Willem van der Sluis – Dutch Designer


At the beginning of this month when we were participating in the “Lighting Machine” project and seminar, our class had the absolute pleasure of spending time learning from Willem van der Sluis – a product designer from Amsterdam.  Willem’s work extends into many product categories, from mobile phones to luminaires, to social structures.  Willem is a very gifted, talented designer – I feel we all learned a lot from his work with us during the weeklong seminar.

Willem’s design firm, Customr, is based in Amsterdam, and has an excellent repertoire of work.  Two of Willem’s most recent accomplishments are the Aircon luminaire that was produced by Luceplan (images below), and the SportDome, a project that Willem and his team created for the Dutch Department of Justice.  I have included some images and some video of Willem’s SportDome from Dutch Profiles, a design site that featured Willem recently.

The SportDomes project is an interesting project – they are essentially an exercise area for illegal aliens being held by the Dutch government.  When Willem lectured about this project in our class, he said that at first he wasn’t interested in designing anything for a jail, which frankly is completely understandable.  To design a structure that could give people being held against their will some form of pleasure in their confined day seems like a project for the cold hearted – but Willem created a structure that not only allows the inmates to play a little sports, but shields them from being scrutinized by outsiders.  The magical aspect of this dome is that at night, when it is illuminated, it is a diamond – a piece of beauty inside the terrible concept of criminality and imprisonment.

I hope you enjoy Willem’s work – it was a pleasure to get to know him a little, and to spend time learning what he had to teach.

Willem is also up for a Rotterdam Design Prize in 2009 – the winner is announced in late November.  Good luck Willem!  I voted for him, and you should too! (wink, wink)




The Aircon luminaire from Willem van der Sluis and Luceplan:





Make sure to check out Willem’s firm, Customr.

3D Sand Projection – Amsterdam Filmmuseum

I just discovered this video about the official beginning of construction ceremony of the new Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.  The project won’t be completed until about 2011 (it’s officially the END of 2011).  Theo Watson and Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam produced a beautiful projection surface of sorts – it’s a 3D sculpture built completely of sand, around five meters by six meters (so approximately 16 feet by 19 feet).

Check out this video:

Moodwall, Amsterdam

The video above is a project called the Moodwall – an interactive LED installation by the Urban Alliance collective.  The Moodwall is an Amsterdam marvel, adding light and security (and entertainment) to the tunnel where it resided.  The “urban wallpaper” of sorts is made from about 2500 LEDs behind a translucent poly wall of some sort.

The tunnel’s screen is stretched out horizontally so that the images are better viewed from the side, and outside the tunnel, which makes people want to view it from the outside, and also prevents the tunnel from becoming a loitering spot (at least in theory).

Urban Alliance is a collaboration of designers and developers – Studio Klink which does architecture and design; Illuminate, specializing in interactive lighting and video content; and Cube Architects that specializes in building design and development.




Thanks, Yatzer!

Amsterdam, at Night, Illuminated

Flickr has a great feature for collecting images for a certain place within Flickr’s user base.  This place section has more images for more parts of the world than is possibly time to look at them all.  One of the sets that struck me as the most remarkable was the collection of photos from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  All of the channels, lit softly with multiple colors, and the streetlights – the images are just stunning.

Check out the Amsterdam Places page in Flickr.