Merike Van De Vijver MA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction

Merike Van De Vijver

In three series of individually designed book boxes Merike challenges the viewer to act outside their straight line of thought and encourages handling of the objects in a manner that contradicts habits. By creating boxes that open up and look like a book but fold out beyond the front cover, she has experimented with coincidental versus planned choices in design and their effect on the viewer’s actions.

During the making of the first series the Covid-19 pandemic started. The initial idea that the objects could be physically handled and tested was out of reach. The book boxes became still images in the vitrine of the computer screen. Animation has given the boxes life behind the glass. 

The pandemic made us focus on our hyper local environment. This made the step towards choosing the environment as a subject in the next book box series a natural progression.

These series focus on the small adaptations you can make in your close surroundings to aid positive ecological changes. The boxes have six different animals as their subject: worm, frog, butterfly, blackbird, bee and hedgehog. Materials like flower seed paper, dried soil and bee nesting tubes   support the wordless translation of the subject matter. 

In the final stage of the MA Merike focussed on adapting her interest for the environment into a transferable visual language. The microRewilding project and book box look at the broader influence design choices can make in changing the habits of the viewer.