Dutch Design Awards praises up-and-coming design talent

June 23 2016


Sophie Hardeman, Marius Jopen and Tom van Soest Young Designer Award 2016 finalists

EINDHOVEN, 23 June 2016 – The three finalists for the Young Designer Award 2016 are all extremely professional in their approach. On Saturday 29 October it will be announced during Dutch Design Week if Sophie Hardeman, Marius Jopen or Tom van Soest may call themselves the Young Designer of 2016.

Trends and developments

The selection committee for the Young Designer Award praises the extremely professional approach that they were struck by during the assessment of the submissions this year, and especially the work of the finalists. Strong visual presentations and multidisciplinary cooperation were the rule rather than the exception this year. Above all, this generation of designers appears to be comfortable with putting their egos to one side and setting to work with sincerity and modesty. The submissions show a shift has taken place from focusing on the product to the process. This means that it is more common that prototypes are presented as finished products and the development of a product becomes part of the story that the designer wants to tell.

Persbericht Young Designer finalisten DDA 2016 persbericht_finalisten_young_designer_award.pdf
Pressrelease Young Designer finalists DDA 2016 persbericht_dda_young_designer_award_eng.pdf
Persmap Young Designer finalisten DDA 2016 persmap_young_designer_dda.zip
Sophie Hardeman
Marius Jopen
Tom van Soest

Sophie Hardeman


Sophie Hardeman graduated from the fashion arm of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and focuses on denim with her label. She believes that jeans are the ultimate example of social conformism; they have developed from men’s workwear to a symbol for freedom, to an everyday piece of attire for the masses. With her collections, she attempts to free herself from this kind of convention. Through playing with existing relationships and structures, she questions that which makes a pair of jeans such a readily recognisable piece of clothing. With her various perspectives, she mirrors – with a touch of self-mockery– how people think they have to dress and live.

The selection committee: This up-and-coming fashion talent has captured the contemporary Zeitgeist in fashion: a little cheeky, authentic, innovative, comical and with a conscious impact. With her surprising way of showing and representing she breaks with all fashion clichés. From a recent decision to film her collection in a residential new build neighbourhood, it is clear how she likes to poke fun at convention and manages to raise this to a consistent and unique vocabulary of her own. She disposes of the right qualities to make it in fashion, uniting various disciplines, like film and photography, intelligently to strengthen her brand.

Marius Jopen

www.mariusjopen.com, DDA Gallery

Since graduating from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2014, graphic designer Marius Jopen has established a considerable portfolio. His work is diverse and unites various disciplines: from graphic design to charitable strategies, and from logos to exhibition design. With his daily poster series he displays his vision of graphic design and illustration and he also adopts the role of journalist. He has taught himself many of the techniques that he employs. His work constantly races between cheeky, lovely, uncomfortable, ironic, unpolished and intelligent observations.

The selection committee: Marius Jopen has developed his own recognisable style, in a relatively short space of time and with well thought-out typography. Jopen is a prototypical exponent of the wider trend of graphic designers expanding their field of activity. Through the interplay of typefaces, typography and handwritten ‘writing on the wall’, Jopen manages to provide his own engaged interpretation here. With a post-punk-like signature he illustrates the news with raw word and image jokes. His rough handwriting is loaded with a beauty and playfulness that really appeals to the committee.

Tom van Soest

www.stonecycling.com, DDA Gallery

Tom van Soest graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012 with his own research into the use of building waste as a new material for bricks. This quickly led to the company StoneCycling, which he established with Ward Massa and that manufactures different bricks from building waste: the WasteBasedBrick. Mixed with different waste materials, this offers a new range of aesthetic possibilities for building facades. The bricks all meet the technical requirements and certificates for use in new build projects. Van Soest is also involved in recycling projects with glass. So in both a project with Heineken bottles and in the Bottle Up project in Zanzibar glass waste is used to make new attractive products.

The selection committee: This is an inspiring example of a designer who has managed to specialise successfully. With his company StoneCycling he invests waste material with a new manifestation, which is above all sustainable and manufactured locally. The familiar brick is lent a new aesthetic that is commercially successful and can be implemented on a large scale. It is commendable that he has cooperated with various designers and professionals here. What started as a graduation project now also appears to be feasible in practice. Consequently, the committee not only praises the design and the recycling itself, but also the entrepreneurship.