Holland

For The Birds.

Now that I have a yard again, and I can enjoy things like song birds on my back porch I’ve become interested in birdhouses and feeders. Like before when I owned the Modular 4 house on Lloyd, I have begun searching for something that doesn’t look like the standard stuff you see at Home Depot or Lowes. Unfortunately most feeders and houses look like the same stuff that has been around for decades. Fortunately though, Dutch designer Vincent Bos has created a new birdhouse has a wonderful modern look to it.

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The collection is an environmentally conscious series constructed of oak, porcelain, and powder coated steel. They are hand made and designed specifically for outdoor use. “Wall Elements” was designed with durability and versatility in mind. It is a modular system that can be assembled to work in any garden space. The mount for each house can be attached to a wall, fence post or any vertical surface.

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I love the clean look, the playful nature and the use of environmentally friendly materials. I will say this, they aren’t cheap. The average price is about $250.00 dollars. If you want a Wall Elements Birdhouse you can pick one up – here. I love the look but I think I am going to continue to search for something just as stylish and more on budget.

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Waarmakers Ninebyfour.

Most fluorescent style light fixtures are for lack of a better term, ugly. This partly due to the need for ballast, the power supply, and the heat the lamps give off. Waarmakers however has created Ninebyfour a tube lamp using LED’s. Because they don’t generate heat, or have a large power supply this minimal lamp is quite beautiful, and one made from uncharacteristic materials.

20140105-131557.jpgThe lamps are designed and built with reclaimed wood that comes from salvaged trees cut down in and around the Amsterdam area. Each lamp comes with a location marker stamped in the cork portion of the fixture. If you enter the coordinates in Google Maps, the origin of your lamps source tree shows up.

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The Art of Craft. “Glas” and “Manliness”.

This morning while going through my weekly reading list of newsletters, emails, and RSS feeds, two links were brought to my attention. One dealt with craftsmanship, the other with glass production in Holland in the 1950’s. While both were in the same newsletter, they were not directly connected. They are however.

The short film on glass production is a perfect example of the craftsmanship that goes into creating any form of film, design, art, or object. The film itself is beautifully shot and edited. The subject matter shows the phenomenal craftsmanship that goes into making a beautiful piece of hand blown glass. The article is a history of the term “Craftsman”, and why craft is so important in the work you create.

“Make every product better than it has ever been done before. Make the parts you cannot see as well as the parts you can see. Use only the best materials for even the most everyday items. Give the same attention to the smallest details as you do to the largest. Design every item you make to last for ever.”

I won’t give away the film, but the first half is a direct set up for the second, and the finish. Watching the glass blowers work their magic, accompanied by fitting music and a beautiful job of editing make it hard to look away.

Disney XD “Chain Reaction” Indents.

PostPanic has produced a series of indents for DisneyXD Netherlands promoting the summer theme of “Chain Reactions”. Directed by Erwin van den IJssel the short spots feature Rube Goldberg machine interactions crafted entirely out of objects kids could find at home. His goal was to capture the childhood joy of building things that would make your parents scratch their heads with a complete lack of understanding.

The main characters of each piece are cuts outs of the kids themselves with snapshot photos pasted on each of the cardboard figures. Because the indents are for Dutch TV, Disney XD specified that they have a very specific “Dutch” feel to them. To insure that look was achieved Erwin van den IJssel and PostPanic dressed the sets with recognizable Dutch materials and products, using various food packaging and products  to create each scene.

Each indent is story driven, and captures the playful joy of childhood and summer fun.

CREDITS

Project: Disney XD Idents

Client: The Walt Disney Company Benelux,
On-Air Manager: Nancy Theunissen, The Walt Disney Company Benelux
Promo Producer: Elmar Scharff , The Walt Disney Company Benelux

Production Company: PostPanic
Executive Producers: Ania Markham, Jules Tervoort, PostPanic
Director: Erwin van den IJssel, PostPanic
DOP: Hessel Waalewijn
Producer: Liene Berina, PostPanic
Senior Producer: Annejes van Liempd, PostPanic
Art Direction: Roger Denton; Design, Nicole Nieuwenhuis, Jelier&Schaaf
Music and Sound Design: Jochen Mader, Audionerve
Post-Production: PostPanic
Editor: Ine van den Elsen, PostPanic
2D Artists: Doma Harkai, Donat Ertsey, PostPanic
Production Assistant: Alba Sueiro, PostPanic

JSPR Retro Office.

One of the things I remember from Jr. High science classes is the lab furniture. It stands out because it had a very distinctive 1960’s flair to it, with sharp clean lines and a color pallet that was coded for each work station. I have no idea who made it or designed it, but who ever it was they did the job right. They created a distinct memory that has lasted to this day.

Dutch firm JSPR offers a line of office furniture that reminds me of those work areas from long ago. Their Retro Office series uses color blocking to create different feelings or zones within the work environment. The look of the pieces is designed to engage with the ambience of the sixties and seventies with a nod to mid-century office furniture by companies like Steelcase

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Retro Office is built with all steel construction. The tops are finished with a semi gloss powder coated lacquer. The frames are finished with a matte coated lacquer. I really like how JSPR left the welds exposed as a structural design element with a minimum amount of clean up. Something about that adds visual strength to the clean lines of the frame work and top. The desks are available in 29 colors, and three configurations, and it looks like you can purchase direct from the manufacturer

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Almost but Not Quite. KLM Must See Map, no App.

KLM has been a big participant in promotional marketing campaigns grounded in social media for sometime. The video below shows the latest from the Dutch airline. The “Must See Map” is built on suggestions of things to do, and places to see from friends responses to a social media query. It asks the traveler to simply ask friends in their social network where they have been and what they have done, then gathers all of this information into a single source.

What is great about this campaign is the fact that KLM will send you a print on demand high-res physical map. What I don’t like is the fact that the map will take 3 weeks to arrive, and there is no dedicated smartphone app. The free online site does a great job of integrating with all of the major social network players, allowing the traveler to gather vast amounts of tips but offers no dedicated smartphone app.

While the physical map is a cool souvenir for your trip, and ties to all the places your socially networked friends tell you to go; it is quite surprising that KLM didn’t take this one step further. A dedicated app is much easier to carry and use than a physical printed map. A dedicated app allows for recommendations to come to you long after the map is printed. A dedicated app allows the traveler to post feedback on friends recommendations. A dedicated app, takes the concept to a whole new level, and extends use far beyond the interaction of the website.

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This is a great concept, and I hope that KLM goes a little further with it. KLM currently has 10 apps that they have developed for the iPhone, so I could see them taking this to a whole new level. When they do, “Must See Map” will be a home run.

KLM Airline’s “Tile Your Self” Facebook Campaign.

As Facebook becomes more and more of giant advertising engine, companies are scrambling to produce advertising that fits within the social media platform, and is actually engaging for the user. This is a tricky balancing act between creating something that seems real, and less like an ad, or creating something that feels like an ad, and gets very little traction and social engagement from your user base.

KLM Airlines have tapped into something that represents Holland, and elevates Dutch national pride. Building off of Delft tiles, something that Holland is known for, KLM has created a Facebook application that allows fans of KLM to Delft themselves and create a Delftware tile of their Facebook profile picture. Facebook users can decorate their profile picture, add an inspirational saying and share with friends by using the KLM ‘Tile Yourself’ Facebook App.When you create and share your tile, you are automatically entered into a contest where the winners get to have their tile placed on a KLM jet, which will make numerous international flights promoting KLM and Facebook.

All of this is well and good, but the payoff for participation seems pretty weak. Yes you get to make a cool looking Facebook profile pic and share it with your friends, but in the end what are your chances of actually seeing your image on the plane? I saw this and couldn’t help but think, why didn’t KLM offer the winners a custom one off Delftware tile with their image on it? Or the winners get a free trip on the plane that carries the tile images? There are so many more possibilities for this campaign that seem to have been missed.