Zsofia Kollar

Jos Brink Prize 2017

A project collaboration between the Interior Architecture & Furniture Design department of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).
In reply to a call from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van OCW), seven of the 4th year Furniture Design & Interior Architecture students are working on concepts for a new design for the Jos Brink award (for LHBT emancipation) and the Joke Smit award (for gender equality), both to be awarded in 2017.

Photos: Menno van Winden

The Jos Brink Prize is given to a person or to an association who achieved a fundamental contribution to the acceptance of homosexual and transgender people in the Dutch society.
I’ve chosen for the Jos Brink prize because I feel a more personal connection towards the LGBTQ community. During my research I discovered that this community is formed by individuals, who are experiencing their gender identity variously. There is no two the same person who feels the same way as the other. That’s why I would like to focus on the uniqueness of these individuals.
By looking at the LGBTQ community I found great diversity. I would like to cherish this diversity and point out the qualities in that.

Unfortunately we are not living in the time when gender identity can be expressed without any judgment, comment or even conflict. Those who are struggling with their gender identity and its social acceptance encountered various confrontations, which left traces in them. We all carry traces in us and we all leaves traces as well, but people from the LGBTQ community specially do.
The contribution of the winner was social, the winner did not achieve for his own good, but for a collective goal. My aim with my design is to represent this social effort and create a prize that can be shared amongst the people of the community or those who supported the winner’s intention. With my project I would like to involve the whole Netherlands and its people. I would like to cherish the diversity in people and point out that every human touch leaves traces in others. Thus, it’s important how we treat each other without any judgment on their sexual preference. Based upon my grid over the Netherlands, I’m visiting several different coordinates of the country and asking people to treat a soft porcelain as it would be another human being. In the end all the porcelain pieces would be knotted together and given to the winner of the Jos Brink Prize.
For me it is also important to collect personal stories and connect to different people during my travel in The Netherlands. Each destination would be documented and preserved in videos and eventually in a book.

winner of the Jos Brink Prize: Ellie Lust.

For the actual prize I traveled through the country, visited 109 different locations and asked 109 different people to treat my soft porcelain. Each person made unique mark on the material itself and shared their stories and their relation of the LGBTQ community. My travels are documented in a book, which was made in collaboration with Danicha Leliveld - Studio Krank.

I feel very honored to be the designer of the Jos Brinkprijs 2017, I feel we are living in a time when diversity must be cherished in society and people should be encouraged to be themselves. Traveling through the whole Netherlands gave me an opportunity to talk to people, share their stories and learn about the LGBT community. I hope with my design I shown to people how important the human touch is and how we treat each other. I have to say I met with the most beautiful people and I believe we build a great society by being together and support each other. Thank you for everybody who helped me, traveled with me or shared their stories.