Step into the New Store and contribute positively to the environment
The Nieuwe Instituut, in partnership with the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) and the research firm The Seeking State, embarks on a multi-year project serving as an experimental platform to implement different production and consumption alternatives
Inaugurated during this year’s Dutch Design Week, the New Store can be found at the Residency for the People in Eindhoven, where you’ll encounter unconventional offerings: soap crafted from human urine, lighting dependent on your smartphone’s flashlight, and the intriguing choice between two seemingly identical fish dishes. These unique experiences highlight products from three designers selected through an open call.
Our prevailing consumption patterns frequently deplete natural resources, produce waste, and lead to pollution. But what if consumption could become a force for planet regeneration? The New Store presents novel consumption approaches, enabling visitors to experiment with regenerative products.
Through this extended initiative, the Nieuwe Instituut, the Netherlands’ national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture based in Rotterdam, in partnership with the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) and The Seeking State, delves into how production and consumption can, over time, foster positive effects on ecological and societal systems. This exploration includes alternative resource extraction, production techniques, labor practices, sales models, and recycling efforts.
New Store – The products
Designers Brogen Berwick, Arthur Guilleminot, and Arnout Meijer, whose products are on display in the inaugural edition of the New Store at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, were chosen from submissions made in response to an open call earlier this year.
It’s important to note that the New Store is not merely an exhibition; instead, it serves as a platform where genuine products are available, fostering transparent transactions and direct interactions between producers and consumers at Residency for the People.
Crafted by the self-proclaimed ‘ecodeviant artist and positive eccentric’ Arthur Guilleminot, takes an abundant waste product we often overlook—urine—and transforms it into a valuable resource in the form of soap. This innovative approach allows us to assign worth to our own waste instead of simply discarding it.
While it may seem unconventional, urine has moisturizing properties and has historically been used in soap production since the days of ancient Rome. At the New Store, visitors have the opportunity to contribute their own urine in exchange for a bar of Piss Soap.
From Ship to Shop
A project by designer and researcher Brogen Berwick. It features two apparently identical fish dishes available for order. However, there’s a crucial distinction: the pricier fish was recently sourced from sustainable local fishermen in the Wadden Sea, while the more affordable option comes from an industrial fish farm in Turkey and has undergone an extensive journey through the supply chain.
Each dish is accompanied by a receipt that provides clear information about the fish’s origin, its journey, and its environmental impact. Through this initiative, Berwick challenges visitors to contemplate the source of their food and make informed choices.
Arnout Meijer‘s “Black Marble” comprises two light installations that rely solely on the flashlight function of visitors’ smartphones to function, prompting a reconsideration of our relationship with light. It poses the question: is constant illumination always a necessity, and are we willing to deplete our smartphone’s energy for it?
Meijer asserts that darkness is not merely the absence of light but possesses its own unique qualities. It is essential for human biorhythms, contributes to a cozy ambiance, and fosters tranquility. Many nocturnal creatures depend on the cover of a dark night, and light pollution can disrupt the behaviors and ecosystems of various species, including animals.
The ‘non-extractive’ approach adopted by the three products in the New Store represents the initial phase of a more extensive journey. The road to regeneration begins by departing from the existing state of exploitation, progressing through restoration and conservation efforts, and ultimately leading to enhancement.