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Retrospective: Hella Jongerius 'Misfit'
13 November 2010 – 13 February 2011
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL)

Irregularities and deepness in design

The retrospective with the title 'Misfit' explores the experimental working practices of product designer Hella Jongerius who has renewed the industrial production process by thinking imperfection, individuality and sustainability. The exhibition shows tableware and vases to fabrics, chairs and sofas, which had been produced together with companies like Ikea and Vitra, as well as design sketches and studies. 'Misfit' runs from 13 November 2010 to 13 February 2011 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

'Imperfection' and 'colors' are the keywords that are leading through the work of Hella Jongerius. For the designer, imperfection and individuality - summarized under the idea of 'Misfit', make products 'perfect'. By the visualisation of the technique how objects are produced, they come to life (watch the video on this page below). One of the consequences is that the consumer gets a personal relationship to the vase or tableware which has subsequently a positive effect on the subjectively experienced 'durability' of the product.

"In the 1990s she introduced imperfections and individuality into the industrial manufacturing process. Jongerius believes that the quality of craftsmanship is not legible in perfect products but only in the 'misfits' that betray the process and the hand of the maker. 'Misfits are my idea of perfection', says Jongerius."

The objects in the exhibition are arranged by color. The exhibition design does not follow a thematic, chronological order or any hierarchy between design sketches and finished products. The idea of 'Misfit' is even the basis of the designer's color philosophy. Hella Jongerius believes in bringing 'depth' into the production process like an artist to a painting by the irregularities and individuality of non-standardized colors. In the video below, she names as example the darkening of the color red that is done in the industry by applying black which makes the color flat, while artists provide with the complementary color green additionally to the darkening effect deepness.

Video: Utrecht (NL) and Berlin (DE) based Hella Jongerius (born 1963), who graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in the early 1990s, is speaking about craftsmanship, industrial production and her wish to bring 'depth' into the production of design objects; posted in February 2010. She has worked for numerous clients around the world and won several prizes. Hella Jongerius' designs are represented in the collections of museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York; Galerie Kreo in Paris and the Design Museum in London.

Source: Original article with video on


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