Dutch Design-Thinker Profile: Erik Kessels

The beginning of the year always marks the beginning of growing excitement in the designer world, with several international exhibitions and conferences on the calendar: Vancouver (Ted), Cape Town (Design Indaba), Milan (Salone del Mobili), Helsinki (Interaction) – to name but a few to kick off the year with. As Dutch Design is a true export product, and design-thinking is being used in a growing number of fields, it is no wonder we are seeing more and more Dutch design-thinkers and doers confirmed at these events. #cocreate.NL portraits them as they get confirmed. Today: Erik Kessels for Design Indaba.

Erik Kessels is the co-founder and creative director at communications agency KesselsKramer. He will make his way to Cape Town from 17 – 19 February 2016, to speak at the international Design Indaba Conference, surely attracting a large crowd seeing his enormous track record in several disciplines.

Erik Kessels serves as the creative director of communications agency KesselsKramer (Amsterdam, London, LA) since 1996 and worked for national and international clients such as Nike, Diesel, J&B Whisky, Oxfam, Ben, Vitra, Citizen M and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. But besides his agency work, he is as an artist and photography curator, and Kessels has published over 50 books of his ‘re-appropriated’ images: Missing Links (1999), The Instant Men (2000), in almost every picture (2001-2015) and Wonder (2006). Since 2000, he has been an editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography. For the DVD art project Loud & Clear he

worked together with international artists such as Marlene Dumas and Candice Breitz.

Kessels writes regular editorials for numerous international magazines. He lectured at the D&AD Presidents Lecture and at several international design conferences such as in Singapore, Goa, NY, Toronto and Bangkok. He has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam), Écal (Lausanne) and at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture where he curated a celebration of amateurism.

Kessels made and curated exhibitions such as Loving Your Pictures, Use me Abuse me, 24HRS of Photos, Album Beauty and Unfinished Father. He also co-curated an exhibition called From Here on Together with Martin Parr, Joachim Schmid, Clement Cheroux and Joan Fontuberta.

In 2010, Kessels was awarded the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, in 2015 for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. He is often seen as the most influential creative of The Netherlands.

Want more on Erik Kessels? Read Design Indaba’s interview with Eric Kessels held last December here.

Source: Design Indaba| Photography @Pablo Delfos, represented by Manja Otten Management
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