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Jeroen van Kempen

The extension cable has become an umbilical cord, symbolising the potential of connecting people to a source. We believe that when we control the abundance of cords, plugs, strips and outlets, we will own the technology that it powers. But in an effort to control these electronic vines, we hardly treat them as a solution. The presence of a power strip annoys us, we force them behind our TV sets, cabinets and sofas. They are like weeds, locally unwanted.

My graduation collection “Weeds” is a provocation in the realm of unseen and unnoticed objects. The goal of this project is to extend the value of these objects by researching the context in which they proliferate. “Weeds” consists of a series of artificial foliage as add-on to existing extension cords, power strips and wall sockets. In an effort to change the perception towards this system of objects.

As a designer I favour value over function. I set myself the task of figuring out relationships by viewing objects as a system. To reconfigure these relations I use narrative as a tool to formulate an alternative argument that breaks through existing assumptions. The role of narrative has developed throughout my studies in the shape of “what-if” scenarios as a result of archiving observations. Adding a new physical form to an otherwise discarded context and rethinking its potential impact or implications. For me the narrative of a design is always about value and how someone relates to the object in question.

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