Trapped in Suburbia are experts in book, exhibition and identity design with a unique approach to interaction. Their designs encourage involvement, either to start them or complete them. With involvement comes better understanding, something heartfelt and something special but most importantly something memorable. It is this that transforms graphic design into an experience.

 

 

A book to oven bake


Talking Ceramics I

The oven plays a major role in the ceramic process. Ceramicists can spend weeks preparing their object yet when it finally goes into the oven all control is taken out of their hands. Even the most experienced can open the oven after a weekend of firing to find disaster.

Capturing this excitement, anxiety and surprise, the reader must bake the initially white book in an oven until it transforms to black and reveals the cover design.

Taking Ceramics I discusses the topic of mistakes with numerous of the European Centre of Ceramics’ (EKWC) past artists-in-residence. The book’s layout plays with this fragility, splitting Dutch and English texts over pages and positioning content precariously close to edges.

The special edition emphasises this theme further with its 1mm thick porcelain front cover. Inevitably, whether through the sheer weight of other books or mishandling the cover will crack. Consequently, the reader, like the ceramicist learns to accept and appreciate the beauty of mistakes.

The EKWC has been a prominent centre for experimentation in ceramics for almost 50 years and has a vast array of previous artists-in-residence who have pioneered this material.

On The Road – Travelling with the Photographer

How can photography be experienced in a new way? On The Road – Travelling with the Photographer marks the first in a series of exhibitions showcasing the Nationaal Archief’s photography collection of over 14 million images. The selection is a journey through history showing the prominence of travel in the development of photography.

This exhibition contains several unique ways to experience the collection. Upon entering, the Infinity Room places photography in the current day, precisely the current second. The room is completely covered from floor to ceiling with images streamed from the web highlighting the saturation of photography today.

Apposing this fast paced world, two unique photo chairs offer the visitor an opportunity to sit, observe and truly appreciate one single photo. They can even close the surrounding curtain to enhance the privacy and peace and quiet of the moment.

The majority of the exhibition contains black and white photography. The Colour Room, however, presents a selection of colour photos in a completely different atmosphere. You are transported into a different world just as colour photography did at its arrival.

Since this is the first in a series of exhibitions, the entire structural design is a modular system that can be easily deconstructed and rebuilt in different layouts for future exhibits. Also, especially for this exhibition a new hanging system was devised to reduce preparation time by 80%.

Exhibited renowned international photographers included: Ed van der Elsken, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Luc Timmers, Herbert Ponting, Cas Oorthuys, Sem Presser and Willem van de Poll.

Additional photos by Anne Reitsma.

Torture Basement

The redesign of the torture exhibit in Museum Gouda focused on capturing the imagination and curiosity children had when entering but also making it exciting and informative. Translating all the information into UV illustrations means that to the naked eye nothing is visible. Only with the use of a UV torch can the visitor explore the space and discover facts and stories about the equipment hidden all over the floor. Thus placing the visitor in the mindset of this curious, imaginative child and forcing them to search around.


Trapped in Suburbia award

Gold | 2010 European Design Awards
Silver | 2010 International Design Awards

Driiip

Three circles in the Driiip identity represent the stages and elements to drip irrigation – water, life and earth. Drip irrigation is an extremely precise and water conserving method of irrigation which slowly releases droplets of water directly to the root over a long period.

These three elements return throughout the identity in graphic illustrations of the process and photography of luscious greenery. Placement of these also play with the physicality of materials such as earth that lies on the bottom of the letterhead.

A book to play with


Ruimte voor de spelende mens

Ruimte voor de spelende mens (Space for the Playing People) presents The Hague’s dream to become a utopian city based on artist Constant Nieuwenhuys’ New Babylon. Here the city is an environment where its inhabitants can focus solely on their creativity and exist as homo ludens, ‘playing man’.

This financial report documents the cultural budget distribution across the many institutions in The Hague. The document details the government’s spending for the following four years in comparison to previous.

Fulfilling the city’s dream, the design of the report actually gives the reader the opportunity to play. The content is divided into seven books which form a tangram puzzle. ‘Alles moet mogelijk blijven, alles moet kunnen gebeuren’ (Everything must remain possible, everything can happen), the report’s ethos, is emphasised through the tangram’s ability to form infinite combinations.

As a tangram puzzle the previously dry and complex document is transformed into one of creativity and joy. Additionally, the shapes of the tangram become an abstraction of The Hague’s visual identity of which the report is designed within.