Written by Jet Sloterdijk
My name is Jet and I am currently finishing the BA Media, Art, Design and Architecture (specialization Design). Last year, when I had just started writing my thesis, one of the design professors, Marjan Groot, mentioned that she knew someone at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam who needed an intern. Not really thinking it through I sent her an email that afternoon saying I was interested in filling this position, and the rest is history J. My supervisor turned out to be Ingeborg de Roode, who is the curator industrial design at the Stedelijk. Since the second year of my study I have been increasingly interested in a career in a museum and more specifically as a curator. Thus, this internship position fits perfectly in what I am trying to accomplish with the MKDA bachelor.
My contract was supposed to last for three months so that I could still graduate at the end of the year. I completed my thesis, but Ingeborg asked me if I wanted to stay longer to keep working on some of the projects that I was involved in at that point. I am now an intern at the Stedelijk for more than a year and will stay at the museum until the end of May. Over the course of a year I have had the privilege of working on a range of different projects.
The first task I was asked to carry out was my own independent research into the industrial design collection of the Stedelijk. The CUBE Design Museum in Kerkrade (which is a really cool museum you should visit when you have a chance) did a pilot for a digital museum with a ‘collection’ of objects that were designed to answer to a human need. I was asked to deliver eight objects and elaborate on their manufacturing history and design historical context. In July 2017 the CUBE hosted a seminar on this project where I had the honor of representing the Stedelijk (picture below).
Another project I was involved in was called ‘collectiewaardering’. Objects are assigned a letter that corresponds with their importance, be it international, national or institutional. In order to assess this, among other things the production history of the object must be known. My research focuses on trying to figure out when an object was designed and produced, and what the name of the manufacturing company was at that time. Presently I am looking into the history of the Thonet company and their designs. This is an ongoing project and Ingeborg is looking for a new intern to assist her! For more info visit the MKDA Community page on Canvas or contact Marjan Groot.
Last but not least I carried out research and practical assignments for the Sottsass and Studio Drift exhibition projects. In the case of Sottsass, tasks ranged from edition checks to setting up the exhibition list and finding out which lender had which pieces in their collection. Unfortunately, the Sottsass retrospective was cancelled but it was replaced with an exciting exhibition on the work of Studio Drift. For this project I wrote the drafts for the exhibition texts, for example. I can’t tell you too much about what else I did, you will have to come and see the exhibition for yourself! ‘Studio Drift – Coded Nature’ opens to the public on the 25th of April.
This is where you can usually find me; my own desk and research spot :-)!
One of the things I would like you to take away from reading this blog post is that doing an internship is a valuable addition to your academic career. It gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you acquired in practice, to expand your network and to give you a feel of what it would be like to work in your field of interest. Even if you already completed your minor, like I did, don’t feel like you had your chance but take the opportunity when it comes! If you have any questions, come find me during the Beeld in Beweging lectures or find my student email in Canvas.
Hope to see you at the Studio Drift exhibition,