Just in time for Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Utrecht in early July, tree-shaped bike racks called ‘Rack & Roots’, designed by award-winning student Esther Bergstra will be placed around the city.
“By parking your bicycle against these strong roots, you’re reminded of the world under the tree. Trees are a special addition to the urban landscape and together they form an urban forest.”
In the mean time, there’s still much construction downtown Utrecht as the world’s biggest bike garage dominates much of the construction landscape near the train station.
Henry van der Horst from Zeewolde hand letters signs for outdoor markets all over the Netherlands.
Two graphic designers met him while he was out working and partnered up with him last year. They built a website to sell his signs (his “5 Euro Super Deal” costs 39 euro) and created the video above (subtitled in English). Check also another video of Van der Horst creating a magazine cover.
Visual artist Paul de Kort was asked a few years ago to design the Buitenschot land art park, a huge 33-hectare park with a series of ribbed hedges and ditches surrounded by trees that form a noise-reduction green space right off Schiphol Airport’s biggest runway, the Polderbaan. Sadly, you can’t see the park from the air and that would partially explain why I’ve never noticed it before.
The airplane noise experienced by nearby residents is mostly low frequency ground noise that radiates backwards in an oblique fashion from planes during take-off, and De Kort’s aesthetic yet functional park of furrows was inspired by 17th century German acoustic techniques as well as local farming techniques.
Completed in October 2013 Buitenschot features small parks, bike paths and foot paths. De Kort also incorporated art pieces that drew on the history of the project, like the ‘Listening Ear,’ a parabolic dish on a small pyramid one can stand in that amplifies ambient sound, echoing the park’s noise reduction purpose and a diamond-shaped lake where visitors can create ripple patterns on the water surface while standing on a bridge equipped with a wave generating device.
Developed based on her own experience running in Amsterdam, which when it’s dark makes you feel like the frog in the old video game Frogger, Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen has created a phototrope shirt using LEDs and foil, designed to improve safety for runners. It is made from technical jersey embedded with washable strips of the low-energy lights and sections of reflective ‘prismatic’ foil material that curve around the body.
Most runners including myself tend to use flashing bicycle lights or bits of clothing with reflective material, but none of it illuminates anywhere near as well or looks as cool as Van Dongen’s garment. She wanted to create a design that felt more like a garment a runner would wear regardless of the safety aspects, as runners need to be comfortable, and dangling lights or bracelets are not the way to go.
Using a modified cargo bike named the Poopymobile, inspired by the Popemobile, pet shop entrepreneur Thomas Vles cycled to London with his two cats Mushi and Cheesy last month. Owner of pet design company Poopy Cat in Amsterdam, he knows that cats hate to be locked up in small cages or fly and decided to cycle with a typical Dutch ‘bakfiets’. Mushi and Cheesy are apparently used to going everywhere by bike since they were kittens.
On YouTube Vles said that, “the cats were priority number one during the trip. Should we even remotely think that they were not comfortable, we would stop. There was driving an accompanying car with in which they could always go. Our trip was supported by two veterinarians and we kept an eye on everything 24/7. We have noticed that Mushi and Cheesy were really enjoying their time in the ‘kitty mobile’ – they wanted to stay in there even when we had to get out to sleep!”
LEDS Clay is the name Maarten Baas from Den Bosch and Bertjan Pot from Rotterdam gave to a series of LED and clay based custom products they designed.
Shown here is one of two mirrors, but the series also contains a number of lamps. Design Boom says all the works were hand-molded. The on-line magazine talked to the designers at the Milan Design Week 2015.
Den Herder Production House, formerly known as Baas & Den Herder, was responsible for the production of these ‘luminaries’. It’s unclear to me if you can actually buy these objects, but if you give Den Herder a ring, I am sure they can enlighten you.
Dutch designer Tessa Geuze presented a lollipop-making kit during Milan Design Week 2015 a few weeks ago as a member of the The Tomorrow Collective, a group of students who showcased a range of products and tools ‘inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be’.
Geuze’s ‘Something Sweet’ kit features the components required for a miniature sweet factory including aluminium lollipop moulds, scoops, heat-proof mitts, and a display stand that also serves as a storage box for the utensils. She produced the kit as a way for people to make lollipops using ingredients they know without preservatives and additives like the ones listed on the wrappers of store-bought sweets.
Making your own sweets is something I picture parents doing with their kids or creative people doing for a theme party, but I wonder if most people would go through the trouble of making their own sweets instead of buying the lollipops with preservatives and additives. However, it does look like fun.
The Lunaluxx lamp is an atmospheric lamp that is sure to replace any centrepiece or help start any dinner conversation. “By combining both magnetic suspension and remote-phosphor lightning technologies, a light emitting disc is freely suspended in mid air.”
The levitating disc looks like a little spaceship, and once it’s in place, the light comes on. The Lunaluxx is easy to turn on and off, although I don’t know what one does with the disc when the light is turned off, as that requires making sure a human or animal doesn’t make off with it or misplace it.
It does look great and original, designed by Elivatix in Eindhoven, a hotbed of Dutch design and lamps.
According to Het Parool, French fashion brand Louis Vuitton got wind of the well-known and beautifully crafted marzipan handbags from chocolate maker Jordino in Amsterdam and sent them a nasty letter all in French that had to be translated. The message was clear: Jordino was never ever to sell anymore LV bags otherwise they would be fined 40,000 euro for trademark infringement. Although surely an unpleasant surprise, the law is on the side of the Parisians this time around.
This week Dutch student Steinar Henskes of the VU University Amsterdam, owner of the Bird Control Group, won Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year, an event held in Washington, D.C. Up against 2,000 students from 38 countries, Henskes took home a cool USD 20,000 (about € 18,500) in prize money.
Bird Control Group provides solutions to keep birds at a safe distance from commercial activities using animal-safe lasers. Founded in 2012, the company operates in 52 countries around the globe including major airports like Schiphol and London Airport. “The products are recognised by the World Wildlife Fund for their innovation, effectiveness and animal friendliness.”