About the exhibition
Noud Sleumer is a conceptual designer whose work explores global systems of production and processing. His research focuses on the lifecycles of consumer electronic products, tracing the supply chains from resource to production and from points of sale to final processing. With an emphasis on methods of deconstruction, Sleumer’s practice provides insights not just into our everyday objects, but the systems, infrastructures and people who support them too. Using reconstruction and re-contextualisation as his tools, Noud allows for new visual and concrete perspectives on the globe’s complex waste-industries. It’s from this work that we can collectively re-assess our relationship to man-made matter.
As a designer Noud Sleumer is a conceptual designer who’s role is to critique ‘the act of making’. Within self-initiated and explorative projects his focus is trained on strategies of reduction and blending. In the age of abundance, knowledge about what is produced is inaccessible or neglected. Because of this, Sleumer positions the role of the designer not as producer but as iconoclast. Simplicity is the tool that underlies these approaches and enables Sleumer to create new playgrounds of creativity, in which we can collectively re-examine our relationship to man-made matter.
In the age of abundance, knowledge about what is produced is inaccessible or neglected. Because of this, Sleumer positions the role of the designer not as producer but as iconoclast. Key to his work is the reversal of design methodologies in order to question the essence of making within a world that is always under construction.
Recent reflection by curator and publicist Josh Plough:
The designer Noud Sleumer turns his attention to the worlds that underpin our objects. What we take for granted, he questions. His practice deconstructs and asks us to do the same. Sleumer shows us that every designed thing we meet is not static, but part of an interconnected and ever shifting web of cause and effect.
Through the (un)making process, the conceptual designer Noud Sleumer exposes us to the tragicomic worlds underpinning our existence. From energy, to technology, to global trade routes, Sleumer’s designerly touch is one that unpicks. His hand doesn’t just sketch a form, but pulls at a thread. Keeping the pressure until the whole thing unravels and we’re left with the feeling that everything is just a little bit…confused.
But he doesn’t let us wallow in that feeling. His emphasis on the ability of humanity to be inventive and creative even in the most dire situations, is in contrast to the usual critical design projects that comment from the sidelines. The fact that a methodology is being developed by the designer shows the potential of design as an investigative force. By going down the rabbit hole, and documenting the ensuing chaos, we’re invited to see the alter-realities that underpin our habits of scrolling, eating imported foods and charging our laptops.
To understand the web of design we need to find its breaking point. Testing something until it snaps reveals to us its material and immaterial structures. This unmaking places the human back in the frame: hands, brain and all. It provides the chance for a knowledge that’s able to claw back some autonomy in these overwhelmingly distributed days. Because what’s the point of designing the future if you have no idea how to unmake the now?
When: During the Dutch Design Week 2021 – 16 – 24 October. Open daily, 11.00-18.00.
After the DDW: 24 October to mid-December. Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 14.00-19.00.
Where: TAC, location Vonderweg 1