Following our publication of the resignation letter by Jan Boelen, Louise Schouwenberg, and Joost Grootens, who have stepped down from their roles as masters heads at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) after the resignation of Gijs Bakker, we publish a statement by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, a former student at the DAE.
Reaction of designer Hella Jongerius, former student at the DAE
"I fully understand this decision. I studied at Design Academy Eindhoven in the late eighties, beginning of the nineties, and experienced the importance of a strong visionary professional at the lead. This is by the way true for all companies, all organisations, and certainly also for educational institutes. A head can even be a little bit crazy, weird. He does not necessarily have to be the best of organisers, but he or she has an outspoken vision on design. That guarantees innovation. In my time there were three powerful designers who headed the most important departments, Ulf Moritz, Gijs Bakker and Marijke van der Wijst. Due to them the school had quality and provided a challenging and ambitious atmosphere. Very good professional teachers, the right themes were dealt with and an atmosphere that enhanced discussion. As students we profited from this atmosphere. I think Dutch Design would never have become so big without that education system in which most of all professionals had the lead. And if I look at my own career: I thank much of my accomplishments to this approach of design education. From what I know about the current plans for renewal they will probably be detrimental for the future education at DAE. Wherever the management agenda prevails creativity stops."
Photo above, detail of Hella Jongerius' work for Ikea/UNICEF in 2008.