After an architectural training Jan Slothouber (1918 – 2007) and William Graatsma (1925) worked as architects / designers from 1955 for the Dutch State Mines (DSM). Here they designed the packing, product applications, advertisements and exhibitions and gave the company a recognizable face. Within the information service of DSM the two had an unique position: they could build their own world and developed the principle of cubic constructions. The cubic as a main point brought restriction but also clearity in the multiplicity of possibilities according to Slothouber and Graatsma. The use of several materials adds each time new aspects to the functioning of the cubic constructions.
With their work Slothouber and Graatsma had a clear social intention. The designers considered themselves in fact as ‘ anonymous ‘ discoverers of the many applications of cubics. In democratic passing these possibilities, in which the useful construction exceeds the personal, artistic claim, lies the meaning of their activities. On one hand their working method was entirely new, on the other hand it had been linked with an old idealistic tradition, which propagated an important role for art and design in society.
Cubics Jan Slothouber + William Graatsma, January 9 – February 27, at Vivid Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands