Jacob de Baan: Three galaxies
ONE WEEK ABOUT Dutch Designers in Milan by Connecting the Dots in cooperation with Civica Scuola Interpreti e Traduttori ‘Altiero Spinelli’
The calm and peaceful voice of Jacob de Baan is perfectly adapted to the cosmic tranquility of his talk, ‘The Design Universe’. In just a few minutes, the creative Dutch designer has propelled the audience into the outer space of design according to his own experiences.
After a quick glimpse of his lightening creations, Jacob de Baan wisely compares the heterogeneous field of design with one of the things that most fascinate him: the universe. How? By exploring the three design galaxies he has travelled so far: the Dutch design galaxy, the German design galaxy and the Turkish design galaxy.
As an opener for each space trip, he gives an emblematic quote representing the central concept of each particular galaxy. For Dutch design, the words of De Stijl co-founder Theo van Doesburg (taken from the front page of the very first issue of this revolutionary journal) underline how theory can only originate from craftsmanship. The German design philosophy was represented by Hartmut Esslinger’s Form follows emotion, which gave a whole new approach to German design-thinking. Last but not least, Turkish design rotated around architect Faruk Malhan’s quote: “Coexistence entangles in all moments of distance.”
But what is the sense of such cosmic comparisons? “Galaxies in our universe may be completely different from each other. However, they are still part of the same entity”, claims De Baan. “Design works the same way. No matter how different its fields can be, they are all invisibly interconnected.”
This is the philosophy behind the Zero Collection for Uniqka. Designed by Jacob de Baan, this lighting collection brings together his Dutch design with the fascinating leather craftsmanship of what he calls “a rising new star”, the Turkish design brand UNIQKA of Kerem Aris and Merve Parnas. The blending of Dutch belief in the importance of craftsmanship and the Turkish attention to old traditional ways of making represents how two apparently distant worlds are able, when connected, to generate a bright new supernova.
Text: Federica Marie Carenini – student of Civica Scuola Interpreti e Traduttori ‘Altiero Spinelli’