Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu

Archive for October, 2018

A Creative Chair

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I always feel incredible small when I go to big museums. The artworks often fill up all the mental space in the room. I always end up feeling incredibly small, unimportant in relation to the art that surrounds me. When I went through the collection at the Stedelijk Base a couple of weeks ago, I felt the same way. Very small in comparison to these big paintings and great design.  Overwhelmed by all the history of modern art and design gathered in one place.

I find it fascinating the way they put the chairs on pedestals in museums, also in the Stedelijk base. They give the chair extra meaning, value. These are chairs that people also own in their homes, but suddenly they are given a different function. These chairs have a utility, but in a museum they are no longer to sit on. This is ironic, since it was made for sitting. A chair is often rated higher amongst other pieces of furniture. People have a closer connection to chairs, probably because it is made directly for our bodies to sit in. If you think about it, we spend a lot of time awake, sitting.

In the Stedelijk museum i was in the end also drawn towards a chair. I walked through the exhibition to look for my object, and I found it. It was placed in a smaller room, way back in the corner. It was hidden, but when I saw it, it caught my attention. There was no doubt that this chair was a sculpture in itself. It had an organic, almost sexual shape and a shiny surface.  I was curious as to how it would feel to sit in. Would it be comfortable, functional? Or was it even made for sitting? This is how i ended up picking the Floris Chair, designed by Günter Belzig.




First in my research, I found that the chair had been written about before, on the design blog. There is a post about the chair written earlier this year. The writer asks the question if the chair is even made for sitting. If the purpose is for it to be more comfortable, than functional, does it live up to this? link:

Also the chair is mentioned in another post on the Designblog about plastic:


The Internet is never ending. It is insane how much information you can find. However, there is a risk of getting lost and it can be hard to filter the information you find, and sometimes even hard to find the right information. When I made a google search of Floris Chair design by Günter Belzig, of course a lot of links came up. 99% of them from auction sites. There were a number of sites selling the chair, or that had sold the chair. At first i thought that these sites were quite interesting to study. The comparisons and differences in prices, descriptions, but the more sites I looked at, the more prices I looked at, the less I understood the fact that the chair was valued that highly. I started to question my original impression of the chair. What was it, that made the chair so insanely expensive?


$ 23,750. This is what the google, could tell me about the Floris chair.


I continued my search, and the next thing I found was a Danish website about ergonomics, where the one of Günter Belzigs designs had been picked, among other  ergonomic furniture, to sell on the website. It was the Pegasus design, not the Floris, however. It was shown on the website next to ‘ergonomic tips’, which I found odd, but that was most information I found about the chair so far. They showed images of how the chair was made.


The next thing I found was Günter Belzigs own website, and here the Floris chair suddenly seemed less important than it had so far. The chair was only one of many other kinds of projects displayed. Most of the website was about the designs of playgrounds for children, that Günter Belzig has made. Almost everything is under the theme ‘play’ apart from the plastic furniture, he oh, so happens also had made.


So this brought me much more close to the designer behind the chair. But I found it very strange, that the same designer had created these two very distant things. An almost erotic looking chair and playgrounds for children. Günter Belzig, a playground designer, but not famous for his playgrounds. Just famous for this one chair that he made…

How did the chair become famous? How did the chair end up in the museum? Who decided that the chair should be placed there? What made it important? I wonder if the chair was placed in the exhibition because it was famous, or the other way around, if the chair became famous, because it was placed in the exhibition. When someone decided to put the chair on the pedestal in the Stedelijk base, they in some way closed the discussion about the chair. They decided that the chair is important, that it was good, important design. In some way they also opened up for the discussion about the chair, by placing it there, on the pedestal. They show it; so we can study it, make our opinion of it…

It was hard to find anything about the Floris chair in books. All the books with information on it, you would find in germany, and in german. To find information in relation to the chair, you would have to broaden the research and look more away from the chair or the designer.

When I walked through the Stedelijk Base, I was seduced by the chairs shape, glinse and the kind of mystery there was. Would it be comfortable? Would it actually fit the human body? After the first research I did, i was disappointed. There was nothing interesting to find about the chair and I questioned why it was even placed in the museum. But, the final place that could help me to know more about Günter Belzig and the Floris Chair, was youtube.


I saw these videos of Günter Belzig talking about his the Floris Chair among his other work, and I came closer to understand why he designed this type of furniture. Günter Belzig believes in creativity and innovation and wants to create spaces that stimulate this. He created the Floris chair just as one of his playgrounds, as a space for creativity. Now the question has changed. We don’t just want to ask whether or not the chair is comfortable to sit in, but when you sit, does it also induce your creativity?


Skærmbillede 2018-10-31 kl. 21.40.09



Big Bird

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

While walking through the basement of the Stedelijk, one object‘s shape caught my eye. When I looked again I saw such a friendly face looking back, cheerfully. I wondered why it was such a friendly face. I noticed a lack of bright colours. But this – what I thought to be at this point a birdmanvaseface – looked so happy and alive, with his wobbly and alive-like-lines and flappy wings or its little beak.

foto1.0 Grote Vogel


First I tried to search online for this bird and it first brought me to the website of the Stedelijk Museum. Here it is described and documented and in which publications it is mentioned. The second things I found were different spices of Picasso’s ceramics which have been auctioned off back in 2012. Soon I realised that this same auctionhouse/their website, had a whole collection of these ceramics. They called it the Madoura Collection, the best Pablo Picasso auction that has ever been and will be.

 foto2.0 stedelijkweb boekken

foto3.0 Madoura Collection


The Auction House Christie’s made a film about the collection. After seeing this film I wondered they sold over 500 ceramic pieces of Picasso so statistically speaking they also could have Picasso’s bird vase. So I set upon the quest to scroll through the entire collection and see if I could find it. There were similar vases but they did not have the bird face so I kept on scrolling, until I got half way through, when I found it.

foto4.0 Video Madoura Collection

I learned from the auctionfilm, that Picasso was working with the Ramié family in 1946. After a year he returned and stayed working with the family, was living in the same area till he died in 1973. So he must have had a lot of pleasure making these ceramics and maybe that pleasure you see in this bird vase.


Because now I new of two vases which were the same, I wondered how unique is this vase. So I looked into the catalogue of the auction and learned that this vase was executed in an edition of 25.


My last  “issue” with this beautiful vase (in fact with all ceramic vases by Picasso) is that you never see the vase being used as a vase: for example on a kitchen table, in a window or as an mantelpiece. I think it is a kind of sad that this vase is always in some kind of studio/museum setting and never in a real environment. Because of several reasons: According to the lady of the video Picasso wanted anybody to come in and buy a piece of his ceramics with their pocket change. That is, I think, the main reason, so many pieces are made.

For us, poor people who are not willing or  “able” to buy a 300,000 Euro vase, it is hard to imagine how the vase would look like in a natural environment. In other words for our first impression of the vase we have to read how big it is, to read how the texture is and to guess which flowers I can put in: I mean what kind of vase is this? Would big sunflowers look good, or would daisies look even better. Because after all, it’s still a vase and when it’s used for it’s purpose then a vase filled with flowers gets an extra dimension and can glow with radiance.

I have studied many Picasso’s, paintings, ceramics and pictures of his studio’s and for what I have seen, he himself is very practical with his work. The following pictures show how this statue of a goat is often a cheerful object in his daily life. The only picture of two vases near some flowers shows again that the object is not used for its purpose. Nevertheless this particular picture shows what some colorful hydrangeas do for those vases.

foto5.0 gaot

foto6.0 hydrangeas

My point of view is that a few beautiful sunflowers in Picasso’s bird vase would certainly give an extra dimension to the vase.





Search path, just a matter of straying

Tuesday, October 30, 2018




halssieraad / neck ornament, 1967

aluminium / aluminum

verworven / acquired in 1990

Gijs Bakker neck ornament at the Stedelijk Museum


The few words that can be found on a white rectangle, the reference, all that I have in this temple of modern and contemporary art and design. It’s better to think about objects with my own perception. Too many precision in the vocabulary and words prevents me from really seeing, feeling an object. The few words on the white rectangle : the starting point of my research. The few words on the white rectangle that I type in the Google search bar. It’s not easy to immediately get Gijs Bakker’s necklace as a result. I can criticize the few words on this white rectangle because it has a lack of detail from the museum. But maybe it’s up to Google to be more selective? Google Image, Pinterest : websites that look like Ali Baba’s cave, or the attic of my grandparents. There are pages and pages that distract from the intended goal. I can’t stop looking, scrolling.




It’s curious. It looks like there is no end. The time looking seems unending. There is a lifetime of content. More than a million years to see everything. I can research for hours on end to no satisfying avail. The task at hand is a prevalent one, the thought of finishing an essay is an up hill battle that seems to push you back down with distractions.

It’s just a matter of distractions. I click, I slide with my computer mouse. I like to let myself go with the waves. Four words typed can generate a profusion of images for a research module. This often feels like my mind has traveled great distances.

I easily loose the landmarks of my departure, as soon as I see a flashy thing go by. I think, I’m inspired by the recommendations. I dive into a sea of images. But fishing can be a test of luck. I swim between DIY and designer pieces. That way I learn the names of small and big jewelry designs. When I come to the realization I have departed from my initial topic, I cry trying to get back into the flow of things. The information is incomplete, unnecessary. Too much advertising also.

However, I sink deeper into the internet. Social networks. Instagram, Facebook. The draw of familiarity and humor. Gijs Bakker on his feed invites us into his daily life. It’s a good way to capture the universe of the designer, I try to catch images of his insight to understand his inspirations, or how he integrates his creations into reality. I like to see photos taken on the spot, not made for respectable publications. These forms of publication bring a different way of sharing creations.

It’s hard for me to let go of my digital research, maybe laziness … but we always must look for more precise information with sources we can trust. So I take refuge on the designer’s website. Not surprisingly there are details on all his projects there, it is organized and clear. Also, I can find a list of publications in which Gijs Bakker appears in. On the other hand, there is no more information about the necklace than the few words that were on the white rectangle.

I continue on the website of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, after all, he studied there. Yet nothingness, nothing about the old students. Shame. I feel that I will have to get going on the paper reading. It’s time.


Rietveld website no result

But it is true that I, a person who has become accustomed to the simplicity of a Google search, I also likes to rid themselves of the inanimate screen. So I open books but soon I starts to get bored. I use the Rietveld library. There are many books about jewelry. Most of them are focus on eras, styles of creations, parts of the world, techniques or materials. The depiction of his exact item is very scarce, even in very specific books.

It’s finally the same as a Pinterest search, or almost. There is of course the pleasure of the paper’s touch and the smell of a book. There is also the promise of more dedicated information base. Why is it that we always believe what is written on paper? In the publications I’ve been flipping through, the designer is never represented alone. Always a name of book that creates a topic, it can be the use of certain materials, an era or a style of creation … I see that Gijs Bakker is a small part in a much larger book. It’s finally for me as another form of tab “recommendations”.

I also found Gijs Bakker’s portfolio. What I think is interesting is that the design of the website is the copy of the book, or the opposite. Who knows ? I’m not sure that the same design on screen and on paper really change something…

It is clear that the book searches are much more accurate and reliable, it is not the new of the century. However I appreciate internet research more because of it’s sprawling nature. I have the feeling that with a few words typed in the Google search bar, it’s a small fire that starts, just a click to take off, I like to lose myself in the web, whirl and lose myself completely in what I’m doing. It’s a way to have fun, to escape rigor, solidity and this kind of traditional and logical way to make research with books.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Presentation of ‘Screen 100’

In the Stedelijk Museum Base, a screen made of pinewood can be found, next to other Scandinavian design. The description tells the beholder some basic information of when the screen was designed, by who, and when this specific one was produced.The object was designed by Alvar Aalto, who was a Finnish architect and designer who was born on the 3rd of February 1898. He could be seen as one of the most influential in Scandinavian design of his time. When looking at the representation of his works in books, his architecture is most prominent, as those were very big projects he worked on for multiple years. For every building he made he wanted the environment to be functional, so naturally he also started making furniture. In books about Alvar Aalto there is often a mention of the Pinoy vase and the Paimio chair, but it’s difficult to find the more obscure ‘Screen 100’.

aaaaaaltoScreen 100 Alvar Aalto in Stedelijk Museum Base

However, looking for it on the internet, thousands of results pop up. Even though printed matter hardly mentions the less popular objects, this does not seem to be the problem online. Instead of information about the object itself, or biographical details about Aalto (or maybe even the theory behind his design) it seems to be mostly auction sites. Various auction houses have a broad range of prices, starting from around €1800,- till approximately €8000,-. The sites claim that their ‘Screen 100’ was produced very short after the design year, but never give actual information on the piece. Often, the screen is presented in a way that Alvar Aalto would never. Next to very decorative elements full of color, or with clashing styles. The only place on the internet that seems to accurately depict the aesthetic of his designs is , the company founded by Alvar Aalto himself to produce his products en masse. Still though, the site remains simplistic and does not give away too much information.

auction site aaltointernet screensaalto artek

To see how this object is represented in other media, a library needs to be visited. Specifically, the library of the Stedelijk Museum itself. In this library there are many books on art and design, but there are also documents on every piece in the museum, including ‘Screen 100’ by Alvar Aalto.
Looking in their catalog, many books on Alvar Aalto mostly focus on his architecture again. However, there are some books specifically on his industrial design. Even then, the screen is not put into the spotlight. In one of the books about Aalto’s design, it only has a very small mention in the back of the book, where his designs are put in chronological order. Only a small symbol is present, no pictures of the screen are shown in the book. The depiction of this exact design item is very scarce, even in very specific books.

alvar aalto furniture bookartek design alvar aalto chronological order

Luckily, the museum library has more than just those books. A brown file storage box is brought out, containing various brochures and sale catalogs from Artek. There are folders and papers from the fifties, nineties and early two thousands that contain every object sold by Artek. These are one of the few printed documents that show ‘Screen 100’.
Besides the catalogs, the library also has the complete object description on hand, which is a file including all known details about the specific screen that they have in the museum. Details like the manufacturer, the size, the number of slats, and even how the object is transported are included. In this description it is mentioned that the screen was used in the museum, before it was put in the collection of the Stedelijk Base. Pictures show that the screen was used to block entryways while exhibitions were built. This means that the object was also represented in a very practical context.

artekartek catalogus spread alvar aalto designscreen 100 alvar aalto volledige objectbeschrijving stedelijkscreen 100 aalto stedelijk

The differences of how the media presents this object lie in the frequency and detail of information. Printed matter available in regular libraries often focus mostly on the more iconic, time consuming efforts of Alvar Aalto, as his architecture is often more prominently shown than his design. If the design does have a mention, it is mostly the more popular things that will be mentioned. This also holds true for more specific books on his design. One of the few printed matters that do mention the screen are very functional such as inventories or catalogs, where the context is about selling a product, instead of informing the reader about various movements or ideas. The price is often listed right next to the object. The same holds true for the information found on the internet, where auctioning sites give a very simple description on the object. However, the online results show a variety of pictures of the same object, in different combinations and settings, whereas the printed catalogs often go with the same pictures and symbols. While the museum library has one of the most accurate and detailed descriptions for the object, one can only understand it fully by seeing it firsthand. Even then your understanding of it can depend on the context in which you see it, as the screen can be represented among other furniture of Scandinavian designers in the context of a presentation in a museum, or seeing it functional, as an everyday item, where you are more likely to glance over it.

Yet, after a deep dive into the designs of Alvar Aalto it seems impossible to glance over it and not admire the simplistic beauty that is inherent to ‘Screen 100’.

Jan Toorop’s Delftsche Slaolie

Saturday, October 27, 2018

This poster is one of the first works that is exhibited at the Stedelijk when you enter the base. I spent a couple of hours at the museum looking at everything, trying to look for different options, but in the end it is the first one that I saw that made the cut.

It is a lithograph made by Jan Toorop in 1894 for the Dutch Oil Factory (Nederlandse Olie Fabriek, NOF), but it is also because graphic design (and in this case advertisement) can be forgotten; when people think about design, the first things that usually comes to mind is furniture. I then wanted to investigate how different it would be to research in this field of design.

I first started by going to the academy library and found three books about Jan Toorop, two in Dutch and one in French. In art books, Toorop’s posters are always quickly mentioned, if ever mentioned at all. Most of them focus more on his paintings and drawings and his advertising period during the 1890s is largely overlooked. But what would there be to say? It seems to be a question I cannot find an answer to this. I find it strange that this piece is considered one of the most famous works of Toorop and Dutch Art Nouveau and that there is so very few information and texts about it.



Furthermore, when I did my research on the internet, only basic information showed up, usually on museum’s websites like the Rijksmuseum or the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Both of them have a print in their collection, that’s why you can find it there: a picture, with a title date and dimensions. So no analysis or study or history or context like I expected. For instance there was only one website (the Moma) that mentioned the company this poster was made for; you can find the initials on the poster (NOF).

Another thing really intrigued me: in the first websites popping up under the research bar were both Christie’s and eBay. On the first one, original 94×64 cm prints are auctioned from 22500 euros. On the second one 53,7×12 cm prints are sold for 25 euros. The one in the Rijksmuseum is 95×62,5 cm, in the V&A it is 101×69,9 cm. I also stumbled upon who retailed two sizes, for 50 and 70 euros. The posters always come in different sizes and prices, original print or not; they even come in different shades since Toorop made versions with slightly altered color schemes. I also came across stamps with the design printed on it.


Everything published before 1928 is automatically public domain, which is the case for the Delftsche Slaolie poster (which was created in 1894); it means that with no copyright, anybody can use it. If I wanted, I could sell postcards like this person on eBay or commercialize shirts with this image on them.
This thought also made me realize another weird thing: when I was browsing on google images, I only found pictures of the poster alone, but never in context. At first, this poster was supposed to be an advertisement, but I never encountered a photograph showing a situation where this work was actually put to its initial use. I also expected to find pictures of this poster as decoration, since it also sells like this nowadays, but absolutely nada.
After searching for a long time I only found one image with a framed poster. It was on the website of a gallery and the piece was sold for an unknown price.



I started wondering about the fact that more than a century ago, people saw this on the street like we see advertisement ourselves nowadays; we wouldn’t think about hanging this Oatly (a brand of oat milk)

poster that has been all around the streets of Amsterdam on our wall, and in the same way maybe the people back then would have laughed at the idea of putting the Delftsche Slaolie poster in their home.

I went to the Stedelijk museum again but couldn’t find a postcard of the work in the gift shop. Since I couldn’t find any picture of the poster in context, weather it be advertisement or decoration, I would do it myself, and I decided to do that with a kitchen wall because I figured that most people would hung that in their kitchen. It is food related after all.



If I print it myself at school in good quality and same size as the original it would cost me a couple a few euros, and maybe it would be even better than the eBay or ones. I will have to do that for my grandmother so she can add it to her collection on her toilet wall.

What does all this mean for the future of our present advertising? All brands try to make beautiful or eye-catching or subversive ads in order to differentiate themselves from the rest; but what does it have to take to end up in the Moma, Christie’s or an old lady’s toilets?


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Schermafbeelding 2018-10-27 om 14.17.03

Although I never have played chest I was quite intrested in this chess set from Josef Harwig. When I was searching for the information I immediatly would think of how much info I could get out of this webpage or this book? It became kind of this game the books with a lot of information about the chess set became the kings or the queens of the game the other ones the pawns,  the castles, the knights or the bishops. It’s like a chess game you have the book information vs the information you can find on the internet, like white versus black.

The books are the white game members.
You can find a lot of books about Bauhaus. Only in the Stedelijk they already have 400 books about Bauhaus. The only problem is that in most books you can only find one sentence about the chess set from Josef Hartwig.

 For example if you take Bauhaus from Frank Whitford. This book is written in 1984 and you could see that they knew really much about Bauhaus, but the book is not that big or thick like the books that are now written that subject. If you search in this book for Josef Hartwig you see that he is only mentioned on two pages (64 and 149). On page 64 his name is only in one sentence where he is mentioned because he took over the wood-carving workshop and the sculpture workshop. On page 149 there is a picture of the chess set and her is more information about it as well. Its nice to see that the chess set on the picture has still a cylinder for the queen in the Stedelijk it became a square. These books you could see as pawns they carry a lot of information and they are important for the game, but individually they don’t say a lot about the artist or about some artworks.

bauhaus frank white ford

Than you have books like BAUHAUS from Jeanine Fiedler.This book came out in 2013 and is ta really big and thick book. It has 639 pages which is a lot of information. And even though there are so much pages there are only a few about Josef Hartwig. Books like Bauhaus design from Bernd Polster are more categorized versions. They have every design on one page and tell than some thing about the maker and the design piece. There are 350 pages and more than 200 design objects are being discussed. Both of these books are kind of new and so carry a lot of information. I think you could see this books as the castles, they are bigger than the pawns and stand on the edges of the game they protect kind of the other books, because they are also based n the other books.

 bauhaus jeanine fiedlerbauhaus design

My next move was to go to the Bauhaus archive. Only the real bBauhaus archive was closed and the one that was open now did only show things about the real Bauhaus archive building. I talked to one man that worked there if they had some information about the chess set. He said that they had one brochure, but unfortunately they didn’t had them anymore. Luckily I did found some information in the Bauhaus shop.

bauhau archive tijdelijk

You could buy the chess set or even some spare pieces.. In the vitrine there was also a short explanation of the different shapes for each piece.

vitrine bauhaus archive

All the pieces also had one postcard with them. The postcard was a graphic design on the background it says: Joost Schmidt promotional card for the Bauhaus chess set by Josef Hartwig 1924.

voorkant postcard achterkant postcard

In the shop I also found the book Bauhaus.typography. I think that Bauhaus.typography was for me the king of the search because this book let my see how in 1924 the work was being sold. There was one chapter about advertising for the Bauhaus. There was this one postcard again from Joost Schmidt that was made in 1924 with lithography. The postcard plays also with the shapes of the chess set. In this book it became clear that there was advertisement for the chess set in that time. There was also this other advertisement card for all the toys/spielzeug from Bauhaus, that was also made tby Joost Schmidt.

boek bauhaus typographieboek typographie van binnen spielzeugboek van binnen postakkartboek van binnen uitleg

And of course there is also a queen the most important player in the game. The one with the greatest freedom of movement. The queen of all the books about the chess set is Das Bauhaus- Schachpiel von Josef Hartwig. Produced in 2006 by Bauhaus-archive. This books actually says everything about the chess set. This book is illustrated by some of Joost Schmidt his work.This book has 40 pages and explains the chess set both in Deutsch as in English. The book is written to Dora Hartwig, who is the daughter of Josef.

boek schachspeile von5 achterkant boek schachspiele2


On the other side of the chess set are the black players waiting for there turn. In other words all the information you can find on the internet. This information is more chaotic some pages only show the basic information like the size of the chess et.


It also really depends on what you are looking up. You could say that the pawns in case of the internet is the language you look up the information. If you look it up in English the first website you get is the MOMA, this is the museum that has the original chess set. In Germany the first website you get is this a site where you could buy a chess set for 270 euro. If you look it up in dutch you will chess shop in Amsterdam called “het paard”.  the chess set is more expansive there it is 480 euro. The looking up of the different language was my first set. And because of the moving pawns there was space to move the castles which were all the website with accuets and shops. Where the prices really change in case of how old they are.

chess set Josef hartwigSchachspiele josef hartwig
schaakspel Josef hartwig

If you look up images the first picture you get is from a shop that sells the chess set the last picture you get is from a site that I hope was a test or something because the purpose is really unclear. I think the images are for my also the pawns it’s a tool to find useful websites.

first picture bauhaus chess setreally unclear site chess set

I hoped the Stedelijk museum or the Bauhaus-archive would have information on there website and be my black queen.. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. There was not one photo, text or sentence written about.

Also site’s like Wikipedia didn’t give me much information the only thing I got was a really blurry picture of a drawing of the game. You could say that on this point that white was leading the game.

wikipedia chesset


Under the picture there was this description:

Public license This image is in the public domain in the United States because
  • it was first published outside the United States (and not published in the U.S. within 30 days) and
  • it was first published before 1978 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities or after 1978 without copyright notice and
  • it was in the public domain in its home country on the URAA date (January 1, 1996 for most countries).

Flag of the United States.svg

This file might not be in the public domain outside the United States and should not be transferred to Wikimedia Commons unless it can be verified to be in the public domain in its country of first publication, as Commons requires that images be free in the source country and in the United States.
If this file is in the public domain outside the United States, add |pdsource=yes to this template to hide this warning.
Copy to Commons This file is a candidate to be copied to Wikimedia Commons.Any user may perform this transfer; refer to Wikipedia:Moving files to Commons for details.If this file has problems with attributioncopyright, or is otherwise ineligible for Commons, then remove this tag and DO NOTtransfer it; repeat violators may be blocked from editing.
This file was suggested for transfer by a bot (User:ContinuityBot). Please verify that this file is suitable for Commons before transferring it.

If you looked it up on the German wikipedia there was actually some information.

Schermafbeelding 2018-10-27 om 14.21.17


Youtube itself is also a pawn. If you search on youtube you will find videos some just about information, some as a marketing video and some just as an artwork.


Video made for people who love to play chesst. It’s only a slide show with really bad quality images.
This is an video from an artist

This video was made for


the mistakes and the unfulfilled projects which do not fit the site

  • This blog is a place for projects that do not fit on the main site because it is considered as an archive for completed artworks. It is experiments that has been abandoned or not yet found their final form. I think these experiments still bear some relevance as glimpse of the underlying practice. On a personal level it feels good to have a place for these projects and perhaps even set them free in a way. Then other might see an idea and develop it further. Its something that I would like to see from other artists as well because I think it may show something interesting.

This is the real Jesper-Carlsen website:
This video is made for an exhibition. The video is from Fondation d’entreprise Hermes.This is an organitation who has world wide 5 exhibition spaces. I do think this video was a king the information is clear, but I do think that it’s a little bit boring especially with the gloves on her hand while she gets the game out. It’s still a game.

Articles about the chess set where the bishops for me the gave a way much information, but they where always written from someones point of view. Like the financiel times wrote a piece about the chess set and it’s really much about the cost of the game. I think this fits with the bishop because he only moves at 45 degrees and so doesn’t take over the whole chess set.

financieel times artikel chessset

 One of the most interesting articles was from eyemagazine/blog/post/modern-games this the article is not really long, but I think really clear.


If I am being honest I don’t think the internet has one king or one queen, but what I do like from the internet is that when you have found some materials in books you could dig deeper with the internet, for example this back page of a Joost Schmidt postcard. Or this website that showed that Dora Schmidt gave big donation to the Bauhaus-archive in 2006, this also explains why they wrote Das Bauhaus- Shachpiel von Josef Hartwig to Dor Hartwig.

postcard joodst schmidt

I was quite disappointed in the information I found on the internet, most of it were prices of the chess set and for the auctions. There was not a site specially made for the chess set, not like the one book from Bauhaus archive. I also have to say that I think the books are more reliable: they aren’t articles with one point of view, they aren’t website that try to sell the game to you and they aren’t blogs with one person behind it that isn’t a specialist. I also thought it would be easier because you just look up one word and you get tons of information, but what do you have on that information when it actually doesn’t say much?

Turn the page because it is Chess mate.

Fulvio Bianconi Pezzato Vase

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The starting point of my research was Fulvio Bianconi’s Pezzato Vase. The Vase that displayed in the Stedelijk Base (fig. 1) was designed in 1950-1951 and acquired by the Museum in 2002 from the artist Tomas Rajlich. The Pezzati series [Pezza (it.) – patch] was designed between 1950-1954 and produced by Venini & C., a Murano glass manufacturer.

Pezzato Vase at Stedelijk Base


I started my research by looking up books about Bianconi in “WorldCat”, an Internet-based books catalog that contains combined data from thousands of libraries around the world. Most of the relevant books about the artist that I could trace in Amsterdam were either in the Stedelijk Library or the OBA (Amsterdam public library). Besides, I searched in the Stedelijk library internet database, and with the help of its librarian, I could find a few more catalogs and books that did not come up in WorldCat. I also checked in the Rietveld library search engine, but unfortunately, no result came up. Most of these searches brought up relatively focused information about Bianconi and Venini & C.

Later I started to search about Bianconi by going through the glass and crystal books collections, both at the OBA and at the Rietveld Library. Those searches brought up less specific types of books, either about design in general or glassworks.

The physical materials I found can be divided into several categories:

Exhibition Brochures

The Stedelijk library has two original Bianconi’s exhibition brochure: one from 2015 at Le Stanze del Vetro (fig.2), and the other from 1975 at Gallery Danese in Milano (fig. 3). The Danese’s brochure is the oldest physical material about Bianconi I could find in Amsterdam. It’s an envelope that contains six large postcards of the artist work and innovation to the opening in September 1975 (fig.3.a).

Exhibitions Br.



The book (fig. 4) and the Brochure (fig 5.) are both directly related to Bianconi’s work at Venini. The book consists of information about Bianconi’s life, but its central part presents Bianconi’s designs throughout several decades. The designs are divided by series of production (one of them , for example, is the “Pezzati”), and the objects displayed next to their drafts and numbered as in a catalog (fig. 4.a.). The Venini Brochure function both provide information about the company and service as a poster (fig. 5.a). Although it doesn’t revolve around Bianconi’s body of work, some of his designs can be identified on the poster (such as the Fazzoletto series).




Private Collectors

I also found information about Bianconi’s designs at private collectors book. The first one is Losch collection (fig. 6), a private collection that focuses on Italian and Finish Glass. The other book presents Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu Venetian glass collection. Both books are not exclusively focused on Bianconi’s works and display an assortment of his designs alongside the designs of his Italian colleagues at Venini.



After going through all the books found with the help of the Libraries’ database, I checked if I could find information about Bianconi in books about glass in general. I searched in the OBA collection about Glass and Krystal, that are categorized on shelf number 775.6. Three of the books (fig. 8, 9 & 10) consists of very little data about Bianconi, while one of the consists a more in-depth look into his body of work (fig. 11).



Searching online brought up other results. Searching “Fulvio Bianconi” in Google provided around 90,000 results, and adding the word “Pezzato” narrowed the results to 12,500. The internet-based results concern mainly commercial aspects regarding the designer works and present rather little data about his life and body of work.

Many websites either sell Bianconi’s designs or providing data about future auctions and previous auctions results. The site varies from e-bay to Sotheby’s and online auction houses.



Other websites, more “institutional” ones, deliver basic information about the designer works and his life. First, the designer’s official site contains his biography and a small picture gallery of his glass and graphic works. In Venini & C., official website this information can also be found. Modern art and design museums such as the MoMA, Stedelijk Museum, Museum Boijmans, the Cooper Hewitt and the Metropolitan provide limited information about the designer works in each of the institutions own design collection.


Limited data about the designer can also be found in social media. The designers have around 900 pictures that contain his name tag on Instagram. In addition, in Venini official instagram account some go his designs can be traced. The designer has a facebook fan page that is currently not active.


Compared to the information found in books, the one found online is not as thick and much more general. In books, we can see extensive data relating to historical contexts, manufacturing processes, and the designer’s biography and full body of work. The information that can be found online Is mainly revolving around the commercial aspects of the designer’s works, focusing on his popular and “more profitable” production series.

From virtuality to reality

Saturday, October 27, 2018
    In this research, I choose the shoulder piece designed by Gijs Bakker and focus on the difference the object present on printed media and online media.
    I start with Gijs Bakker’s official website, which is clear and detailed. You can find nearly everything about his biography and works since his early design career, and from this perspective, what I see is that the object I research is just one of his virus works.
    Next, I searched this work on “Google” and Chinese searching engine “Baidu”, it’s obvious that you can see the designer’s official website ranks at the top of Google’s search result, which is also the most important information. But on “Baidu”, the reviews of the mass media is always the top and full of unnecessary information, I think this phenomenon is closely connected with Chinese internet policy.
Link to Google
Link to baidu
    And also the totally different image search result on “Google “ and “Baidu”, you can not find this work on “Baidu”.
Link to Google
Link to Baidu

    Then I searched on platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram. You can find many works similar to Gijs Bakker and also the person who collect this work. However, as a platform for sharing the image, what I feel more about is that I’m just looking one of the countless pictures instead of Gijs Bakker’s work.
    And platforms like Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, which have the social function, people can like, share and comment, which is effective to communicate but also your judgment is easily influenced by the public comments at the meantime. Furthermore, these photos all posted during the Gijs Bakker exhibition which shows the instant character of the media. I also find that people like to add a filter to the photo they took on the exhibition base on their own aesthetic, so the information you get on the social media is quite personal and incomplete. From my point of view, It’s always necessary to get the first-hand material in reality if you want to research your subject in a deep and serious way.









Link to Pinterest / Tumblr/Facebook/Instagram

Then I researched on Youtube, I found many interviews of Gijs Bakker and video shotted for his works.





Link  to Youtube
    Then I come to media, both online and material from the library of Stedelijk museum. No matter online and printed media, the information is always incomplete, and also much unnecessary information like the advertisement. Meanwhile, if you don’t have enough understanding about the work, your judgment is easily influenced by the reviews of media.
Capture d’écran 2018-10-08 à 18.15.04  Capture d’écran 2018-10-08 à 18.11.02
 IMG_3361 2 IMG_3360 
 IMG_3362 2
     I continued to research on printed media, the follows are the portfolio of Gijs Bakker that I found in the library. In these books, you can find complete information about Gijs Bakker’s career and the introduction of his design concept, moreover, the book itself can also give you more focused and enjoyable reading experience.
IMG_3151 IMG_3137
IMG_3136 IMG_3154 2
IMG_3602 2 IMG_3137
IMG_3603 2 BxiuZ

    Besides, I also compare the printed media with online media, one thing I find very interesting is that the design of Gijs Bakker’s official website changes into real stamp on printed media, which shows the different possibility on different media.

    Eventually, I don’t want to draw a conclusion that whether printed media is better than the online media because the real world is already a combination of reality and virtuality, both of them can be used as the tool to help you to find the truth.

From Chair to Playground

Friday, October 26, 2018

While viewing all the design objects in Stedelijk Museum I came to the end of the show. I thought its hopeless to find something that satisfies my eye. I finally saw the Floris chair in it’s beautiful white form. I thought it was such an extraordinary design, so feminine, so elegant, there must be something interesting on this chair, and so I began my research on Gunter Beltzig.


Gunter Beltzig is an industrial designer that designed plastic furniture in his youth. They are now exhibited as classics in museums of modern art. He designed many various pieces of chairs and tables. As I went on checking his website, facebook profile, and all the pages that Google gave me, I found more and more of Floris Tablehis furniture. Some were named by the same name, “Floris”, and some more playful names like Pegasus.


pegasus chair

In 1968, Beltzig created the visionary FLORIS chair, which made him known overnight. I stumbled upon Gunter’s research and ideals about life, he seemed to get be inspired by the atmosphere of the 1960s. World events, such as America sending a man to the moon or withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, made the possibilities seem endless. To him, the world seemed full of potential and Beltzig wanted to produce a chair that matched the great future ahead.

Beltzig’s Floris chair is an ergonomic form with three legs and designed to support the three points needed for seating: the neck, rear, and back. Further the chair is light, stackable and stable. Made of fiberglass, the biomorphic form captures the spirit of the material.

272 fiberglass-wave-slide-500x500


Soon enough I started to see Gunter’s designs to represent interesting forms, something that reminded me of children’s play. I noticed that his designs were morphing into samples of playground equipment.


Also if you put them in an outdoor environment, they represent their true shape

and use: artikel_aus_sammeln_seite_07_bild_4 artikel_aus_sammeln_seite_08_bild_3

I found information that he worked for almost five years designing electrical equipment for Siemens AG in Munich until he decided to design playground equipment and outdoor areas for children, of course we can see by his fixation on minimal, plastic, childish designs.
He has written a book on playground design, which has been translated into several languages, authored many publications on the subject of playgrounds catering for people with disabilities and children’s aesthetics and also worked collaboratively on the playground standards. He has held teaching positions at various technical universities. He has created very interesting play areas throughout Europe, also in sensitive nature and conservation areas, with high design demands, many play offers and high experience and learning effects.

  • The 6 golden rules for a perfect playground (TEXT)
    Children play! At any time! With everything! Everywhere! All over!


    Children play everywhere, at all times, with everything they can find; therefore children actually need no playgrounds. But because they are not allowed to play everywhere with everything at any time we need playgrounds to entice children away from dangers, disturbances and the wrong things.

Playing means: „activities of an individual to adjust to the environment“, with other words – playing means sampling all possibilities, go to the borders, sample experiences, search, learn – and it just does not mean children alone, but artists, researchers and many creative human beings play.

There is no defined „value of play“ but many particular play functions like climbing, balancing, coordinating, sliding, to train social conduct, to sustain oneself within the group, but also the experience of wind, rain, sun, these are only few of the possibilities in functional play.

They can overlap, can support one another; but also can block up, prevent play or lead to aggressive behavior.

Therefore it is of special importance to consciously select and search for and set in special play functions on playgrounds on special play equipment.

A playground is a highly complex sociologically functioning place.

The 6 golden rules for a perfect playground

A good playground should:
1. Offer atmosphere, impart sense of well-being, invite to abidance.
2. Have possibilities for discovery, provide only searcher with its full potentials.
3. Allow controllable risk, cognizable risk, manipulable risk.
4. Offer differing possibilities for different moods, interests, needs.
5. Supply wind-, sight- and sound-shelter.
6. Make „special“ bans dispensable.

A bad playground is:
1. A parcours for dressage.
2. A landscape decoration.
3. A use of residual areas.
4. A centralist mono-structure for only one specific user-group.
5. Not enough room, not enough choices, too uniform, not enough stability, too unkind.
6. Too safe, too similar to an enclosure, too regulated.

Gunter is a designer with a great imagination, I can almost say that he would fulfill all my dreams as a child, and give me the opportunity to enter a playground full of excitement.

skizze04 skizze01 skizze25  freizeitparks011

Some more information about projects, books, articles, text and magazine mentions:


Playconcepts and Projects of the recent past

– Playground without Play equipment, at the LAGA, Pforzheim, Germany 1992
– Apulia Robinson Club, Kinderbereich,  Italien 1993
– Expo Lissabon, Spielgelände,  Portugal 1997
– New York City Hall of Science, Play Area,  USA 1997
– Naturspielgelände,  Waging am See,  1997
– Playmobilpark,  Zirndorf  1998
– Castle Plays Cape,  Billund, Dänemark 1998
– Spielinsel, Thoiry-Park,  Frankreich 2000
– Spiel-Mal, Ornithopter,  Magdeburg 2000
– Play-Area in the Livingston Park,  Puerto Rico 2001
– Princess Diana Memorial Parc, Play Area,  Kensington, London 2001
– Spielburg, LAGA,  Oelde 2001
– Ouwehands Dieren Park, Spielhalle,  Holland 2002
– Wasserspiel im Kinderreich, Deutsches Museum, München 2002
– Fidenza Village, Play Area,  Italien 2003
– Spiel-Mal, Kiesspiel,  Dortmund 2003
– Wasserspiel LAGA, Trier 2004
– Play in the Tree Alnwick Garden,  England 2004
– Playmobil Spielen in der Halle,  Zirndorf 2004
– Blindeninstitutsstiftung,  Würzburg  2005
– Spiellabyrinth,  Wien 2005
– “Play the Wilderness” Concept,  Deimhausen since 1998


Gunter Beltzig  is mentioned in a few books and biographies mainly interested around design in the Stedelijk Museum library:


Experiment 70 : Designvisionen von Luigi Colani und Günter BeltzigGrunewald, Almut Hoffmann, Tobias (2002)

2. Sixties design: Garner, Philippe (2001)

3. Plastics : designs and materials: Katz, Sylvia (1978)

4. Van bakeliet tot composiet : design met nieuwe materialen = From bakelite to composite : design in new materialsBucquouye, Moniek E.Beukers, Adriaan (2002)



„Kinderspielplätze“,  Bauverlag, 1987,  no longer available, revised as: „Das Spielplatzbuch“,  Spiel-Raum-Verlag 1998 translated into:  ukrainian 1991, polish 2001 „Ksiega Placow Zabaw“

„Spielgeräte…“,  G.Agde, G.Beltzig, J.Richter, D.Settelmeier, DIN Beuth-Verlag 2001 translated into:  french,  Verlag Afnor 2002

„Leitlinien für integrative Spielplätze“, Nürnberg 2003



“Child-like, Childish, Child-friendly: is there such a thing as children´s aesthetics?”, (Kid Size, Exhibition Catalogue, Vitra Museum 1997)

Meine „Sixties“  68 Design und Alltagskultur (Dumont, Ausst.-Katalog 1998)

Kindergarten Architecture (Gingko Press inc. Corte Madera  USA 2001)

Guarderias Diseno de Jardines de Infancia (Editorial G.Gill .S.A.,  Barcelona 2001)

Bauten für Kinder (Kohlhammer Verlag Stuttgart 2002)



The 6 golden rules for a perfect playground 

Child-like, Childish, Child-friendly: is there such a thing as children’s aesthetics 

Play areas in schools 

Concept for A Councillor of Children needs 

Playgrounds and Playground Equipment for the Handicapped 




Friday, October 26, 2018

The other day I was working on this essay, or what I thought it would become this essay, and I bumped into something. I saved an image of the artwork “Kubus Geschirr” from Wihelm Wagenfeld on google to add in pages. But while in pages, I couldn’t find this saved image anymore.

Weird technology.

So I tried something different, I made a screenshot of the image on google. But, while I did this, the internet immediately brought me to a page about:

fair use.




Never heard of it.

My original plan to write about the differences or similarities on how “Kubus Geschirr” from Wilhelm Wagenfeld, appears on the internet and in books got replaced for my interest in the world of fair use.

c/o Pictoright, SM Amsterdam 2004

Fair use has a few similarities with copyright. You use the term fair use if something is a small part of a copyrighted work, you don’t have to ask permission or pay a fee to use it. Where as with copyright you have these five restrictions:

  1. Check who owns it
  2. Get permission to use it
  3. Give credit to the creator
  4. Buy it
  5. Use it responsibility

But with fair use, its slightly different. If for example an image has a fair use coat over it, you can use it for education, news reporting, criticizing/commenting and comedy/parody. In comparison to copyright, fair use has some rules as well:

  1. It has to be a small part of a bigger thing
  2. It has to have a new meaning, it has to be original
  3. It has to be a “rework”
  4. It is non profit (no fee)

IMG_5857 These are the words from someone else, but I remade it, so it's a fair use.

If you ask me, this is al about respect and owning.

Its about getting the credits for something YOU have made and YOU have brought into the internet, you did it, so you want to be sure the credits are still given to yourself. Wait, but you don’t have to pay for it if you made a new work out of it, because then its fair law. ???.

As you can maybe sense I get a little bit confused about this. I’ve never experienced copy right. There are parts of it that I get, but also parts I really don’t get.

It’s interesting to think about it.

Why would it be so important to get credits for your own work? Is it about self-respect and pride?  You’re proud of something you’ve made and you want to show it to the world, but you’re also too jealous when someone tries to steal your work/idea so you put a watermark on it and do something with copyright so you can control it.

I spoke a friend from high school about this subject. She always wanted her friends to put her name in the description or tag her when we putted a photo she made on instagram. I thought it was lame, just be proud you made this photo and own it that way.

I recently asked why she wanted the credits for making the picture. Her answer was that she compares this issue with artists that put their initials on their work or musicians who put their name on their album cover. She sees it as an appreciation for the work she has made and that she would think, I would also like to get that recognition for my work.

Yes, I agree actually. I love when people like my work, so of course I want my name on there. Its a kind of attention your sometimes longing for. Some people more than other, but I dare to say its human.

I asked her later how the internet changes this issue. She thinks that on the internet stealing is easier, which makes you want to have good copyright, to prevent this.


So there is a difference between copyrighting on the internet and in real life. On the internet you can be anonymous and steal someones work within copy and paste. You can steal world wide and also publish world wide. And you can punish someone from stealing your work to ask for a fee and get it of the internet.

In real life its you’re own social circle you’ll steal in, its harder to be anonymous and also harder to publish. When you want to confront someone with it, you’re having a conversation. But on the other hand, making a picture or a copy of something specific in a book is really easy to do and also easy to spread around.

In both worlds we have to deal with copyright, but in these worlds there are different approaches. I feel like on the internet the feeling is more intense, because copyright is a big deal on the internet. It’s less personal, but it is personal. Copyright makes it personal and tender.  In real life, in books, copyright violations are harder to detect and easy to do. Again, in both worlds you want to publish your work, get recognition, but also know that someone can use your work for other purposes. It’s a decision you make.

My suggestion is to apply copyright in the real life-life:



Copyright is the new self respect.
Like and copyright.

A Research about research

Friday, October 26, 2018

Taking the Work “Relief Rug” from Dutch Artist Kitty van der Mijll Dekker, made in 1934 as a leading example, the following text will try to surround and highlight analogies as well as differences in researching online or in printed matter.
The following articles give additional information about the Artwork itself, the Artist as well as the Bauhaus.
Designblog Rietveld Academie

Stedelijk Amsterdam, Relief Rug by Kitty van der Mijll Dekker

History of Bauhaus in Dessau


1st Inscription; "Relief Rug" by Kitty van der Mijll Dekker


2nd Inscription; "Bauhaus" Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Starting with the inscription next to the piece as the first information the audience can get (which definitely is printed information as well), the text doesn’t say anything but the basic information we expect from such source. Juxtaposed with other objects, artworks and artifacts from the same period and art-movement, another inscription announces some facts about the Bauhaus, the educational institute van der Mijll Dekker attended. Therefore the very first appearance of printed information just adds little more as what a viewer could be expected to have as background knowledge.

Printed documentation from and about Bauhaus highlight the emphasis Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, put on the concern of equality between women and men inside the institution. The Bauhaus was one of the few institutions, where not only men but also women were allowed to attend. What seams ahead of time, quickly turned out as not very long lasting and supportive to the persons concerned. Here, the most significant gaps from printed matter to online material can be pointed out. While printed matter talks about a topic and somehow provides information, online publications and writings mostly start with questioning facts which are already researched and published. Some of them come with an outspoken opinion as well as a contemporary context and  as a reaction to other publications.

The disconnection from general information about the Bauhaus to the issue that female artists and their part of the Bauhaus legacy are barely mentioned in publications, that can be traced back to the difference of “providing information” with printed matter and “reacting on information” in online publication.

Frieze; Women in Bauhaus

Emma; Women in Bauhaus

Artsy; Women in Bauhaus

If assumed, a book or documentary publication is preserving information about its content, and not too much voicing an opinion, unless it is a critique, the reader gets broader information which needs to be classified afterwards by the reader itself. Going through the listened publications underneath, the attempt to sum up or conclude seams to be more present than putting forward a subjective perception or even including a critical position.


“The Worlds Greatest Art – Bauhaus“ by Andrew Kennedy, 2006 • “Das Bauhaus“ by Hans M. Wingler, 1962


“Bauhaus“ by Magdalena Droste, 1990 • “Human – Space – Machine. Stage Experiments at the Bauhaus“ Eds.: Torsten Blume, Christian Hiller, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, 2014


Simply spoken, these books come with a quality of objectivity that allows the reader to bring further a general knowledge. It builds up kind of a base where more specific ideas or concerns start to unfold.

Research in literature may appear more challenging, since the linking to connected subjects is not provided and has to be done by the researcher. Google (or any kind of search engine) supports with its algorithm and referring proposals. Although this two faced matter, the advantage of high rated recommendations is considerable. It enables the user to quickly collect a lot of information from many different sources, processing the subject in different contexts. Whereas, as mentioned above, research based on printed matter asks the user itself to fulfill the role of Google’s algorithm. To later on distinguish the quality of information or confirming sources stays an important part of putting research forward to a conclusion. At the same time the internet’s bottomless quality leads to many dead-ends, what creates an alarming but ironical analogy with the lack of importance that was payed to refer female artists to the Bauhaus history.

Heading to a provisional end, the following experience works as an example of applied research.

“Looking for work about v.d. Mijll Dekker I first went to the library of the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. But I was not able to find any literature dealing with her or her work. But knowing that the artist was a part of the Bauhaus Dessau, I started looking through the English and German literature the library had to offer about the whole Bauhaus movement. Unfortunately, even looking through the register of them all, I wasn’t able to find anything about her specifically. So I tried finding out more about the women who were part of the Bauhaus. I started researching information about different influential women who were part of the movement. That turned out as quite a challenge. After this I went to the library of the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam. But also there I could only find few new information on Mijll Dekker and her work.“ progress report, field researcher L.P., Amsterdam October 2018


Text by Luca Putz & Jonas Morgenthaler, GRA 2018

Alvar Aalto, New wave of curved wood

Friday, October 26, 2018

Alvar Aalto was born 1898 in Finland that was ruled by the Russian federation. Aalto’s generation was heavily influenced by National romanticism and the “fennoman”-movement which had the goal to create finnish culture, art and ultimately a independent nation. Finnish national romantic style was very decorative and even complicated, reminiscent of art nouveau. Aalto’s work seem to be a comment or a reaction to this atmosphere.

Aalto graduated as an architect in 1921, when Finland had been independent only for few years. The time for dusty hardwood vitrines, and massive decorative stone buildings where fading to the background. Aalto was on the verge of a new time, and it showed in his designs. In his early career there where a few very influential projects, and the Paimio sanatorium was one of them It was one of the first buildings where he designed everything regarding this building, the whole experience.

paimio sanatorium

paimio sanatorium

What is it like to sit in a chair, and what do you see when you look out of the window. Is the position comfortable, or the material pleasant? And of course, what does the chair look like when you are looking at it.  The lounge chair 31/42 was designed in 1931 for the common areas of Paimio sanatorium, and received all sorts of publicity after that since it was a part of the finnish pavilion in Paris world exhibition in 1937, and after that was exhibited in New York MoMA in 1938. Today it is one of the most iconic designs from him.

As I started researching this chair I mostly found auction sites selling this chair between 4,000-8,000e most of them had the same description text about Aalto and the curved wood.when I searched in finnish I found a bit more. The auction sites, Aalto foundation and Aalto  museum, on top of that I found a pile of news websites asking “Is your grandma’s chair worth thousands of euros?”-or something similar. Internet research gave actually very limited information on the actual chair.

Next I looked in the Rietveld Library and found 1 book regarding Aalto’s early career and wich mentioned this chair and was from 1965. This book already gave me a lot more information regarding the making of the chair, how it relates to other designs from him at the time, and what is the mindstate in which Aalto actually made this chair, what is the so called “philosophy” behind it. The curved wood was a specific asset wich was also emphasised on internet about this chair, since it is the most unique feature in it.In  this book there is a quote that explained his view from me very clearly:

“In order to achieve practical goals and valid aesthetic forms in connection with architecture, one can not always start from a rational, technical standpoint – perhaps even ever. Human imagination must have room to unfold. This was usually the case with my experiments in wood. Purely playful from with no practical function whatsoever”-Alvar and Aino Aalto

IMG-5275 IMG-5268 IMG-5269 IMG-5272 IMG-5273

Final step in my research for now, was the stedelijk library. My goal was to find original advertisements and maybe a pamflette of the chair in New york MoMA. I did not find original advertisements from the 30’s, but i did find artek publications that the museum had collected and a magazine MoMA had published on Aalto’s Furniture and glass designs. There were also two books which were very useful for this research a book about aalto from 1938, showing how this chair was displayed and viewed at the time. The Other book was called Alvar Aalto furniture, and this book showed the evolution of his chairs as well some sketches and experiments on the curved wood on this chair.


IMG-5681 MoMA magazine



IMG-5671 written in 1938


My research is not over yet. My next step is to search finnishpublic libraries and Aalto university department of design’s library and compare the information to the one I collected in the Netherlands. After that I have to go to jyväskylä where the Alvar Aalto museum is, and try to find some original finnish publications of this chair there, since they could not do much for me on the phone.

Panasonic Toot-A-Loop R-72

Friday, October 26, 2018

‘It’s an S it’s an O, it’s a crazy radio! Toot-A-Loop!’ that was the phrase of the famous transistor radio called the Toot-A-Loop. The Toot-A-Loop… We both got mesmerized by this yellow thing that was laying behind glass in the Stedelijk Base and we knew that this was the piece that we wanted to do research on. At first we thought it was a weird mobile device, later on we read that it was a transistor radio, a transistor radio where the designer was unknown from, something that made us even more curious.

Because of the fact we speak different languages, we decided at first to do our online research separate, Philipphine did it in french and Sena in English. We were curious about the fact if the results in the browser would be different because of the language. We soon saw that the information was almost identical so we decided to do the research in one language.

Our research began with first going on Google, we typed in Toot-A-Loop and Google gave us a lot of links and pictures of the radio, the first link that popped up was Wikipedia, of course.


This information about the Toot-A-Loop that Wikipedia gave us was comparable on almost every website, there was nothing more, nothing less.

After Wikipedia we went to the websites of different museums, almost every museum website was disappointing, because they didn’t had a lot of information about the object, they all got a picture of their own Toot-A-Loop with a short text (or no text!) about when it was made etc. but nothing more. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam gave us some book references, something that we could definitely use later.

The many pictures on Google were linked to auction sites and even Marktplaats (the ‘Dutch Ebay’)  we saw that a lot of people were selling their old Toot-A-Loop or already sold them, so there is still a lot of interest in the radio, it hasn’t lost its popularity. The selling price of the radio was quite various,  for example on Marktplaats the radio would be sold for around 30 euros, but on the auction sites it would cost around 100 euros.


We also found youtube videos, videos where people were most the time trying to explain how the radio works, we noticed that the videos were quite recent and that the people who commented under the videos were most of the time talking about how they would (and still love) the radio, so a lot of people from earlier generations.


After long clicking, link after link, (it must have been the last Google search page) one of us ended on this Italian radio website where we finally found some new information about the radio, they  mentioned the name of the designer, somebody called ‘J.M. Willmin’, after reading this we started to Google the name of this designer, the only information about the designer that Google gave us was linked to the Toot-A -Loop. Later on we found an antique website where they were also talking about J.M. Willmin as the designer of the Toot A Loop, we sent them an email with the question where they got there information from, this is what they answered


We think that the name J.M. Willmin was made up by Panasonic so the radio would sell better abroad (in countries like the US and UK),  this is probably why we couldn’t find anything about this designer.

After our online research we went to the library of the Stedelijk Museum and the library of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, thanks to the book references we found online we were able to find books that mentioned the Toot-A-Loop. The information we found per book was different, in the first book, Twentieth-century ornament by Jonathan Michael Woodham, the Toot-A-Loop was used as an example to show something about the Japanese design of the 1960s/1970s further then that there was no information about the Toot-A-Loop itself. In the second book we found, Radio Zeit by Isabel Brass, there was more information about the radio, but nothing we hadn’t read before.

That was something that surprised us, because books carry this magic trustworthiness with them, you should be able to find everything that you want to know in a book, at least that’s what we thought.


It’s strange that there is only limited information about such a popular radio on the internet and in the books. Maybe we should use our imagination to answers the remaining questions.

With this in our minds we started to think about other purposes the Toot-A-Loop could have had, the Toot-A-Loop was designed to put around your wrist, so it could also be a kind of jewelry. We found out that Marc Jacobs probably got inspired by the Toot-A-Loop. Our imagination helped us already a bit, we are curious what you will find!

Twist and turn over

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Starting with the research on architecture magazine ‘Wendingen’,

First I checked the context of this magazine in design history at Stedelijk.




Stedelijk museum

Among the interior objects with distinctive decoration style,

the magazine was closely reacting with similar shape, form, and motifs.

This type of arrangement was effective to show the design objects

existed under the same style called ‘Amsterdamse School’.

In the exhibition space, I could get the concentrated information

mostly in the visual aspect with the short description.

Stedelijk Library

After that, I went to Stedelijk library for more specific information

about magazine ‘Wendingen’. At the library, I could actually touch and

read the whole series of original magazine.



When compared to looking through the showcase in the museum,

It was very different experience. While reading the magazine, I found out that

under the same format of design, it had it’s own playfulness and freedom.

Amsterdamse school

‘Amsterdamse school’ is the design movement flourished from

1910 through 1930 in the Netherlands, with the advent of

industrialization in 19th century. It started with the aim to lift the

living condition of working class, covering from social housing complex, school,

church, bridge, monument to furniture, textile, objects. It’s playful, romantic

and organic style gave rise to expressionistic architecture.

Published in Amsterdam during 1918-1932, Wendingen mainly

functioned as a mouthpiece of this movement.

Emphasizing emotional resonance and playful imagination, several

authors in the first issue of Wendingen criticized rationalists for

overly rigid and austere rules they apply in design.

Het Schip

Het schip is one of the most iconic buildings of Amsterdamse school.

It’s built as social housing complex, currently used as residential building

and museum of Amsterdamse school.




Main focus being settled on Amsterdamse school and magazine Wendingen,

the museum offers overview about the history of advent in design movement.

Based on the historical timeline of Amsterdam in design aspect,

the museum shows very detailed and broad range of information.

I could get the answers about questions aroused

while I was reading the magazine Wendingen:

how this movement cultivated?

why it lasted only for short term,

how did the public association and private dedication are correlated?

During this era, flourishing book design culture in Netherlands left

numerous masterpieces, including ‘Wendingen’.

You can find an article about book design exhibition

also held in Museum Het Schip through this website.

Self-guided tour of Amsterdamse school architecture is possible

If you enter this website.


It is a website dedicated for Amsterdamse school, made and supported by

museum Het Schip. You can find digital image archive of buildings, bridges,

furniture, and artists of this movement.

I used information in this website as a foundation of my research plan.


Map around Gerrit Rietveld Academie with the Amsterdamse school spots.

Biking or walking around the city, I occasionally found some remarkable

buildings, bridges or sculptures that drew my attention. But I used to pass over

regarding it as just nice city design of Netherlands.

After this research, the perception about the city totally turned over.

The vague interest became clear, enabling myself to respect and

understand the city I moved in.

Bauhaus Tea

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

When I visited the Stedelijk Base, I looked at a very diverse range of objects. From colorful Kirchner paintings to the well-known Eams chair, but Christian Dell’s tea infuser from the Bauhaus collection particularly drew my attention for its small size and simplistic appearance. It is made from silver-plated brass and the part where you hold the object, the varnish is slightly worn off and damaged which gives it a precious look.

While I was looking for other objects to potentially  base my research on, I started noticing that while people walked around, the tea infuser was overlooked a lot by everyone, so I decided to stick with the object.

Christian Dell (1893 - 1974) tea infuser
Christian Dell (1893 - 1974) tea infuser (1924) at Stedelijk Base

I started by doing some initial research while I was still at the Stedelijk Museum. At the library archive I asked if they could tell me when and where the tea infuser was purchased by the museum, I found out it was purchased from Christie’s Amsterdam in 2003.

In their archive they also had a book called Metallwerkstatt und Bauhaus edited by Klaus Weber, published by Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin. A 332 page book that is specifically about the history of the metal workshop from the Bauhaus. Unfortunately it was in German, so I could not use any information this book was providing.

When I got to the Rietveld library I found several books regarding Bauhaus. The metal workshop was only mentioned in the bigger and general editions. But I did not find any specific information about this tea infuser nor was there much information about Christian Dell himself. So I started my research online.

Initially a lot of auction websites appeared where I could buy the tea infuser myself, but when I changed and added other keywords in my search I finally found a lot more information about Christian Dell.

Christian Dell worked as a foreman of the metal workshop at the Bauhaus in Weimar between 1922 to 1925. He was hired after Willy Schabbon and Alfred Kopka, who lasted there for a short time. When Christian Dell was hired, the metal workshop gained some needed stability. Still, not much is known about Christian Dell.  Only that Christian Dell was a very experienced silversmith and a skilled teacher.

Prior to the War he was at the Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna, producing metal tableware in an avant-garde and geometric style. At the Bauhaus metal workshop Dell’s work was completely absent of decoration and concentrated on the innovative use of geometric forms. He was mostly known for his highly innovative designs of lamps. So the tea infuser made me wonder how it came about that Christian Dell was the one who designed it. I fantasized about that his idea and goal were to give another light to the transparency of water.  But when I thought of the principles of Bauhaus I realized it probably meant much more than that.

Christian Dell, tea infuser at MoMa Christian Dell, tea infuser at MoMa

Many questions began to flood my head. At first, I contemplated about the fact that tea was normally something for aristocrats in the times of colonialism when it was imported and which resulted in it being partially westernized. The fact that it was meant for the upper class made me aware of the obvious contradiction with the Bauhaus ideals. Besides that, I also found it very interesting how this small tea infuser brought me to think of big historic moments and political affairs. Maybe more so than the paintings shown by Piet Mondriaan and such. This partially because it is so self-evident and quite easy to integrate the object into your own life. Unlike a painting where you are immediately confronted with aesthetic issues and has no real  useful function in daily life.


Log in