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Special design assignment for Zuyd students

A special Development contract for Zuyd students; Why Mariusz from Warsaw and Sjang from Kerkrade design a carafe for the town of Maastricht. 

Did you know that Maastricht has an above average amount of companies that work in the creative industry?

That the industry compared to Amsterdam and other border regions have grown stronger than average? That, with a growth of more than 12%, the creative industry has become a major economic factor? These new insights came from a collaboration of various sections of the Maastricht community: the municipality and the professors of the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. A discussion between the Vivianne Heijnen, councillor of the municipality of Maastricht, and Chequita Nahar, director of the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design faculty of Zuyd Hogeschool, played a prominent role in this. Two students of the academy were also working on a project at the time where glass blowing, marl and the spirit of Maastricht played a prominent role, and were the perfect candidates for this.

Dutch Version : here

It all began with a visit from Vivianne Heijnen to Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She was impressed with her visit. Her enthusiasm gave birth to a project for students of MAFAD. The commission was to design a water carafe for the city of Maastricht. It could be presented to members of the board during meetings in the town hall. It could also possibly serve as a promotional gift, or be offered to visitors of the city hall as a craftsmanship product manufactured in Maastricht. It may also simply be offered in store. A glass carafe, a functional product made of a material that also has a rich tradition in Maastricht its surroundings. It has to say something about the city and would be made by a local producer. ,, What is specially interesting for the students is that they have to supervise the entire production process. Not only do they have to create the design, but also to consider each manufacturing steps and production stage right to the finished product. This doesn’t mean that they go and blow out the glass themselves, but they have to understand the whole process of glass blowing and production to marketing. One of the attractive aspects of this project is the initial practical experience that our students gained during the collaboration with the world’s Leading Glass container Manufacturer, - factory O-I. O-I has more than a century of experience crafting pure, sustainable, brand-building glass packaging for many of the world’s best-known food and beverage brands. Through this close cooperation I-O enables us to realize this project in production of glass carafes designed by young designers of MAFAD. ” states Chequita Nahar, director of Maastricht Academie of Fine Arts and Design. The Students not only benefit from an additional work in their portfolio, but are also enabled because of this project to develop a close relationship to industrial manufacturing, and benefit from the opportunity to supervise each operational step. ,, This is the beauty of this assignment. To discover - the nuts and bolts- of the production process they have to engage in. “ They have the chance to create their own prototypes of their design with the help of a 3D printer, for example, or perhaps with their own ceramic molds made in the academy. The collaboration with our partner, the city council, is also very interesting. It can stimulate other enterprises to participate in other consignments and competitions to work in the area, creating more opportunities. Above all, such a assignment at the MAFAD can mean there is an income for the established artist. This can create a breeding ground for graduates looking to establish a career and income for the future.

Maastricht is not a city one would associate with living wild and dangerously. Despite this fact many student live and work here, and many creative industries, the city council and MAFAD are planning further collaborations and competitions to create a flourishing breeding ground to combine these assets and make use of these positive conditions. Vivianne Heijnen says: ,, now it is time for a new development. Time to take a new view from a economic approach that we will create a good climate for combining our creative industry with our graduates and setting the criteria for our own ideas “ A carafe for the city of Maastricht. The assignment is clear. It will be a competition in which multiple students participate in. Two of them are sitting at the table of the council office of the city hall of Maastricht to present and talk about what had inspired them. The city council of Maastricht required that carafe represents the meaning of water, the star of Maastricht must be included, and it must be dishwasher resistant. From this starting point of view, Mariusz and Sjang developed their ideas. Shall one of these two developments one day be placed upon the tabled of the city hall?

When thinking about Maastricht I think about water.” said Sjang Niederwieser about his idea development. ,, It’s more a concept of how Maastricht developed. Maastricht grew on the river the Maas, with its curves and banks which sometimes overflowed. So I took the form of the river with a view from above like on a map. The Maas belongs to Maastricht. The question is then “what shall I do with it? “ Traditionally because of the beneficial sandy soil, there was always a glass-making manufacturer nearby. When people think of the Maas, they think about marl. People often think of bridges too, but when you look from above, it so becomes a conversation piece. People ask: ,, what is the form then? ” Once you have seen the map from above you know which way the Maas flows, the form of which inspired the design of the carafe. It’s about the pure contours they are the most important, and organically produce a beautiful form. ,, My idea was, a flag that moves in the wind. “ Mariusz Slawínski says: ,, It was about the flag from Maastricht you need as a central element. A flag blows in the wind, and therefore I decided on a movable form for the carafe. As the carafe stands up you can’t believe the star is standing because it’s slanting or crooked. But as you pour out the contents, the star straightens up. The carafe itself is stable but from its moving it can give the impression of a flowing flag. Therefore I thought that it was good to give it a pedestal to place the carafe onto. Whereupon it’s creating something monumental. Through its pedestal, you can also refer to the different aspects of the town of Maastricht. “ The pedestal can be printed with a 3D printer, to emphasise the technical development. But the form can also be made from marl. Many houses and buildings in town are built from Marl, so it would make sense to honour the historical significance of marl.

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