During a semester-long project, third year Graphic Design students of the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK, The Hague) proposed new concepts for the classification of space by entirely refusing political borders and rather exploring environmental territories, social boundaries, technological reach and mental limits.

We are continuously faced with rapid globalization and the rise of the Internet allowing or international accessibility and exchange. However, simultaneously we experience violent enforcement and emphasize on government isolationism, as witnessed recently in the United States and Great Britain. Making the randomness of a birthplace is the new ruling principle. The Borderless States project attempts to tackle the conflict between these two systems, students propose and visualize alternative models of interconnected societies in the form of audio-visual, printed, interactive and object-based design research projects.

Claiming any kind of a domain or trying to give it a name, naturally creates exclusion. So to support rethinking the concept of borders, Michel Foucault promotes in his interview ‘Questions on Geography’ the use of the term ‘archipelago’ as a true geographical metaphor that is free of political, economical, religious, juridical, and discriminatory connotations. It could be the first step towards a new borderless society as it creates new perspectives on the role of the land that we inhabit.

Participating students
Hilde Barwegen, Nóra Békés, Kylièn Bergh, Leith Benkhedda, Paul Bille, Thijmen van Brunschot, Carmen Dusmet Carrasco, Jonathan Cho, Kiki Coster, Rudi van Delden, Niels van der Donk, Jan Egbers, Lukas Engelhardt, Elizaveta Glukhova, Michiel Heemskerk, Daniel Hernández Chacón, Céline Hurka, Saber Javanmard, Rebecca Joly, Ies de Jong, Daan Kars, Dóra Kerekes, Rik Laging, Iris Lam, Jungeun Lee, Zuzanna Loch, Anna Lenczewska, Raphael Maman, Andréas van der Mast, Kay Pisarowitz, Taya Reshetnik, Guillaume Roux, Rebecca Rui, Theresa Scherrer, Josephine van Schendel, Marika Seo, Asya Sukhorukova, Lou Top, Amélie Vancoppenolle, Natalia Vishnevskaia, Wannes Vrijs, Yasheng Zhang.

Participants were tutored by Niels Schrader and Lauren Alexander from the Royal Academy of Arts, with support by Willem van Weelden and Dick van Dijk (Waag).

Project duration

1 Sept 2016 - 31 Dec 2016




  • Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunst (KABK)