19 till 25 January 2015

During PASSAGEN – Germany's biggest design event – Bureau Europa, Dutch Design Exchange, and the Institute of Relevant Studies are organising the exhibition DOMESTIC AFFAIRS. We see this exhibition as an opportunity to hear a new voice of Dutch Design.

DOMESTIC AFFFAIRS features the work of

Atelier NL * Bas van Beek * Robin Bergman * Konrad Bialowas * Laura Cornet * Droog Lab * Earnest Studio * EventArchitectuur * Govert Flint * Maaike Fransen * Alix Gallet * Corradino Garofalo * Ward Goes * Imme van der Haak * Gerard Jasperse * Elisa van Joolen * Chris Kabel * Anja Kaiser * Martti Kalliala * Merel Karhof * Noortje de Keijzer * Erik Kessels * Pieteke Korte * Karel Martens * Arnout Meijer * Mieke Meijer * Metahaven * Migle Nevieraite * Simone C. Niquille * Ruben Pater * PeLiDesign * Martina Petrelli * Pinar&Viola * Dirk Ploos van Amstel MA * Lianne Polinder * Lex Pott * Prins & Van Boven * PWR studio * Raw Color * Helmut Smits * Studio Job * Studio Makkink & Bey * Studio Minale-Maeda * Jenna Sutela * Mark Jan van Tellingen * Thomas Vailly * Jesse Visser.

The house is a home of a paradox. It houses the simultaneous desire to share private matters in the public realm and to seek privacy in the public. The house is an interface for mediating our societal relations, representing the attitude we have towards our local and global neighbours and political and economic systems. While we blur our houses on google streetview, we invite unknown guests to rent one of our rooms for a night or two.

We bring the public life in our homes and our private domestic life in the public. Yet we struggle balancing privacy and popularity, trust and distrust, engagement and retreat. By dimming up and down such parametres our homes change, but mainly, the lives of their inhabitants differ. The possible combinations of such parameters are infinite and always changing, just like the lifestyle of the world citizens and their sense of home. Before being a spatial place, or an architectural structure, a financial asset, or a set of appliances and technologies, home is a state of mind. **

21st century designs are characterised by horizontalisation – active participation of the end user – and the changing relationship of all involved: citizen, business, and government. On many levels, our demographic and monetary situation and the structure of the political and financial landscape asks for a fundamental reorientation of how our society is organised. This obviously affects the task, the agenda, and the sphere of the design discipline.

With the reassessment of the (radical) local and technological innovation, and an increasing appreciation of production processes and new forms of craft, the issue of the designer's role is again central. In addition, the digital world of information and communication has to deal with a transformation of the task, and this is reflected in society's changing cohesion. Therefore, we see the disciplines diverge in various ways. Social, small-scale, self-initiated and temporary projects, DIY and bottom-up are words that are frequently mentioned in the discourse. From the resulting economic and ethical necessity, to the ambition of developing operational perspectives, new partnerships and organizational structures appear.

In this exhibition, we try to understand the above conditions and their impact through the lens of the interior. We blur our homes on digital 'street views', build Faraday cages around beds, at the same time we let strangers stay in our homes and share pictures of what we eat online; earning a penny for each click. Our home is no longer just a place to live; it's a means of sustenance, a place where we participate in or disturb political systems, and also a place where we are part of the global economy. DOMESTIC AFFAIRS explores the house as an interface to our social, economic, and political lives.

The opening takes place on 19 January 2015 at 19:00 and runs from 19 to 25 January, daily from 11:00 to 20:00. A number of workshops will be organised in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam), and prior to the opening (on Sunday 18 January between 15:30 and 17:30) a debate with Justin McGuirk, Guus Beumer, Institute of Relevant Studies (and others) will take place on contemporary trends within the Dutch design discipline.

The exhibition takes place at the Kunsthaus Rhenania, Bayenstrasse 28, 50678 Köln.


the exhibition