Proper objects make proper people
The colonies of Veenhuizen were established in the Nineteenth Century in order to transform beggars and tramps into ‘decent people’. A programme was developed and named ‘Proper objects make proper people’. Every pauper family was provided with a package containing decent items in order to furnish and shape the household. By giving decent things to the people, it was expected that their behaviour would improve.
The packages often contained a wash tub and a mirror, to encourage better grooming. Malou van Dijck revives this method by designing two cabinets, inspired by furniture from the Nineteenth Century, that receive their personal touch by the attentive care of the owner. The cross-foot base cabinet is treated with tinted wax and the linen cabinet is treated with soap. After every treatment the exterior and colour of the cabinets becomes thicker and more intense, displaying the character of the owner and rewarding his good behaviour.