‘Vessel’ Conversation Piece & Installation in Public Space (2016)


This project started as an iterative experiment in the MA design research of two designers: Rinze Borm and Ruben Ferwerda. Two different topics joined together, provoked reaction and gained it’s own momentum. This eventual serendipity could not have been foreseen.

Two ways of explaining the project from the designer’s perspective:

Vessel: as carrier of narratives

vessel2As societal and environmental issues increasingly impact our world politics cannot keep up with the pace in which they appear. While there is an urge for quick fixes we know “solutionism” won’t help us in dealing with these kind of problems from it’s root. A serious debate about our dreams and desires might. The time seems right to reintroduce an utopian way of thinking: seeing society as we yearn it to be. Creating a story of what may come. I am researching the role of the urban designer as it could fulfill a role in getting this co-creation of a common narrative to start. One way of doing this is by designing installations in public space that provoke reaction. The installation ‘Vessel’ has become a carrier of such narratives. It interacts with spectators as their imagination is addressed with the use of minimum resources. Due to it’s iconic shape and fragile aesthetics people start wondering about it’s abilities, purpose and meaning. This physical touchpoint is where the dialogue starts.


Vessel: as an intervention on the meeting point between materiality and design intuition

img_5470-2When building a ship, shipbuilders design and construct ships on the basis of strict parameters and engineered technical specifications to ensure buoyancy and stability. ‘Vessel’ was created on the basis of exploring how serendipity within making could shape and form aesthetics. Instead of focusing on the end result, my research explores making processes where the intuitive choices of the designer, the order of machining and the materials themselves, together determine the final form. This meeting point between design intuition and the potential that materials and machines can have in steering making processes, creates a unique ‘handwriting’ of a designer. ‘Vessel’ questions what role this quality can play in designing cultural probes and interventions, across various design disciplines.