Pakhuis de Zwijger*, Amsterdam played host to a spirited night of brewers, beers and brands at the 7th edition of the Indie BRANDS Event. Showcasing 16 of the best microbreweries in the Netherlands, the Indie Brands Brewery Special featured an inspiring evening of fascinating talks and exquisite beer tastings. With more than 243 independent breweries emerging over the last 10 years, craft beer making is rapidly becoming a Dutch phenomenon. While the market remains relatively small (roughly 5%) compared to other countries (15% in the US), microbrewers in the Netherlands are optimistic that there is ample room for growth.
Bicycle fever struck Pakhuis de Zwijger* Amsterdam during the 6th edition of the Indie BRANDS Event (28 March 2014). Bringing together an exceptional corps of bike makers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts to the bicycle capital of the world, Indie Brands on Wheels featured an extraordinary night of compelling talks, independent brands and their highly coveted products. The evening’s festivities rightly honored the Netherlands’ most beloved mode of transportation: the bicycle.
Success is often followed by admiration. In any given field, even the most accomplished of individuals are inspired by someone else’s example. Indeed, our fascination with those whom we admire stems from our desire to walk in their footsteps, or in some cases, to surpass them. Thanks in part to the rise of social media, never in the history of humankind has following the success of other people been so conveniently possible. Still, there has always been an air of mystique surrounding these public personas.
At the 2nd anniversary of CreativeMornings Utrecht (14 March 2014), documentary photographer Marije Kuiper offered us a peek into the hidden lives of world-renowned creatives. As co-creator of the online documentary series Like Knows Like, she and filmmaker Bas Berkhout profile a host of talented artists, designers and musicians (among others) across the globe who are deeply beloved on social media. Throughout her career, Kuiper has worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes, in search of unique individuals, stories and settings, making the invisible visible.
Following our passion is easier said than done. From a very early age, we were convinced that life is comprised of a linear set of milestones that must be achieved in order to give it meaning: go to school, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids, and the list goes on. By the time we realise that there is more to life than an archaic list of someone else’s goals, we may have given up on what interests us the most, assuming that we have already discovered what that might be. As a result, most of us tend to endure our chosen profession rather than enjoy it.
At the 22nd edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (21 February 2014), psychologist-turned-illustrator Ellen Vesters proved that it is never too late to do what you love, as long as you are willing to work for it. As an artist and founder of online illustration concept store Urlaub, Vesters is undoubtedly a rebel-at-heart, leaving behind her former career to pursue her true calling. Although she admits that her change in course was not the smoothest of transitions, her struggles did not keep her from having fun along the way.
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Be it a mystery, what you make of it, or whether or not it is in your hands, everyone hopes for a brighter future. In many ways, we are led to believe that the sum of our everyday actions reflects our desire to achieve a better tomorrow: “Dreams don’t work unless you do,” “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” Indeed, society’s attitude towards things to come has evolved from total resignation (“Que sera, sera.”) to taking responsibility – not only for ourselves, but more importantly, for our children.
At the 21st edition of CreativeMornings Utercht (31 January 2014), digital media expert Remco Pijpers declared that it is never too early to prepare for the future. As CEO of youth knowledge and (digital) media centre Mijn Kind Online (My Kid Online), he is a staunch advocate of teaching children how to code at a very young age. Together with Sanoma Netherlands publisher Suzan Schouten and media educator Pauline Maas, Pijpers is convinced that coding will ultimately be a vital skill in the years to come.
Cities are icons in their own right. Indeed, these urban landscapes have been known to captivate hearts and minds, inspiring everything from literature and the arts to music, culture and design. To live in a particular city is to be influenced by it, to embrace its intrinsic character, rhythm and vibe entirely as your own. Aiming to encapsulate this urban aesthetic is TIMcity.
Fascinated by the intricacies of the metropolis, Dutch founder and designer René Tim established TIMcity in 2012. With a background in Urban Planning from the University of Amsterdam, Tim sought to capture the essence of world-renowned cities in a clear graphic design. The result is a collection of minimalist prints resembling the street maps of New York, Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam. Featured on premium cotton shirts and totes, Tim’s designs chart the historic, urban developments of the cities they represent.
As far as civic symbols are concerned, monoliths and mega structures pale in comparison to the regal roads, charming neighbourhoods and secluded alleyways of the bustling metropolis. These paths and thoroughfares are the true embodiment of a city’s true identity. What better way to celebrate these centres of civilization than to immortalize them on a tee?
For more information on TIMcity, Indie BRANDS and other brands featured in the Indie BRANDS blog, visit the websites below:
It was another full house at Pakhuis de Zwijger*, Amsterdam during the 5th edition of the Indie Brands Event (9 December 2013). In anticipation of its 2nd year anniversary, Indie Brands celebrated in style by hosting a truly memorable gathering entirely dedicated to food and beverage. Featuring a feast of fascinating talks, food tastings and food-centric enterprises, the evening’s festivities highlighted the victories, trials and tribulations of the Dutch indie food scene.
Politics in Play
The relationship between food and business is a bond that has spanned countless of centuries. Over the past few years, the Netherlands has slowly developed a budding food movement –from new restaurant concepts and food trucks to craft beer brewers, slavery-free chocolate and vegetal ice cream– that fervently champions the principles of sustainability, fair trade and local sourcing. Be that as it may, it appears that the current regulations of the Dutch food industry have been less than conducive for small business growth.
It’s official. Touchscreen devices are here to stay and they are only getting better. Revolutionary advancements in the field of mobile technology over the past few years suggest that smartphones and tablets are soon to become everyday, household items like the radio or TV. As impressive as this may seem, there is a growing concern among parents nowadays regarding the alleged side effects of the rapid acceleration of the Digital Age, particularly when it comes to their children (technology-dependence, separation anxiety and ADHD, to name a few). Nevertheless, some parents may give a positive response when posed with the following question: Would you give your smartphone to your child?
At the 19th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (25 October 2013), graphic designer Xander Wiersma addressed these parental concerns by unveiling mobile technology in a different light. As a father of two and co-founder of Den Haag-based design studio Appracadabra, Wiersma and his team develop visually stunning, educational apps for kids (aged 2 and older), targeted at nurturing specific skills. Purposely made available in a number of different languages, their apps are intuitively designed and are based on the established precepts of how children play.
There is no denying that the significance of design is largely underrated. Given its abstract yet unobtrusive nature, its complexities are known only to those who care to discern them. For the most part, design maintains such a discreet presence in our everyday lives that we often take for it granted. Nevertheless, design need not be spectacular to be any more important.
At the 18th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (27 September 2013), graphic designer and editor-in-chief Peter Bil’ak expressed his overwhelming fascination with design and the endless possibilities thereof. His magazine Works That Work explores global instances of unexpected creativity and their impact on society. What began as an inspiring publication entirely devoted to the curious mind has surprisingly evolved into a remarkable project of its own, reflecting the rapid developments in design, new technologies and mass media.
When it comes to making consumer choices, human beings err on the side of emotion. Rather than selecting the most rational option, customers are easily enticed by the allure of gimmickry, novelty or convenience, perpetuating the rise of a throwaway society. Be that as it may, the same tricks of the trade are increasingly being used for the greater good, encouraging consumers to make better choices. At the forefront of this campaign is bobble.
Advocating the merits of smart, purposeful design, New York City-based company, Move Collective launched bobble in 2010. Their aim was to rectify people’s drinking habits by developing a reusable, filtered water bottle in lieu of the single-serve version. Available in a wide-range of colours and styles, bobble has emerged as a trendy, lifestyle accessory that doubles as an initiative to reduce plastic waste. Each innovatively designed, portable filter replaces the equivalent of 300 disposable bottles, propelling more and more people to source their water from the tap.
In working towards a sustainable future, bobble is the first of many visionary products that the company hopes to conceive. Practical as it may be, the brand is a stylish proponent of what should be considered the norm. Best leave it to good design to bring back common sense. ✌
bobble | Filter in Style
For more information on bobble, Indie BRANDS and other brands featured in the Indie BRANDS blog, visit the websites below: