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Vander Plaetse

The Arctium

Project details

In collaboration with:
Product Design
Cultural Diversity


The Arctium is a metaphysical lab where we collectively create new unstable and shapeshifting cultural notions of gender performance through digital, physical, and performative artefacts. Here, dichotomies such as designer/performer, physical/digital, fiction/reality and individual/collective are distorted to give our collaborators new paths to explore.  By refusing to comply with rigid, singular concepts of reality, collaborators of the Arctium foster relationships between worlds, practices, and perspectives as a method to explore the transformative dimension of gender performance. 


The Arctium consists of Lisa Vander Plaetse, a Rotterdam-based product designer, and Monika, a visual and performance artist. To Lisa, shoes are artefacts that can tell stories of the human body, technology, culture, and self-identity. As a queer femme coming from a lineage of immigration, Lisas’ design process is an opportunity to conduct sociological research around the theme of identities and shape new stories through the medium of footwear and collaborative work. Monikas’ foundation as a filmmaker has given her the tools to translate her ideologies to linear storytelling by deconstructing our idea of reality with staged documentaries, interactive video installations, and video performances. Her journey part of the dutch Ballroom comminty within the pioneering house of Vineyard reflects in her creative practice through character creation and fantasy. In her work, she investigates topics such as gender identity, sexuality, and self-perception.