Monthly Archives: November 2011



Saturday morning, collecting the last bits of the DDW, rounding of four inspiring days in Eindhoven. Any white spots on the full flavored map that I have missed? Sure enough haven't I seen everything yet. Back to the "Witte Dame". First floor, MU, "After the bit rush". The theme is about the post digital age. Bits and bytes, or not? 


Square pushing, low poly, scanning, reproducing, digital esthetics meets the analogue. Designing hardware like software. Is this about the high tech component I have missed so far, or is it beyond that? Inspiring it is for sure.


A final walk along the pearl necklace called DDW. A look behind main street, zig zagging through the industrial blocks down town. Follow the arrows. Atelier Dorp, Zona Ventosa, left, right. Blind walls, graffiti, tags. A painter behind a barred window. There are still some creative corners to discover. Close to the local football stadium I finally find the entrance to TAC, the temporary art center.


Inside the building a last blast of art and design. Ceramics seen somewhere else a year before, precise and angular, paper cut. My cup of tea has moved, the virus continues to spread. One of the rooms is filled with a selection of Slovakian design. Another indication that the Dutch Design Week has entered the international stage. Go visit next year!

- Matt.


911 worldwide

The 911 really is a world car. It is working everywhere on the globe and also here in China it is famous (not only women drive it). I really like the level of details and the many different versions that make it hard for the customer to chose the best one. I would chose the GT3 RS, wouldn't you?

911ww klein
- Fab.



A power nap was exactly what I needed. A little time out to reset the brain and save the impressions to my hard disc. After that straight back to Eindhoven to finish the untouched areas of Strijp T. A step inside an anonymous building reveals a surprisingly white and light exhibition. The theme: 10 Makers & 10 stages. Beautiful and precise paintings on cowhide. Fashion, patterns, installations and the obligatory filled wine glasses in the corner. The music rounds of the atmosphere. A surprise.


One of the reasons to visit this section of the Dutch Design Week once again is to take a look at the new studio of Kiki & Joost. They have made the move from S to T and are settling down in an sixties building with a high ceiling. A place with potential. Workshop and museum in one. Impressive!


With some colleague creatives they have organized a, what's in the name, T-party. A nice gathering of friends at the end of the week, hand cut fries as a down to earth appetizer. It will be a late night in Eindhoven. I am still not finished and might come back tomorrow for the final bits.

- Matt.

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A look behind the scenes. The friday starts with a typical dutch breakfast. At a restaurant in Strijp S we enjoy some great sandwiches. We have been invited by the direction of the DDW. Views on design and the automotive world are shared with a group of fantastic people in a relaxed atmosphere. These are the men and women who have put Eindhoven on the map. This week is their highlight after months of hard labour.

My colleagues have other commitments later this day. "If you have still a little time left, go visit the Dutch Invertuals, it's worth it! Soon after we enter the industrial complex near the railway station. Last year the EDHV group had a fantastic themed exhibition about old wood, this year it is all about fragility. A very coherent show exploring balance and vulnerability. One of the projects is about a synthetic bullet proof skin based on spider webs. Crazy, stylish and down to earth. Put it on your list for next year.


Pushing the envelope. Moving east through Eindhoven on the axis of design. The edge of the Dutch Design Week. Strijp S will be filled with lofts, the creative community has moved in alphabetical order. Strijp T is this years hot spot. The formal Philips building a bit more sixties, the terrain less exposed. If you find your way up to here you will be surprised.

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Strijp T, an Area with potential. We enter an anonymous building and are blown away with a collection of projects. Some of them have escaped the floors of the academy since last years graduation show. The same idea brought to the market. The DDW as a virus, spreading concepts. Lots of mash ups, samplism and wit.

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One thing becomes clear once again. The big industrial player has left town and has given unlimited opportunities to the creatives. The dead buildings are filled with energy and action. A canvas overpainted with a new story.

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Time is ticking. A friday afternoon surrounded by ideas. We need a break after this overdose of input. Scanning the city for a couple of days wears you out. There is too much to see and embrace. Rough and refined, industrial and individual, big pictures and neat details. Contrasts with a local flavor.

- Matt.

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111027-DDW-Design Academy-01

An afternoon at the Design Academy at the annual graduation show. A couple of floors are filled with fresh student work. Before we hit the floor we are warmly welcomed by one of my former mentors. Later on she takes us to the upper floor. "From here on you are on your own, pick your own high lights, it's impossible to see everything anyway".

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As every year the Dutch Design Week takes place when the whole region enjoys the autumn holidays. It seems everyone these days is a design expert. The place is packed and we slowly move from one stand to the other. For me it's homecoming, my colleagues have never been here before. One highlight we agree on is the app that shows where you have never been before in your own city. Your home town re-discovered. Strong, smart, simple, in your face.

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In Eindhoven you might need a second look to understand the students work. Subtle concepts and storytelling. The brief summaries are sometimes the eye opener. In general we sense a more serious and mental approach, away from the happy, witty and arty projects we have seen the last ten years. Yes, the emphasis is still on the material exploration and the manual handling of it. A bit more high tech would not hurt.

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Well being, wood, ceramics, taste, senses, metal, sustainable, simplicity, global issues, back to the roots.The boundaries between the different departments seem to blend into each other. Hard to say if these young designers have specialized during their studies. The designer as a practical intellectual. Will it be enough for tomorrows questions? We will see. Eindhoven has character and that is what counts.

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My highlight, and also the winner of some prices, is a big sphere made out of bamboo and plastics. A product for real needs. It showcases the Design Academy in a nutshell. Personal storytelling meets ingenuity. A low tech, simple to build mine field cleaner, propelled by the wind. In combination with a GPS device its random movements will be documented. As a child the designer lost his wind mobiles in the mine fields of the Far East. Circle closed.

- Matt.

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111027-DDW-Piet Hein Eek-01

Day two in Eindhoven is fully programmed. We start at the far corner of the event map. Striijp T. Slowly we roll through an old industrial complex. Lots of glass and early morning activity behind it. This place is one of the hot spots of the DDW. Piet Hein Eeks facility has opened exactly one year ago. Our first impression: things are still under development. "Living close to design". Film and Design. What will be next?

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This is not your usual studio or furniture shop. This place is a world. A world according to the man we are about to meet. At ten o'clock we enter the building and ask for our host. A few moment later he turns up with a warm cup of tea, followed closely by a bunch of colleagues. "I will be right with you". Some instant decisions have to made first. "Take that bolt instead of the other one, use it and keep it simple". Eek in a nutshell. Straight forward and honest.

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"That cup of tea has to wait at my desk, let's start". Our little group from Germany gets the personal walk through. For almost a hour we follow the designer through his self created paradise. A story about the big picture, the small details that matter, transparency and efficiency. Most of all it is about passion and a strong motivation to hang on to your own vision. Its is also a personal story about scaling up and staying flexible at the same time.

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The thing that ties this place together is the mindset that abundance should be banned and there are no such things as left overs. The designs of Eek are reflected in the architecture of the building. Simple and elegant, transparent with a personal taste. A smile on our faces turns up when we find out the difference between the 99.3% and the 99.7% metal shelve. "The bigger one has the same amount of stamped holes, but proportionally seen we have less waste in production because these holes have the same dimension".

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Piet Hein Eek, he was the first and is still the original. His design method can be learned, but the feeling is hard to copy. The story behind the objects is crystal clear, the proportions, subtle changes in color, The contrast between rough an subtlety, the whole composition of this world, it is highly unique. When you walk in this place for a couple of hours you feel at home, comfortable and inspired, somewhere between past and future. Your brain does the thinking, your heart will be way ahead of it.

- Matt.

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111026-DDW-Strijp S-01

Wednesday afternoon. After a smooth ride from Germany we arrive in the centre of Eindhoven. Last years report on the Dutch Design Week had its impact in Ingolstadt. Close to Italy the Bavarians normally look south for inspiration. Milano is just a couple of hours drive. This year it is different. We travel in a pack to the city of lights. The coming days I guide my colleagues through the vast amount of design related exhibitions and ateliers. A plan by the minute, full of interesting meets and greets, inspiration and spontaneous happenings, trying to get a grip on what's dutch.

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Eindhoven. Energy. A city on the move. A wide spread section of the city formally in the firm hands of a local industrial player called Philips has turned into a playground for start ups and creative heads. Once again, a comparison with Berlin turns up. An urban landscape that re-invents it self every year. Ateliers today, lofts tomorrow. As we park our car in Strijp S, we take a look at the bobcats stripping down an industrial compound that housed one of last years events. Next year this place will be "exciting lofts at the epicenter of a creative environment". Your bio, herbal, tea to-go will be served around the corner, located a bricked building block of the industrial era.

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Strijp S, it will be our pivot point the coming days. On the axis of design this is the professional business location of the Dutch Design Week. On the other hand a perfect place to witness an event that has turned into an experience, hence the emphasis on eateries and lunch opportunities.
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What is on our menu for a starter? The Clock Building turns out to be the right thing to dive into the DDW. A wide array of impressions, tied to each other by labyrinth of minimalistic white canvasses. What we see in between is a summary of Dutch design now!
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Craftsmanship meets tech. Material explorations. Witty statements with a tongue in cheek approach.  Scale up, invert, surprise, the classical tools of the Dutch attitude. Wood, glass, colors. Say cheese. Mix, sample, re-invent.

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To cut it short the exhibition is all about design led by technology with a strong human or personal touch. The bias tends to the customized and crafty. Laser cut, check, bio degradable, check, one offs, double check. The story behind the object is in the foreground.

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Concepts I have seen last year have been transformed into new objects. "Why are you taking a picture of my cupboard?" Because of the birch finishing! A continuation of a theme. Visiting the DDW for a couple of years means seeing the shifting tectonic plates. Last year the seat, this year the table. Talking directly to the makers and their intensions is what is the the interesting part.

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Meeting designers. Proudly they present their work.  Every now an then I bump into people I have seen before during my academy years. I have turn left, they right.  A bright yellow bench made of fire hoses. Broken pottery glued together with gold, keeping the sweet memory of heritage and childhood alive. The  phenomenon of magnetism turns a lamp into an attractive toy. Simplicity works!

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Connections are the glue in the design equation. Re-connecting used materials, steel, wood, ceramics, paper. After a couple of hours my camera is filled with images and impressions. There is so much to see. What I miss in general is a high tech, industrial approach. It is the individual, low tech, crafty things that turn heads in Eindhoven. This is just the beginning  so let's wait for the final judgement.

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The end of day one. The weather is mild and the sun sets. We discover another building that is close before its  final tear down. A relaxed atmosphere and cheap drinks. The theme is about City Hacking. Beautiful installations displaying the urban landscape, presented in statistics, models and pure poetry. The DJ plays a jazzy tune as we walk from room to room.

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The improvised meets architecture. An almost anarchist feeling, comfy and disturbing at the same time. Creativity needs destruction. Welcome to Eindhoven. A city on the move! Next year this place might be your loft,. Let's enjoy the time in the meanwhile.

- Matt.

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798 TWO

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Once I read somewhere that in a perfectly balanced and comfortable world, art becomes a threatened species. Everything has being said, no statements to be made, no taboos left to be broken. The future of art may lay in the East where things are changing.

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Beijing's 798 Art District turns this hypothesis into practice one might think. A lot to see and think about. A couple of years ago this place was a melting pot of opinions, the underground surfaced here. The edges are still sharp, but commerce starts to kick in, hence the many eateries and gift shops. Nevertheless, this place should be on your hot spot list. Go visit!


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Today was a beautiful coloured autumn day in Beijing and i shot some nice cars in front of the workers stadium. The SCC (SportsCarClub) proudly presented some of their joyrides. Actually their members seem to be real carfreax.

SCC klein

- Fab.