Exposition: Netherlands Open Air Museum

Commissioned by Ambachtlab of the Kenniscentrum Immaterieel Erfgoed Nederland (Dutch Centre of Intangible Cultural Heritage) the designers Marijke Bruggink, Thomas van den Bliek, Paul Hulsenbosch and Iris de Vries were challenged to redesign the traditional wooden clog for the digital age. The aim of the Klompenlab is to preserve the knowledge of traditional crafts by implementing it in innovative designs that are sustainable in our contemporary lives. 


In the digital age people have the ability to micro-design their own autonomous lives. Every life has its own unique patterns; its own way of expression. With the clogs I wanted to simulate the individual expression by rendering the organic material of wood in unique patterns. Similarly, in the past every village in province of North-Holland had their own unique and distinct pattern that expressed their local identity. Overtime these clog patterns changed and kept evolving as new generations took on the craft. With my design I took the scans of the existing traditional clog shape and evolved the materiality of wood to follow the rules of the digital age that are dissimilar to our physical realm. The patterns would grow how we decided the wood should grow. It allows us to create new ways of expression of our individual as well as our collective Dutch identity. 


The results of the research and designs were exhibited to the public for the duration of two months in the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Dutch Open Air Museum). The clogs were showcased along an animation and projection of the wood texture and moss growing on top of the contemporary clog designs. The viewer could also listen to an interview about the history and process of the clog making.