Designer and researcher Elisa van Joolen is interested in the entire spectrum of the fashion industry and works from the conviction that the fashion world needs to adopt a new, social approach to garment production. Van Joolen’s designs begin in an unusual way. She combines parts of garments by different labels to produce a unique design: intervention and reconfiguration.
Van Joolen’s projects emphasise collaboration and participation. One example is her research project 11” x 17” in which she interrogates the fashion industry’s value system and explores new production methods. Van Joolen’s 11” x 17” Sweater (afbeelding XX) developed out of this project. The sweater is made out of parts of different items of clothing, which were donated by staff at a number of clothing companies.
Van Joolen has a BA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and an MA from Parsons The New School for Design in New York. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Award (2010) and was nominated for the New Material Award (2014) and the Dutch Design Award (2013). Her work has been presented and appreciated in the worlds of both art (including exhibitions at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen) and fashion and design (5th Brazilian Design Biennial and New York Fashion Week). Van Joolen is a visiting lecturer at a number of art schools in the Netherlands and abroad.