Trapped in Suburbia are experts in experiential design. They are art directors and concept developers with an 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. They transform stories into an experience.

The Ghosts of Sunday Morning

Design Museum Den Bosch is paying tribute to the expert advisers at the European Ceramic Work Centre (EKWC, now known as Sundaymorning@ekwc) with the exhibition The Ghosts of Sunday Morning. For fifty years now, the EKWC has brought together knowledge, design and imagination in the field of ceramics. Thirty key works from the EKWC’s history have been reinterpreted and executed in white clay, creating an exceptionally beautiful and ghostly spectacle, in which past and present overlap.

To realize this atmosphere, we have chosen to fill all transparent plinths with fog. The fog gives it a mysterious effect. This effect is enhanced by the fact that you hear the tinkling sound in the background of ceramics just coming out of the kiln.

Seriously Funny

Corrosive, groundbreaking or light-hearted? What are things you can and can’t make jokes about in satire? What are the boundaries of mockery? In the exhibition Seriously funny you discover how satire makes you laughing out loud, while exposing serious topics and why satire is so important.

Satire should also sand a bit. And the exhibition Seriously funny does not only sand, but also literally because the walls are made of sandpaper. Through interactive elements and videos, objects and cartoons, the visitor discovers where the own satire boundaries lie.

Risk of Explosion!

The attack on the Amsterdam Registry Office.

The exhibition focuses on the social-psychological aspects of this spectacular act, which took place 75 years ago (on Saturday, March 27, 1943). The visitors can sympathize with the considerations and discussions of the six artists and gain insight into their backgrounds, motives, how they proceeded and what ultimately went wrong.

The exhibition consists of 12 rooms that you have to visit one by one. Because of the 3D audio tour and the beautiful illustrations and animations on walls and ceilings you have the feeling that you are in the story. Gradually there is no way back and you experience the same dilemmas as the attackers. You can decide on these dilemmas through an interactive component in the exhibition.

The privacy theme is also discussed. In 1943 we apparently did have something to hide. How do we think about that now and what needs to be done to erase your data nowadays?

Eric Corton together with Sebastiaan Labrie tell the story in 3D audio. Rob Worst is responsible for the illustrations.

Arita Ceramics Symposium

The Arita Ceramics Symposium was held in November 2016 in Arita in Japan. Arita ware is one of Japans most famous ceramics and rich in tradition. This book is the transcript of the symposium and is a gift for the speakers and organizers. During the 2 days lots of valuable information on ceramics is shared between different cultures and this is not be be lost.

The brief was to design a book that shows the full transcript of the symposium in both English and Japanese and turn this into something special and a collectors item.

The essence of the symposium is Ceramics. Therefore we chose to have a ceramic platter on the cover of the book. On the front cover the is the image of the ceramic platter, this represents the talking about ceramics. And on the back we have a 3D moulded Arita ware platter, which represents the actual making of the ceramics. This also makes the book float when you lay it on the table and keeps the big wiro- spine elevated.

The inside contains different grams of paper from 300 grams on the outsides it slowly transforms from 280, 260, etc into lighter paper 80 grams on the heart of the book. The represents the different possibilities of ceramics. It can be really thick and strong, but also fragile and transparent.

Because of almost 400 pages there was no wire-o available to bind the book and this had to be custom made by hand by the binder. This book is the first of it’s kind with such a big wire-o.
All the above and the run of just 35 copies makes the book a unique design and a collectors item.


Trapped in Suburbia award

Silver | 2018 European Design Awards

Magical Miniatures

A colourful look at the Middle Ages

Step into the wonderful world of medieval miniatures full of color, fantastic creatures, animals, figurines and flowers. A magical universe presented on very small paintings that served as an illustration of handwritten books. Every tiny figure is a portrait, every landscape a glimpse into the life of those days.

In this exhibition we let the visitor experience that the Middle Ages were not as dark as most people expect. The colorful existence in the broadest sense of the word predominates in this exhibition.

We let the visitors be surprised by the craftsmanship, richness and beauty of the medieval books, introduce them to this craft by giving them the opportunity to make their own miniatures. At various places in the exhibition there were workplaces where certain parts of the craft are explained and you could make your own miniature. Explained is how to make the edge decorations, the miniatures, but also the calligraphic writing.

There are several other opportunities where you can experience the Middle Ages instead of just admiring. Like smelling a medieval book, browsing through a blow up version, or playing with a digital blow-up and digital books.

“It was embarrassing how happy we were. Professors from Princeton, Harvard, everyone was stamping and gluing stickers. Have not seen any manuscripts: -D “ (twitter)

Spent over 2 hours drooling (not salivating, mind) over manuscripts at the Utrecht @catharijne convent museum. It’s not just the manuscripts but whole ‘deco’ which is wonderful to walk through! (twitter)

The NRC national newspaper came on 19 March with a praising review, 5 out of 5 stars.


Additional photos by Billie-Jo Krul

Talking Ceramics 1

The kiln, the ceramicist’s oven, plays a major role in the ceramic process. Ceramicists can spend weeks creating their object yet when it is placed into the kiln all control is taken out of their hands. Even the most proficient ceramicist on opening the kiln after firing cannot predict the outcome – it could be perfection or disaster.

To experience this excitement, anxiety and surprise, the reader must literally bake the white book in an oven – watch and wait – all is revealed as the heat transforms the cover and reveals the design.

Taking Ceramics I discusses the topic of mistakes with several past artists-in-residence from the European Centre of Ceramics’ (EKWC) . Playing with the subject, the book’s layout emphasises fragility, splitting content over pages and positioning it precariously close to the edges.

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


Trapped in Suburbia award

Gold | 2017 European Design Awards
Bronze | 2017 European Design Awards
Nomination | 2017 ADCN Awards