Eindhoven 2019 – “If you could choose one place in this city that means the world to you, where would it be? The city forest perhaps, a park, a garden? Maybe it is some spot along your daily walk – or can nothing beat your own backyard? What are the memories that you have of this place, and what makes it so special?” These are some of the question posed by Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck of Eindhoven-based research studio Atelier NL for their collaborative project.
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Commissioned by the municipality, De StraatMakers project is rooted in local identity and a shared sense of value people attach to a place. The result is an expanding archive of hundreds of soil samples that reveal the colours of the earth right under the feet of the city’s resident.
Presented at Wall Street, the collected material brings together the colours, textures, and stories of Eindhoven, visually connecting the pavement to the qualities of the earth. “We hope to ground people locally by reflecting on the unique characteristics of the very place we call home.” Along with the samples, the exhibition collected also personal stories of the collectors revealing an intimate and emotional map of the city.
Atelier NL develops products that showcase the richness of the earth and the value of local raw materials. Each earthly element tells a different story and yields a different product. “Our work is based on a passionate and unique research methodology that analyzes the hidden narratives of the earth and all that it produces.”
On a deeper level, the work of Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck calls for an expanded valuation of local sourcing and production. The results of their research are transformed into sustainable projects of profound depth that aim to reveal and inspire while opening the eyes of the general public and industry specialists alike.
All photos of the StraatMakers exhibition by Atelier NL by Ralph Roelse, courtesy of Dutch Design Week 2019.