Last week started out with a visit to the Utrecht Medical Centre to discuss a possible new project. I was introduced to this by my younger brother Ties, who is one third of the infamous Pony Design Club, a graphic design studio and also of Dufarge, whose apparel I regularly sport. Anyway, the project is about the medical chambers in the hospital, and possible changes around them. Games and play might be a way to facilitate some of the adjustment required of the people using these spaces. We’ll see.
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of sharing a desk at Topika, a design studio founded by my one time This happened coconspirator Alexander Zeh. The studio is part of the Open Coop, which also used to be home to our principal technologist Alper—and still is to the Open State Foundation, of which he is a board member. This is a special kind of creative hub, one that is wholly owned by its inhabitants. Hence the name coop, short for cooperative. It’s an inspiring place. It shows what’s possible when people throw in their lots together and forgo individual interests. The shared lunches prepared by one of the attendant companies is one case in point—you won’t find this in a regular incubator. The amazing work being done around architecture and urban planning such as with the Kamermaker—a massive 3D printer that will eventually print buildings—only sweetens the deal. Amsterdam Noord as a whole, where the Open Coop is situated, is an exciting place.
It was in this entourage that I got to spend a good few hours just working through some designs for Victory Boogie Woogie—which nicely offset the previous week’s all talking and no making.
On Wednesday there was the monthly Dutch Game Garden networking lunch. Also a pleasant few hours spent talking with Brendan Dawes over coffee at The Village. And to top it off the TEDxUtrecht speakers dinner. Talking, in other words. But good, stimulating talk nonetheless.
Then on Thursday, I attended and spoke at TEDxUtrecht. Couldn’t be much more pleased with how my own contribution went. I’ll blog it as soon as possible. The venue, great turnout, pleasant atmosphere and good lineup all conspired to make this a thoroughly enjoyable event. Utrecht doesn’t see enough of these high profile events, certainly not ones that are produced by a grassroots team of folk well embedded in the local creative scenes. This was a nice change.
To wrap up the week I visited the UMC once more for a tour of a number of medical chambers—a guerrilla field study of sorts. And I spent a few hours at Tinker, presenting Hubbub’s work, learning about their practice, and discussing the overlaps between game design and exhibition design, also with Sjoerd of Monobanda who had joined us.