Two young designers from Delft have started making desk lamps, trouser belts, jewelry and even bicycles from impounded bicycles.
Industrial design student Lodewijk Bosman, 25, and Hidde van der Straaten, 28, founded “The Upcycle” in university city Delft in January 2012 to exploit a typically Dutch problem. With so many bikes [in the Netherlands] come parking problems, and if they are left in the wrong place or simply abandoned, the authorities pick them up and take them to the pound.
Lodewijk and Hidde [buy these] abandoned bikes and parts [...].
A Upcycle bedside lamp, priced at 88 euro, consists of a bike light with a new LED bulb fitted to a stem made of a few chain links and intertwined spokes — all standing on a wooden base wrapped in plaited inner tubes.
Dutch cities impound tens of thousands of bikes each year. Sometimes they are oprhan bicycles, abandoned by their last owner, but often cities just steal bikes under the guise of keeping bicycle parking manageable and keeping the streets clean. The bikes are stored at a depot, which in the case of Amsterdam, is far way from downtown. The rightful owners can retrieve their bikes after paying a fee—a fine, as the city spin doctors call it. The depot is so far out of town that there is even a cab service in Amsterdam that advertises its rides to the depot. As a result, lots of people don’t bother collecting their bikes, and those that are not retrieved are sold off to second-hand bike shops and to The Upcycle apparently.
(Photo: The Upcycle)
Tags: Delft University of Technology, lamps
Marcel Klomp, a graduating student from the TU Delft, has designed a mobile stadium that seats 50,000 and can be taken apart to fit in 150 40-foot containers. It is a serious solution to the international problem of building a huge stadium like in South Africa for the World Football Cup or in Beijing for the Summer Olympics with the stadium barely being used afterwards.
His design made from aluminium and steel allows installers to put the stadium up in eight months. “If the stadium is used eight times in 30 years, it will be profitable. It will cost about 250 million euro and can last 50 years”, Klomp claims. A permanent stadium costs much more time and money to build, is usually not profitable and is done out of prestige rather than future need. It is probably time for many countries to stop building uselessly and look at a realistic alternative like the mobile stadium. In fact, one of the reasons the Dutch population is not on board with Amsterdam having put in a bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics is knowing that the entire endeavour is a big loss from the get-go.
Klomp says the interest in his design is ‘overwhelming’, and since it is a graduation project, it needs to be worked out 100%.
(Link: www.kennislink.nl, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)
Tags: Delft University of Technology, football, stadium
From the guy who made a series of bright yellow video game consoles, a 21st century reworking of the very first arcade console, Martijn Koch plans to crowdfund a book entitled ’2kB of Fun’ featuring his large collection of handheld electronic games.
Koch, an architect, started his collection by first using old eighties game consoles while redesigning an old bank building set to house 40 small gaming firms. “To give the floors their own identity, I bought a couple of bright coloured handhelds from the early eighties and photographed them. They ended up being too retro for the interior, but they asked for a nice treatment! I was missing a true celebration of these magnificent toys from 1976-1985.”
Feel free to like his Facebook page and of course, sign up to buy a book, which will hopefully be ready by December 2013, in time for the gift-giving season. Oh, and check out his personal pitch.
(Links and Photo: www.indiegogo.com, www.retrospace.nl)
Tags: game consoles, games, gaming
Named after a house that is in turn named after the Prince album Controversy, the Controversy Tram Inn in Hoogwoud, North Holland features overnight stays for the entire family in city trams and railcars converted into five rooms. As well, there are all kinds of other vehicles strewn throughout their farm estate.
Frank and Irma Appel have restored a four-berth train carriage and four themed tram bedrooms in either end of two city centre tram railcars that used to run on the streets of Amsterdam and Germany. You can’t help but join in the lifestyle that Frank and Irma have created! They themselves sleep inside a London Double Decker bus, installed in the living room, and their kitchen and breakfast area is a converted French van. Their house is decorated with cars, and motor paraphernalia.
You can’t miss the house, it has a Mig fighter plane right outside.
(Links: www.controversy.nl, www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com, Photo: Controversy Inn)
Tags: prince, trams
Designer Michiel Cornelissen created this watch for Lorenz after the Italian watch maker had heard of his experience with 3D printing and laser cutting.
The watch has a face that consists of several layers (the name of the watch, Camada, means layer in Portuguese). Holes cut out of those layers represent the time.
In Camada, I wanted the time-telling aspect of the watch face to be integrated into the form and build of the watch, rather than applied as a graphical element.
For this purpose, I proposed to build the entire watch up from layers of metal, to be joined in a process called brazing. The first layer of the face indicates the hour division of the watch, while subsequent layers provide a minute indication – creating functionality while giving depth and structure to the product.
Lorenz decided not to manufacture the watch because their processes currently cannot handle the design.
(Link: Bright. Photo: michielcornelissen.com)
Tags: layers, Michiel Cornelissen, watches
My Knitted Boyfriend was Noortje de Keijzer’s 2012 graduate project at the Eindhoven Design Academy.
That is basically all there is to it. His name is Arthur, he is machine washable, he has accessories like moustaches, glasses and a tattoo, and sometimes he comes to life.
De Keijzer created this man as part of a study into loneliness. He is currently on display as part of the We Love Fashion! exhibition at NN DE Café in Rotterdam. You need not worry that De Keijzer gets too lonely with her boyfriend on the road, because in the meantime she has knitted Steve.
(Video: Vimeo / Noortje de Keijzer. Photo: crop of a screenshot of the video.)
Tags: Eindhoven Design Academy, knitting, loneliness, Noortje de Keijzer
Last year international ad agency JWT moved into a new office in Amsterdam, the famous Hirsch & Cie building on Leidseplein right above the Apple store. They asked interior designer RJW Elsinga and brand experience designer Alrik Koudenberg to come up with an interior design, and that they did.
The two came up with chairs shaped like faces, a trophy case shaped like a rabbit, a reception area with upside down photography (check the desktop background on the computer in the illustration below), robots that double as cupboards, the word ‘wow’ spelled backwards, workplace dividers looking like local gables and much more.
Web magazine Fontanel asked Alrik Koudenburg to explain a bit about the project:
We had to create 78 desks with room to grow to 100 and three meeting rooms. There were no strict requirements except that our design had to be ‘seriously surprising’, the slogan of the agency. [...]
January 2012 we started the first phase which would amount to approximately 70% of the entire contract and four months later JWT moved in. To think that we had to get almost everything custom-made.
See also: Illustrious and tragic history of the Hirsch Building where Apple Amsterdam store has opened (external link)
(Photos: Koudenburg & Elsinga / Kasia Gatkowska, used with permission)
Tags: Alrik Koudenburg, interior design, RJW Elsinga
Ruben van der Vleuten, a Dutch student at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, wanted to see what happened to a parcel once it disappeared into the bowels of the Danish postal system.
He then made a parcel with a hidden camera in it and sent it through the mail repeatedly until he got a video that had the camera facing the right way all the time.
Van der Vleuten explains on his website: “The timer circuit was set to make a three-second video every minute and make longer videos while the box was moving, so as to not miss the ‘interesting’ parts.” There’s circuit board porn and technical explanations there and at the Vimeo page.
All that circuitry made the package look suspect. In an interview with Fast Company the designer admits that this had crossed his mind:
The second was based on the pics that showed the open box; that thing really, really looks like a homemade bomb (if homemade bombs look like they do in the movies). “To be honest this was my biggest concern as well,” Van der Vleuten admits. He included a note explaining that this was part of a student project with no criminal intent, but regardless, “Every time, I was bringing it to the post office with sweaty hands.”
(Link: Bright. Photo: crop of a still of the video)
Tags: Copenhagen, Danmark, mail, parcel, parcels, Ruben van der Vleuten, spying
Wout Wessemius likes to use rubber in structures. His website showcases tables, chairs, sofas and even a log cabin made of rubber, or least covered with the stuff.
This table, called the Chapli, has two twisted rubber legs with a frame of steel and a wooden top. It is also available as a smaller model with a round top and one leg. Pricing seems to be unavailable, dimensions can be altered on demand.
According to House of Design, Wessemius sources a lot of his materials at the junk yard.
(Link: Trendhunter. Photo: Wout Wessemius)
Tags: rubber, tables, Wout Wessemius
The BlackStarBike has a unique bamboo frame that is ecologically sound and ‘as solid as steel’. The company has two secret weapons: bamboo from the West of Ghana and cactus fibres from the North, processed in an innovative way, giving the bikes their unique, woodsy look. As well, a large part of the profits from the sales of BlackStarBikes goes to craftspeople in Ghana.
During the years we lived and worked in Africa, one of the issues that kept us thinking is the lack of export of manufactured goods. Africa provides enormous amounts of raw materials, from crude oil to tea, cocoa and coffee, but what does Africa manufacture? Africa’s raw materials are shipped to western countries and to China, to be processed there. In other words, African countries are unable to enjoy the maximum of profits from their natural resources. The profits made by a Ghanaian farmer on a bag of cocoa beans are low, but the profits made by household chocolate brands, which contain those very same beans, are very high.
(Link: blackstarbikes.nl, Photo of BlackStarBike by Zapdelight, some rights reserved)
Tags: bamboo, Ghana