Depending on how you look at it you can see What Design Can Do as a political conference sold as a design conference. But also as a science, technology, philosophical and creativity conference. Richard van der Laken, founder of the event and partner at De Designpolitie, considers the designer “a researcher, entrepreneur and initiator.” According to him the crisis offers designers an opportunity to expand their role into game changers. Jet Bussemaker (Minister of Education, Culture and Science) agrees. She opened the conference with an appeal for “competent rebels who bring new perspectives.” Adaption is key, she says. Something she said she learned as a squatter when she was young. More…
Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug (aka ‘Lernert en Sander’) are Amsterdam based artists. We know them for their “high-concept films and installations,” that always come with simple but aesthetic art direction, and with a subtle and often cheeky sense of humour. Last time we wrote about them, we shared their commercials for Burgernet and Knab. This spring the artists created an installation celebrating the arrival of the new collections at clothing store Kiki Niesten in the heart of Maastricht: they “dissembled” last season’s knitted garments of high fashion brands Céline, Chloé, Jil Sander and Prada to balls of yarn. To them these “pure balls” form symbols of hope and aspiration. From 14th till 23rd March their conceptual art will be showcased in the windows of the store. The window installation is part of the renowned art fair TEFAF - Kiki Niesten takes part every year artistically. Produced by Maarten Le Roy (Wrong) and Post produced by Glassworks.
The new name of the impressive (but for some ugly) Overhoeks Toren located on the Northern shore of IJ river, opposite Central Station and next to EYE, is A’dam. This is not just a much-used abbreviation of Amsterdam but also stands for Amsterdam Dance And Music. The first association could be a problem, since it makes the name generic, but the second one is valid since the three main investors are MassiveMusic, ID&T and Club Air; three companies that work in the industry and help to make Amsterdam one of the centres of the world when it comes to dance and music. Not unimportantly, since the entire industry contributes more than half a billion Euros to the Dutch economy, we learned last Friday when the new name and plans for the building were revealed at A’dam. More…
In 1888 George Safford Parker literally wrote history with an innovation which was deemed impossible at the time: a pen which did not leak ink. To celebrate 125 years of Parker pens Artbox, commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi Geneva, created a key visual which summarizes the history and craftsmanship of the company in one single image. The pen itself (click image for larger version) illustrates a timeline: on the left, around 1890, the pen is still in its framework. It also serves as workplace for different figures: engineers, office workers and in the end (present time) also scientists. Along with the pen also the staff becomes more modern (in appearance and methods of working) – in the meantime Mr. Parker himself can be seen looking into the future with a telescope. The small people were created by photographing real people, dressed in historical work clothing, and the images were manipulated afterwards. Then all the different elements – pack-shot, 3D construction, figures – were digitally merged into one. A nice piece of craftsmanship, just like the famous pen.
As you probably know by now Kokoro is the winner of Amsterdam’s New Kids on the Block Award 2013, organized by Conclusion and Fonk. The agency won 300 (!) outdoor spots to advertise their brand. It has therefore asked designers, illustrators, artists and writers to design something that uses the shape of Kokoro’s heart as a core element – Kokoro means heart in Japanese – and that asks people to follow their heart. Merlijn van Vliet: “People have dreams and wishes they postpone for whatever reasons. And that is a real pity! Just like Steve Jobs once said: There is no reason not to follow your heart. That is the briefing; create an ad that urges people to follow their heart.” The winners will be displayed around town in bus and tram shelters and will also be featured in an online exposition. If you want to be a part of ‘Heartvertising,’ you can get in touch with Kokoro here.
Last Friday THEY and digital design agency Momkai won two Best of the Best awards at the Red Dots Awards in Berlin with ‘Play your future’ for Aegon in the categories ‘Interface Design’ and ‘Online Communication.’ For the latter they also won a Grand Prix (which you should probably then call ‘the best of the best of the best’). According to the jury the case was awarded because the online platform “manages to tell stories by following a highly interesting approach. Thanks to its interactive features, it allows users to change the story and thus decide on the best personal solution. The complex topic is visualized in a clear and easy-to-understand manner and thus be-comes more transparent.” The maths behind the site were done by EPG, the character design by Comic House, and the ‘game design’ by Subatomic.
Xavi’s Lab is Glassworks’ fully committed Special Projects division which takes on projects that fall outside the traditional post-production and digital services. Xavi’s Lab was set up by Xavi Tribo in 2011 and uses the agencies collected experience to create pieces that can fill technical requirements for shoots, installations for experiential platforms, or simply provide inspiration and fun for overworked creative brains. Xavi’s Lab latest project is CubePix. The fully interactive and real-time 4D projection mapping package was conceived and developed by Xavi himself. Combining a projector, a Microsoft Kinect, 8 Arduino boards, 64 servo motors, 64 cardboard boxes and ‘simple’ human brainpower. CubePix was invited to be a standalone exhibit at this year’s Sónar Festival, Barcelona’s International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art and was also selected to participate in the Bloop Festival in Ibiza. CubePix will be located in Amsterdam for the next couple of months. To arrange a visit or find out more about Xavi’s Lab you can get in touch with Glassworks.
Amsterdam based jeans brand Denham regularly invites members of its creative network to join their House Guest Artist program and create a twist to their brand. Since Denham likes to cut jeans, they invite friends to take their scissors logo and ‘cut’ it into something new. This season’s collaboration came to live by chance: creative marketing agency Pirate gave Denham founder, and friend, Jason Denham a framed artwork combining the agency’s space-invader styled pirate and Denham’s distinctive scissor logo. “As soon as I opened it, I knew exactly what to do” says Denham, “Our team converted the artwork into a bold black-and-white T-shirt, and sent it off for sampling.” Then other goodies were designed in the t-shirt’s slipstream. The release of the scissor-pirate was celebrated at the Denham store on Prinsengracht last Thursday, and was also used as an opportunity to celebrate nearly 20 years of friendship between the brand and the agency. There is however a gentlemen’s agreement to avoid working together, says Denham, “because going to the pub would be much less fun…but we love the work that the Pirate boys do, so this is the perfect opportunity for us to come together to celebrate a longstanding union of creation and recreation!” The cherry on top of this campaign are the wide range of world class celebs wearing the t-shirt - with such a catchy logo, you would almost believe they do.
Since July there’s a new agency in town; Nomads. It was born out of yet another clash within Strawberry Frog – the first one happened in 2008, and created the break away Amsterdam Worldwide. Me Studio was asked to develop the visual identity for Nomads, with a tight deadline of just 4 weeks. Martin Pyper, founder of Me Studio, told us there were only two givens, the name and typeface; it had to be ‘gotham.’ Fortunately Pyper could easily embrace both mandatories, and after several brainstorms with the agency, the team decided to go for ‘tribal markings’ as the creative route. They also decided to go for a consistent ‘attitude,’ rather than a consistent ‘look,’ resulting in a simple yet dynamic logo, with many variations in shape and colour. The identity as a whole also became versatile, being customized to all employees; everyone received his/her own symbols and colours, to be used for the business cards, letterheads, and posters. The identity has thus resulted in a fresh and indeed dynamic identity, with a clear touch of Dutch Design – more impressions here. A strong start for Nomads.
Digital design agency Momkai has won four Red Dot Design Awards this week. One for its very own start-up Lowdi – a good looking compact speaker – and, together with THEY, it won two ‘Best of the Best’ awards (in Online Communication and Interface Design) for Aegon’s ‘Play Your Future’ – see picture. The Red Dot Awards are one of the most prestigious, international design awards – Momkai’s submissions were elected out of 6,800 entries from 43 countries.