Through the Transition program, the departments Product Design, Graphic Design and Interaction Design have formed a new alliance in order to map and investigate tomorrow’s work fields. The departments have built a common ground for students to explore the dynamics of work that crosses the boundaries between the digital and the material. Product and Interaction Design created the basis for this alliance in 2013 with Future of the Lab, a program that was primarily intended to help identify future scenarios for the definition of the school as a laboratory. In November 2015, Tokyo was chosen as the destination of a study trip due to the transitory nature of this city. During a one-week workshop, students explored the city by visiting studios and local initiatives in different areas.
Together with The Groote Sociëteit club in Arnhem, Product Design has organised a five-year plan for graduate students. This program is developed to financially support graduates’ continuation of their final projects, research and works. This program also aims to offer financial support for the development of their cultural entrepreneurship. Three candidates are selected from all applicants to summit a detailed project plan, to be presented to the committee. So far, Karlijn Sibbel has been awarded with a prize of € 4000 for her research on bio-design and a working period at Genspace in New York.
The annual Finals show offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very best of emerging contemporary art and design practice from all including Product Design, Interaction Design, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Creative Writing and Fine Art and Design in Education (DBKV). The students exhibit work of exceptional quality, imagination and skill. Each year, Product Design Arnhem invites a curator and a external examiner to work with the graduate students on the design of the exhibition, catalogue and programs. During the Finals the audience has the opportunity to see where a new generation in all its diversity and exploration, is headed. External examiners Manon Schaap + Annemartine van Kesteren.
Students presented the results of the project Obesity during the 2015 Finals. In this project, supervised by Katia Gruijters and Sander Luske, students engaged with eating habits, food production and health. Their design proposals and narratives were discussed with visiting guests Kees de Graaf (Wageningen University) and Ed van Hinte. The students hosted an event during which the audience could taste and experience their projects.
This project offers students the possibility to collaborate on an exhibition. State of (in)dependence shows in different ways how students strive for independence within today's society, but at the same time face the friction or dependence upon existing systems. The students aim for a future in which the personal possession of products becomes subservient to collective experience. As sociologist Colin Campbell states, “It is not the direct use of the consumer goods, but the desire for that product and the fantasy of what it will bring us that gives satisfaction.” State of In(Dependence) consists of three subprojects: Consumerism, Border Exchange Office and Trasher Island.