Photos by Ronald Smits and Oscar Vinck
Schimmel & Schweikle
Since its invention, cinema has reflected major issues within society through storytelling. Genres have waxed and waned with social concerns and priorities. Today, the moving image is understood not just as entertainment but as a tool for communication, influencing the cultural agenda as much as it responds to it. Since the early days of the movies, scenes of destruction have played an important role in the way cinematic narratives are built. The creation of junk as a plot point or visual effect is so common in films, it could almost be considered a hidden philosophy—a way to read the value of objects.
CGI has become a crucial tool in contemporary cinema, freeing it from the physical realities of set building and budgets. Removing these boundaries has further enabled the use of destruction as pure spectacle, with strikingly few consequences. Using 3D modelling, animation software and 3D printing as forensic tools, Schimmel&Schweikle recreate digital debris from action scenes in the top ten most-watched American movies of the past decade. Reconstructing fictional junk and making it whole again, they contrast the speed of consumption of the moving image with the time-consuming act of repair. At 1:1 scale, this series of objects—a window, a door and a roof—makes tangible the unseen ramifications of destruction.
Special Effects: Stijn Stumpel
Schimmel & Schweikle is a Dutch-German design studio based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. They are both alumni from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Studio Schimmel & Schweikle is a collaboration between Janne Schimmel and Moreno Schweikle. “We both share an interest in searching for the expressive potential in archetypical objects that we encounter a lot during our everyday life and usually ignore. We try to reinvent what they mean and how they are looked at. In our work we are often fascinated by the relationship between the digital and the physical realm. We think that the ongoing development of technology is rapidly closing the gap between these two worlds. That’s why we believe that it is very important to start to imagine the impact of these two worlds merging. In our work we always like to create mechanisms that allow us to move fluently between the two as if the gap were already closed. To investigate what kind of new approaches to the way we build the world around us emerge.”