Writer, Director, Storyteller, Videographer & Animator
“Only recently I've started slowly seeing and accepting myself as a person of colour, and by doing so, I have also started looking around more, and I began noticing that something was terribly wrong. The countless stories of police officers shooting unarmed black men in the United States all started sounding alike, and I felt powerless and wanted to understand why this was happening at all.”
Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices 2018 Jury: “In his experimental poem ‘I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here’, Robert-Jonathan Koeyers invites the viewer to embody the black body. The work can be positioned in different localities, and in the Dutch context, it would be both thought-provoking and inspiring. The work is made from the heart and connects the personal to the political, and Robert-Jonathan showed his vulnerability in the process of creating this work. Robert-Jonathan did extensive research, talked to activists and other people, and the result is a consistent, poetic, visual and sonic experience. There is a lot of potential for Robert-Jonathan when he continues connecting his work to the discourse of diversity and decolonisation. We are excited to see you building a network and claiming your space as an animator and artist.”
Independent Technology Designers & Researchers
‘Make Believe’ is an ongoing project by Arthur Boer and Boris Smeenk investigating current developments in photography through the lens of machine vision. In the work, a fully automated camera implements a mix of algorithms, including object recognition and image reconstruction. After identification, a mask is created around the subject of focus; it is then removed and replaced with new content generated by the reconstruction algorithm that integrates surrounding patterns. This process, called in-painting, is derived from art conservation where parts of damaged paintings are virtually reconstructed; but in this case the original is lost and only the algorithmically constructed image remains.
Roxette Capriles explores how social and political conditions of our society are reflected in her own story. While celebrating our current condition, Capriles also responds critically to her surroundings. The very essence of Capriles’ work is that it is unstructured. For her, randomness is a way to escape expectations imposed by others. As an alumna of the IBB (Instituto Buena Bista, Curaçao Center for Contemporary Art), she also worked on the Kunsthal’s ‘All you can Art’ summer school project.
“I question the boundaries of sports and games. When can something be called a game? I investigate this question by placing the rules of sports, particularly the design of the sports court, in a different context. In my installation, I study new contexts for sports and games by using existing designs of public spaces. My outfit plays a mediating role between the sports hall and public space: the lines and shapes of the city (in this case Rotterdam-Zuid) enter into a dialogue with those on my suit.”
“I try to capture and draw what is not there, but what, in my eyes, should exist. My work is a utopia and a reflection of the things I miss in life, and by illustrating these things, I create a world for myself where I can find solace. I create memories of everyday and simple moments, with which I try to slow down everything that passes quickly.”
Exhibitions & residencies, amongst others: 2018: Artist-in-Residence, Neurotitan, Berlin; Solo in Kunsthal light #18; Round & Round, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Unfair Amsterdam; Christie's Fundraiser Auction, Amsterdam; In4Art, kickstART; Beyond Thunderdome, Nest The Hague; 2017: Solo Unplugged#2 ‘Nasbami’; Rotterdam Art Fair, WTC; TENT x Tate, Tate Modern London; SUNDAY KIDS, Opperclaes; 2016: Round & Round, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Photographer - Documentary Stories, Portraits
“It was the first time I was surrounded by like-minded people and people who truly expressed themselves as they were. This helped me to become comfortable in expressing myself as a person too. When it comes to the courses I took, the Hacking Minor in Autonomous Practices stuck with me the most. The theory behind it changed the way I work, and I have been applying it in my own way ever since.”
His work has been commissioned by the Rijksmuseum for its Document Nederland exhibition in 2018. His work has been featured in: Kroost, Focus Magazine, NRC, Chipsocial, De Kracht van Rotterdam, L’officiel Hommes, NOS, Rotterdam UIT, Rotterdam in Beeld, Vers Beton, Vogue, OPEN Rotterdam, Rotterdam Rijnmond Radio, Vice, Young Critics, Los Bangeles, ISSUES magazine, Yourlab, Additors, NPO2, FunX Rotterdam, DJ Broadcast Amsterdam, Ideas Magazine, Esquire Magazine. Exhibitions (amongst others): Metro54 & TENT Rotterdam; Motel Mozaïque, Rotterdam; Rotterdam Photo Festival; FotoFestival Naarden; Angry, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; Freshcotton, Amsterdam; Maison de Haubans, Malakoff, Nantes, France; Jenja, Bali.
Steenbergen Stipendium : "Eliza Bordeaux is one of the almost two million Dutch people with roots in the former Dutch East Indies. But what does this mean? In search of her past, she went to various Kumpulans: nostalgic get-togethers where people like herself dance and reminisce about the old days. It might seem like going to a Kumpulan would be a great night out, but Bordeaux’s photographic installation suggests otherwise: the confetti is as grey as a thundercloud, and a plastic pot palm meant as part of the decor looks rather pathetic instead. Bordeaux wonders if there’s really that much to celebrate. Why is so much attention devoted to important events in Indonesia’s colonial past while almost nobody stops to consider the impact - the move to the ‘motherland’ (the Netherlands) and the ‘smooth-as-silk process of integration’ - this colonial past had on people? Bordeaux’s open, light-hearted approach blames no one, but she is evidently surprised at both the ignorance among Dutch people about their history as a colonial power on these islands and the ability of her father’s generation to ignore this pain and sadness."
Manifestations at Dutch Design Week: “For the future of technology, Jeanine Verloop looks at techniques from the past, noting that we have become too dependent on usability and efficiency and are therefore alienated from our ability to dream. Her printing device, Reawaken, combines analogue and digital technology and connects us again with the lost beauty and magic of our technical means.”
Junior Art Director, Copywriter & Visual Journalist
“If you want to know about the status of our current identity politics, opening an integration textbook would be enough. Stereotypes and stigmatising images have been dominating integration education for years, and although the responsible ministries are aware of the state of affairs, the outdated photos and videos have never been replaced.
It is fundamentally wrong that we allow residence permits to depend on examinations that test questionable norms and values. Let us work towards large-scale buddy systems and practical assignments. Less ideology and more practical thinking. You do not gain knowledge of Dutch society from books, but by seeing and doing. I am for integration, but against integration into a country that no longer exists.”
“As a visual and conceptual artist, I use imagery as a tool to discover the collective memories we share. I deal with the representation of leading events and our cultural heritage by using a contrasting perspective: through the eyes of children, with a sense of confusion or with a comical tone of voice. My aim as an artist is to create awareness of how the frames are being made and how these representations may lead to a repetition of seeing, thinking and behaving within our present society.”
‘Phantom Pain’ consisted of elaborate research on how the Western world collectively reacts to terrorist attacks, as well as a questioning of the validity of the reaction, and a provocative installation to illustrate the thesis. This installation was exhibited for the first time during the Graduation Show at WdKA in the summer of 2018. Set in the context of a show filled with other critical projects, this installation was not perceived by the public as offensive, but as provocative, and food for thought and reflection. Later, during the exhibition of the work outside the walls of the academy (GOGBOT Festival), this project seemed to offend many. Although the discourse was not always easy for the maker, she could relate while staying true to her original concept.
Anne Bothmer is currently studying in the Master Media & Journalism programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
“‘The Family Jewels’ is dedicated to five drag performers from Rotterdam. I shot this series in collaboration with stylist Isis Vaandrager (who is also a WdKA alumna) and make-up artist Ed Tijsen. Taming these five queens was quite a challenge, let alone getting them in one image, and I am really proud of the result. This photographic series takes place in an old bank building that is a post-war creation. Deep down where the old vault door is located and where the floors, walls and ceilings are covered with luxurious marble, these five young queer performers are as radiant as ever. My most favourite project until now has to be ‘The Last Season’. One exceptionally warm weekend at the end of the season, a camp-site in Hoek van Holland became the backdrop for this series. I got inspired by the people who live in trailers and mobile homes. I captured these characters in a photo series where everything looks more colourful than reality. In this series, I pay tribute to the eternal holiday feeling. Three images are now permanently included in the art collection of Hogeschool Rotterdam.”
Meinsma’s work has been featured in Vogue NL, &C, i-D, Adformatie, AD, NRC and Trouw.
As an athlete and speculative designer, I have noticed there is only a limited offering of smart sportswear, where the function of the piece is not communicated in the visual design. A perfect example of an interface where the internal functions are being visually displayed on the surface is the human skin, which transforms during high effort activities. In horse-riding they prevent horse injuries by using infrared techniques, so why not try it on humans? In the form of our second skin: clothing.
Biodesigner & Founder of BlueCity Lab
“Ultimately the role of the future designer is to explore how nature’s sustainable materials could become tomorrow’s consumer products.”
As a biodesigner, Emma van der Leest has collaborated with practitioners from different disciplines, from scientists and physicists to artists and designers. Biodesign is based on the principles of biofabrication, a field that emerged out of regenerative medical technologies. Biodesign incorporates living organisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, algae or cells) into the design process. By discovering materials and processes that nature has designed but not patented, we can search for new grown materials that are completely compostable and minimise the usage of hazardous resources that can cause huge damage to our ecosystem. She is also the founder and creative director of BlueCity Lab, a laboratory where she has made available a wet and dry lab for anyone who wants to research and develop new materials, from bacteria to waste streams, following Blue Economy principles.
Her project ‘Form Follows Organism’ won the WdKA Research Award and was later turned into a publication by Hybrid Publishing. The print and e-book are about biodesign and the shifting role of the (product) designer. ‘Form Follows Organism’ is about the application of design knowledge to consumer products and design methodologies. The research questions investigated are: how can we control the process of growing materials or products? And how can we design new tools and algorithms that unlock the power of living cells?
Fashion Tech Designer
Jasna Rokegem is founder & CEO of Belgium's first fashion and technology design lab, Jasna Rok. Jasna has recently been listed as an Innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review, receiving the award as a leading woman in STEM. She was elected as a Global Entrepreneur (subsequently representing Belgium at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India). She operates from the belief that the future is now, that the fashion industry as we know it needs to be disrupted to make room for innovation. She has reinvented the business model canvas into a new FashTech canvas. Today, she cooperates with companies all over the world such as Nokia Bell Labs, Nanex Company and Leap Motion.
“If anyone is making the merger of fashion with technology look cool, it is Jasna Rokegem.”
Muchaneta Kapfunde, editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com
Researcher at Digital Society School Amsterdam & Ambassador Speculative Futures Amsterdam
Mick Jongeling is an avid researcher of the Internet and its tangible effects on society. Working in the field of arts, technology and new media, he works on understanding behaviour, technology and new media from a design perspective. Recently, he has started researching digital identity to understand what his behaviour tells the machines what he will do next.
'Hard Facts, Soft Interpretations' is a form of data-therapy, in which you can shape and direct your life story. Large and small events in life affect the person you become. With this tool you can map out your family, relationships and life events; it will help create self-insight and is useful in communication with others.
Drempelprijs Commercial Practices 2017 Jury: "The winner has started from herself and worked to a design that could be of any meaning. The final product fits her vision of the future and gives her more opportunities."
Bachelor Research Award 2017 Jury: "This project is a therapeutic toolkit for children in psychiatric treatment. It combines subjective and objective perspectives, with a good balance of distance and methodological rigour on the one hand and engagement on the other. It involves the textbook use of external expertise, and experience experts are intelligently used as sources."
Junior Experience Designer & Project Manager
“I've been working since February 2017 at Studio H in Cape Town, South Africa. Studio H is a multidisciplinary design studio by Hannerie Visser, specialising in experience and brand design. My job title is junior experience designer and project manager. I'm also further developing my skills as a ceramicist in my free time. I hope to open my own studio within 5 to 10 years. But for now, I'm happy to be gaining work experience while living abroad.”
Bachelor Research Award 2016 Jury: “In the exhibition, the smell of the project presentation immediately communicates what this project is about: shrimp. We are told the story of shrimp as an exemplary story of contemporary society, culture, ecology and globalised economy. Among others, we learn how shrimp are fished in the Netherlands, but peeled in Morocco and sent back to Europe because of lower labour costs. A giant box of thrown-away peels visualises how shrimp is processed. The project also delves into the chemistry and biology of shrimp peels and the valuable substances that can be derived from them. It includes practical design research of using shrimp waste for novel ceramic glazing. Theoretical research, material research and product research have formed a highly convincing whole. The story of the shrimp couldn’t be told better. The presentation is multi-layered, carefully constructed and critically engages all senses. This is truly original, critical, excellently crafted design research. The jury unanimously and wholeheartedly grants the first prize of the Willem de Kooning Bachelor Research Award 2016 for a Bachelor graduation project to Jade Ruijzenaars.”
Graphic Designer, Animator and Interaction Designer
“Our work field has changed very rapidly in a few years, and it keeps on changing perpetually. I see myself more as a visual designer/artist, so I can only talk about my choice and path: I am happy with where I am now, I have expanded my work field from graphic design to video, animation and websites. My plan is to develop more independent projects, next to the commercial ones, and shift my role more towards a thinker. I am learning a lot by working on commercial projects and I do love the speed, deadlines and challenges. But it's important to make time for experimentation and dreaming of future plans.”
Graphic & Spatial Designers
Studio Bureau is a design agency located in Rotterdam and Utrecht that specialises in environmental graphic design, storytelling and public art projects. As designers, they generate ideas and implement them. They design and create interactive works and place them in everyday environments. Studio Bureau works in a reflective and analytical way and is passionate about its subjects. Their approach to design is holistic, which means they always consider the coherence in relation to the context. Through their approach and physical designs, they direct conscious moments and inspire contact. Interaction is an essential aspect here: the audience completes their work.
Graphic & Service Designer
“As designers, we develop a certain attitude: a way of (re)framing things. So, instead of working by a set of rules, we try to work our way around them. And instead of seeing obstacles in the way, we tend to challenge them, because we would rather think in possibilities than problems. Our eye is trained to recognise complex issues, research them and come up with solutions. I believe that in the future our role as social/service designers will be to lead other people into creative thinking and to support and guide them in doing this. We can provide them with the information and tools to become more self-reliant. Not only organisations, but people in general as well.”
Designers, Material Innovators
Plasticiet originated from a romantic vision and passion for material development within the topic of sustainability. Its founders Marten van Middelkoop and Joost Dingemans seize a waste stream, specifically plastic waste, and transform it into a building block for the future made of all kinds of products: from old buckets to garden furniture.
Marten: “If you have a good idea, just do it, and fully go for it. With Plasticiet we had some luck because it was picked up by the right people, but that also happened because we truly worked our asses off for the past year and made sure we were seen. Throwing in every bit of time and money we had without being sure we would land on top. But I do believe that if you are fully devoted to doing something - you will succeed.”
Joost: “Make choices. Even if it’s a bad choice you’ll at least know that it was the wrong one. If you keep on lingering between options, there will be only one certainty: you will not make any progress and in the end, it might be too late to go back. Make a choice, go for it and then decide whether or not it was a good one. You can always (to a certain extent) take a step back and learn an important thing: that idea sucked!”
Researcher, Writer & Designer
Currently his work is mainly focussed on developments within financial speculation and climate change. His critical outlook regarding social-design generates a paradoxical position called ‘Anti-social design’, which aims to functionally appropriate commercial resources pre-existent within social issues. Cross-disciplinary collaborations and future-oriented projects are returning methodological components of his work.
Sami holds a BA Honours in Product Design from the Willem de Kooning Academy and an MA in Research Architecture from the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Awarded a Research and Development Grant from the Centre for the Arts Rotterdam for ‘Cable-laying Vessels: The Missing Link Between Colonial Wooden Ships and Undersea Cables’.
Photographer & Interactive Storyteller
Bachelor Research Award 2015 Jury : “The work that we decided to award is Lou Muuse’s ‘Retour Afzender.EU’ - a project that gives the complex answer to the seemingly simple question “Hoe zit de huidige Nederlandse asielprocedure in elkaar?” (“How do the Dutch asylum procedures work?”). The reason why we award this work is that it is extraordinary in every respect: flawless in its critical-investigative methodology, and impressive in its journalistic fact-checking research that by far exceeded the information resources available at this school. But perhaps most importantly, the result is a thoroughly convincing combination of thesis and design project where the design project is truly part, and logical outcome, of the research. The question on the workings of the Dutch asylum procedure could not have been answered better than with the media/web design that you, Lou, created. There is no better medium or symbolic form for this research than the visual design medium you mastered in your studies. We hope that this award will not be the only one you will receive for this project. Please submit it to international design exhibitions and festivals, and also submit it to academic conferences on the subject of refugee politics. You have set a high standard for the future winners of the WdKA Research Award.”
Product designer Ermi van Oers and Plant-e started to collaborate in 2016. With a target to implement Plant Microbial Fuel Cell technology in our day-to-day lives, which engages people with nature around them, the collaboration became known as Living Light. “We are on a joint mission to fuse nature, technology and design. We believe that the cross-pollination of science and design point towards the city of tomorrow.”
Bachelor Research Awards 2016 Jury: “ ‘Microbial Energy’ is about the potential of plants generating energy - green electricity in the most literal sense of the word. Microbial energy is a popular research subject in contemporary bio and life sciences. This project takes it out of the laboratory and translates it into a functional object, a lamp powered by plants. This project was carried out in a very careful and precise way, continually feeding back research findings into design and vice versa in an iterative process. While the subject matter will need further research, and includes many outstanding issues regarding the real-life usability of microbial energy, this project resulted in a convincing presentation with a functioning prototype and video and text that clearly explain the underlying fundamental concepts. The presentation speaks for itself and will surely attract wider audiences.”
Filmmaker & Director
“I am working as a director at Korrel Film, a film production company based in Rotterdam. For the post-production of my graduation film, I collaborated with them, and it went so well that I never left! During the past months, I have been working on creating, amongst others, the video content for the Codarts World Music Department. Also, I am working on my own new documentary.”
Drempelprijs Social Practices 2018 Jury: "The choice to make a film was not an obvious one. Marieke is educated to be a spatial designer but has made a film for her graduation project and chosen to follow her own path. With this, Marieke shows that she can look across the boundaries of disciplines and take the story she wants to tell as a starting point. Marieke also shows this transcending quality in earlier work, in which she uses audio to discuss the politically loaded theme of feeling at home."
Social Practices / Lifestyle Transformation Design
Sustainable Mindset Designer
“Through my work as a sustainable mindset designer, I influence the cultural mindset about sustainability. I am questioning the present and looking for answers by researching history, science, philosophy and technology. By combining and collaborating with different fields, I design sustainable systems and connect mindsets. My goal is to intrinsically motivate people to participate in the creation of new sustainable systems, so we can eventually create a world which is good for every organism and focused on the future.”
Drempelprijs Social Practices 2017 Jury: “Elise Marcus surprised us with a 3D-installation that demonstrates her ‘Mother Earth Network’ in which she invites citizens to upload all sorts of data sets on all aspects of nature and planet earth at large into a digital network. This radical project – it might deserve a more radical title – aims at generating an understanding of and empathy with the planet, as well as having people thereby change to more sustainable lifestyles. For her project, Elise herself has already collected many existing data, collaborating with professional organisations in the Netherlands and abroad. She had discussions with psychologists and philosophers. To visualise her findings and make them available to global audiences, she familiarised herself with programming that is not common at WdKA. Thus, she makes existing data more readily available, and she enables her users to more easily upload new information. The project breathes a radical imagination that gives it great potential to contribute to actual systemic changes.”
Animator, Storyteller & Visual Poet
“What if along the way, the information we unquestionably have internalised is distorted, manipulated or false? This happened often in human history where rival groups or communities fed false narratives about the other to maintain a sense of normalised extremism or to justify destructive behaviour. Blind certainties have always produced catastrophic results (injustice, genocide, slavery and more).
Today, unquestionably, these patterns of violence are still very much present in the world we live in. It takes a different type of strength to acknowledge that historical violence is repetitive. We might look the other way or have become immune to it, but that doesn’t change the reality for a significant amount of people.
As someone with a diverse cultural background, I had a prolonged identity discovery phase with questions about my migrant roots and the significant differences between western and middle eastern philosophies and lifestyles. It took a while to find my voice. But taking my time and embracing all the layers of identity I own has proven to be rewarding.”
Bachelor Research Award 2018 Jury: “The project combines a critical essay with an animated film depicting a Turkish myth in a way that is accessible to everyone from young to old. When the jury watched the animation film, everything fell into place. The art form exactly fits the story Rümeysa tells. Her essay and her film are complete, convincing and can stand entirely on their own. The project is an artistic investigation of the alternatives to the currently dominant media culture. It is critical without being moralistic. It is an in-depth reflection based on well-observed personal experience, with literature research that seamlessly fits the artistic research.”
The interactive installation ‘I’m caring, not sharing’ makes teenagers aware of their sharing behaviour. The general consensus about sexting is ‘it’s their own fault when a nude photo leaks’ and ‘just don’t do it’. Because of all the negative attention, sexting seems to be a big problem among young people, even though it can be healthy experimental behaviour during sexual development. Complications arise only after a violation of trust: if the footage is spread or used as blackmail. This is called shame sexting. This term is important, because the problem is not the sexting itself, but the shaming of people. Besides, the victim gets blamed, while he or she is not the one who sent it all over the world. Without spreaders, there would be no shame sexting!
Drempelprijs Social Practices 2018 Jury: “The jury sees much potential for further developing this concept into a full-blown ‘I’m caring, not sharing’ campaign, which would also engage various stakeholders such as government agencies and parents in how to address and frame this problem.”
Independent Film Director & Producer
Esmée van Loon directs and produces her own documentaries, often on social issues. Looking beyond the surface, observation and involvement with her topics are important elements in her process. Her films assume a strong humanistic attitude from sociopolitical, psychological and philosophical perspectives.
She works/has worked as an (assistant) producer for VPRO Tegenlicht, 25FPS Commercial Production, SpiegelFilm, Koala Koncepts, Flikken Rotterdam and Flikken Maastricht. She is a board member of Film Platform Rotterdam and editor for Rotterdams Open Doek. In 2017 Esmée was chosen to be the Dutch ambassador in the Youth Jury of the Venice Film Festival and ambassador of the LUX Film Prize. In 2018 she was one of the participants of the Go Short Talent Campus. Her documentaries have been screened at several film festivals, including International Film Festival Rotterdam and ShortCutz Amsterdam. Together with Marijn van der Ploeg, Esmée van Loon is the owner of a new production company KamerFilm. Her latest film ‘Double Lucky’ will be broadcasted on Dutch Public Television in May 2019.
Independent Product Designer & Social Designer
Hybrid Publishing Award 2018 Jury: "The story, motivation and the object of the soap itself nicely come together; it’s an elegant and generous project and shines a light on Syrian refugees. It is a relevant and timely topic related to integration and acceptance and (in)visibility of certain groups within our society. The writing on the soap has a poetic feel to it – vanishing when used and becoming part of you – and opens up interesting experimentations with publishing. We see a lot of potential in the documentation of the installation, the inscription on the soap and the stories of the Syrian refugees. A project worth spreading to a wider audience to make the Syrian refugee less anonymous, as Nienke stated as being her goal of this project."
“In the first year after graduating from the academy, I received subsidies from the different funds to support further research I started with my graduation project, ‘A Dinner for the Fortune-Hunters’ (Het diner voor gelukszoekers). It was a participatory experience performance for my audience where I have tried to share the feeling of being at home in a refugee camp. A totally different point of view based on senses, empathy and, above all, new knowledge. More than 1,000 people have joined me at the table during the last year, so my job was conducting the dinner rounds and gathering new documentation during the special conversations that arose.”
Perrine Philomeen, a.k.a. Kids of the Universe is a visual stylist fascinated by the worldwide transition from traditional non-Western clothing to Western clothing and the other way round. Perrine observes the mix of styles in different cities around the world (like Rotterdam, Jakarta and Nairobi) and with her work, attempts to predict and question future developments in style and fashion.
“I had expected my professional life after graduation would be a black hole for a while, but it is rather a chaotic rollercoaster. I am lucky and very grateful that my graduation project has been picked up so well! I have participated in many exhibitions: at Dutch Design Week (YA Present! Powered by BNO), at Melkweg, tichting Beeldende Kunst [Foundation for Visual Arts] inS Dordrecht & Amsterdam and, as we Dutch say, als een kers op de taart (as a cherry on top), I have been chosen to be part of the Generation 2019 exhibition at MOAM Amsterdam. I also got a lot of different publicity, also by Arab cultural platforms, Mille World and CNN Arabic, which I am extremely excited about! Maybe it is a hint for me to keep on going Eastward!”