In five inspiring sessions with students of the Thomas a Kempis College in Arnhem, fashion designer Ruben Jurriën curated a mini-collection influenced by cuddly stuffed animals. With Ruben’s own stuffed rabbit Toetie as a sidekick, the students became acquainted with block print, embroidery and patchwork techniques, as well as each other. In the safe environment of Atelier Teddy, they imagined, created and talked together to investigate the meaning of stuffed animals and expressed their thoughts and emotions in textile.

Ruben Jurriën graduated cum laude from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2022, with the flamboyant one-size-fits-all collection ‘Pak van mijn hart!’. His work is characterised by playfulness, inclusivity, and breaking and expanding rules and expectations. Through his rebellious, colourful designs, he aims to bring more freedom, kindness and cheerfulness to the world.

Toetie plays an important role in Ruben’s work. The stuffed rabbit symbolises inner freedom, and expresses a sense of security to be yourself. Toetie is both guardian angel and superhero. He is represented in prints, the cut of a blazer, and even a comic book character. Ruben has even made a version of Toetie that is five times larger than the original.

Ruben’s next project deals with creating a cuddly culture; a world of security where everyone dares to be soft and support one another. Realising that plan will require participation and dialogue, and Atelier Teddy is the first step towards that goal.

Bureau Ruimtekoers
Bureau Ruimtekoers has developed three Ateliers in which a local intercultural community in Arnhem collaborates with a maker to conceive, make and present a work for the biennale. The three Ateliers stand as a space for meeting, exchange and connection.

Petra Lunenburg
Petra Lunenburg Fashion illustrator and artist Petra Lunenburg has captured the process of the three Ruimtekoers Ateliers through several sketches. These sketches will be exhibited in the café of the Rembrandt Theatre during the Biennale.