Excerpt: Exhibition
Objects for Sale, at Dutch Design Week

In our recap of the most recent Dutch Design Week on Monday, we alluded to the economic quagmire that’s been enveloping the Netherlands’ insanely prolific creative class. But one of the week’s exhibitions actually addressed the crisis head-on: Objects for Sale, which asked eight designers to create products within three price brackets (<€50, €50-500, >€500) and to explain how choices within their design and production processes affected the bottom line. “In previous years the designers were able to show more autonomous works,” write the exhibition’s organizers. “But this year we [took] on the challenge to also create more affordable concepts.”

For example, in their Colouring Tables, designers Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen of OS ∆ OOS first created tables in three different colors of pigment-dyed MDF, then added polished metal stands or marble tops to create commensurate increases in price. “We wish to express the idea: Does a higher price or more hours invested or the number of materials used correlate to the tables’ quality or ability to function better as a ‘table’?” write the designers. Likewise the all-female foursome behind De Intuitiefabriek played with varying quantities of raw material, hours of labor, and different finishing techniques to create three different sets of slipcast tableware. It was also a rare opportunity for fairgoers to walk out the door with a finished work in hand — meaning perhaps it was best for our wallets that we remained Stateside for this go-round after all.

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The exhibition took place in the industrial complex known as Sectie-C and was organized by price bracket.

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Colouring Tables by OS ∆ OOS with marble tops, polished metal stands, and MDF gatelegs — the most expensive combination of materials on view.

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Lex Pott showed variations on his True Colours oxidation series, ranging from oxidized coins–turned-jewelry to these vases, which pair the original metals with their oxidized counterparts.

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For his Dewar project, David Derksen played with the processes and materials that are used to create double-walled scientific glassware, and with the juxtaposition of hand-blown glass and rubber. Shown here are the less expensive Flask Vases.

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The addition of a lightbulb blown inside the larger vessel, along with larger specially designed rubber components placed this version at the high end of the price spectrum.

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De Intuitiefabriek's slipcast tableware sets played with pigmentation (the cobalt pigment being the most expensive) as well as finishing techniques like glazing and hand-applied decorative touches.

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The most expensive versions of their SUM dinnerware.

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For her part, designer Lotte van Wulfften Palthe took a more conceptual route: Envisioning a future world where everybody works as an independent contractor, she created something called The Commission Plant, which would act as an assignment factory by which to create some semblance of order in this new world. For Objects for Sale, she created three conversation pieces, culminating in this small-scale model of her imagined "factory."