Amsterdam, Things I Saw, Where I've Been

Elle’s In Design Amsterdam

Elle’s In Design Amsterdam was this last weekend. It cost 12E for a yellow wristband and the book pictured in this display. I’m still not sure what else that cost covered since none of the venues looked for the wrist band and all welcomed the public – including the non – yellow wristband toting ones. Nonetheless, it was a great way to explore design stores and galleries in the city. Lots of new discoveries and plenty of opportunities for free booze and snacks.

Lobster House
Confetti covered floors in a studio exhibiting paint by Farrow & Ball, bubble like lamps by Alex de Witte (right) and vintage furnishings from FrabriekNL (upper left).

We picked up our tickets at the Lobster House + Studio and sat down for a coffee while trying to decipher the walking tours in the book. Good thing the coffee was decent because the guide was not very clear.

We decided to check out the tours in Utrechtsestraat and De Oude Binnenstad on Saturday and parts of De Jordaan, De Leidsebuurt and De 9 Straatjes on Sunday. Here are some highlights:

Ruigwerk – Kerkstraat 404 – ruigwerk.nl
home of Wijnlab, where you can make your own wines! There were some food meets architecture related exhibits in there but my fave was the paper menu – origami meets food. They did hand out 50E discounts for the wijnlab so I’m assuming that the costs are fairly high – but hey you do make your own jug!

Mobilia Woonstudio – Utrechtsestraat 62-64
This design store is huge and a great source of ideas. The table (pictured) by student Liza Pater of Houten Meubilerings College was worth the climb up the winding stair cases. Loved the movable pieces.

This was a random contemporary art gallery we walked into on Warmoestraat located next to the infamous condom store. Don’t recall the name of the gallery but just look for it adjacent to the masses of tourists pointing and laughing at the collection of condoms at the Condomerie on Warmoesstraat 141.

Chris Kabel – Warmoestraat 145 – http://www.chriskabel.com/
This was the highlight of the whole weekend for me. Chris Kabel designed this façade for a residential building by Abbink X de Haas architects and housing cooperation de Key. Aluminum sheets are perforated with a pattern that allows the shapes to be bent up or down. When bent up the surface catches the (sun)light and bent down the surface is shaded. In this way intricate graphics can be applied onto the building using cheaply produced perforated panels without the use of expensive laser cutting. If I had taken better pictures, you could see that the faced of the building had an eye on it created by the light and shadows of these panels.

The Oude Kerk was an interesting juxtaposition of old and new – and an excellent example of the disorganization behind the Elle event. By the time we arrived, around 17h, the church was being set up for Nuit Blanche Amsterdam, an event listed in the Elle booklet, but not scheduled to start until 19h. It was unclear what was part of the Elle event and what was not and it was just a bit chaotic in there – as one would expect when setting up an event. While I would have loved to enjoy a Vedett in the Oude Kerk, by the time we returned (at 19h) there was a long queue and the staff was still unable to tell us if our wristbands would allow us entrance.

Lensvelt – Herengracht 178
One of our stops on Sunday and also quite the treat. 15 designers/brands were featured inside this canal house, including 3D tiles by D-tile, clever bathrooms by D-Line, penis sculptures by Joep van Lieshout, the iconic mirror Ultrafragola and a collaboration between Karl Lagerfeld and Cassina.

 

In Design Amsterdam is in its 10th year. I would think by now it would be better organized. Such a shame because there were so many great up-and-coming designers with projects on display that just got lost among the frenzy. The City Guide was poorly constructed with randomly placed dots for a walking tour instead of providing a clear path to be able to truly explore the hard work and creativity of the artists and designers that were part of the program. I may be biased – as organizing these types of experiences is what I do for a living – but there really was a missed opportunity by Elle and the participants here that could have been avoided with just a few simple adjustments. Perhaps it will improve next year.

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Amsterdam, Where I Want To Go

Inside Design Amsterdam 27 – 29 September

Inside Design Amsterdam | ELLE.

Next weekend is Inside Design Amsterdam and I can’t wait.

Some must see activities:

  • Downtown Design Tour
    A thrilling design tour will start with a sensory 3D experience from the world of ELLE Decoration in the temporary ELLE Decoration Studio, The Lobster House, Frederiksplein 6-8hs.
  • the dynamische Speelbeest (dynamic Play Beast) created by Wouter Sieuwerts will be on display in the central hall of the Stedelijk Museum.
  • In the Amsterdam red-light district, de Wallen, Frank Visser will construct a colourful world in TONTON, a former sex club, while other designers will show their work there in the silent room MMousse.
  • Feel-good fashion label LikeThis will show work by Piet Paris, serve summery drinks and organise a barbecue on Friday evening.
  • Concept store Merci from Paris will have its own pop-up shop in Hotel Droog.

Tickets can be bought from the cash desk and e-tickets can be scanned there. Every ticket holder will receive an exclusive ELLE Decoration City Guide (with addresses, tips, programme, route description and maps). The route goes past the following areas in Amsterdam: the Utrechtsestraat, de Binnenstad (the City Centre), the Haarlemmerbuurt, de 9 straatjes (the 9 little streets), het Museumkwartier (the Museum Quarter), the Oude Pijp, the Leidsebuurt and the Jordaan.

Just bought mine. See you there!

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Hello! Indeed.

Brilliant!

From MyModernMet:

Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh and Finnish illustrator Kustaa Saksi have collaborated on an architectural design project intended to serve as a temporary event space for the Hello! panelists at the 2013 Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. Made up of 700,000 sheets of A4 paper, the venue boasts a brilliantly designed setting for some of the world’s most innovative minds to discuss contemporary design culture. This year’s topic for the annual event is “communication” and Wingårdh and Saksi’s structure communicates its own message about beauty in design through its construction, material makeup, and elaborate color scheme.

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Reading Spaces

I would be quite pleased with any of these:

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The entire selection from the article.

Reading nooks and home library areas are the perfect place to kick back and escape from the real world with a work of fiction, or to huddle down and study those textbooks. However you’d like to use your book nook, this compilation should hold some inspiration on how to make the most of your little–or large–library.

Via Andre RoshIf you don't have enough floor space to dedicate a large area solely to your reading place, then how about just one chair? This rack chair is a quirky way to hold your reading material close at hand without encroaching on the rest of the room.

Via Andre Rosh
If you don’t have enough floor space to dedicate a large area solely to your reading place, then how about just one chair? This rack chair is a quirky way to hold your reading material close at hand without encroaching on the rest of the room.


Via K-KvadratIf you have a small corner to dedicate, a comfortable chair by a bookcase is the obvious solution, but don’t forget the overhead task lighting to prevent eyestrain.

Via K-Kvadrat
If you have a small corner to dedicate, a comfortable chair by a bookcase is the obvious solution, but don’t forget the overhead task lighting to prevent eyestrain.


Via 
Perseverance

Via
Perseverance


There's nothing like snuggling up next to a roaring fire with a good book!

There’s nothing like snuggling up next to a roaring fire with a good book!


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Via Alexander Dzivnel

Via Alexander Dzivnel


Via Wix

Via Wix


Via William O'Brien JRRemember to choose a calm area of the home to allow you to concentrate–this setup next to a serene garden is just blissful.

Via William O’Brien JR
Remember to choose a calm area of the home to allow you to concentrate–this setup next to a serene garden is just blissful.


Awkwardly shaped and sized spots lend themselves perfectly to the function of a book nook. All you need is a comfy place to park yourself and some clever bespoke shelving to house your book collection.

Awkwardly shaped and sized spots lend themselves perfectly to the function of a book nook. All you need is a comfy place to park yourself and some clever bespoke shelving to house your book collection.


Via 
Arie K

Via
Arie K


Via Tofree

Via Tofree


Built in bookshelves


By Vitaly Svyatyuk

By Vitaly Svyatyuk


Via Emonimo

Via Emonimo


Via Romi3d

Via Romi3d

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A Floating Pool For NYC’s East River, Plans A 2015 Opening

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By all accounts, Pool was destined to languish in its creators’ portfolios, a forgotten project of summer 2010. The idea–to build a floating pool in the East River–was expensive, long-term, and so nonchalantly radical it seemed like half a joke.

But in the year since they unveiled their proposal, the three young designers behind Pool–Archie Coates and Jeffrey Franklin from Playlab, and Dong-Ping Wong from Family–have been hard at work. They raised $41,000 on Kickstarter, funding a summer of water filtration system research. They built a team of designers, Columbia science professors, and ARUP engineers, and set up a riverside science lab. They secured the support of senators, city advocates, and newspapers–their idea even got retweeted by Jay-Z, himself a budding civic philanthropist.

On October 1st, the team launched a second wave of fundraising, with a new website and a campaign called EVERYBODY Pool. Their goal is to raise $1 million over the next six months, through a partnership with nonprofit Storefront for Art and Architecture. If they’re successful, they’ll be able to fund the construction (and very pricey permitting) of a prototype pool over the summer of 2013.

What’s so difficult about building a floating pool, you ask? After all, Copenhagen did it. What distinguishes Pool from a big, expensive above-ground pool is its filtration system. The team wants to actively improve the water quality of the East River, by constructing the pool out of a unique series of filters that would make the notoriously toxic waters fit for humans. The pool would release 500,000 gallons of filtered water back into the channel every day. And after a year of testing systems in the river, they feel confident enough to install a test pool, with a tentative goal of opening the Pool in summer of 2015. Beyonce, they hope, will play opening day.

At a Monday night party at the Brooklyn Brewery, only two blocks away from the river, the team thanked its supporters with beer and brats. “Over the past year, we’ve tried to put the pool in front of everyone who will need to eventually approve the project,” Dong-Ping Wong told Co.Design. “There’s usually about 30 minutes of them saying things like ‘that’s cute.’ or ‘good luck with that!’ And sometimes a little cynicism, along with questions. ‘Have you talked to this guy?’ and so on. Then, after about 30 minutes of that, they start to get excited.”

Ten or twenty years ago, Pool would have seemed impossible. But the design team points recent precedents, like the High Line, to illustrate how community organizing and social networking can leverage big, crazy ideas. After all, if two Chelsea freelancers could rally a city behind an elevated park, why can’t three Brooklyn architects do the same for a pool?

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Love the interiors of Google’s super HQ in London.

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“The space is “eco-massive” too. It is a few pegs short of LEED Platinum. It uses a very high content of reclaimed or recycled materials to great effect and complies with Google’s own Red List, which is highly tuned towards removing all of the nasty ingredients in materials through the use of many water based products. The space even smells healthy.”

“The Secret Gardens are also amazing. These are little private booths in a sun trapped balcony space, which create a special looking, yet densely seated area for those commercials. The booths seat one to four Googlers with a real box hedge wall to create privacy and to act as a wind/sun shield. Googlers will be competing to work in this space on their laptops on Google’s wireless.”

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