The Vigour cardigan is a collaboration between Pauline van Dongen, the TextielMuseum in Tillburg, and fellow PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology, Martijn ten Bhömer. Van Dongen is also known for her long-lasting bioluminescent lamp.
Vigour has integrated stretch sensors that monitor upper body movement. The garment enables geriatric patients, physiotherapists and family to gain more insight into the exercises and progress of a patient’s rehabilitation. The sensors collect data that is then sent to an application installed on a tablet, so it can be analysed to help provide feedback from professionals.
The Popcorn Monsoon by Dutch designer Jolene Carlier consists of a pair of small yellow bowls placed on a wooden base: one heats to pop the corn while the other collects it, a design inspired by the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. A curving glass tube fixed to the larger of the two receptacles delivers the popped corn into the small serving bowl.
Popcorn is a blast to listen to when it’s being made, or maybe that’s just because I still make it on the oven and the sound is the only thing to guide you. I had a twentysomething person over once who had never seen popcorn made on the oven before, as he thought it could only be made in a microwave.
I like this design a lot, with the exception of the popcorn flying out of the bowl.
In the video below, recent graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, Teresa van Dongen presents her graduation project called ‘Ambio’, an ambient lamp using a glass tube filled with bioluminescent bacteria, usually found on octopuses, in a saltwater solution. Once pushed the Ambio will swing for 20 minutes and emit light as long as it moves. The bacteria can survive for about two days, but Van Dongen has managed to push that to three weeks so far. The goal is to develop a way for the bacteria to survive for longer and find actual practical applications for such ambient lighting.
Before turning to design Van Dongen studied biology, which explains her interest in using bioluminescent substances. She’ll also explain why waves such as the one in the picture above emits light the way it does.
The idea was to build an experimental office environment where people didn’t have to sit at a desk all day, which is said to be unhealthy for long periods of time. In this space you can lean, perch yourself, lie down or use bits as makeshift table to read, etc.
Dutch studio RAAAF and artist Barbara Visser first started working on the concept earlier this year. They were invited to create this – their first working prototype – at Looiersgracht 60, a new exhibition space in Amsterdam.
I wouldn’t want my laptop sliding off a surface so when I see one in the picture, I wince. Some of these surfaces look too high for shorter people, which makes them look like counters. I think it’s an idea worth exploring and maybe the surfaces could even have tech built in like subtle screens with clocks and some Wi-Fi.
Shandrick Elodia, the ‘most amusing bus driver of the Netherlands’ from Enschede was sacked recently for safety reasons. By sacked, I mean not rostered anymore to work, as he didn’t have a permanent contract.
“Are you ready for the ride of your life?”, he would ask depressed passengers and then chat on the microphone and play music like Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’. Everybody loved this guy, but he was way too much for his employer.
At some point, Elodia needed something more challenging and wanted to do something about all those sad faces boarding his bus. He once startled an old lady by wishing her a nice evening on the microphone and kept going from there.
Sure, Elodia should have followed the rules (only greeting people) and just done his job or quit and find something else — he is the first to admit that. Elodia has a degree in industrial design, and according to him, his global vision of ‘making poverty cool’ ended up spilling over into his work as a bus driver. “When you’re poor, you have to make due with rubbish products. When I drive up in my happy bus next to some guy in an expensive Mercedes, he sees how much fun the ‘poorer’ people are having and wishes he was in my bus.”
“The installation developed with University of Amsterdam master’s student Martien Würdemann uses a simple distillation process. The Coca-Cola is boiled in a container, producing water vapour that is funnelled into a glass. Minerals are added at the end to make sure it is safe to drink.”
Originally conceived by Smits in 2006, the concept was turned into a complete distillation process for the Sense Nonsense exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, which opened in October during Dutch Design Week.
“When I looked at Coca-Cola that way, I saw dirty brown water, so it was logical to filter it back into clean drinking water, just as we do with all our waste water.”
Borre Akkersdijk, a ‘textile developer’, designed a onesie called the BB.Suit that “allows you to become technology”. Presented at the SXSW in Texas earlier this year, the knitted BB.Suit has Wi-Fi, GPS with room gadgets and computer chips. At the time it was a prototype, and the issue of washing the onesie with tech in it was definitely a problem. Akkersdijk aptly points out that wearable technology still has a long way to go.
Walking around and being a Wi-Fi hotspot seems like the most practical use of this outfit, especially abroad.
Embedded with copper wires that enable WiFi, GPS, NFC, and Bluetooth, the BB.Suit turns its wearer into a mappable hotspot with mp3 streaming ability. Batteries, processor boards, and UI actuators live in the BB.Suit’s pockets, making the rest of the suit feel seamless, and it’s made of two layers of cotton to hide and protect the copper cables, with filling that puffs when it’s steamed, meaning the onesie is super-comfy too!
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Govert Flint has designed a chair that allows users to control the cursor with a range of body movements. He designed this dynamic chair so one could move in all directions, and worked with programmer Sami Sabik to translate the motions of users into on-screen actions.
“I started to think about how we make chairs that are disconnected from their activity. Working in the office is an activity we sit for. From then on I tried to design a chair based on body movements.”
Three accelerometers positioned around the chair measure movement in X, Y and Z directions. Collected data is then transferred along wires to a computer, which is programmed to use the information to move a cursor around a computer screen positioned at a user’s eye level. One sensor located below the seat calculates the chair position relative to the X and Y planes. The user’s shifts forward, backward and side to side move the cursor in corresponding directions on the screen
The dynamic and chair and much more will be on display during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from 18 to 25 October.
I went to the Delft Pottery de Deltse Pauw, which was established in 1650. This factory exclusively produces and sells entirely hand-painted Delftware, which is a unique factor in this date.
The factory manager, Nico van Nieuwenhuijzen, discusses the origins of Delfts Blauw (Delftware), how it almost died out due to superior clays being used for competing brands of pottery and then gives the reporter a very thorough tour of the factory.
In 2013 graphic designer Zilla van den Born graduated from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht with a project in which she fooled family and friends into believing she was on a 42-day-long journey through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
Fakebooking is so old hat that even British comedian Miranda Hart dedicated an episode, aptly called Holiday, to a fake vacation in Thailand.
But Van den Born went beyond the selfie with the giant poster of a palm tree-lined beach in the background. Writes Kickass Trips:
She followed an elaborate scheme of activities, all of it staged. The picture of her snorkelling in Thailand was taken in a swimming pool in Amsterdam and later photoshopped to make it look more tropical. She took photos in tropical aquariums at the Artis Zoo, went to a butterfly garden, bought exotic Asian souvenirs on the market and cooked Thai meals, in her own kitchen of course.
The book Van den Born created for her project is combined with a Layar app to recover the reality behind the manipulation. With her project Van den Born wanted to highlight the difference between our rational attitude to modern day photography (we know everything we see may have been manipulated) to our actual attitude: we still see photos as “the proof of an experience”.
Check her portfolio to see videos of her manipulations and the reactions of her friends and family to finding out it was all fake.