This weekend I’ve visited BrabantNacht in Eindhoven. For those of you who are having certain preconceptions just like me (my first thoughts were: Guus Meeuwis, beer and people dancing the polonaise), think again! It was a night full of design. And I love to tell you all about it!
BrabantNacht is an event organized by VisitBrabant in collaboration with the tourist bureaus of cities like Tilburg, Breda, Den Bosch and Eindhoven and some smaller locations, such as nature park De Biesbosch, theme park De Efteling and safari park Beekse Bergen. Their goal is to show their cities in a new and exciting light so they organize BrabantNacht, a night to experience Brabant to its fullest.
BrabantNacht in Eindhoven
As we, the readers of Petite Passport and me, love design I was invited to experience BrabantNacht in Eindhoven. Eindhoven is the capital of design in The Netherlands with the Design Academy, the Dutch Design Week and more importantly lots of designers living and working in Eindhoven (just like Piet Hein Eek, Jeroen Wand and Kiki van Eijk). It is really interesting to see how the city developed since Philips decided to move and all the offices and warehouses became available for new entrepreneurs. For example: where Philips developed their first light bulb is now Inntel Art Hotels where I stayed in one of their Loft Rooms.
The evening started with a walking tour through the city where we learned a little bit about architecture, design and a history. The Blob is a design by an Italian architect called Massimiliano Fuksas. The story goes that he saw the building in miniature and he found it way too smooth. So he punched it a few times and that’s where the dents in the design came from. Another interesting story is about the nickname of the city. Lichtstad, meaning: city of light, refers to Philips is the assumption by most people – even locals. But it’s a reference to a matches factory back in 1870.
Enough Wikipedia-style facts for now. Let’s continue our tour…
We arrived at De Kazerne, a restaurant and exhibition space under one roof. No references to Philips in here – this once were the barracks for Dutch soldiers in times when The Netherlands and Belgium were discussing about the border. De Kazerne is an initiative by a couple from Eindhoven, Annemoon Geurts and Koen Rijndijk. They always wanted to open their own restaurant, but weren’t really thinking of Eindhoven in the beginning. Until they opened a pop-up restaurant during the Dutch Design Week in 2006 called Eat, Drink, Design and they developed their idea further into a permanent restaurant (opened three years ago). Where they always show work of interesting designers.
During BrabantNacht you could see the installation of Maarten Baas for Lensvelt called ‘May I have your attention, please’. It won the award for best installation during the Salone del Mobile in Milan this year and moved to De Kazerne afterwards. Also you can see the installation ‘In 20 Steps’ by Studio Drift. The installation of Maarten Baas will still be there during the Dutch Design Week.
Workshop design your own miniature chair
After dinner in their restaurant we were invited by Studio 06 from Eindhoven who organized a workshop ‘design your own miniature chair’. They had three designs to choose from or you could free-style a bit. As I teamed up with an architect we decided to go for the Zig Zag Chair. The process of making a chair is fantastic and I really can understand why it’s such a good feeling to make something with your hands (instead of working behind the computer all day for example). Our design didn’t make it to the end (it was already midnight and we wanted to enjoy the Silent Disco), so no final pics to be shown.
After the Silent Disco it was time to head home. And dream about my next visit to Eindhoven during the Dutch Design Week. See you there!