interview: VAIKLA STUDIO
Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla and Urmo Vaikla are Estonian interior architects and spatial artists, working on urban installations and occasionally organizing workshops and lectures, passing on their vision and ideas. They are currently working with the spatial design project for the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council in Tallinn and Brussels with their team. They are here because they were asked by the interior architecture department of the University of Antwerp, it’s the first year that they have organized a workshop for the IDW. Earlier they have organized workshops for the Luca School of Arts in Brussels and Ghent.
Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla has recently finished her PhD. This research was focused on questions resulting from the transformation of buildings and the metamorphosis of space that arises when new functions are accommodated. Urmo Vaikla’s field of interest is filmmaking and photography about the relationship of people and spatial environment. He has worked as associate professor in the Department of Interior Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
The group of students participating in their workshop are currently working on several concepts to fill in abandoned “non-spaces”. They hope to get started on their final models this afternoon, these will be open for public during the exhibition Friday night.
CHanging the art of inhabitation
With the prospect of moving into the new Product Design Building, students were challenged to create a public space in the building. They started by analyzing the building via blueprints and photos. According to their research, a public road through the building was a perfect fit.
The student were divided into several groups. Each group tried to design the public road for a certain target audience, for example children. After, all ideas were evaluated and some will be taken into account while designing the real building.
Interview: Aline De Bruyne
Could you explain to us, what exactly is the purpose of this workshop? Because the brochure wasn't too revealing?
That is true indeed, but the assignment is different from the brochure. We are working with holobiont structures.These are biological structures that have the possibility to keep expanding. For example, cells keep growing in number when a baby is formed. Similar to this, we had the task to create structures who also would the possibility to keep expanding. We thought of some kind of pyramid, on which other piramides can be attached. Afterwards, we had to think of a place in antwerp where we could place our models and whether they could become a livable place for everyone.
So only the biological part is represented in the structure?
It doesn’t has to be biological. Holobiont is a biological term, and right now, we are using this in our architecture. The purpose was to imagine a form first, and afterwards adding the architecture.
And which place do guys have chosen?
We have chosen the “Oudaan” the police office in Antwerp, we have made hexagonal structures, who fit this building. Our goal is to represent the horizontal square in a vertical way, by use of these bulbs.(see photo) First we made them just as a form and right now they are livable structures with three stories per bulb. This is not yet the final model, we are going the make the expansions more clear and better.
Do you think it is educational and interesting?
Yes, I didn’t knew what this workshop would contain, but in fact I think it is fun and very interesting.
Are there certain things you would like to take with you for your next modelling assignment?
Yes, definitely! It is a fun way of working and you will get very original designs who can be very useful in our society.
Taking the plunge
The students, subdivided into 4 fictional companies have to design a product according to the wishes of their fictitious customer. After an introduction and first brainstorm monday afternoon, they could start working out the first product ideas.
The last 2 days the students have been very busy. They had to create the product using all the methodics and design techniques that they’ve learned during their study. Last few days have been occupied with intense brainstorming getting feedback on their ideas and creating concepts and models. Wednesday they finished their products and created presentations to come up with their final design to their fictional client.
To make it more realistic, they brought their presentation on a special location: three groups will present their product in the Boerentoren at the Meir shopping district, the other group will go to Mechelen to present theirs.
“The workshop is very challenging, at the beginning it was a bit vague, but after we got our introduction and things started to go fast, it became an amazing experience” -Ian Garcia, student second bachelor Product development
All the results will be on display at the IDW-exhibition today.
INTERVIEW: RIK VAN BOXEM
Rik Van Boxem, student 2nd bachelor product development, was willing to give his opinion about his workshop ‘Sketching Techniques and a Disruptive Design Project’.
“It has been an intense week. We learnt different sketching techniques with various materials like fine liners and chalk and practiced visualization of organic shapes.
As a final assignment, we have to design a FM radio inspired on the city of Antwerp. The end results will be presented on the IDW exhibition. The workshop is very educational and fun. I’m enjoying it!” Rik said.
Visiting tomorrowland hq
Last Wednesday the participants of workshop # 10: AN UPCYCLING ADVENTURE WITH BANNERS ... FOR LOVE TOMORROW & TOMORROWLAND visited the head office of Love Tomorrow & Tomorrowland in Antwerp. After having participated in the workshop for three days, with the aim of finding a new destination for discarded festival banners from previous festival editions, they presented their ideas to Love Tomorrow, an organization that aims to sensibilize the generation of tomorrow towards respect for each other and Mother Nature.
‘We thought that the headquarters would be a very severe environment but in fact it was a cozy and relaxed place with friendly people!’ -Eveline Verscheuren
For the participating students, visiting the headquarters was a big thing: most of the students dream about going to the magical festival this year, but the tickets are already sold out. It turned out to be an exciting event and most students were quite nervous. After all, it was the first time they cooperated with a real company, creating and presenting real product concepts. Eveline Verscheuren, a bachelor student product development, said: ‘We thought that the headquarters would be a very severe environment, but in fact it was a cozy and relaxed place with friendly people!’.
The students presented their ideas, drawing and models in little groups. And eureka, it was a valuable experience for everybody! The coworkers told us that they wanted to test the capacities of the bachelor students product development and that they were quite amazed with their creativity and the creations they presented.
All the finished results will be on display at the IDW-exhibition this Friday
When aircraft go to die
The workshop started with a visit to the Deurne airport. The students got to look at a discarded airplane and researched the materials and possibly usable parts. The big challenge this week is designing a successful product using these discarded aircraft material. The workshop-leaders Stein Janssens and Toon Wassenberg, founders of the Aerocircular-company, guide the students in creating and choosing the right product ideas. The ideas varied from cellphone cases to ships. The past two days everybody elaborated their ideas and made a presentation.
A moral-spatial exercise
This workshop revolves around minorities, those with a disability or with an other social background. Designers always focus on the majority for certain reasons. They don’t see through the eyes of minorities. Our purpose is giving these communities an advantage by using our newly designed traffic signs. We made a sign that forces both normal pedestrians and these minorities to go a certain way.
We went on the streets and showed the newly designed traffic signs to pedestrians. The aim was to evoke some response and evaluate the reactions, most of the people passing by where shocked.
3x One hundred
Dries Rodet and Charlotte Truwant challenge the students to create three times one hundred items. The participants have been divided into three groups. Each group got the assignment to create one hundred items. These items are either abstract drawings, photos or perspectives. The challenge is to cross the boundaries of their creativity and keep looking further. The process of the workshop can be described as an intuitive journey. Next, a name is assigned to every element. After all items are gathered, they will look for links between the 3x hundred elements.
How do the students experience this workshop?
The students describe the experience as quite vague. They do like the idea of working completely “out of the box”, it’s very different from the way they usually work. But they do experience quite some difficulties in trying to understand their assignment. They have no idea what the eventual outcome will be.
Cladding, a discourse predicated on the surface
This workshop challenged the students to generate claddings based on historic façades and experiment with different materials during the cladding process. The resilience theme is clearly present in this assignment. After all, resilience implies both persistence and change which are embodied in architecture through structure and cladding.
Each group has built a wooden casting box to serve as the cladding recipient. During the week the student will work around various themes. Yesterday’s theme was ‘precedents’. Each group received a cladding reference from the 20th century to study its history and meaning.
For the last two days students have been creating claddings/tiles inspired on real historic façades. After a long working night, the students presented their result this morning. The results showed a stunning resemblance between the mood boards of the façades and the actual claddings that were created.
Now students are working on their next assignment! They have to create ten new claddings in which a mix of materials is used. For example: mixing the claddings with glass, plants or paint.
“It’s fun to work with my hands, with materials I usually don’t use”