Eindhoven’s former science museum Evoluon that ceased its activities in the 1980s and is now being used as a location for events, congresses and temporary offices, is finally up for sale. However, as a national monument since 2013, its new owner will still need to have some connection with presenting technology to the world, as it was originally intended by Dutch multinational Philips.
Nobody really knows how much Evoluon will be sold for, but potential buyers say “more than a few million”, which will also include a huge lot the size of about 10 football pitches.
A while back we told you about a 12-minute promotional film made in 1968 that provides a fascinating insight into the experience of the science museum for people who never got to see the real thing.
(Link: ed.nl, Photo of the first Philips colour TV from 1964 by Philips, used with permission)
Tags: Eindhoven, Evoluon, Philips
One of the most remarkable buildings of Eindhoven is the former science museum Evoluon. The building was designed by architect Leo de Bever who died last Friday, and ‘light architect’ Louis Kalff.
De Bever came from a family of architects responsible for many buildings in Eindhoven. He worked on banks, hospitals and schools all over Noord-Brabant. De Bever studied architecture at the Academie voor Bouwkunst in Tilburg and at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. In 2007 he and his brother Loed sold their architecture business to Leo’s son Stefan and to Heleen van Heel.
The Evoluon building housed Philips’ science museum from 1966 to 1989. When Philips started with cutbacks in the 1980s, Evoluon was, as a non-essential part of the home electronics giant, a logical victim. Keeping the exhibit up-to-date was considered costly and was highlighted as an important reason to close the museum. Since then Evoluon has operated as a conference center, but its lasting futuristic appeal has not gone unnoticed. In recent years, Evoluon was home of Kraftwerk concerts, Tedx conferences and science exhibitions.
De Bever died aged 85.
(Photo by Daniel Volmer, some rights reserved)
Tags: architects, Eindhoven, Evoluon, Leo de Bever, Philips
On 8 August the news was that a Rembrandt had been stolen in March 2014 from the Philips family (the one from the company) from their villa and kept quiet because of protocol. Then, the Rembrandt was not stolen from the Philips family, but from an insurance company. And now the painting isn’t a Rembrandt, but said to be from a pupil of Rembrandt depicting Titus van Rijn, his son. Oh, and the Philips villa De Laak belongs to the Philips company and no longer the family.
An ex cop has been said to be the fence for the stolen painting, having tried to inform his ex colleagues of the theft back in 2014 and not being taken seriously. The whole story is still unclear, so we’ll keep you posted once the interns have stopped mucking about with it. You’ll notice many news sources haven’t bothered to correct any of the original information, which says a lot about them as well.
(Links: www.omroepbrabant.nl, www.volkskrant.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)
Tags: Eindhoven, Philips, police, Rembrandt
Swedish marketing agency Universum has been polling Dutch students on who they want to work for after graduation.
A whopping 12,000 students from 32 universities and polytechnics were asked about their career preferences. Major Dutch companies such as Philips, Shell, KLM, Heineken and Endemol were named, but large American companies such as Google and Apple also made their appearance.
Both law and arts & humanities students named the national government as their preferred employer, followed by Google for the former and KLM for the latter. Business students like KLM and Google the best, engineering and physics students prefer Google, followed by Philips.
Compared to last year, TNO, Coca-Cola, IKEA and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek failed to make the top 5 in any of the categories.
(Link: ANS, photo by Steven Straiton, some rights reserved)
Tags: Apple, careers, Dutch government, education, Endemol, Google, government, Heineken, higher education, KLM, labour, Philips, shell
Inspired by the wishes and needs of ALS patients who gradually lose motor functions including their ability to speak, “the Emotiv wireless EEG neuro headset uses sensors to tune into electrical signals produced by the brain to detect a user’s thoughts, feelings and expressions in real time.” The headset addresses two major issues of ALS sufferers, namely regaining the ability to communicate with the people around them (friends, family, loves ones) and regaining control over the things around them (TV, lights, Internet).
Patients’ thoughts are registered by the headset, which passes the commands on to specially developed software in an app or tablet. The information is then passed on to specific devices around the house, as shown in the video below. Dutch ALS patients and associations have responded positively to the headset so far, but there’s no ready-to-use version of it on the market yet.
The video is in English, with English subtitles.
(Link: www.bndestem.nl, Photo: emotiv.com)
Tags: ALS, Philips, software
Dutch electronics giant Philips has taken the last step in shedding its home entertainment division.
None other than the equally iconic American manufacturer of guitars, Gibson, has decided to take over the division, after an earlier attempt to sell the division to Funai from Japan allegedly failed. Gibson will be paying 135 mln USD for the business and will be paying separately for being allowed to continue using the Philips brand, Z24 writes.
The Philips home entertainment division excludes the television division, which Philips already sold to TPV from Taiwan in 2012.
When Philips was still a manufacturer and not just a brand, it invented things like the compact cassette, the CD, the ghetto blaster and even electronic music. More recently spin-offs operating from Philips Hi-Tech Campus (formerly known as Natlab) were working on e-paper displays. The company remains active in lighting, home appliances and medical equipment.
(Photo of the first Philips colour TV from 1964 by Philips, used with permission)
Just as spring began in 2012 we told you about how European bees are disappearing from the urban landscape, although many things are being done to counter this. As an unknowing consumer, I’ve noticed that the honey I buy has a lot of ‘non-EU’ honey in it, which means it’s probably from North America or the Middle East.
You could imagine that although keeping bees at home to gawk at (I like to try and spot the queen bee) and take their honey sounds really cool (pics), it has a hipster vibe to it. Back in 2011 Philips designed a beehive that you can place indoors, while the bees enter the hive from a sort of flower pot outdoors, so no bees flying around the house.
According to Philips, their urban beehive is a sustainable, environmentally friendly product concept that has direct educational effects. The city benefits from the pollination, while humans benefit from the honey and therapeutic value of observing the bees. As global bee colonies are in decline, this design contributes to the preservation of the species and encourages the return of the urban bee.
This sounds great if you’re up to smoking out the bees when you want the honey because you’ll need to do so eventually and you’ll need to have your own house to make those kinds of holes in your walls.
(Link: www.design.philips.com, Photo of Bee swarm by quisnovus, some rights reserved)
Tags: beehive, bees, honey, Philips
The tourist video ‘Going Dutch’ premiered in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam last November and yes, it is well shot. I very much like the voiceover with its impeccable pronunciation, as it has the right tone for that in-flight video feel. In fact, if you wanted to convince some friends and family abroad to visit the country this video wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The film does focus heavily on Amsterdam, which is often the first place people visit and then unfortunately associate with the entire country. Although you may learn something, I mostly saw stereotypes being reinforced like a dam with a leak in it.
Some 5 minutes into the film when basking in the past glory of Dutch football accomplishments, they actually mention that ‘women’s football has been given a boost in recent years’ although let’s face it, nobody here gives a rat’s ass about it. At about 7 minutes in we get into Dutch art, which again relies on the classics, but that is to be expected.
We continue on to 10 minutes in and ‘Dutch craftsmanship’ pushes top Dutch brands Philips and Bols — music and booze if you will. About two minutes later at 12 odd minutes, the ‘Dutch water’ bit focuses on in and around Rotterdam, with dams and shipping containers. At around 15 minutes, it’s about Dutch food and it shows herring and haute cuisine side by side, which doesn’t reflect reality at all. However, the cheese tour makes up for it and the white blonde Dutch narrator dares call himself a ‘cheese head’.
The testosterone-induced business atmosphere of the Zuidas, where a few wannabee skyscrapers are clustered, doesn’t work for me at all, but then it is often forced into every business film to make it look like we have a proper financial district. Speaking of getting down to business, Dutch music gets its bit at 20 odd minutes in after having used a picture of internationally famous singer Caro Emerald but completely ignoring her and skipping to classical music on the one hand and Dutch dance DJs (all men) on the other. By then I’ve seen three visual references to Tiësto, then finally a female DJ is on screen, but oh no, she starts praising the success of her male colleagues abroad.
In the end, the narrator is in what I think – and I am guessing here — Monnickendam, giving two blonde women passing by a badly acted once-over, as he says “come see for yourself what the Netherlands has to offer.” [Insert facepalm here].
Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t be writing this blog if we didn’t think the Netherlands (the entire country, not just Amsterdam) had tons to offer, but giving the impression to foreigners that everything is mostly done by white men in 2013 is scary and unrealistic. The only time ethnic minorities are shown on screen is when they plug the tolerance cliché and the muliticulti one (filmed in Amsterdam) because ethnic minorities don’t seem to be of any use otherwise, not even in the food part.
It’s safe to say that history is basically repeating itself.
Tags: Amsterdam, Bols, cheese, Philips, Tiësto, tourism, Zuidas
Dear big cheeses at Philips,
You do realise that your new logo is just a revamping of the old one, with elements from back in the days when you guys were making radios and light bulbs. Sure, retro can be cool, but one wonders about how much work was really put into this as opposed to how well it was pitched to you as being new. In other words, it kind of looks as if you’ve been had: the logo looks like it belongs on a football jersey and the redesigned waves remind me of Pepsi Cola.
Your last pay-off, ‘Sense and Simplicity’, sounded too much like the novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen, but I’m sure you got that a lot. ‘Simplicity’ was never really a good idea since you make very complicated products for medical purposes and not just coffee machines for the masses. I could speculate that you were more concerned with trying to convince yourselves than your intended consumers.
Your new pay-off, ‘Innovation and You’, tells me you’ve figured out that ‘simplicity’ was not the way to go and that everyone should benefit from innovation when they buy your products. I like that. However, your retro logo seems to contradict your pay-off: you are trying to move forward while clinging to the glories of the past. That is what hipsters are doing and it’s not really working for them either.
(Link and screenshot: www.amsterdamadblog.com)
Tags: logo, Philips
The Register talked to the compact cassette ‘inventor’ Lou Ottens (he seems to have been the leader of the project rather than a solitary lone inventor). The interview is highly technical, but has some nice titbits even if you’re not into gearings and transport mechanisms, such as this bit about the usability of the compact cassette (i.e. it had to be small):
El Reg: “The Compact Cassette is a very pocketable size. Had you decided upon maximum dimensions to work to?”
Lou Ottens: “Because our aim was to make a pocket recorder, it should fit into the side pocket of my tweed jacket. I made a wood block that fitted in my pocket. That does not mean that carrying the actual recorder in my jacket was very comfortable or advisable.”
Yesterday we talked about another Philips invention, electronic music.
Tags: compact cassette, Lou Ottens, Philips