GDFB made me do this

Perongeluk is Rutger de Vries, a student at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam after a transfer from the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). When asked if he would call himself a graphic designer he indicates that he is more an autonomous designer. He thinks it is difficult to fit a designer into a certain framework. He is a designer that works the best when stimulated not to do what is expected. He searches for new graphic applications within the fine arts. Rutger works from his passion and love for typography and certain materials like paper, spray cans and his fascination for change, transience, abandoned buildings and the public space.


His background in graffiti has a big influence on his work. Nowadays he has a different mentality towards this discipline. He likes to use the materials in combination with things that are unpredictable, like a drilling machine. This is what you could call decoding of graffiti as well as graphic design. For the poster project, Rutger is making a poster from a construction called Circular Painting Machine made of several spray cans rotating by a drilling machine making spirograph-like patterns. The result is a series of 15 unique posters.


The invention of this new machine is in a simple way similar to the Unicorn Mandala. This machine, created from parts that once belonged to a printer, creates unexpected spirographic lines, graphics, and drawings on paper. This was the result of the collaboration with Byrthe Lemmens and Marine Delgado and Rutger during the workshop Inventing the Wheel by Roel Wouters and Luna Maurer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. This workshop was an introduction to the open-source Arduino board with the goal to bring interaction design away from the computer towards the physical space. They wanted to combine the possibilities that come with sensors and motors with printing techniques, typography or traditional communication media. This project worked as an eye-opener and will expand his ways of thinking even though he feels this project is not necessarily his cup of tea.

He is a designer that works the best when stimulated not to do what is expected.

A project that is right up in his alley is Art School Made Me Do This. Rutger is sometimes searching for days to find a location that he feels a deep connection with and has the right charisma. This project was not a spontaneous action. Rutger first saw the building at night when the light was shining through showing an immense graphic grid. When seen in daylight he was fascinated by the diverse colors the building revealed when stripped naked. He designed letters based on Pixa├žao, a form of graffiti from Sao Paulo in which a specific type of calligraphy mainly applied to buildings. He prepared by drawing the grid from the building and painted the letters while going from room to room. Hardly anyone has seen this project but this is not what he is after.


This young designer is fully enjoying the freedom he has as a student to experiment, make mistakes and decode the term graphic designer and push it to new heights.


By Roos Giethoorn for Publication Graphic Design Festival Breda 2010 (now Graphic Matters)