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Aart van Bezooyen

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Posted by Aart van Bezooyen  |   7 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)

iF2014_HERO.jpgShow master CEO Ralph Wiegmann with award winners from South Korea

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the iF design awards 2014 night, which took place at the impressive BMW Welt museum in Munich. Some 2,000 guests involved in design, business, culture, politics and press enjoyed a relaxed get-together while show master Ralph Wiegmann (iF CEO) hosted the ceremony, personally handing out no less than 75 iF gold trophies, which deserves some respect, to three categories of winners: product, communication and packaging.

iF2014-Jury.jpgIn January, some 50 jury experts from all over the world came together for three days in Hannover to select the winners of the iF design awards 2014.

Read on to see our top five picks:

iF product design awards

To select the 1,220 winning entries (including 50 coveted iF gold awards), an international jury of experts came together at the Hanover exhibition center to review no less than 3,249 (!) entries from 48 countries. Here are three of our favorite product winners, from big to small:


BMW i3
The BMW i3 is the first large-scale production car with an all-electric engine manufactured by BMW Group is tailored to the requirements of sustainable and emission-free mobility. With its revolutionary architecture and CRP passenger compartment, the BMW i3 weighs only 1,195 kg. Learn more about the innovative new vehicle in our feature story on the BMW i3, including an exclusive interview with Head of Design Adrian van Hooydonk. BMW Group München, Germany



Posted by Aart van Bezooyen  |   1 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

Over the course of three posts, we take a look at the highlights of the second edition of the Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), which took place from February 16–24, 2013.

01_mcbw_bastian_mueller.jpgColorful "Midgets" by Bastian Müller at the downtown Filser & Gräf gallery

02b_mcbw_garderobe.JPGHistorical wardrobe area transformed into exhibition displays

02_mcbw_blackbraid.jpgLifting the "Blackbraid" bicycle with a single finger

At the Alte Kongresshalle, we found a collection of exhibitions and company presentations. One of the highlights was meeting the lightest bicycle in the world. Manuel Ostner from PG explained how they developed a new procedure to produce braided carbon frames with Munich Composites resulting in the "Blackbraid" bicycle that weighs less than 5 kg, all (hand)made in Germany. [Ed. Note: Designer Jacob Haim also used this manufacturing process, as seen in our exclusive look at the RaceBraid bicycle from last November.]

03_mcbw_central_exhibition.jpgCentral exhibition at the Alte Kongresshalle

04_mcbw_eco_designpreis.jpgSweaters made of recycled felt by the recyclist_workshop

The recent Ecodesign exhibition received no fewer than 140 entries but only a handful of them made it to the exhibition in Munich. Luckily, poster presentations explained the 14 winning products in detail (which can be seen here). Nevertheless we hope that this year's Ecodesign competition features more tangible entries. More information about the competition is available at the Bundespreis Ecodesign website (in German).


Posted by Aart van Bezooyen  |  27 Feb 2013  |  Comments (1)

01_mcbw_ifdesign.jpgWelcome words by Ralph Wiegmann (iF design's Managing Director) at the reception.

02_mcbw_cassina.jpgGianluca Armento (Brand Director of Cassina) explaining the importance of their archive

Over the course of three posts, we take a look at the highlights of the second edition of the Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), which took place from February 16–24, 2013.

"Die Neue Sammlung," an impressive museum run by the Free State of Bavaria, houses the largest collection of industrial and product designs in the world. We found it difficult to concentrate on curator Corinna Rösner's introductory remarks about the museum as we walked by amazing products that most of us only know from design history classes. During our 20-minute walk, it felt like we are traveling through time, passing by Gerrit Rietveld's chairs, Richard Sapper's TV and AIBO dogs. Suddenly, we found ourselves in front of a huge paternoster system featuring the "secret archive of Cassina" with a dozen items from the Italian manufacturer, which has been archiving products and prototypes since the 1930s. Gianluca Armento (Brand Director of Cassina) elaborated on the importance of an archive and how it can help brand management. As a company, you need to keep track of your history in order to make strategies for the future.

03_mcbw_cassina.jpgThe "Refuge Tonneau" reconstructed by Cassina

04_mcbw_cassina.jpgBasic kitchen inside the Refuge Tonneau

The exhibition also features the so-called "Refuge Tonneau," designed by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret in 1938, during the threatening early years of World War II. The space-shuttle like mountain shelter has been reconstructed by Cassina for the exhibition to demonstrate that design is not only about objects but also about vision and ideas.


Posted by Aart van Bezooyen  |  26 Feb 2013  |  Comments (0)

Over the course of three posts, we will take a look at the highlights of the second edition of the Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), which happened from February 16–24, 2013.

01_mcbw_bmw_designmuseum.jpgThe R32, BMW's first motorcycle

02_mcbw_bmw_designmuseum.jpg.jpgBMW Museum

03_mcbw_bmw_designmuseum.jpg.jpgBMW clay model

Our time in Munich kicked off with a guided tour through the BMW museum, led by designer Antonia Cecchetti, who passionately explained how the brand started making motorcycles and engines in 1917 and expanded throughout the years without loosing its identity. The first motorcycles used to be available in only in black with white stripes, followed by a color alternative of "white with black stripes." Today, the brand (and its colors) have expanded enormously without compromising its signature design elements, such as the iconic round headlights and kidney-shaped air intakes. We were lucky to have Antonia guide us, being a great BMW fan. We enjoyed it when she told us how the new BMW7 tail lights makes her heart beat faster.

One of the highlights at the museum is the kinetic sculpture, which was used in an advertisement for the BMW 5 series:

Kinetic sculpture animating 714 metal balls


Posted by Aart van Bezooyen  |  28 Nov 2011  |  Comments (0)

A year ago, Aart van Bezooyen and Paula Raché decided to embark on a unique project focusing on sustainability in materials and design. Instead of the usual desk research they started planning a creative journey around the world. After a lot of thinking and pinpointing countries to visit, it was time to get an around-the-world ticket and to start writing friends and colleagues for local contacts and country information.

When we arrived in Bali, Indonesia the cab driver asked us how long we are going to stay. Four weeks we said and he burst out laughing. "What are you going to do here for four weeks?", he asked. We did not really understand his amazement. After two weeks, the server at our favorite restaurant even had to ask us whether we had business in Bali. Contrary to what locals assumed, by the end of our four weeks we got used to the mind changing way of life on Bali and were sad to leave this beautiful island.

Hello Tourist
Indonesia is the first Asian country we visited ever. During the first days in the city of Ubud we were busy getting used to the street vendors and the chorus that followed us on the street. "What are you doing today?" "You need transport?" "You want a massage? Maybe tomorrow?" "Discount for you—good morning price for good luck..!" No matter whether you are a designer, teacher, nurse or plumber, on Bali visitors are all the same—tourists! With its swarms of street sellers and desperate taxi drivers we realized that a garden café that is both lovely and quiet is a unique proposition in Ubud. From the local newspapers we learned that the Ubud area is experiencing a growth in Eat-Pray-Love tourism, referring to the book and subsequent movie where Julia Roberts visits Bali to "find herself." We didn't see this movie but this is what we found.

bali-wifi.jpgInvisible technology meets tangible crafts

Daily Pet
During our stay in Bali we continued our list with animal sightings, or what we called, our "daily pet." Living in bamboo huts is a different thing than our compact flat in Hamburg. Unlike doors and walls, the bamboo huts are semi-open structures that allow for natural cooling. Of course, these structures that allow air to go flow through the huts also give animals free reign, and we experienced a lot of night activity. One of the first friends we met was a frog that lived in our first accommodation. After we put out the frog the first night, he (or she?) was back on the same spot the next day.

bali-pet.JPGOne of our first roommates in our bamboo hut

Getting to know more animals such as birds, snails, butterflies, dragonflies, spiders, bats, and the common house gecko in our hut we learned that these animals were there long before us and didn't disturb us. Even better, after two weeks we were entertained with their daily bug catching activities and it felt like we were all living together. Honestly, it took time to appreciate these "pets" but this respect for animals and closeness with nature felt like a very harmonic and sustainable lifestyle.

Green School
One of our main goals on Bali was to visit the Green School which received a lot of attention when founder John Hardy presented a TEDx talk about "My Green School Dream" in 2010. Since then, the school has been overwhelmed with both students and teachers who want to go green which is both a blessing and a curse. After a short tour by Ben Macrory we enjoyed the "Wizard of Oz" theatre night in the midst of proud pupils and even more proud parents. The theater show was fun but the school building is amazing. The Green School is currently the largest bamboo structure in the world.

bali-school.JPGA quick shot from the backyard during Ben's (fast forward) Green School tour