about the collaboration
With pavements of all different kinds, from red to grey tones, squared to rectangular shapes, it became time for Gemeente Eindhoven, the municipality, to reach out to envisions to join the process of rethinking the pavements of the city for the upcoming 40 years.
stone in process
‘We are in search of a warm grey stone which will fit with all the different architectural buildings that the city enhance, a stone with a timeless character, a hint to natural landscapes and a clear use of randomness.’ – Gemeente Eindhoven
envisionaires Iwan Pol, Simone Post, Tijs Gilde and Tomas Dirrix were invited to uncover and dive into the manufacturing process of concrete stones by visiting a number of dutch concrete manufacturers. The designers translated the knowledge they gained into hand made material experiments to find the boundaries and possibilities within the material. Research structure, textures and colour use began to take shape.
While being mindful of the briefing set by the gemeente, the designers maintained the experimental envisions way of working by developing an impressive collection of unique samples which sought to challenge the Gemeente Eindhoven to come across some innovative and new ideas by envisioning the future pavements..
This collaboration is a great example of how the collective worked as a team by responding on their individual processes and combining them into a shared concept by using each others strength as designers. Moments of feedback and reflecting at envisions HQ were a key component of this stage.
Following feedback, the conclusion of the research during stone in process resulted in a focus on three main design directions, choosing to dive into some classic design methods for making paving.
‘killing your darlings’, is sometimes the most difficult part of a process, but highly important to come to a logical step in which we could embrace the direction given from Gemeente Eindhoven alongside the possibilities within the factories in the short time span that is given before production. We have chosen 3 directions; wash out, cut out, stamp, to continue with in > stone in progress < in collaboration with Morssinkhof, one of the Dutch concrete manufacturers.
stone in progress
As a second chapter to the > stone in process < story, envisions collaborated with concrete manufacturer Morssinkhof to further rethink the typical style of making pavements. The envisionaires worked within Morssinkhof’s factory hand in hand with the laboratory to be able to share knowledge and challenge each other to take undiscovered paths, to alter the 3 chosen design directions: wash out, cut out, stamp – on an industrial level, experimenting with the machinery to develop new design possibilities.
wash out – Manipulating the machines which usually wash out a batch of stones, the designers uncovered a technique which uses the pressure and path of the water to create patterns in the stones surface. Gravel is normally added to cement to give strength and the cement is the main colour carrier however this method is not consistent for the use of colour as over time the colour of concrete tends to fade. envisions sought to create a stone where the colour is created by revealing sections of the gravel within the stones surface, for which the factory use a powerful water jet to remove the outer surface, revealing the colour of gravel underneath.
cut out – Not wanting the current paving stones around Eindhoven to go to waste, the designers had the idea to manufacture a stone with a cut out section where the previously used stones would fit in perfectly. This creates new possibilities of creating a randomness pattern with one single stone.
stamp – A way of imprinting the stones to create different densities within the surface, giving the effect of natural man made waves and erosion from landscapes.
Envisionaire Roel Deden was asked to portray the ideas within a digital, virtual reality representation of the main streets of Eindhoven. This gave us the opportunity to let the Gemeente Eindhoven become part of the pavements, to experience them in a realistic context. Through a VR headset they were immersed into an Eindhoven landscape where the stones have been multiplied, with the ability to change perspective from standing at a distance to get a full view or bending down to get a closer look at the details. This was also a great tool for the other envisionaires to be able to grasp an idea of reality and how a stone would look like if you scale it up or multiply it in different pavement grids.