Theory — 10 Nov 2019

Recent years have seen a surge of interest in the handmade, in the traditional  ‘crafts’ which, in an increasingly digital and virtual world, satisfy our need for a closer connection with the tangible objects around us. This event will explore the function of materials and materiality and the relevance of the maker who, through mastery of the craft and ‘material thinking’ plays an important cultural role.

Museum ticket + 3 EU
Teijin Auditorium
10 Nov 2019, 2 pm until 4.30 pm
Main language

This trend is encouraging a renewed appreciation of materiality and craft techniques among artists and designers without ignoring developments in new techniques and materials. Craftsmanship and the sensory experience and immediacy of working with materials like stone, clay, textiles and metals offer a counterbalance to the often rarefied conceptual art discourse.

The symposium considers the expressiveness of traditional techniques and materials, such as those we encounter in ceramics, jewelry and other artistic expressions that largely fall within the domestic domain and are considered applied art.

The Relevance of Crafts explores the direct relationship of both makers and consumers to materials and objects, and the role they play in everyday life.

Lin Cheung, delayed reactions slightly sad, 2018.
Lin Cheung, delayed reactions slightly sad, 2018.


This symposium is organized on the occasion of the presentation of the Françoise van den Bosch Award to the British jewelry designer Lin Cheung and is part of the festival Obsessed! which, throughout November, is dedicated to contemporary jewelry design.

Lin Cheung is a jewelry artist, designer and Reader in Jewellery at Central Saint Martins, London. She trained at the Royal College of Art and lives and works in the UK. Her approach to designing and making, questions the established and authorized uses and meanings of jewelry and objects. Her work is a personal response to everyday experiences and observations.

The library of the Stedelijk Museum will feature Lin Cheung's installation "Jewellery Library" (2007-present) from November 10 until December 31. The library is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm - 5 pm.


11 am - 2 pm
Possibility to view Lin Cheung's installation "Jewellery Library" in the Library of the Stedelijk Museum


1.45 pm
Doors open
2.00 pm
Welcome and introduction
2.10 pm
Keynote: Grant Gibson
2.45 pm
Presentation: Juliette Huygen
3.05 pm
Presentation: Jan Boelen
3.45 pm
Interview with Lin Cheung by Grant Gibson
4.05 pm
Award ceremony
4.20 pm
Program ends and drinks at Zadelhoff Café
6 pm
Museum closes

Jan Boelen

Jan Boelen (b. 1967, Genk, Belgium) is artistic director of Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium, artistic director of Atelier LUMA, an experimental laboratory for design in Arles, France, and curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial (22 Sep–4 Nov 2018) in Istanbul, Turkey. He also holds the position of the head of the Master department Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Since the opening, Z33 House for Contemporary Art has been fashioning projects and exhibitions that encourage the visitor to look at everyday objects in a novel manner. It is a unique laboratory for experiment and innovation and a meeting place with cutting-edge exhibitions of contemporary art and design. With Z33 Research, design and art research studios established in 2013, Boelen is transforming Z33 from exhibition-based to a research-based institution. At the initiative of Z33 and the Province of Limburg, Manifesta 9 took place in Belgium in 2012. As part of his role at Z33, Boelen curated the 24th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2014.

Boelen also serves on various boards and committees including the advisory board of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee in the UK and Creative Industries Fund in the Netherlands. Boelen holds a degree in product design from the Media and Design Academy (now the LUCA School of Arts) in Genk, Belgium.

Jan Boelen
Jan Boelen. Foto: Veerle Frissen.

Juliette Huygen

Juliette Huygen is an Amsterdam based (jewellery) maker, art critic and programmer, illustrator and researcher with an interest in intermediality, animism, material culture, rituals, hybridity and the agency of objects. Juliette has a BA in Product Design from the ArtEZ art academy in Arnhem and continued her studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with a master Comparative Arts and Media Studies and a research master Critical Studies in Art and Culture. During her studies she developed an interest in the agency of objects and the alternative narratives they can convey, focusing on the medium of film in particular. Her research congregates around the interdisciplinary connections between material culture, narratology, design theory, art history, anthropology, philosophy, material religion and media studies. 

Juliette currently works at the Research Center for Material Culture, the flagship research institute within the Tropenmuseum, Museum Volkenkunde, the Afrika Museum  and the Wereldmuseum that serves as a focal point for research on ethnographic collections. Aside from her work at the RCMC, Juliette occasionally writes for Metropolis M, works as a production assistant for Studio Drift and has recently finished editing a publication on Renny Ramakers as part of her archival research of Droog Design.

Juliette Huijgen
Juliette Huygen.

Grant Gibson

Grant Gibson is a UK-based design, craft and architecture writer and podcaster whose work has been published in places like The Observer, New Statesman, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, FRAME, Dwell, House & Garden and quite a few others.

During a long career in magazines, Grant has been editor of Blueprint, deputy editor of FX, and acting executive editor of the RIBA Journal. More recently he has been editor of Crafts and a contributing editor of the Dutch architecture title MARK. He was also the launch editor of the London Design Festival Guide and co-founded Real to Reel, the UK’s first film festival devoted to making. In 2014 he curated, Space Craft: architecture meets making, at the Platform Gallery on London’s King’s Road, which subsequently went on to tour nationwide and in 2019 he launched the critically acclaimed new podcast series Material Matters with Grant Gibson.

Grant was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2011 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Grant Gibson
Grant Gibson


The Françoise van den Bosch Foundation is named after the Dutch jewelry designer Françoise van den Bosch (1944-1977). It seeks to promote contemporary jewelry design by supporting young talent, rewarding proven talent and bringing contemporary jewelry to the attention of a broad audience.

The Françoise van den Bosch Award is presented bi-annually to an internationally renowned jewelry designer with an influential body of work and voice, on the recommendation of an independent jury.

Please note that by attending the program you could potentially be filmed and photographed for archival, commercial and/or journalistic purposes. If you do not wish to be filmed or photographed, please contact our staff prior to the program. If you would like us to delete your images, please send an e-mail to