Design Academy Eindhoven and the Van Abbemuseum announce a ground breaking design-research exhibition on waste for Dutch Design Week. From satellite graveyards to dead stock via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, GEO—DESIGN: Junk. All That Is Solid Melts into Trash explores global systems of discarded things. This exhibition, produced in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum, showcases eighteen thought-provoking projects by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni.

Opening on Saturday 19 October 2019, the exhibition takes place at ten locations across the city of Eindhoven. Nine projects will be shown in the Van Abbemuseum (until 17 November 2019) and, with the support of BIZ Eindhoven, nine projects will be shown during Dutch Design Week at various locations in the city centre – Rambam, HEMA, ING Bank, De Bijenkorf, Sissy-Boy, Hutspot, Vielgut, Deense Kroon and TigerLily.

“As the inevitable product of consumer culture, junk presents us with a complex system of things. Designers are a part of this system, so we have an urgent responsibility to observe it and grasp how it works,” said Martina Muzi, curator of the exhibition.

“With different design studios working around the same topic, the exhibition will become a new network of research-based spaces for the exploration of contemporary crises and scenarios, from the environment to capitalism, neo-colonialism and geo-politics.”

From landfills to new ecosystems
Featuring strikingly different approaches to design and research, the exhibition traverses landfills and dumps, uncovers the ghosts of dead digital communities and discovers new ecosystems and economies built on detritus. It looks at junk as a microcosm, as an economic barometer that can reveal realities of consumption and production, and as a subject of intercontinental diplomacy. Each project responds to a specific news story, using it as a starting point to delve into a wide variety of issues around the production and exchange of junk. 

GEO–DESIGN exhibition platform
GEO—DESIGN: Junk. is the latest product of the GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform launched by Design Academy Eindhoven in 2018 to develop the work of young designers that place global issues at the heart of their practice. GEO—DESIGN explores the social, economic, territorial, and geopolitical forces shaping design today. It generates original research into complex contemporary systems in the form of design explorations and investigations.

It has transformed the annual exhibition of the Academy’s alumni work – produced in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum of modern art in Eindhoven – to create an exhibition series that provides an urgently needed space for showcasing experimental approaches to design research. 

“We see the GEO–DESIGN exhibition program as an incubator of ideas and methodologies that will progressively infiltrate the rest of the school, encouraging a shift in focus towards design as a vehicle of strategic thinking on a planetary scale,” said Joseph Grima, Creative Director of Design Academy Eindhoven.

“GEO—DESIGN is emblematic of a general shift within the Academy towards focusing on design in terms of systems, strategy, and research. The GEO–DESIGN exhibitions program is crucial to the Academy’s ability to build long-term relationships with its alumni, offering them opportunities and encouraging them to continue to engage in research as a part of their professional practice.” 

Participating researchers 
Alexandre Humbert, Alice Guidi, Alissa+Nienke, Atelier to the Bone and Kirstie van Noort, Dorota Gazy & Shay Raviv, in collaboration with STBY, Studio José de la O and Quicksand, Tellurico, Fred Erik, Giacomo Nanni and Julian Peschel, Studiolow (Héloïse Charital and Ismaël Rifaï), Ines Glowania, Johanna Seelemann, Lara Chapman, Lotte de Haan, Minji Choi, Noud Sleumer, Schimmel & Schweikle, Shahar Livne, Studio Plastique and The Anderen (Karin Fischnaller and Mar Ginot).

Curated by Martina Muzi and concept by Creative Director of the Design Academy Eindhoven Joseph Grima.

Visit the GEO-DESIGN website fore more information and a comprehensive description of all exhibited projects. 

Press Information

Visit our Press Website for more information and high resolution images when they become available.

Visitors information


19 October - 17 November 2019

Opening hours
11.00 - 18.00

Van Abbemuseum, Bilderdijklaan 10, Eindhoven


19 October - 27 October

Rambam, HEMA, ING Bank, De Bijenkorf, Sissy-Boy, Hutspot, Vielgut, Deense Kroon and TigerLily

Saturday 20th October, 15.00 (invite only)


Admission to GEO–DESIGN: Junk. at Van Abbemuseum during DDW is possible with a DDW passe-partout only. The other half of the projects that are on show in the city can be visited free of charge. E-tickets for DDW can be purchased online or at the following locations:

  • Van Abbemuseum (no Premium or Festival tickets available) 
  • De Campina
  • Eindhoven Central Station
  • Klokgebouw
  • Het Veem
  • Innovation Powerhouse (no Premium or Festival tickets available)

At De Campina you can exchange your e-ticket (Basic Ticket, Premium Ticket, Festival Ticket) for a personal wristband. For more information and buying tickets, visit the DDW website.


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