Social & Green Design Guide with: Goof van Beek & Laurentius de Ruiter for Collectie Veenhuizen – DDW
Video by Robert Andriessen
Text by Annemiek van Grondel
Produced in partnership with DOEN Foundation
Goof van Beek (1987, Schiedam) and Laurentius de Ruiter (1987, Harlingen) graduated last year from the Design Academy. For their project Veenhuizen, a collaboration with the Dutch Design Academy and Penitentiaire Inrichting Esserheem, they came up with a design concept that puts prisoners to work. “We were visiting the penitentiary and were quite impressed by the sheltered workshops there,” Van Beek says. “They have different departments for wood, metal, concrete casting, and powder coating. We used our expertise to invent a product that involves residents from each workshop.” Their design is called the OutKast (‘kast‘ in Dutch means cabinet or closet). It is a modular shelving system consisting of components that represent all of the workshops.
According to Van Beek, he and De Ruiter noticed that the prisoners worked only four hours per day, but regularly played cards during that time. “For these moments in between we created OutKast so they can be busy with something worthwhile.” A prototype is exhibited at DDW in the Klokgebouw. “It’s a pilot production. We might need to sort out teething problems and sharpen it before it hits the market.” The design duo explains that throughout the project they mostly had contact with the workshop facilitators, but they are planning to organise workshops for prisoners. The project has changed Van Beek’s view on detainees. “A mistake once committed has huge consequences, but one might be in a poor prison environment that encourages him to go further astray. In Norway there is an island, Bastøy, where prisoners are much freer. They can more or less do what they want. The human aspect is more pronounced and only 29 percent of former prisoners from the island fall back into crime, compared to 80 percent in the Netherlands. With this project we want to relate more closely to prisoners. I think the sense of appreciation for what they create and perform helps to prevent relapse.”
Outkast is exhibited during the Dutch Design Week 2015 at ‘It’s your world’ in Klokgebouw 50, 5617 AB Eindhoven