Boy Vereecken (2012-2019)
Promotor UA: prof. dr. Luc Pauwels
Promotor SLA: Michel Van Beirendonck
This PhD revolves around risk mitigation and the desire for certainty, and how this can be related to design strategies & methodologies. The research will be demonstrated through the writing of a novel, consisting of feature writing formats. In this way, it wants to question what it means to be 'complete' within the production of a particular product and what the relevance is of the features accompanying that very result.
Everything starts with an allegorical skit about the '1900' Art Nouveau style;
‘… Loos began his battle with Art Nouveau a decade before “Ornament and Crime.” A pointed attack comes in 1900, in the form of an allegorical skit about “a poor little rich man” who commissions an Art Nouveau designer to put “Art in each and every thing:”
Each room formed a symphony of colors, complete in itself. Walls, wall coverings, furniture, and materials were made to harmonize in the most artful ways. Each household item its own specific place and was integrated with the others in the most wonderful combinations. The architect has forgotten nothing, absolutely nothing. Cigar ashtrays, cutlery, light switches – everything, everything was made by him.
… This Gesamtkunstwerk does more than combine architecture, art, and craft; it commingles subject and object: “the individuality of the owner was expressed in every ornament, every form, every nail.” For the Art Nouveau designer this is perfection: “You are complete!” he exults to the owner. But the owner is not so sure: this completion “taxed [his] brain.” Rather than a sanctuary from modern stress, his Art Nouveau interior is another expression of it: “ The happy man suddenly felt deeply, deeply unhappy . . . He was precluded from all future living and striving, developing and desiring. He thought, this is what it means to learn to go about life with one’s own corps. Yes indeed. He is finished. He is complete!”
… For the Art Nouveau designer this completion reunites art and life, and all signs of death are banished. for Loos, on the other hand, this triumphant overcoming of limits is a catastrophic loss of the same – the loss of the objective constraints required to define any “future living and striving, developing and desiring.” Far from a transcendence of death, this loss of finitude is a death-in-life, as figured in the ultimate trope of indistinction, living “with one’s own corpse.”’
Hal Foster, Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes), Radical Thinkers, Verso Books 2002, pp. 13-5.
This PhD includes: A formatory centre, One Emirates Group Stewardess Uniform, The Tommy John Surgery, 2 style guides, A berlin key, One pot of Ohlen, The Belvedere Torso, 1 Encyclopedia, A Murder Case, and 1 additional no frills element.