Eindhoven Design City (or how I learned to stop wondering and love Philips) – This is not an advertisment. by Mat
October 31, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Culture, Things of Beauty | Tags: , , , , , ,

We (well Jim & Mat) took a well-earned few days of rest and inspiration recently when we made the journey to stay with an old friend (of Leicester extraction) and to visit Dutch Design Week 2008 in Eindhoven (Check it) and inspiring it truly was!

Philps Graff

If your Eindhoven knowledge is as lacking as ours used to be, then this is for you – Eindhoven is almost exactly 125km South of Amsterdam and is famously the home of Philips, infact the company pretty much gave birth to Eindhoven as it is today – Everything in Eindhoven is influenced in some way by Philips, which we think must be unique for a City its size – strange though this is, it’s strangely wonderful.  We Heart Eindhoven almost as much as We Heart Leicester!

Physical Graffiti

The week was essentially a city-wide celebration of design.  Shops had orange ‘frames’ in their windows behind which were placed student design work relevant to the shop itself; galleries gave their spaces over to local design work be it product, graphic or fashion work; local venues had design-related talks and seminars and special events in the evenings and of course the was the Design Academy degree-show – and what a show.  Our advice to any students reading this – before you exhibit at your degree show, get yourself to DDW 2009 and let yourself be inspired!

The Wheelchair Perfected

Even the taxis got the design treatment:

Taxi Art

Our personal highlights were:

The Design Academy Degree Galleries: <<That’s how to do a degree show.

Beautful Shelving

The Dutch Design Awards at the ‘GreenHuis’:

Dutch Design Awards

The Designhuis Exhibition:

OntwerpDuo's 'Joint' Table

Gro Design and TIM Modelmakers‘ Work:

GRO Design - Scoot GRO Design/TIM Modelmakers - Scoot

YKSI Winkel:

 YKSI Winkel

Away from the exhibitions, shows and museums, the inspiration was constantly in our faces – shop fronts, bicycles, crisp beer, graffiti, even the football stadium – it had a community vibe just like the old days of division 1.  For example – on our second day away we dropped into a little clothes shop called Dings – they had some wicked 3D cardboard letters in their window.  The gent in the shop welcomed us in and upon noticing our interest in the graphics publications he had for sale – ushered us out the back to an outbuilding where we were greeted with this:

Art in the back of Dings (Clothes Shop) Art in the back of Dings (Clothes Shop) Art in the back of Dings (Clothes Shop)

When’s the last time you dropped into your local purveyor of contemporary threads and found a live art expo going on in their back room?

The thing that really struck us is that in Eindhoven designers are revered.  Possibly this is becuase the city’s population have an inate feel for ‘ontwerp‘, it could have something to do with a natural passion for living well through innovation in the city.  Although for me, it seems it’s all about the first thing you see upon entering the City’s immaculate (and transistor radio shaped) train station – Philips – and the sense and simplicity that eminates from every Philips related building from Strijpe S to the deWitteDame and the way in which it somehow influences everything and everyone in its path.

If you’re interested in our crummy, amateurish photography from the DDW experience, there are lots more images here

Enjoy – Mat.