Five Dutch students of the Delft University of Technology are designing a back pack with a plant in it which would replace the use of gas masks in polluted cities. “The bag allows fine particles to be filtered out and cleans the air,” said team leader Marnix de Kroon. It provides instant fresh air to the wearer thanks to a filter that sifts it through the roots of a plant inside the back pack.
Plant-wise, “it seems that aloe vera may be a possibility,” De Kroon explained. An expert was quick to cut the plant bag idea down, claiming it wouldn’t be useful and the filter itself could ‘weed out’ 99.9 percent of the fine particles.
The team still believes that in cities like Beijing and Tehran, which have serious pollution problems, could be their main market. After all, the prototype did bag a Dutch design prize.
Stalaclights are bulb shades that look like famous buildings designed by Dutch designer David Graas. A play on words with the mineral formations ‘stalactites’ (stalagmites are the ones on the ground pointing upwards), these bulb shades are 3D printed and resemble some of the first skyscrapers of New York, Chicago and more. The shade can be placed over the bulb, as the lighting is LED and therefore doesn’t burn through.
Graas also makes street furniture you can laser cut and 3D print out yourself. The “I’m Too Sexy For The Sidewalk” series consists of three different furniture designs you can download for free and produce yourself using cardboard found on the street.
Not a month goes by in the Netherlands without some sort of animal-related scandal. Why not then be a glass hall full kind of person and take bird flu-infected chickens to create an urn, for starters?
Dutch designer Emilie van Spronsen researched that if you heat a dead, infected chicken up to 70 degrees celsius for just three seconds, you’ll kill the H5N8 bird-flu virus it has. The country has killed a lot of chickens to prevent this disease from spreading, but Van Spronsen felt like the dead chickens might be of some use. “I brought a last homage to these H5N8 bird-flu chickens by transforming them into design materials and ultimately by designing objects with the materials.” Her work was displayed in October during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.
The H5N8 urn was printed in 3D using a combination of ash collected from cremated chicken remains and clay, and features a spiky exterior that resembles the virus as seen under a microscope.
This summer Dutch company Oxboard claimed that its self-balancing device, the Oxboard, wasn’t going to be affected by all the speed and permit issues that the Segway had to endure. In fact, it’s worse: the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment has kaboshed Oxboard’s plans to be used as a form of transportation, saying ‘it’s just a toy’.
The Oxboard is also not allowed on the sidewalk, not that most Dutch cities have wide enough sidewalks, and can only be used on people’s own property, which is impractical. To be able to be recognised as a ‘special scooter’, the Oxboard needs ‘a proper steering system and braking system’, and according to the Ministry it has neither. Then again, Dutch law isn’t completely clear about what constitutes steering and braking, as the words used are ‘properly functioning steering system or operating system’ and ‘properly functioning braking system’, both of which the Oxboard has.
Being able to steer the Oxboard with your feet should count for something, however, if you search for Oxboard videos on the Internet you’ll get a lot of kids playing around with one as it if were a toy. To be continued.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.