November 26, 2015

‘No more Ajax fire extinguishers in Rotterdam’

Filed under: Design,Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am


Are you a serious Feyernoord football fan from Rotterdam and can’t stand another day of staring at all those Ajax brand fire extinguishers hanging all over the place, taunting you and reminding you of the rival Amsterdam football club? Two Rotterdam cousins have the solution for you: Feyernoord stickers.

Yes, the guys at Firenoord have designed a Feyernoord sticker that looks just like the Ajax one so you can stick it over that reminder of the other football club at 3 euro a pop. They are currently sold out, but they’ll surely be more for all the people that just cannot live with those distasteful Ajax fire extinguishers.

Just like the website says, ‘no more Ajax in Rotterdam’.

(Link:, Screenshot:

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November 22, 2015

Studio RAP uses robot to build large organic wooden ceiling

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Branko Collin @ 3:20 pm


Earlier this year Rotterdam-based ‘architectural design and fabrication studio’ RAP built an indoor office at the InnovationDock in Rotterdam using software to calculate how a single central column could help support the weight of the 120-square-metre wooden ceiling.

Wooden panels were then sawed and drilled by a robot arm. At least that is what I think it says on their project page:

The Skilledin Office is an innovative indoor-office built in the InnovationDock (Rotterdam, NL) for the Port of Rotterdam. Its organic design balances program constraints and digital load-bearing optimization and fabrication possibilities.

The roof spans 120m2 with the largest span being 8m. It was constructed from 230 unique 37mm thick Metsäwood panels, directly milled from custom fabrication software with a refurbished ABB Robot at RDM Makerspace. All 3.200 Rothoblaas screws were robotically pre-drilled based on a parametric model of the final design.

(Photo and video: Studio RAP; link: Dezeen)

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October 28, 2015

Spacious underground fridge shelter for your food

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:25 am


Dutch fridges are often small, with four shelves and a freezer section big enough to store ice cubes and a frozen pizza. The same goes for having an actual oven, bath and separate clothes dryer: it’s not the norm.

For folks rich enough to own land that you can dig into and hip enough to grow their own fruit and vegetables, there’s the Groundfridge designed by Floris Schoonderbeek. It looks like the coolest bomb shelter ever, and uses the ground temperature for isolation insulation, keeping your community backyard garden food fresh at 10-12 degrees Celsius without electricity.

According to Schoonderbeek, winemakers have shown interest in having a Groundfridge, as well as people who build hurricane shelters and probably any big cheese fan. Check out the Dutch video with English subtitles, although they are too small for me, a bit like my fridge, although I do have an oven.

(Link and photo:

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October 20, 2015

Earphones steer your phone while driving

Filed under: Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:16 am

During Dutch Design Week, designer Pieter Husmann presented ‘Hélo’, a 3D-printed wireless in-earphone, a very classy wearable that helps car drivers answer text messages and calls while hopefully keeping their eyes on the road.

We’ve all been in a car where the driver is so addicted to checking their phone that the passenger has to interfere before the car hits the guard rail. Some drivers are addicted to the point of risking death for next to nothing, which makes you wonder if new technology is the solution or better awareness. New technology should help, but I still believe that leaving your damn phone alone is the safest option.

Husmann’s creation combines technological innovation and hearing aid technology that fits into one’s ears, with which you can answer your phone with your finger. It has four buttons for four different configurable functions from answering your phone to opening an e-mail. These earpieces can also be used for running and I would imagine cycling, skating, etc. That sounds like a useful invention even without the driving.

A while back we told you about satirist Johan Vlemmix who had thought of a free app that sends replies when driving because he admitted being addicted to checking his phone and answering people straight away. However, that was just an idea, and clearly Husmann has a real solution for addicts like Vlemmix.

(Link:, Photo by Hello Turkey Toe, some rights reserved)

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October 2, 2015

Van Nelle in Rotterdam gets its own coin

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Orangemaster @ 11:51 am


Former coffee, tea and tobacco factory Van Nelle in Rotterdam is getting its own coin, the fourth in the Dutch UNESCO coin series. The factory is also the 10th Dutch site to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, a list that also includes Utrecht’s Rietveld Schröder House and the Kinderdijk windmills in South Holland.

British-Dutch designer Kianoosh Motallebi was inspired by the building’s characteristic style and the goods it traded. Acclaimed architect and photographer duo Robertson and Yerbury called it ‘a poem in steel and glass’, while Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier once praised its ‘purity and uncompromising clarity’.

Three different versions of the coin are available, a Proof .900 fine gold €10 coin (1,500 coins), a Proof .925 fine sterling silver €5 coin (12,500 coins, shown here) and a Brilliant Uncirculated silver-plated copper €5 coin (250,000 coins). The coin features King Willem Alexander on one side and the factory on the other.

If you travel by train to Rotterdam from Amsterdam or Leiden, you can see the factory on your left, on the Delfshavense Schie waterway.

(Links and photo:,

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September 20, 2015

Sleeping in a life-size sand castle hotel

Filed under: Architecture,Design,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 9:27 am


Inspired by European ice hotels, two pop-up hotels (‘zandhotels’) made out of very 1000 tons of compact sand have opened in Oss, Noord-Brabant and Sneek, Friesland, which are already fully booked for this year. However, you can visit the one in Oss until 28 September and the one in Sneek until 4 October during nearby sand sculpture festivals.

The hotel’s basic structure is made of thin walls, covered inside and out with reinforced sand for sturdiness, while basics such as the shower, bathroom and bed are made out of normal materials.

Some media are calling it a world first, we’ll stay in our sandbox and call it a Dutch first.

(Links and photo:,

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August 22, 2015

Clothing made from recycled ocean plastic

Filed under: Design,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 8:13 pm


Dutch denim label G-Star Raw together with music artist Pharrell Williams have teamed up to design an entire range of clothing made from recycled ocean plastic. The RAW for the Oceans collection for the Autumn-Winter 2015 line for both men and women features a stylish jellyfish logo that pops up in amusing places on the clothing.

“The garments in the collection are all created using fabrics developed in collaboration with textile company Bionic Yarn [whose creative director is Williams] and environmental group Parley for the Oceans, an initiative that encourages creatives to repurpose ocean waste and raise awareness of the growing issue.”

(Link and photo:

August 19, 2015

Oxboard self-balancing device to conquer Europe

Filed under: Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:22 pm


Earlier this year Dutch company Oxboard launched a two-wheeled, self-balancing transport device that looks like a cross between a Segway without handlebars and a skateboard. It uses four gyroscopes that correct balance in real time, allowing users to go backwards and forwards, and spin around. The Oxboard’s maximum speed is 15 kilometres per hour and a full battery can transport you for 20 kilometres.

Currently only available through the company’s website with a price tag of 799 euro, Oxboard was designed in Eindhoven and is manufactured in Asia. It is both for business and pleasure, and will soon be presented in Berlin at a major trade show in order to entice the rest of Europe. Although not my cup of tea, I can’t find anything really wrong with it except for the prohibitive price, which might go down eventually.

In 2008 the Segway had speed and permit issues in the Netherlands, something the Oxboard most probably won’t have to deal with.

Watch this kid rock the Oxboard:

(Link:, Photo: Oxboard)

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August 11, 2015

Dutchman designs DIY surgical robot

Filed under: Design,Science,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:34 am


London-based Dutch designer Frank Kolkman, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, has built an open-source device that could enable ordinary people to perform keyhole surgery on themselves, aptly entitled ‘Open Surgery’.

This DIY surgical robot was made using 3D printing and laser cutting technologies, and would be suited to do surgery on the lower abdomen, procedures including prostate surgery, appendectomies or hysterectomies. The device would normally be controlled by a person and in this case, using a PlayStation 3 controller to be able to move in all directions.

“Open Surgery investigates whether DIY surgical tools outside regulated healthcare systems could plausibly provide a more accessible version of healthcare,” Kolkman explains. His idea is to demonstrate that medical innovation can come from outside the medical field, as more and more people from first world countries turn to medical hacks that can be found on YouTube.

It cost Kolkman 5,000 USD to make the device, and at the time of filming, he claims that an appendectomy in the US costs 10,000 USD, while a professional surgery robot costs 2 mln USD.

(Link and screenshot:

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July 30, 2015

Aircraft that could fly Amsterdam to Perth non-stop

Filed under: Aviation,Design by Orangemaster @ 1:34 pm


KLM and Delft University of Technology have presented designs for an aircraft that could transport passengers non-stop from Europe to Australia. It looks like a flying squirrel swallowed a hammerhead shark and then an Airbus or a Boeing, you choose.

This AHEAD (Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development) aircraft, would carry 300 passengers over 14,000 kilometres, about the distance from Amsterdam to Perth. Its design features two sets of wings – a small pair by the nose and a large set at the rear – that blend into the body. The team also proposes a hybrid engine to replace conventional turbofan engines.

KLM has previously worked with Dutch designers Hella Jongerius and Marcel Wanders to create cabin interiors and tableware.

(Link and photo:

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