Design News: Smart and social collection by Doreen Westphal

I love Doreen Westphals design, the way she works and thinks, therefore I´m more than proud to post this News update of her latest collection. I do hope that some of you will enjoy it as well.

Smart and social ‘Measure Collection’ by Doreen Westphal Studio launches at the Gut. Fair, Germany.

The ‘Measure Collection’ bag and accessory range by Doreen Westphal Studio launches 23 March at Gut. 2012 in Bochum, Germany. Westphal’s well‐considered craftsmanship and sustainableconscious production processes echo the main theme of this year’s socio‐environmental‐responsible design fair.
Doreen Westphal Studio launches the ‘Measure Collection’, accessories made from leftover leather pieces, at the Gut. Die Messe Fair in Bochum, between 23 and 25 March.

Doreen Westphal: “We live in a society where it’s normal to purchase more than what’s necessary. We see living with waste as part of the natural order. The ‘Measure Collection’ is a response to this unnatural overabundance.”
Westphal conducts the entire production process, where every piece of the ‘Measure Collection’ is made from high quality leather off‐cuts from a shoe and bag manufacturer in south Bulgaria. The factory is run by experienced and highly skilled craftspeople, who also hold 5% ownership of the company.
The goal of the ‘Measure Collection’ is not just to transform formerly dispensable materials into valuable and useful products, but to encourage consumers to rethink how materials are used.
“I’m proud to have a job which allows me to combine design ideas with material experimentation and socio‐political engagement ‐ and be able to enjoy commercial success at the same time,” says Westphal.

The starting point of the ‘Measure Collection’ was the Measure Tote shopping bag, which is marked on the back with a scale starting at 1 and ending at 5 ‐ a subtle statement against food waste. Research has shown that people throw away at least 20% of the food they buy. Herein lies the consumer challenge: fill the shopping bag and eventually throw away the last 20%, or just fill it up to number 4. Other items in the collection include the Bansko bag, without metal clasps on its shoulder strap but has a clever knot system instead ‐ to limit the use of finite natural resources.
“For me, everything has what we call in the Dutch language, a ‘front’ and a ‘back’. The ‘front’ – or the exterior façade – is literal and tangible. It is what people see, feel and experience and it’s what they expect a designer to do well. The ‘back’ – or the interior significance – is not immediately apparent but is equally important, because it’s how a product has come into being: its ecological footprint, what it’s made of, how it was produced, the social conditions of the craftspeople involved, and how far it travels to reach the user. I aspire to design the ‘back’ of a product just as beautifully as its ‘front’.

About Doreen Westphal Studio
Doreen Westphal (Koethen, 1970) is challenged by material experimentation, driven by sociopolitical engagement and has a passion for design and manufacture, taking on the role of designer as well as conductor of a product’s entire production process. Westphal grew up and was trained as a tailor, under the former East German regime. As a result, she is acutely aware of the link between politics, economics and the currently deplorable state of eco‐social affairs, and is continually stimulated by specialised crafts. In collaboration with leading international material developers and skilled craftspeople, Westphal creates timeless objects, which are fair, innovative and future‐ready.
Westphal is currently based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Doreen Westphal Studio products are available at Doreen Westphal.
Enjoy! XOXO /a

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