160923-Rens-2-v2 photo Ronald Smits (3)

Our Top Finds From Dutch Design Week 2016

It’s been fifteen years since the first-ever Dutch Design Week, and since then, Eindhoven’s 10-day celebration has seen both highs (international success and prestige) and lows (the slashing of arts funding as well as high-profile resignations from the esteemed Design Academy). What has stayed constant is the country’s ability to remain relevant in response to new challenges and issues and the city's reputation for churning out some of the next best design talents.

Sabine Marcelis at Etage Projects

Copenhagen's Etage Projects is one of the newer galleries on the scene, but it's fast becoming one of our picks for the best. In the past two years, exhibition subjects have included SU favorites like Fredrik Paulsen, Jo Nagasaka, and Eva Berendes; the show currently on view includes Dutch designers Luuk van den Broek (who we're working on a much larger story on!) and Sabine Marcelis, who with Brit Van Nerven is responsible for one of our favorite pieces of design from the past year. Marcelis's newest project, called Voie Lights, is the first in a series of two investigations into the manipulation of light paths.

In Venice, for the Bugaboo x Diesel launch

As we understand it, this is the dream, right? To turn your art-school thesis project into a multimillion dollar corporation and a brand that’s coveted the world over? That’s essentially what happened to Dutch designer Max Barenburg, who devised the origins of the Bugaboo stroller back in his days as a student at Design Academy Eindhoven in the early ’90s. The original design did not survive intact — Barenburg at first envisioned the now iconic stroller as an all-terrain vehicle that could turn into a two-wheeler and hook up to a mountain bike for a bit of baby off-roading — but its essential DNA was there: the telescoping handle meant to accommodate tall Dutch dads, the central joint that would allow the stroller to fold up using a single hand. Barenburg could never have foreseen Bugaboo’s massive popularity in part because he never could have guessed the collaborations the stroller would inspire. To date, the brand has worked with Pendleton, Missoni, Viktor & Rolf, the Andy Warhol Foundation (we particularly like the stroller covered in a giant Velvet Underground banana), and, as of next month, Diesel.

Merijn Hos at Beginnings Gallery

Could New York’s best new gallery be in Greenpoint, Brooklyn? We’re beginning — no pun intended — to think it just might be so. Beginnings, a small storefront gallery on a side street off Greenpoint’s main drag, opened earlier this fall, the brainchild of seven like-minded friends and artists (two of whom are erstwhile members of Philadelphia’s artists-for-artists gallery Space 1026). At the outset, the goal was to create a warm, welcoming space that would be a home for emerging artists but also a place where even first-time art buyers might be encouraged to actually make a purchase. In their inaugural exhibition, the curators asked questions like: “What’s art for anymore? How can contemporary art be bought and sold in a healthy, progressive way? How can new artists support/be supported in their community? In the 21st century, what are the most satisfying and effective roles of the gallery? The gallerist? The gallery-goers?” The refreshingly honest answer? “We got no idea, but we’re happy to present this art and these artists.”