Although it was chosen as the No.1 Destination in Lonely Planet’s list of ten top countries to visit for 2011, Albania is still a country unexplored and unknown to most. The small coastal nation, wedged between Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece, was once home to a long-running government overseen by Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha. When Dutch photographer David Galjaard recently visited the country, he created Concresco, a series based on one of the lasting reminders of that regime – over 750,000 cement bunkers. [Read more...]
For anyone who has had the pleasure of driving through a seasonally cold area in the hot summer time, you were probably treated to one of the funny anomolies of such areas: road signs warning of icing on a hot day. It might be a scorcher outside, but that sign is still warning every car going by to watch out on the next curve… it could be icy ahead. Now, as part of the first prototypes for his ‘Smart Highway‘ project, Dutch designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde has come up with an interesting solution for alerting drivers of a cold road – and it’s far smarter than the signs of the past. [Read more...]
Wim Hof has truly earned himself the nickname of “Iceman.” The Dutch world record holder now possesses 18 world records, one of which is the longest ice bath. Doctors have studied his incredible ability to control his body temperature, using the Tantric practice of Tummo, which Hof claims allows him to turn up his own body temperature using just his brain. In addition to his world record setting feat of remaining for 1 hour and nearly 15 minutes in an ice bath, he has also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in two days with nothing but a pair of shorts and completed a full marathon above the arctic circle, again with nothing but shorts. His icy marathon took him a total of just 5 hours and 25 minutes. Still not impressed? In 2007, Hof attempted to climb Mt. Everest in his shorts. He did not make it to the top because of a foot injury, but he did not stop because he was too cold. [Read more...]
These wild stools may look like mushrooms from another dimension, yet they actually find their unique shape from the cooperating earthly forces of magnetism and gravity. Created by Dutch artist Jólan van der Wiel, his Gravity Stools have just won him a 1st Prize Interior Innovation Award for Young Talent from imm Cologne. [Read more...]
If you thought the concept of car-sharing was only a recent notion, think again. Looking like little Pope-mobiles, these classic electric autos from Amsterdam where not the car for those who suffer from scopophobia (the fear of being seen), but they did pioneer the idea of a technology based car sharing system. All the components of a modern system are there: a very clever docking and recharging system, card and computer control of vehicle access with the member entering their PIN number on a rotary phone. Rates were reasonable: about 3.5¢ US per minute.
Here are some bold designs by the prolific and varied Dutch artist going by the name, Parra. With works that often start off as simple drawings, made with cheap drawing utensils on regular pads of paper, Parra creates images and characters that are comical, bizzare and often erotic. In recent years he has teamed up with product designers to release his own clothing line, tables, skateboard decks and sculptures, all with his unique touch. See his work at www.rockwellclothing.com or see it all over the people and shops of Amsterdam.
Instead of shipping old train carts to a landfill, a Dutch hotelier decided to use the old transit parts as building blocks for an eccentric hotel in Hoogwoud, Netherlands. The various rooms of the Controversy Tram Inn are decorated with retro decor, including an impressive collection of vintage American pop culture items. [Read more...]
Illustrating moody, somber and sometimes angry comic art, Belgian-born artist Hermann Huppen has had a long career of story telling. Born in 1938, he is most famous for his post-apocalyptic comic book series, Jeremiah, which he both illustrated and wrote. Here is a sampling of the high quality art from his career.
For more on Hermann, see his website hermannhuppen.be.