Designers in Residence 2020 at EMMA Creative Center: Postponement due to the Corona Pandemic

Article  /  ArtistInResidence
Published: 22.04.2020
EMMA Creative Center
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Originally, Maria Appleton, Mira Kim and Jaspar Rogers would have been sitting in the EMMA creative centre in Pforzheim for a good two weeks to work on their projects. The three young designers were selected in December 2019 for the international scholarship programme "Designers in Residence", which the city of Pforzheim presents yearly in cooperation with the Pforzheim University and the Design Center Baden-Württemberg. As a result of the Corona pandemic, this year’s stay of the scholarship holders in Pforzheim, which was planned from April to June, had to be postponed.
"The experiences of the past years and the conversations with the current scholarship holders have shown us how important the scholarship programme and the stay on site are for the young designers. For this reason, we have decided to make up for the scholarship in autumn," says Almut Benkert, Head of the Creative Industries Department in Pforzheim. Provided the developments of the Corona pandemic allow it, the scholarship holders will thus come to Pforzheim from September 1 to November 30, 2020.
"I am very glad that a postponement of the scholarship has been made possible for us and that I will be able to realize my planned project after all," tells Jaspar Rogers. The industrial designer from Great Britain wants to deal with political processes. "Many people do not even go to elections because they feel unrepresented by the dominant parties," says Rogers. He wonders whether this is due to the complexity of political processes and how this could be counteracted. For this reason, he wants to develop an interactive game in which the player can put himself in the role of a politician.

The jewellery designer Mira Kim is also happy about the postponement: "An important part of the scholarship for me is to travel to another country, meet different people and to be able to exchange ideas with them. That’s why I’m really glad to hear that the scholarship will be postponed," she explains. During the scholarship, Mira Kim plans to explore contexts: "Every new piece of information we take in is evaluated by our own perception and the presuppositions associated with it. Our judgment depends not only on our personal attitude, but is also influenced by historical and social experiences," she says. Her aim is to create pieces of jewellery that provoke a re-evaluation of information and question the reality of the viewer. 
In her project, the Portuguese textile designer Maria Appleton intends to explore new ways of life and forms of living in space by using flexible, textile structures und develop an installation that interacts with the human body. For her installation, Maria Appleton does not only want to incorporate textiles but also to work with different technologies in order to go beyond a purely visible experience and to connect the human body with the surroundings. She wants to question how textile structures can influence today’s architecture and how this might change in the coming years.
The designer would also like to include the new requirements for the final exhibition in her project: As it will not be possible to reschedule the exhibition planned for the end of June at EMMA - Creative Centre Pforzheim at the end of the year for scheduling reasons, the scholarship holders will be able to present their projects in a virtual exhibition in the "Stattbad". The "Stattbad" enables the digital usage of the former men's swimming hall of the Emma-Jaeger-Bad, which is not open to the public. "When I looked at the swimming hall online, I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of holding a virtual exhibition there, and I’m already thinking about how I can work with the location," says Maria Appleton.

The scholarship holders
Maria Appleton comes from Lisbon, Portugal, where she completed a two-year training course in textile design. Afterwards, she moved to London, where she graduated in textile design from Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, in July 2019. In 2018 she received a scholarship from Kyoto University of Technology for a research project in the field of textiles. She also developed a sustainable collection for children’s clothing with Zara and designed shoe prototypes for NIKE. Maria Appleton currently lives and works in Lisbon.

Textile designer Maria Appleton

Mira Kim was born in Seoul, where she also studied metal design at Hanyang University. She then completed a master's degree in gemstone and jewellery at the Trier University of Applied Sciences in Idar-Oberstein. In 2019 she exhibited her work at the Marzee Graduation Show in Munich and was awarded by Klimt02 as "Selected Graduate" for the University of Applied Sciences Trier.

Jeweller Mira Kim

Jaspar Rogers first studied natural sciences before graduating in design from Goldsmiths University of London in 2019. Rogers describes himself as an anti-disciplinary designer, his focus is on the creation of social goods and ecological sustainability. For example, he has already realised projects on topics such as homelessness, environmental pollution, gender stereotypes or the recycling of plastic.

Designer Jaspar Rogers

The scholarship 
Every year the city of Pforzheim, in cooperation with the Faculty of Design at Pforzheim University and the Design Center Baden-Württemberg, invites international young designers to Pforzheim as part of the "Designers in Residence" scholarship programme. "Designers in Residence" addresses to young designers in the fields of jewellery, fashion, accessory and industrial design. A total of 3 designers will be invited to the EMMA – Creative Center Pforzheim for a three-month working phase. The scholarship holders were selected by a jury consisting of jewellery designer Sam Tho Duong, Stefan Lippert (industrial designer, UP design studio) and Bettina Weiss (fashion designer, Adidas).

Fully equipped workplaces in the workshops will be available for the scholarship holders use, as well as accommodation for the period of the scholarship. If required, the workshops of Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences can also be used. In addition, each scholarship holder receives monthly support and a reimbursement of the travel expenses for arrival and departure. The results of the scholarship will then be presented in an exhibition.

The project is supported by Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw, C. Hafner, the Rotary Club Pforzheim-Schloßberg, Witzenmann, La Biosthétique, the KLINGEL Group and yellow design.