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Studio Nienke Hoogvliet www.nienkehoogvliet.nl

H.E.R.B.S

By 20-10-2019

One Week about Dutch Design Week by curator Katja Lucas (DDW)

During Dutch Design Week, we will be introducing you to the festival’s Hidden Gems. Ten special designers who we feel are the stand-outs of this edition.

Today Studio Nienke Hoogvliet
What H.E.R.B.S
Where Schellensfabriek, Bleekweg 1M

This year Nienke Hoogvliet will be at the Dutch Design Week in the Schellensfabriek for the seventh time. Her exhibition called H.E.R.B.S – Healthier Environment Remedy for Body and Skin – focuses on the beneficial effects of clothing fabrics on human health.

Nienke opened her own design studio six years ago. With her company, she wants to show what the opportunities are when it comes to new sustainable materials such as textiles. “I work on projects that allow people to look at situations in other ways than they are currently doing.”

Nienke has been idealistic from a very young age. At the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam she learned how to use stories to convey an idealistic message in a creative way and to make people aware of things. She wanted to symbolize the contamination of the sea with her graduation project SEAME. Which is a dress made out of threads of seaweed found in a discarded fishing net. The fishing net symbolizes the pollution, while the seaweed threads represent the sustainable potential that the sea has to offer. SEAME is currently on display at the Cube design museum in Kerkrade in the Netherlands.

Nienke also wants to promote a social message at this year’s Dutch Design Week. “Chemicals are needed for almost every step of the textile manufacturing process. So, I was wondering if they had actually vanished by the time you buy them in the shop,” Nienke explains. She examined whether there are substances that clothing might release that are also beneficial for our health. She then studied herbs such as chamomile, sage and rosemary. She used these herbs to dye samples that were subsequently tested in a laboratory in Belgium. The research showed that essential oils can be transferred from the dye to the textile. Incorporating beneficial herbs in clothing is something that certain cultures have already done in the past. Traditionally, spices such as indigo, turmeric and rose madder have been used in clothing in Asia. “Indigo was used by the Samurai as an undergarment so that their wounds would heal faster. Indigo has an antibacterial effect.”

As a designer, Nienke is quick to look at materials that are suitable for reuse. She has been working with Dutch Water Boards since 2016. For instance, she has collaborated on a project to recycle toilet paper that can be reclaimed from wastewater. Aside from that, she has also designed urns using bio-plastic made from wastewater. “As a designer, you make things. Yet I don’t want to add anything to the world if there is already a surplus.”

Hidden Gems Bicycle Tours
Hidden Gems Bicycle Tours is an introduction to a number of strong designers at special locations in Eindhoven. The bike tour is provided during the Dutch Design Week and is a unique way to experience the festival under the guidance of an enthusiastic city guide. During a meet and greet on location, the designers share the background stories of their work and you can see and hear how that work has been accomplished. In between, the guide will tell you all about the design world of Eindhoven and will take you to other special places. More information and tickets > www.ddw.nl/tours

Text:Thijn Beijer, Innovation Origins
Portrait photo: Bas Gijselhart | BASEPHOTOGRAPHY
Video: Hanna van Rixtel

Hidden Gems is an initiative of Dutch Design Daily, EHV247, Innovation Origins and Dutch Design Foundation. Curator Katja Lucas.