you the program of the festival in June,  so take a look and prepare yourself for the big event!

Click on the Flyer to the left, to read it in English. The German version is the one to the right.


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28. April 2015

Reflection on the Art Intervention by Ralf Josef and Philipp Weber

by Hertha    Filed under: Amsterdam,DesignComments Off on Reflection on the Art Intervention by Ralf Josef and Philipp Weber

The Amsterdam Experience – Reflections by the two designers Ralf Josef and Philipp Weber

On behalf of ‘What’s the deal?’, a handful of young creative thinkers and makers gathered in Amsterdam at the end of February 2015 to save the world. Invited by Dutch Art Intervention programme, the group got a crash course in sustainability. Obviously, that topic has become a buzzword in the last couple of years.

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But the organisers of the Art Intervention, Susanne Eskens-Vinck and Jeske de Vries did not fall for general lectures about climate change, environmental issues and moral responsibilities. The master classes built on that knowledge and went much further, introducing philosophical views of Floris van den Berg, the concept of active empathy in design by Saša Kerkoš and the work of ‘waste-architect’ Denis Oudendijk. Together with specific design background information provided by Alexandra Weigand these lectures gave the participants from the Netherlands, Germany and Slovenia a much fuller picture of their possible fields of action. Rather than narrowing the creatives’ minds with a close-mesh briefing, the master classes seemed to promote a much broader way of thinking about the problems and their possible solutions – which corresponds to the high level of diversity of the participating designers and artists. Thus, cinematic views on social inequality are in the range of possible outcomes as well as manifestos, speculative designs or material experiments.

The group of about 15 filmmakers, fashion designers, product designers, brand developers, painters and writers will have the chance to create unique responses, combining their skills with important input from that week in Amsterdam. But more important: bonds were made, contacts exchanged, links build. It is this kind of event that really does help to take the ever present topic of sustainability to the next level, out of its comfort zone, back to the people. Because, after all, it’s them who will save the world.

Thanks once again for the input and the folks,

Philipp Weber
Ralf Josef

22. April 2015

FINAL EVENT “what´s the deal? – moving urban cultures”

by Hertha    Filed under: Design,Events,Munich,Mural Art / Street Art,Nomadic Sculpture,Urban biking,What's The Deal? generalComments Off on FINAL EVENT “what´s the deal? – moving urban cultures”

We are getting closer and closer to the date of our final event! From June 11-20,  the Kreativquartier in Munich invites you to join the festival “what´s the deal? – moving urban cultures”, the closing event of the WTD project.

Each day will be dedicated to a special topic where a manifold program will be prepared, all dealing with sustainability and urban cultures.

Nomadic Sculpture - Candidplatz

While the Opening Day, June 11, will contain the vernissage of the exhibitions, a skateworkshop and performances,  June 12 will offer discussions about reclaiming and using public urban space.

June 13 will be kind of a huge grab bag filled with further thought-provoking talks and presentations, videos and shortmovies, poetry, live concerts and many more.

June 14, on the other hand, will be all about bikes – what kind of creative bycicles are swerving on the surface of our planet beyond the traditional types? How can you repair them? Can the riding of a bike be sport and art at the same time? If you want to find out, this is your day.

The following Friday, June 19, is dedicated to design. A workshop will let you learn about the connection between design and compassion. Designers from various places in Europe will discuss their role as responsible cocreators of commodities and  in the evening a fashion perfomance awaits you that brings even food into play. Can you imagine anything better?

Our last day, June 20, will deal with the prominent Munich WTD-theme: the popular subculture of skateboarding. The Nomadic Sculpture will be ready again for the tricks of  skateboarders and bikers. Kids can learn in a workshop how to skate on a board, while videos about famous D.i.Y skateparks around the world will be shown in the WTD container.  It will be followed by a discussion between representatives of the city and the Munich skateboarder scene on how D.I.Y. skateparks could fit to Munich’s Skateparkcity image.

But no worries, there is no void on days without a program! Except for Monday you can still enjoy many intriguing artworks and installations at our exhibitons. A WTD-infocenter is ready to answer all your questions about the background and results of the WTD project –  on screen, on paper and face-to-face. And on top of this bands and DJs like HopStopBanda, Retrogott & HulkHodn and DJ Salsoul with DJ Watusi and Milton Flores will provide you with music almost every evening.

More info will be posted soon.


12. March 2015

An Art Intervention in Amsterdam

by Susanne    Filed under: Amsterdam,Creative Lab,Design,EventsComments Off on An Art Intervention in Amsterdam

This February, we started our Art Intervention series in Amsterdam with a masterclass program. For four days, a group of fourteen designers and artists came together in an Amsterdam canal house to learn and discuss about sustainability and design (check all the cultural players here). Our generous host – the Natural Capital Coalition – provided us with a meeting space in the Groene Bocht, which is an office space for sustainable companies varying from architects and a law firm, to a salad bar franchise and a magazine about green and conscious living. A great place to start our journey!

For the Art Intervention week, we created a program bringing together themes such as economy, design, compassion, biomimicry, reuse, toxicology and philosophy to approach the idea of sustainability from very different angles. We wanted to inform, inspire and provoke the status quo.
The main question we posed at the beginning of the week to everyone was to think about ‘How can you, as an artist or designer, change the world (in a sustainable way)?’ This is of course a big question, with as many possible answers as you can actually think of. It has been (and will be) a very personal journey for everyone. But exiting things are already happening.
For the coming weeks we will be collecting all the ideas and answers of the group and start framing an exhibition for the Munich event coming June (more info soon!). We will, of course, keep you updated, but firstsome pictures of the event to give you some impression.

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We kicked the Art Intervention off with a lecture from Pieter van der Gaag, Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition. He talked to us about the big trends in global sustainability and explained how the NCC is working with multinationals to value their use of the commons and incorporate it in their pricing models so they can give back for what they take from the earth.

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For the afternoon session, designer and founder of Studio Sattelit Alexandra Weigand, provides us with insight into her research and discussed her visions for design and sustainability for the 21st century. Alexandra presented current design trends and showed us how the latest research, new technologies and production methods can be used for designing a sustainable future.

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When your design is your responsibility, how do you then makes choices in your life and work? And what is the role of (self-) compassion? The second day, we had to get to work immediately! In her workshop ‘Compassion in Design’ Saša Kerkoš challenged us to get to know each other (and ourselves) with a series of exercises.

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Self-proclaimed garbage architect Denis Oudendijk presented his work with Refunc and we discussed how you can work with discarded materials en products to create site-specific interventions. “Wherever you can find garbage, we do research and workshops on creative re-use, as recycling is not the answer to the questions of life, the universe and everything”.

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The third day we started with a workshop about toxicology to open everyone’s eyes when it comes to the materials and productions processes we all work with. For the afternoon we invited Willa Stoutenbeek of W.Green, Tom van de Beek from a.o. I Love Beeing and Ludo Hekman from Butch and Sundance for an inspiring discussion. They combine entrepreneurship with social issues, sustainability and all want to contribute to creating a better world. We discussed ethics & aesthetics, providing the better alternative, and the shortcuts and long processes of behavioural change towards awareness and sustainable living.

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On day four, we invited the inspiring textile designer Aniela Hoitink from Neffa (http://neffa.nl/) to discuss her work and the concepts from which she works. She uses biomimicry, new technologies and natural processes in her research and works towards products that create more awareness or even smart solutions to wicked problems.

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And of course, we left the biggest challenge to create a grand finale of the week. Environmental philosopher Floris van den Berg challenged our thinking about the world, our identity, our moral circle, identity, eating meat, and our personal choices in his philosophical journey through his concept of universal subjectivism. It takes into consideration the universal capacity for suffering and, through raising awareness, seeks to diminish that suffering and increase happiness. With consistent and compelling moral reasoning, Van den Berg showed us that the world can be organized to ensure more pleasure, beauty, justice, happiness, health, freedom, animal welfare, and sustainability. We are still discussing this one!

6. February 2015

Art Intervention Zine

by Susanne    Filed under: Amsterdam,Design,Research ReportsComments Off on Art Intervention Zine

A while back we published our research on the trends, developments and needs from designers around sustainability (in the Netherlands). Now, following our first Art Intervention in Amsterdam, we are releasing our first Zine combining the research with our videoreports from Dutch designers.

For all to read, enjoy and share!

24. November 2014

What’s the deal at Schmiede14? An artistic journey from confusion to creative fusion by Theresa Reiter

by Rüdiger    Filed under: Creative Lab,Design,Events,Hallein,StatementsComments Off on What’s the deal at Schmiede14? An artistic journey from confusion to creative fusion by Theresa Reiter

Imagine a gigantic studio for all types of artists and performers, where equipment is always available and you are free to collaborate on any project you have in mind. Artistic heaven? No, it’s a reality. It’s called Schmiede.

It all started when „What’s The Deal?“ invited me to participate at Schmiede as a fashion designer. All I knew about Schmiede at that time, was that it is an annual event, bringing together about 300 artists and designers that focus on digital media and urban culture. These „Smiths“ get together for ten days in Hallein near Salzburg and set up their workspace in an old saline to network, experiment, collaborate and make art.

Knowing little more than that I made my way to Hallein and the Perner Insel, where the saline is located. The building complex itself consists of several factory segments added over time, creating a unique mixture of old industrial charm and spacious halls.

I was told there were three other fashion related artists, so I made it my first goal to find them. Not the easiest task, considering the size of the location. The space at Schmiede is set up on a first-come-first-serve basis. Wherever people found a free space or corner, they set up their creative camp.

After having found my colleagues for the week we set up our temporary sewing studio and invited every one interested in working with textiles, sewing and upcycling materials to work with us. Since sustainability is one of the key topics of „What’s The Deal?“, we decided to adopt that idea into our work and focus on different ways to incorporate upcycled materials into our projects.

At that point Schmiede had formed into a giant studio with little groups of Smiths working in similar fields, some having set up in a certain area, some wandering around.

While helping out several others with their projects who weren’t quite as familiar with a sewing machine, I started my own project, which was to interview different people with different professions and create custom backpacks for them, specially equipped for their needs. A dancer for example requires different features in his luggage than a skateboarder or a programmer.

It was then that I started to interact with and get to know the people around me and was immediately involved in several projects. These were realized over the next days and varied from costumes for performances over textile sculptures to a three-dimensional screen used for an interactive digital performance.

These days of getting to know each other, planning and making projects, regardless of whether they lie within ones field of expertise, felt like the most energetic time at Schmiede. It was then that the kitchen area and the bar turned into networking hubs where Smiths could approach each other and develop interdisciplinary creative concepts, that could never have taken place in the „real world“ as we began to call it, since Schmiede was more and more turning into its own world with its own dynamics and feel for time.

On September 20th, the last evening of Schmiede, the results of this creative fusion were shown and presented to the public. The range of artworks was nearly as divers as the range of Smiths. Interactive digital projections mixed with performance art and traditional craftsmanship.

Our textiles area presented different approaches on upcycling, including my backpack project. Having completed only one backpack in the end, I did not come as far as I had wished to, although the project has great potential and can be further developed after Schmiede. To me, the real success of these ten days were the projects that formed and came to life during Schmiede, as well as the social aspect of it.

I left Hallein having found new friends, new inspiration and a head full of ideas.




© WTD 2014
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