LifestylePersona June, 8th 2012 by

My Holland

The Philips Light Tower-Photo by Ruud Balk

My Holland

Since my recent return to Holland, the country where I was born and raised,  I have experienced a warm climate. Not in the meteorological sense hélas  but the activity in the art and design world made up for that. In general you can say that most people are interested in art, design and life style and you can find it everywhere around.
After my return my first visit was to my relatives and friends in Eindhoven, the city where I grew up. A city where, when I was a kid,  everything seemed to evolve around PHILIPS. (This multinational was founded in Eindhoven in 1891). Everybody seemed to either be working there or have something to do with it otherwise.
Although we already had the Van Abbe museum back than Art was not much of an issue in those days in the region and I didn’t feel inspired there at all which made me leave town, travel, finally move to The Hague and later to Marbella.
The Van Abbe museum has since then become quite important and at this moment Rene Daniëls  (Eindhoven 1950) has a solo exhibition in the museum.

This exhibition has been opened on May 12th with an introduction by Manuel Borja-Villel, director of the Museo Nacional  Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid where a similar exhibition attracted almost 95.000 visitors from October 2011 to March 2012. )
After leaving Eindhoven I lost touch with the city completely.
Family and friends have been trying to convince me through the years that Eindhoven had become more interesting and even trendy but I stayed sceptical. Until this recent visit….
As a High Tech and Design city it’s on the worlds map once more. The High Tech university and The Design Academy have become famous worldwide. As I see it now  Philips was of great influence to all of this. Even though closing down their production in Eindhoven by taking it to low cost country’s  doors have been opened for new creativity in the town.

To my surprise new destinations have been created for these old factory’s and office buildings.
Factory plants like Strijp R  and Strijp S, The Philips Light tower and the Clock building (Photo’s  Ruud Balk)

Some have become trendy restaurants, some art galleries, some studios for artists and some combine all of this.
And the population of Eindhoven has become more and more trendy and appreciative of design.
THE DUTCH DESIGN WEEK, Yearly held in Eindhoven it now attracts people from all over the world. Some names of very successful designers graduated at The Design Academy : Maarten Baas; Studio Job; Kiki van Eijk en Joost van Bleiswijk, Piet Hein Eek.  (PHOTOS)

Most interesting is also  John Körmeling who graduated from the Technical University in Eindhoven.
He designed the Dutch pavilion called ‘Happy street’ at the World Expo in Shanghai and it was one of the best visited pavilions.

Amongst others I visited : Strijp R An old (Philips) factory plant where now designer Piet Hein Eek is located. Piet Hein Eek (1967), graduated from the Design Acadamy in 1990, has become famous for his scrap wood creations. Many important museums have paid attention to his work.

At ‘Strijp R’ his factory, offices, showroom and shops  are combined. And in the nice and spacey restaurant you can enjoy a very lovely meal surrounded by more design. So after my short visit to Eindhoven I must say I’m pleasantly surprised and will certainly visit The Dutch Design Week there in October.

Joyce Balk Canvasses

Artist Joyce Balk

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