Design With a Conscience
“That was my second reason to start following a pig.” Christien Meindertsma, a young star of Dutch design, here discusses some of her unique socially conscious projects such as a book charting products made from a pig and making sweaters with a personal story.
Meindertsma’s approach to designing with a conscience sometimes makes her feel like a journalist unravelling a story: “I like to find out the whole history of a project, or if I design something then to design it with a complete transparent background.” Her graduation project ‘The Sheep’ was such an attempt to design a product that told its own story in an honest way. She created sheep wool sweaters, which came with the story of what sheep the sweater in question came from: “It’s a kind of marketing story for the thing itself without having to make up a fake marketing story that shows, for instance, a really flashy basketball player promoting a product that is actually made by really poor people in a faraway country.”
“I figured out that this really simple thing of making something that is transparent, a good product, produced in a nice way, that’s already a really complicated task.” In the project ‘The Pig’, Meindertsma spent three years researching all the products made from a pig and included them in a photo book where all the products were shown 1:1. She wanted to make something that was clear in its content, but many of her findings surprised her – who would have thought that pigs could be used to make things such as ammunition, heart valves and chewing gum?
Christien Meindertsma (b. 1980) is a Dutch artist and designer, graduated from the Eindhoven Design Academy in 2003, who explores the life of products and raw materials. With her designs Meindertsma seeks to regain an understanding of the processes that due to industrialization have become so distant and unfamiliar. Her work has been exhibited at prominent venues such as MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York and The V&A in London. She has won three Dutch Design Awards (2008) as well as an Index award (2009) for her second book, ‘PIG 05049’ (2007). The book is an extensive collection of photographs that document a vast array of products derived from an anonymous pig called 05049.
For more about Meindertsma and her work see: http://www.christienmeindertsma.com/
Christien Meindertsma was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in her studio in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2014.
Camera: Sandder Lanen
Edited by: Sonja Strange
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015
Supported by Nordea-fonden