Monday, 22 March 2010

Cobbenhagen Hendriksen

One of the most inspiring visits in Amsterdam for me personally was Cobbenhagen Hendriksen. Set-up by Marijke Cobbenhagen and Chantal Hendriksen, the studio is based in a shared space in an old primary school, slightly on the outskirts of the city. It was Chantal who spoke to us when we visited, and was kind enough to give us all lots of tea to drink whilst we listened. What was most interesting was learning about some of the projects that they hadn’t been entirelly happy with on completion, and how that had happened. The work we were shown was all print based, and stood of for me because of the range of exciting and varied formats that tied perfectly into the concepts behind each project. I especially liked what they had done when presented with one of the large body of tedious reading lists from the Amsterdam School of the Arts. Instead of just setting the type in a nice little booklet and being done with it, all the information was printed in the back of a beautifully covered hardback A4 sketchbook. This then gave the students a reason to hold on to the info, a created a project in what could be done to fill the blank pages. 
Chantal also told us about her experiences working as a typography lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. This meant that she really understood how to relate to the kind of problems you experience as a design student. She reinforced the importance of doing work to please yourself, and the perils of trying to design for your tutors tastes rather that your own. 
Big thanks to her for what was a much required mid-year motivational boost — will defiantly be keeping an eye on the work that comes out of their studio in future.

(This poster hanging in their studio is made by Radim Pesko).

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