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Hamburg over Design in Groningen 2011


Tekst designxport:

15 years ago Eileen Blackmore, artist and new media expert founded the Groningen “House of Design” on the internet. In the meantime it has become a lively network of designers, design companies, collectors en institutions. Since 2008 “House of Design” has organised annually the design festival “Design in Groningen”. This year it featured 35 participating designers and design agencies the Groningen Museum and the Academie Minerva. Together with Saskia Bosch of Dutch innovations network Syntens Eileen Blackmore initiated once more the design pressure cooker: several companies each with a design question meet a design agency and work together over a six-hour-period to find solutions for the company.

Eileen Blackmore, House of Design:
“With the design pressure cooker companies obtain answers they could have never anticipated. Saskia Bosch of Syntens searches and finds companies with special questions for whom I find the right designers. In selecting these my main concern is to find a mindset similar to the partner – which occasionally means I put quite strange teams together, for example, by having a chair designer encounter a software developer. Out of this there emerges “the magic of the match”: innovative ideas that both parties did not expect and could not have developed on their own.”

This year Eileen Blackmore invited a foreign design agency to the festival for the first time: designxport sent BFGF Design Studios ( for exhibition participations at the Academie Minerva and to the design pressure cooker on tour to Groningen. At first, Eric Pfromm and Christian Schüten of BFGF only knew that the subject which concerned their “client” was – rain. Only when they met Karin Veldhuizen and her daughter on location where they to discover, they wished to make their camping site Waterport Camping Heeg in South West Friesland attractive even when it rains. Supported by Hamburg designer Anke Rabba ( and Prof. Florian Borkenhagen ( who had also travelled to Groningen, BFGF developed ideas for gemaes, fun and service during rainy days in a tent. The “power shower”, the“clip clap roof”, the ‘’dry center” or the “tent topping” gives an idea of some of the numerous conceptual approaches that could make the camping sie a special holiday centre in spite of bad weather.


The magic the match
An interview between Designxportzeitung and Eric Pfromm from BFGF Design Studios.

What were your first thoughts when you first heard about the design pressure cooker?
‘Interesting! I most definitely wanted to participate.’

What interested you about it?
‘The idea of meeting with a client you do not kno wand know nothing about. To not only, within si hours, understand the task but also understand the client. And then to arrive at a good result, together with the client., that’s satisfying for both parties- that really fascinated me.’

Did you manage to fulfil your expectations?
‘I had no doubt that we would work out a good result. The development process was particulary fascinating especially duet to the conditions, because it took place independent of costs and implementation. This liberates one from any restrictions regarding thinking or limits that normally would be present from the very outset.’

(designxportzeitung 04-2011, p. 9)

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