Marloes ten Bhömer
ONE WEEK ABOUT Design from Arnhem by Ontwerp Platform Arnhem
What does designer Marloes ten Bhömer do? Well, that’s hard to explain, but it’s nonetheless fascinating. Ten Bhömer graduated in 2001 from the Department 3D Design (now Product Design) at ArtEZ in Arnhem. That same year, she continued her study at the Department of Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London. In 2011, she received a scholarship from the Stanley Picker Trust for her research, and nowadays she teaches at the Berlin Universität der Künste and the Kingston University in London. Marloes ten Bhömer is engaged in investigating the high-heeled ladies’ shoe, or rather the woman moving about on these shoes. According to Ten Bhömer, the high-heeled woman is a cultural construction, something created and loaded with associations by, in particular, modern media such as the movie. People who take the time to watch a vimeo report of a lecture given by Marloes ten Bhömer in 2013, will get an idea of the way in which Marloes ten Bhömer unravels this construction, among other things by using some entertaining film fragments.
The shoe as a cultural construction is not the only concept that has caught Marloes ten Bhömer’s interest. Her work also has a practical, technical side. Ten Bhömer’s research into women walking on high heels has led to the conclusion that the high-heeled women’s shoe, as it is made by shoe producers and displayed in the shops, is not based on anatomical and ergonomic research. In fact, apart from customs and traditions, the appearance and construction of the high-heeled women’s shoe are mainly determined by considerations having to do with production costs. The footwear sector is quite conservative in this respect. For Marloes ten Bhömer this was the reason to start her own anatomical and ergonomic research into wearing high-heeled women’s shoes. On the basis of that research, she develops alternative shoe constructions. It is important to Marloes ten Bhömer whether shoe designs developed on the basis of technical and parametric study are compatible with an aesthetically pleasing appearance. In other words, do designs developed on the basis of rational and logical considerations lead to beauty? There are quite a few sides to the world of Marloes ten Bhömer.
If you want to know more about that, go to her website (see above) or read the interview with Marloes ten Bhömer on the site of Design Platform on the site of Arnhem www.o-p-a.nl/blog/marloes-ten-bhomer-2001-2003
Text: Peter Nijenhuis