Stung Eye
Stung Eye

« [Oct 11] A Return

Mixture of Frailties [Nov 1] »

I’m sitting in my sister’s new apartment using an Internet connection stolen from the Aether. I’m eating winegums. The past three mornings we ran around Wertheimpark. In the park are sheets of broken glass housed in more glass; shattered and transparent, the Auschwitz monument is covered in leaves. It is fall. They have fallen.

We are glad to be back in this city of brick and water. Our flight ‘home’ took 11.5 hours. We arrived at 9:00AM. To fight the jetLag I took a walk. The city felt empty and calm.

I walked by a office building. Duct-taped to a 3rd floor window was a painted canvas; the city is a gallery.

After wandering through a second-hand/nick-nack market, I stumbled upon Nijhof & Lee, a bookstore focusing on Design (with a capital ‘D’). The typography section was particularly impressive.

Finally, I came across Droog Design [Image].

Droog is a brand and a mentality: design of products that do what they should and think about why they’re doing it in the first place: function? fun? wit? criticism? All of the above?

Their website is a “100% hypertext environment”:

This means that every word on this site is a link, which when clicked will generate associated information displayed on the right. A click on a sentence in this ‘concordance’ will open the associated text[.]

Droog is currently hosting a show by the Swedish design group Front. If Design turns you on, and you’re in (or near) Amsterdam, I urge you to head over to Staalstraat 7a/b for a shot of inspiration.

The show features such items as: vases that (through mysterious photographic means) take on the reflections of their surroundings, hence displaying a visual history of where they have been; chairs created through explosions; metal lampshades perforated by bullet holes; tables that move (slowly) and collapse with time; a lamp that lies on the ground until needed; and wallpaper, hooks, and lamps, designed by dogs, rats, snakes, and rabbits.

Most interesting was their use of the video game Unreal Tournament. The game engine was exploited as a non-material design tool. (What can be designed when the constraints of the real world are abandoned? Can a designed object exist without being materialized?) Most of the physical designs from the show were present within the gameSpace, along with many others that could not exist in meatSpace.

I am going to miss Amsterdam.

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