Contemporary relevance characterizes the hybrid design objects of Dutch designer Ineke Hans. Taking account of current social developments, the fluctuating boundaries that separate work and personal life, and the challenges posed by a networked, globalized world, she asks questions about the functionality of contemporary design and how people, objects, and spaces interact. Hans is interested in conventional and innovative production methods as well as in the regional characteristics of developments in design. Her design objects react to the social needs of our time and have a social dimension to their functionality.
This publication was created on the occasion of Hans's first institutional solo exhibition in Austria. The exhibition—its title a pun merging the German phrase for “What's going on?” with the name of architect Adolf Loos—provided an overview of Ineke Hans's recent work while also exploring the present and the future of design. Hans presented work under three topical themes—“Making & Making Sense,” “Dealing with the Digital,” and “Less”—as well as two design objects created for the exhibition: the Kunsthalle Wien Chair, developed in cooperation with Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, as well as a table design available worldwide via an online platform, which can be produced on demand locally.
Alongside images of Hans's work, the publication—innovatively designed by Irma Boom Office—includes contributions by professional acquaintances. Deyan Sudjic, director of the London Design Museum, describes how the examination of design leads to interpretations of history and how Hans's designs are socially embedded. Bart Lootsma, professor of architectural theory at the University of Innsbruck, provides insights into the working attitude and methods of Hans, also in relation to other developments in Dutch design. A conversation between Ineke Hans and Oliver Stratford, editor in chief of Disegno Magazine, traces the influences and approaches of the designer.
Copublished with Kunsthalle Wien
Nicolaus Schafhausen is a curator, director, author, and editor of numerous publications on contemporary art. Since 2011 he has been the Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts, Canada, an initiative of Shorefast, a charitable foundation dedicated to finding alternative solutions for the revitalization of areas prone to emigration. In addition to curating exhibitions and other projects, Schafhausen has led institutions such as the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Kunsthalle Wien, and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. He was Founding Director of the European Kunsthalle, a project examining the conditions and structures of contemporary art institutions independent of local government mandates.