Noud Sleumer is a conceptual designer whose role is to critique ‘the act of making’. Within self-initiated and explorative projects his focus is trained on methods of deconstruction and reduction. Simplicity is the tool that underlies these approaches and enables Sleumer to create new playgrounds of creativity, in which we can collectively re-examine our relationship to man-made matter. 

































© Noud Sleumer, 2020







Globally, we produce between 40 and 50 million tons of electronics waste each year. Commonly known as e-waste, only 20 percent of this rubbish is properly recycled or disposed of, with the remaining 80 percent becoming part of an illegal, transboundary trade.

Dealers take advantage of a loophole in the definition of junk by labelling e-waste as second-hand goods, creating a grey area in which objects are exported as usable stock but are imported as refuse. Problematic detritus is removed from one country and discarded in another. E-waste dumps exist within a cycle of exploitation and pollution, but the import of e-waste also creates new industries and opportunities. This informal system produces tangible, evolving infrastructures of jobs, products and services.

Using satellite images, Sleumer creates an open atlas of independent E-waste sites. Site-specific narratives are represented by symbolic objects printed on a series of postcards, linking an illicit global market to its localised impacts. Combined, they depict a global network where abuse goes hand-in-glove with development, building a narrative of global urgency.

The Transboundary Loophole was part of 'GEO–DESIGN: Junk. All That Is Solid Melts into Trash', a collaboration between Design Academy Eindhoven and Van Abbemuseum. On show from 19 October — 17 November 2019 at Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven.
Curated by Martina Muzi.

Text by Anna Winston







Picture by Oscar Vink - © Design Academy Eindhoven


Picture by Oscar Vink - © Design Academy Eindhoven















Picture by Oscar Vink - © Design Academy Eindhoven

















Satellite Images Supported by Google Earth, Digital Globe, CNES / Airbus, Maxar Technologies.
Picture by Bram Saeys - © Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven



Picture by Bram Saeys - © Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven