"Milan! Day One. Favorite show so far is Live Factory by the students of Royal Academy of Art The Hague."

Alice Rawsthorn, International Herald Tribune, 9 April 2013

 "The Hague's Royal Academy of Arts' Live Factory Milan 2013 faves"

Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator Architecture and Design MoMA NY 12 April 2013



From April 9th to April 14th the Royal Academy of Art, the Hague presented LIVE FACTORY MAKE MY DAY at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. During these days the Royal Academy of Art welcomed the public and mainly the international design world in large numbers. With over 15.000 visitors LIVE FACTORY MAKE MY DAY is the best visited edition since the academy participated at the famous design fair for the first time in 2008.

LIVE FACTORY MAKE MY DAY consisted out of three closely connected zones, which explored various notions of the production process. The human body and the relationship between the human body and its surrounding space are the connecting themes in the LIVE FACTORY. Students and alumni of the Royal Academy of Art experimented with raw materials, techniques and forms in the LIVE FACTORY production line. Daily performances put to the test a human simulation of machines. On a 25 meter long table made of plaster, visitors saw the results of students' research in a dynamic, continually growing exhibition.

Under the supervision of curators Claudia Linders, Marie Ilse Bourlanges and Elena Khurtova the students demonstrated their working process. In a production line and through performances raw, untreated materials like plaster and textile were processed in front of the visitors in a series of extraordinary projects that pushed the boundaries of manufacturability, defied gravity and redefined the notion of design. Undeterred by any dogma, conventions were stretched and a new language of forms arose through experiments in material and technique.

LIVE FACTORY MAKE MY DAY showed the ways in which the Royal Academy of Art constantly develops and re-invents its education. To Arbitare re-inventing education was a favourite topic in Milan 2013 as well. Click here to watch the interview Abitare had with co-curators Marie Ilse Bourlanges and Elena Khurtova and students and alumni Catherine Reiser, Maarten Schenkeveld and Nikkie Wester

The exhibition design and execution of LIVE FACTORY MAKE MY DAY was supervised by tutor Barend Koolhaas and realised by students Interior Architecture & Furniture Design; Steven van Beijeren, Ellen de Fockert, Hatice Killinç, Dirk Veugelers and Jelleke van der Wijst.


In Kranenborg's work the transitoriness of the material determines the product's finiteness. One must break the necklace in several places before it becomes a unique and wearable object, fit for individual purposes.


A series of self-portraits showed different states of mind, translated into objects. Covering oneself with plaster may seem pretty gloomy, but was in fact a sensitive self-examination of the individual's vulnerability. With this apparently self-destructive and aggressive act Nynke Koster tried to pin down her emotions and transformed them into matter.


In the performance VOLTA students and alumni revived the experiment of Allessandro Volta. In a performance that lasted for several hours a 1,5 metre high column was erected from copper and zinc plates and 2000 kilograms of rags drenched in diluted acid. After applying the last plate the circuit was closed and this colossal battery lit up a small lamp.


Maarten Schenkeveld's performance WITHIN BOUNDARIES offers the viewer a staged and process based version of his design collection ONE PIECE A DAY. For the LIVE FACTORY he designed a process with fixed restrictions: it was up to the maker which restrictions were used. This differs from ONE PIECE A DAY, whereby he used the technique to guide the material in different directions. WITHIN BOUNDARIES developed a language of images that put the designer, the material and the fixed restrictions in an intriguing triangular relationship.


Nikkie Wester's textile collection STOSSEN is a modern take on Dutch traditional attire. It consists of 24 components that can be arranged into casques and bonnets with functions varying from mourning to celebrating. The collection originates from the designer's research into the Dutch identity. Her search not only led her past various traditional attires, but also deeper into her own family history.


The presentation of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague was kindly supported by the municipality of The Hague, Creatieve Stad Den Haag and a contribution from the European Union.


The presentation of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague is kindly supported by the municipality of The Hague,
Creatieve Stad Den Haag and a contribution from the European Union.