Blush. Design in full color

Colorful process
When you enter the exhibition area of the Stedelijk museum of Den Bosch you walk through a tunnel of color. The exhibition “Blush. Design in full color. “The first museum survey of the designer Scholten and Baijings. The Dutch design duo has been making products together for eleven years with a classy finish, enchanting colors and subtle use of materials. This ranges from tableware, cushions, and rugs up to tables and chairs. The focus of the exhibition lies in the way the duo works. They are a duo that likes to work well thinking. ” A method in which there is more room for surprises, which creates new results. Besides the products, there are also models and prototypes to on display. So you see how from a piece of cardboard and strips of tape you can create a dinner set. In a corner called ‘D-constructed ” you can see which parts of the product makes the design. They see their products as a sort of building kit. It is not just only their idea. The whole process and the people who are involved get attention. The duo strikes a bridge between designer, craftsmen and manufacturer. This gives their products a fine balance between design and usability. In a time where there is more room for color and design, Scholten Baijings products fall into place. Reason enough for an overview and a look behind the scenes.
www.sm-s.nl

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Everybody Electric

The younger the better
A science center, that is enjoyable and understandable, NEMO in Amsterdam has one. The name refers to a kind of no man’s land, a place where visitors can crawl into the skin of scientists, technologists and technicians. Not only in there skin but also in there jacket. There is a lab where in a white coat with glasses you can do real experiments. The NEMO is not only fun and educational for children. Adults can also learn something. Especially the temporary exhibition “All Electric” is important for young and old. The oil supply is running out, and CO2 emissions have to decrease significantly. The traffic is a big problem. The solution? All Electric! Experiments with electric vehicles go back many years. The importance of it has only just accrued. The NEMO is perfect place to bring this awareness. For older visitors, it is a great opportunity to quietly learn about the possibilities. For example, the Nissan Leaf displayed, an electric family car that was declared Car of the Year 2011. The young visitors learn that a car or scooter can go into a power outlet. They are the future. There is an interactive way to explain what a smart grid is. A smart electricity grid that will be needed all day to distribute the electricity. A day at NEMO makes you see the importance of science and technology. Perhaps the youngest will realize the same and we will see them back in the lab wearing a bigger jacket though.
www.e-nemo.nl


Bike share schemes shift into high gear

Sharing bikes
Around the world, cycle-hire operators are rolling out bicycles that were tucked away for the cold and rainy months. Hundreds of new bikes and docking stations will join existing fleets, while many more cities, from Kailua to Tel Aviv to the Big Apple are joining the bike-sharing wave for the first time.The idea is simple: Charge a nominal fee to give people all the benefits of cycling without the hassle of bike ownership. It’s an old idea, but the concept of a bicycle fleet for shared use has undergone a very modern makeover in recent years. Today’s bikes are often equipped with GPS devices for tracking. Free and coin-deposit systems have given way to solar-powered, computerized docking stations designed to deter theft and afford easy installation. Users often can reserve a bicycle with a few taps on a smart phone, unlock a bike with the swipe of a smart card that links up with the local metro, and even track calories burned while pedaling. The number of bike-sharing services in 10 European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, has leapt to about 400, up from “only a few” a decade ago.
Source: www.nationalgeographic.com, June 7, 2011


Arnhem introduces Amber

Arnhem Fashion Biennale
This June Arnhem is all about the Arhnem Fashion Biennale. The host is named Amber. Amber is fashion and fashion is Amber. Just as unpredictable, uninhibited and whimsical as fashion. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful in its ugliness. Fashion is very versatile, like women. That is why artistic director JOFF chose the name Amber for this edition of the Arhnem Fashion Biennale. Fashion becomes a person, a good way to explain the diversity within this field. It´s clear that fashion is not just about buying clothes. The main exhibition takes you into the world of Amber, in all her aspects. In addition to clothing there is also room for design, photography, film, audio and products, seen from a fashion perspective. There is work by Prada, Jil Sander and Klavers of Angels, but also BLESS, Martin Margiela and Iris van Herpen. The works are not just simply on exhibit. Everything is put down in a carefully designed system, which empowers the design. A painted path leads you through the old factory hall and lets you hear, feel and see what fashion is all about. This exhibition is the main activity and worthwhile, but not the only thing there is to do. There are lectures, workshops and various initiatives throughout the city. Amber lives in Arnhem ,till July third.
www.arnhemmodebiennale.com


Google adding search by voice, pictures

Technology on smartphone
The plain Google search box will soon be able to handle more than taps on a keyboard. Google is bringing features pioneered on smartphones, like voice and image search, to its flagship product, the company said at a news conference here on Tuesday. The speech-recognition tool began showing up as a microphone button on the right-hand side of the Google.com search box for some visitors on Tuesday.

It will only be available on Google’s Chrome Web browser for now, but Google executives say they hope other software makers implement the technology to support the feature. Like on Android or the Google application for the iPhone, people can click the mic icon on Google.com, and say a phrase or question into their computer microphone. The speech technology attempts to account for accents and context in order to transcribe the recording into text. This produced mixed results in my testing, speaking in plain English or with a faux Cockney accent.
Source: www.cnn.com, June 14, 2011


Strawberry Earth Film Festival

Creative sustainability
Not a red carpet, but a green carpet was rolled out in front of Studio K in Amsterdam this weekend. This is the fourth edition of the Strawberry Earth Film Festival. A sustainable festival where films and documentaries are shown about our planet and its well being. It is about not however only about the films, but also a great opportunity for ‘green’ entrepreneurs and all those interested in sustainability, to meet each other in real life. In a environmentally responsible way, while enjoying a bowl of strawberries from Jan Robben, the strawberry expert, or a glass of juice from Sapmeesters. In addition to the indoor film theaters, there was an outdoor movie screen from CosyMo’s Outdoor Solar Cinema. New this year was the launch of the “Green Filmmaking Competition”. The organization not only finds it important that films are made with a sustainable theme, but would like to make the entire film industry more sustainable. The project will run for one year, with a group of fledgling filmmakers trying to look for ways the film industry can work more sustainably. That development is slowly but surely happening abroad. With the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation as a partner and an expert jury, it is a serious project. The finalists will be showing their short films at the end of next year at a new edition of the festival.
www.strawberryearth.com


Twitter finds a place in the classroom

Social media and education
Students tap away at their cell phones, laptops and iPads during Enrique Legaspi’s high-tech history lesson. A technology enthusiast, Legaspi learned how to incorporate the social network into his 8th-grade curriculum while attending the annual Macworld convention in San Francisco earlier this year. “I had an aha moment there,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘This is going to really engage my students.”Teachers across the country have been incorporating Twitter into classrooms for a few years, but the site’s adoption by educational institutions appears to be limited. A survey of 1,920 U.S. teachers published in April found that 2% of them use the micro-blogging site in college lectures. About half those polled said the use of Twitter and Facebook in class is harmful to the learning experience, according to the study from consulting firm Pearson Learning Solutions. Still, Legaspi is hopeful. When he explained the plan to his students at Hollenbeck Middle School in East Los Angeles, he learned that only one of them had used Twitter. But most, he said, live on their phones. So getting them started wasn’t difficult. Students who don’t have Internet-connected gadgets of their own can use the class computers. A teacher for eight years, Legaspi said experience has taught him that a small group of students tend to dominate classroom discussions. During the seminar at Macworld, other teachers reported seeing broader student participation through Twitter.
Source: www.cnn.com, June 9, 2011