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For her graduation project at Dutch art and design school ArtEZ, Renee Verhoeven explored the relationship between function and materialization with Concealed Layers of Product Life. Anatomy, movement, and utility are translated through fabrication in a collection of gloves that attempt to tackle one of the fundamental projects of Modern design and architecture. As Verhoeven explained in a statement, “It was an idea I nurtured for a long time: making the outer layers of a product expressive for its interior, the way it functions and the scientific knowledge that it materializes.”
Courtesy Renee Verhoeven
“Products generally are constructed in layers,” wrote Verhoeven, “each having its own function. These functions are quite often made invisible by techniques that are applied on a microscopic scale. As a result the products skin, its outer layer, is unable to express what going on inside.”
Verhoeven was inspired by the writings of British tech-pioneer Kevin Ashton, as well as her participation in a design contest lead by a group of leather tanners in Tuscany, which together led to gloves and the anatomy of human skin as the center for her exploration.