Hogeschool Rotterdam Willem de Kooning Academie

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Staff

Please feel free to come to Florian Cramer's inaugural speech 'Demolish Serious Culture' at the Piet Zwart Institute on Wednesday December 1 2010. You're welcome at the Mauritsstraat 23 in Rotterdam from 19.30hrs onwards.

The title 'Demolish Serious Culture' was coined by Fluxus frontmen George Maciunas and Henry Flynt to protest against a concert by the famous composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. In his talk, Cramer will take a close and critical look at the relations between autonomous art and design and media and retail.

Cramer has been head of the Piet Zwart Institute, part of Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam University, since September 1 2010. Between 2006 and 2010, he was in charge of the Networked programme of PZI's master Media Design and Communication. Since 2008, he's also research professor and head of the research programme Communication in a Digital Age of the Piet Zwart Institute.

Please feel free to come to Florian Cramer's inaugural speech 'Demolish Serious Culture' at the Piet Zwart Institute on Wednesday... Lees verder

Willem de Kooning Academy and its affiliated Piet Zwart Institute are proud to announce that Keith Griffiths, external curriculum advisor at the Lens-Based Digital Media programme, has won a Palme d'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2010.

'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives', produced by Keith Griffiths and his colleague Simon Field (Illuminations), received the prestigious award during the famous French festival on May 23.

The Palme d'Or (Golden Palm; MA) is the highest prize awarded to competing films during the festival. It was introduced by the organising committee in 1955.

You can find more information the Piet Zwart Institute website.

image: still from ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives'

Willem de Kooning Academy and its affiliated Piet Zwart Institute are proud to announce that Keith Griffiths, external curriculum advisor at the... Lees verder

As a designer Piet Zwart (1885-1977) was a jack of many trades and therefore the perfect eponym of WdKA's Piet Zwart Institute, that houses our master courses. All of them combined define the professional field in which Piet Zwart has been active: he was an innovator of interior architecture, industrial design, typography and advertising, of photography and design critique, apart from teaching – at the Rotterdam Academy. He thus played an important role in the design climate of the 20th century, both in The Netherlands and abroad. His versatility and his influence on present-day designers led the Association of Dutch Designers to award him the title of 'Designer of the Century' in 2000.

Piet Zwart himself preferred to call himself a form engineer or form technician rather than a designer. He believed in functionality, standardization and machine production, and profiled himself as one of the first industrial designers in the Netherlands. In his eyes, a design must take account both of ergonomics and user-friendliness, and of the demands of mass production. The kitchen he designed for Bruynzeel in 1938 is a good example – a revolutionary concept that is the basis for most kitchen design even today. The same urge to innovate is also evident in Piet Zwart's graphic work. His designs are simple and functional, but also playful. Zwart soon incorporated photographs into his advertising images. His photographic work is also very no-nonsense, evidence of his predilection for lines and planes, and his keen eye for detail. Besides advertising photography, he also took images of the surface structures of wood, metal and textiles, and close-ups of organic forms for a while. Many of these photographs possess an almost machine-like element of repetition, reflecting Zwart's love of structure and balance.

The Municipal Museum in The Hague, where Zwart lived and worked, is organising a major retrospective this Summer.

'Piet Zwart (1885-1977). Form engineer'. June 21 – September 7, 2008. Municipal Museum, Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV The Hague/NL. Open: Tue-Sun, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Source: Municipal Museum, The Hague

As a designer Piet Zwart (1885-1977) was a jack of many trades and therefore the perfect eponym of WdKA's Piet Zwart Institute, that houses... Lees verder