Future More

With over 2600 participating designers, Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. Every year, Dutch Design Daily, Innovation Origins and Katja Lucas, programme manager DDW, pick nine designers who they consider this year’s hidden gems. In this article you can read all about Hidden Gem #6: Future More.

They are actually a platform for recently graduated designers and designers. The Future More collective consists of eight different designers who each have their own view and style, some are product-oriented and others conceptual, but they work together, give each other feedback on their work and inspire each other. “On your own, it is quite difficult to go all out immediately,” Jasper Luijten, one of three initiators of the collective, says. During DDW, they exhibited as a collective for the first time, with the theme ‘Future Mythologies’ they presented eight completely different projects.

Innivation Origins talk to two of the three initiators, in Yellow Monkey, a coffee bar on Willemstraat, where they gave a party during DDW. “If we do it, we will go all the way,” Simone Smelt says. The exhibition itself could be seen in the Pullmann Hotel. Also, during the week, at Yellow Monkey, the work of the eight designers could be seen on posters.

Future More at Pullman Hotel
Ralph Roelse

Together with Nick Beens, Luijten and Smelt are the initiators of the Future More collective. “We want to give young designers a platform so that they can work on their network. We built a kind of database of companies that we can link to recent graduates. That is why it is important that everyone has and keeps their own style,” Luijten explains. “Everyone also works under their own name. But working together as a collective just makes you better. For example, through our weekly feedback moments. It is very difficult to make your own initiated work without a clear goal in mind. And that is what we want to do. We give an assignment and this way you can expand your portfolio. With this, you have something to show the industry. A kind of safety net after graduation. A rotating group of which you will be part for a few years until you can continue as an individual.”

The idea originated from last year’s Graduation Show from Design Academy Eindhoven. Every year, graduates of the Design Academy Eindhoven show their work during that show. It is always in October, Beens, Luijten, and Smelt graduated in July. In the intervening period, they missed what they mainly did as part of their schooling: discuss each other’s work and give each other feedback. When they were waiting to present their work, the idea arose to do ‘something’ together. Luijten: “We all had the same feeling. And we approached other designers who had just graduated or like-minded designers who would like to work together.” Because that’s what they want most of all: working with the manufacturing industry. “We want to find companies that want to continue with us and that can be as individuals or as groups.”

For their first exhibition, they chose the theme ‘Future Mythologies’ and asked the designers to be inspired by a myth. “That could be something from antiquity or something more contemporary,” Luijten explains. The designers made tangible objects that can be seen during DDW. “We wanted people to talk to us about our projects.”

Future More was supported by Art Dumay, an art dealer from Nuenen. For almost twenty years “they sold art for on the wall,” Lydia van der Made, trend researcher and concept developer at Art Dumay, says. “Until we went online two years ago. Then we grew enormously from a small very traditional gallery. Now every week we auction objects which we ship all over the world. Dresses by Addy van den Krommenacker, shoes by Jan Janssen. We found those trips alongside the art because that remains our core business, so much fun that we also wanted to make a trip to design.”

Art Dumay helped the young designers with the organization of the exhibition ‘Future Mythologies’ and brought them in contact with its network. Smelt: “For us, it was very interesting because we didn’t have a lot of experience in exhibitions. We could make good use of their support and experience.” Luijten: “What we really, really want is to slowly grow to a label. That we sell under ‘Future More’. That is also something Art Dumay wants to help us with. Provided this try out is positive, of course.”

This article has been made possible by Innovation Origins. During DDW18, Dutch Design Daily, Innovation Origins and Katja Lucas, programme manager DDW, organised the Hidden Gem bike route by which you could discover and meet the selected designers.