2022 Fellows exhibition - Dutch Design Week

Eindhoven, 22. - 24. Oktober 2022
As part of the Dutch Design Week, the four international designers, architects and 2022 dieDAS fellows Adrian Pepe, Giulia Pompilj, Steffie de Gaetano and Nico Alexandroff will present their work from October 22nd - 30th from 11:00 to 19:00 in the Kazerne - Home of Design in Eindhoven.

Kazerne - Home of Design © dieDAS – Design Akademie Saaleck

Their exhibition in/un becoming previously held in September at the historic site of Saalecker Werkstaetten, showcases the results of their collaborative workshop on-site. For two weeks, the fellows explored, through both theoretical and practical experiments, the theme Designing Metabolic Relations - how can we build Regenerative Systems?, conceived by dieDAS Artistic Director Maurizio Montalti and Head Mentor Eugenia Morpurgo.

Saalecker Werkstaetten © dieDAS – Design Akademie Saaleck

The exhibition tangibly materialises some of the many subjects that have been explored, both theoretically and practically, along the incredibly rich program of this year's fellowship. Pivoting around key notions such as ephemerality, transience/transformation and change, the collective presentation not only documents and analyses the qualities of locally-sourced materials, but it rather allows for reflecting on the functioning and overall agency that metabolic processes have on any kind of materiality, as in a continuous reciprocal dialogue mediating between process, form, and the in-between.” Maurizio Montalti - dieDAS Artistic Director 2020-2021-2022

in/un becoming places an emphasis on the transitional moments between materials.

We focused on both organic and inorganic matter, in other words, the biosphere and lithosphere landforms in which they reside. We look to metabolism within Saaleck as a guiding principle to document the past while also looking to the future of the place. 

As a collective, we have gathered, catalogued and set in motion a series of objects and findings to exemplify several forms of metabolism that were found in the vicinity of Saaleck.

The exploration traces the transformation of landscape matter through the diverse timescales of natural cycles and anthropic-induced processes, mutating both organic and inorganic entities. We reduced ourselves as well as the place we inhabited to the common denominator which transversally unites earthly entities: materiality.

in/un becoming has been curated based on the rates of metabolism that we have observed, from plant and fungi species to soil and mineral samples. We have reduced these into essential colours through the processes of natural dying and pigmentation, additionally visualising chemical components via chromatographies.

We have captured the hidden digestive mechanism of the building through mycelium imprints and crystalised found-objects to similarly explore the stratification of time.

We endorsed the metabolic processes by embracing the ephemerality of the colours and the perpetually changing forms.

In light of the imminent conservation of the building, we propose the exhibition as a reminder of the transience of ideological beliefs embedded into architecture as well as its physicality. Reducing it to matter allows us to reposition the future trajectory of the building.

Matter controls us. Exercising the ability to change ourselves with it is fundamental.

We see metabolism as a choreographer of life and we humans are dancers among many.

dieDAS Fellowship Program 2022
Selected Fellows

Adrian Pepe

Born on 23. September 1984 in Honduras

Adrian is a fiber artist based in Beirut. His work focuses on textile practices from the Levant, working together with artisans of the region, unearthing ancient craft practices and weaving them into contemporary pieces. His integrated approach entwines culture, history, and performance with art, design, and interiors. In his work, he performs a sort of shadowgraphy, crafting objects and experiences as tools to enable an open discourse on materiality, our morphing cultural landscape, and our present condition. In 2021, Pepe won the SCAD Alumni Atelier Grant and the Fiber Arts Network: FELT Fiber Transformed Award. Solo and group exhibitions include Beirut Concept at Dubai Design Week, UAE (2021); Entangled Matters at Agial Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon (2021); Harvest: Mushroom Explorations at Beirut Design Week, Lebanon (2016); Hair Explorations at Non-Fiction Gallery, Savannah, GA (2013); and Seoul Design Fair, South Korea (2010).


  • Master of Arts in Design for Sustainability, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah GA, 2010
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah GA, 2008
  • USA High School Diploma + Honduran Baccalaureate in Arts and Science, Mazapan School, La Ceiba, Honduras, 2004

Giulia Pompilj

Born on 3. September 1991 in Rome, Italy

Giulia is a designer specialised in concept development and material research. Giulia’s practice seeks to blur the distinction between conceptions of the fantastical and the scientific, attempting to facilitate a kind of creative traffic between two ostensibly separate areas of thought: that of hard science and that of storytelling.


  • Bachelor of Arts Design Academy Eindhoven, Department Food-Non-Food, 2015-2020
  • Erasmus Program, Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, Textile and Surface Design, 2017
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interior and Product Design, Accademia delle Arti e Nuove Technologie, 2010-2013

Nico Alexandroff

Born on 13. September 1994, Hong Kong

Nico Alexandroff is a research architect and designer. His work engages in the entangled relationship between politics, ecology, and earth system science. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art researching cosmologies of Ice in relation to climate collapse and is interested in how aesthetics can be used as a form of action. His work takes various forms, telling stories through film, exhibitions, writing and fabrication. He was recently a member of the design-research think-tank at Strelka Institute of Design called ‘The Terraforming’ and currently teaches a MA Landscape Architecture design studio at UCL.


  • Master of Architecture with distinction in dissertation, Royal College of Art School of Architecture, 2018-2020
  • Architecture BA (Hons) First Class, University of Manchester, 2014-2017

Steffie de Gaetano

Born on 3. May in Rome, Italy

Steffie de Gaetano is a dutch-italian interdisciplinary researcher currently based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Her condition of ‘in-betweenness’ predisposes her positioning as an outside-insider, a standpoint she utilizes for bridging the modern with the demodern. Her work is situated at the intersection of architecture, landscape, art, and anthropology, disciplines she critically unbuilds by uncovering the colonial entanglements and the ramifications of Modernity. After graduating in Architecture at the TU Eindhoven in 2016, she is currently enrolled in two postgraduates’ programs: the second year of DAAS at the Royal Institute of Art (KKH) in Stockholm, and Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies at the KU in Leuven. Her works have been exhibited during Archiprix NL, the Dutch Design Week and by SEARTgroup.


  • Royal Institute of Art (KHH), Postgraduate DAAS, Decolonial Architecture Advanced Studies ‘Modernism and DE modernization’, 2021-ongoing
  • KU Leuven, Postgraduate CADES, Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies, 2020-ongoing
  • Master degree in Architecture, Building and Planning, Technical University of Eindhoven, 2014-2016
  • Bachelor degree in Architecture, Building and Planning, Technical University of Eindhoven, 2011-2014

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Florian Vanicatte