Mechanical jungle

  • Dana Dijkgraaf / Graphic Design

“While man seems to be free to go and stand as he pleases, he is constantly submissive to his will to survive and to reproduce. By the repetition of chaos, codes of conduct become visible and it becomes clear that free will is merely an illusion. The chaotic jungle is like a machine that is driven by a countless number of radars in which everyone of us plays a role.”


Dana Dijkgraaf studied Graphic Design and completed the Honours Programme for theory and research. “Mechanical Jungle is a project in which I convey this thought. I show the behavior of 2 robots who follow lines, draw lines and avoid objects. I made a poster installation where people can make their own poster with the two robots, Mr.Follow and Mr.Escape. During the graduation show, people reacted on the robots like they were real living creatures. And they thought the behavior of the robots was uncontrolled. The idea is to let people think about why they are who they are and what they think about their contemporary position in society.”


The Value of Void volume II: The (un)written chapters
The second project ‘The Value of Void, volume II: The (un)written Chapters’  is an assignment given by the artist Navid Nuur. It started with the task to present the legacy of Navid after his fictional death. The project has resulted in an installation which originates from 9 crossed chapters of Navid Nuur’s book titled ‘The Value of Void, volume I’. These 9 chapters are set in a grid and formed 81 new chapters. These are filled with elements of a perodic system developed by Navid himself as well as other sources of inspiration and studies. The installation reveals new worlds to spark the viewer’s imagination. What might it become, what would it be like? The unwritten chapters were written and presented without Navid Nuur.


The designer as researcher
Dana Dijkgraaf has completed the Honours Programme with an essay, in which she reflects on the contemporary field of graphic design. In the essay she compares different positions of graphic designers and speculates about the future generation. “The new generation should be developed into which-medium-fits-best-designers with a research-based practice. Daniël van der Velden says in his essay Research and Destroy that the world doesn’t need more ‘producing’ designers, but more ‘independently thinking’ designers. My essay speculates about a future academy who can train the new generation.”


Dana Dijkgraaf has been nominated for the Arnhemse Nieuwe by Ontwerp Platform Arnhem (OPA).


Film: Dana Dijkgraaf (Art director, editor), Thomas van der Lee (camera operator)


Take a look at the Honours Programme research projects