And there it is, the last week of the Kennedys 2013. It’s feels like it’s come out of nowhere, like a kangaroo throwing itself in front of your car in the inky blackness on an unlit highway SPLAT!
The last 7 months have disappeared in the blink of an eye. It feels like we walked in here just yesterday all wide eyed and full of wonder, not quite knowing what lay ahead of us. And now we’re all wide eyed again wondering where the time has gone to and what lies ahead of us on the other side of the Kennedys vortex.
It has been a phenomenal ride, a once in a life time learning experience that none of us will soon forget. We’ve worked on amazing projects with great brands and been surrounded by intensely talented, creative and friendly people. This place is truly an amazing place to see and an inspiring place to be.
It’s been a roller-coaster ride; but I feel like people who use this analogy have forgotten what being on a roller-coaster ride actually feels like. Yes there are galactic highs and cavernous lows and the suspense and the view on the way up is great but the lows (or the ride down) is often the most exhilarating part. And that for me is really what the Kennedys experience has been like; one turbo charged roller coaster ride where the highs and the slows have been equally fan-bloody-tastic.
The Kennedy’s 2013 have been getting down and dirty with a stack of projects and now for the third year running we’ve been sticking our eager little fingers into the juicy pie that is the Amsterdam art and culture scene. Lending a helping hand to the Nuit Blanche festival, a one night extravaganza of music, art, science and food; a colourful cacophony that takes place in the raunchy Red-Light district in the center of Amsterdam.
The Kennedy’s sunk our teeth deep into the 2013 Nuit Blanche campaign and set out to harness our crazy and make some beautiful work. And what could be more crazy beautiful than a cat bearding Virgin Mary, a bike gang with LED wheels, and a gang of kooky cartoon mascots; including a belly dancing owl and a dancing banana.
The Nuit Blanche bike gang (aka the Kennedys) took to the streets, faces hidden under eerie white animal masks on the latest Van Moof bikes. We rampaged through Amsterdam with our Monkey Light wheels ablaze, much to the shock surprise and delight of the locals and a couple of stunned tourists (they probably thought they’d spent too long in the coffee shop).
This year the white night will pop like never before when Nuit Blanche makes crazy beautiful and paints the city psychedelic colours with lashings of fluro paint, a truckload of glow in the dark… ummm…. stuff, animated LED wheels, giant neon posters, some animal masks and we’re even throwing in a few black lights just for good measure.
All in all you’ll have to see it to believe it, it’s going to be a night that will colour your life beautiful and send you stumbling home as the moon gives way to the sun with crazy memories of fantastic art and music, Jesus’ mum with a cat on her face, fire farting monsters and a neon pink sausage man.
Uuuuummm yeah, we’ve been kinda busy!
No time for blog posts, friends, family, relationships or sleep, but hey, that sit’s all overrated anyway! No, but seriously we’ve been having an amazing time inside the walls of W+K. We’ve been working our butts off and it’s been great! We’re learning shitloads and cramming as much as we can into our spongy brains.
After being in the gym with some fellow W+Ker’s I’m feeling like a good gym metaphor is called for, here goes: This week we’re feeling the burn, no pain no gain, pushing it harder, pumping iron, Touch my pecks and call me Wendy (that one showed up on 3 training quote sites… very odd). So yeah we’re pretty busy, but it’s good, it’s definitely keeping us out of trouble. This week summer hung around which meant we spent many hours working (on our tans!) in the garden.
It was a week of deadlines and new briefs so our schedules were pretty full but we did have time for a very inspirational chat with Rene Put, co-author of Poster No. 524; an amazing research project into the poster. They took a sample of 524 posters that were hanging in and around Amsterdam and applied all sorts of amazing research techniques which resulted in some really amazing new visual images and ways of visualizing data. It was one of those talks that just makes you want to go out and create something!
At the end of the week we were treated to the beautiful vocal styling’s of Bhi-Bhiman live in the W+K garden… life as a Kennedy is pretty sweet!
After starting to fear the worst (namely that summer was going to skip Holland altogether this year) the clouds parted and Holland downed tools and went to bath in the sunshine, like an army of sun starved reptiles. When warm weather hits Holland the Ducthies loose all sense of decency, decorum and work ethic take the day off strip off and worship the sun in all of its glory. Yup, it’s all on show, pale white beer bellies baking in the hot sun, snowy white legs are revealed after months of trousered seclusion, arms and shoulders are kissed pink and red and cleavages are worn proudly. They sit in doorsteps, stretch over pavements, lounge on rooftops and lay on grassy knolls, it was like a patchwork of human flesh spread over the country.
In Amsterdam, warm weather means it’s time to go boating. The Kennedy’s are all doing their best to get the full Amsterdam experience (some of us are integrating more than others…) so we made sure to get maximum boat time in this week (3 boat trips in a week, no wonder we feel like we’ve been super busy, it’s tricky managing work and boating commitments!).
Meanwhile… back in the office… things are getting busy we’re splitting into teams to be able to keep all of the plates spinning, but now that we are full of vitamin D and crispy brown, bring it on!
De waag AKA the Fab Lab Amsterdam
An earlier version of Operation and Rembrandt was the equivalent of Instagram. #no filter
I just spent ten minutes rooting around in my calendar trying to work out exactly what it was we got up to this week, it took a while to jog my memory. We’re really starting to get busy so the weeks fly past and it gets hard to remember on Friday what you did on Monday. The highlight of this week was a visit to the Fab Lab. It sounds a bit like the name of a dance club or a hairdressers doesn’t it? But actually it’s a fully equipped digital fabrication workshop in the heart of Amsterdam. Actually there are Fab Lab’s all over the world ( yup, even in Iceland, Ghana and Latvia… who would have thought?!).
They have a lot of fabulous machines like laser cutters, milling machines, vinyl cutters, 3D printing that help people to realize their designs and ideas, whatever they might be. It’s an amazingly inspirational space where people come to realize some really innovative and creative projects. It’s one of those places where you wander around marveling at everything and taking wild guesses at what it is and what it does! The Building was amazing too, it’s one of the oldest non religious buildings in Amsterdam (1400’s!) and it was once the Doctors Guild of Amsterdam where all of the leading medical big wigs met to chit chat about the newest medical advances (Rembrandt actually painted his slightly macabre painting “the Anatomist” in this building”)
Alex, the great and fearless leader of the Fab Lab Amsterdam showed around and told us about his incredibly inspiring prosthetics project which the Kennedy’s immediately decided we wanted to help Alex and his team out with (good projects that do good things in the world, it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling!).
We’re looking forward to helping the guys launch this amazing project into the world!
We’ve been here for a whole month already… Another cliche proving itself “time flies when you’re having fun”.
This week we were working with The HUB and 5 startups who’d taken part in the 60 day challenge to get their businesses up and running. Each start up got to hang out with the Kennedys for a day to see what we could make of their ideas. We had a different startup every day which meant that after we’d heard the concept we had about 5 hours to get a presentation together, “fast and dirty” as Judd called it! It was good fun, something totally new everyday which was good and there were som e cool and inspiring ideas… there was a mad scramble just before deadline at 5pm everyday crazily filling slides, printing coming up with names and copy at 16:58, but we got there and all of the startups seemed to be happy with what we managed to serve up in a day!
We also got to enjoy the W+K madness of ‘the 4th of July’ the office was festooned with stars and stripes! The proud Americans in the office did their land proud with an American themed buffet (imagine lots of red white and blue food, food with stars and food with stripes, hot dogs, orange squares of plastic masquerading as cheese, Oreos, and even cheese in a can!) There was also a lot of southern sluts going around the office… apparently that’s the name of a drink.
Beer pong was played, there were sparklers and even a very American playlist complete with fireworks!
All in all another good week in W+K Amsterdam.