exhibition

Always in Risk, yet never in Danger. Rietveld Graphic Design 2017
29 Sep - 29 Oct 2017

Image: Photography workshop by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm. Lejla Verheus, cyanotype print, 2017
Image: Photography workshop by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm. Lejla Verheus, cyanotype print, 2017

The Stedelijk Museum and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam have a long history. In the early 1960s, it was Willem Sandberg, the director of the Stedelijk at the time, who proposed that the architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld should design the academy building. There has traditionally been frequent contact between the museum and teachers from the Rietveld’s graphic design department. The Stedelijk’s collection contains work by the academy’s alumni and (former) teaching staff. The museum’s current house style was designed by Armand Mevis and Linda van Deursen, both former students at the Rietveld Academie, Van Deursen is a former head of the department. 

In this exhibition, the museum and the academy have combined to present work by the graphic design department’s students made over one semester in 2017 – from first-year students to recent graduates. The presentation was designed during a summer workshop and consists of a display, a format for information labels and a publication titled *See also – a lexicon of concepts and definitions used in design practice. 

The exhibition at the Stedelijk is a cross-section of the Rietveld Academie’s graphic design program where students are encouraged to present information within a current cultural context, in a critical and personal way. Always in risk, yet never in danger shows the different stages of a learning process; the work is the result of an assignment, a question, or a study. Many of these designs never end up in the public domain and many have an almost prototypical quality to them: they are both an exercise and an expression of a desire to communicate in words and images.