March 2005

Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Students' work
Since 2000, we teach (one day a week) at the graphic design department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam). We certainly see teaching as a part of our daily design pursuits, but as we're writing this, we still haven't figured out a good way to give this activity (teaching) a good place in this archive.
One possibility would be to put all our assignments online, in the form of a small database; basically a bunch of texts that we wrote for students, featuring assignments such as our beloved 'New Beatle Death Clues'.
Point is, even if we decide to add such a database to this site, we still would like to finish a lot of other things first: for example, our own online archive of work is still very incomplete. Only after we finished that, we would feel ready to work on a database of Rietveld assignments.
Having said all this, we still would like to show you some Rietveld material. As a result of a project we did with our students during the last semester (summer 2005), we have some really nice photographs floating around in our mailbox and attachment folder.

Again, it really isn't our intention to use this site as an archive of students' work: first of all, our site would get flooded. Secondly, it would be too time-consuming to document, collect and format all the work. More importantly, we don't want to take credit for the students' work, by showing it on our website.
But that doesn't mean we can't make an exception once in a while. So in this chapter, we show a small selection of students' work.

In short something about the assignment. It all started when we attended a lecture by the artist Dan Graham, in which he showed his beautiful pavilions. We were immediately inspired to turn this into an assignment. Basically, we asked the students to do something with the idea of the pavilion as a medium in itself. Or better put, to explore the very concept of the maquette (scale model). The emphasis on the maquette (rather than on the actual building) was important to us, as we didn't want to turn the project into a proper 'architectural' assignment.
For us, the assignment had much more to do with the idea of the maquette as a format in its own right. We were also quite interested in the idea of infiltrating an aesthetic that was not our own, looking at architecture as complete outsiders. (We know, this must sound really vague. What can we say? You had to be there, we guess).

Anyway. While we were doing research for this assignment, together with the students, we noticed a certain type of photography that we came across in countless architectural magazines and books: the picture of the architect with his/her maquette (an example of such a picture can be seen above). This really turned out to be a very archetypical image in architecture, and we collected dozens of examples. This actually became the inspiration for another project, a short follow-up assignment. We asked the students to make pictures of themselves, together with their maquettes.
Shown here a small selection of these pictures. In other words, the work featured in this section is not designed by us; it's designed by our students. The names of these students are, in order of appearance: Clare McNally, Rebecca Stephany, Lane Gry Kristensen, Risto Kalmre, Ian Brown and Jens Schildt.
Again, this is just a small selection. We wish we could show all pictures, but that would swallow up too much space. We think for now, these will do:

01. Clare McNally


02. Rebecca Stephany


03. Lane Gry Kristensen


04. Risto Kalmre

05. Ian Brown

06. Jens Schildt

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