Arabidopsis Symphony by Fillip Studios exhibited in Anchorage Museum, Alaska (USA)

Arabidopsis Symphony door Fillip Studios in Anchorage liggend

The interactive project Arabidopsis Symphony by Arnhem-based design studio Fillip Studios will be on exhibition in Anchorage Museum, Alaska from April until August 2024. The project is also being presented at Anchorage Museum’s curated event NorthXNorth, in conjunction with Arctic Encounter Symposium until 12 April.

In 2020, Creative Industries Fund NL and CLICKNL issued the open call for Innovationlabs. Sixteen innovative and experimental projects were selected to tackle current challenges in the cultural and creative sector, and to increase the sector’s resilience. Their results and processes were presented in the exhibition ‘Innovationlabs #1 presents: The Living Archive’, which Fillip Studios designed and developed.

At the end of September, our new work Organic Iterations opened at the Eusebius Church in Arnhem. It was celebrated with a performance brought by three singers and the work itself, after which visitors could try the interactive installation themselves. “The sound is overwhelming, I was immediately amazed by that. My gaze went to the cross vaults, the architecture, the blending of sound and space”, stated one of the visitors.

After nine months of travel, Arabidopsis Symphony has returned to Arnhem. The interactive outdoor experience opened on June 15th in the museum garden of Museum Arnhem and will be on display there until October 1st, 2023.

Our digital plants had a wonderful time in Tokyo. Arabidopsis Symphony was exhibited at an International Conference and grew its roots throughout the streets of the metropolis.

Connecting art to science by taking Arabidopsis Symphony to Japan (5-9 June)

We are passionate about the collaboration between science and art, so we are thrilled to announce we will bring our project Arabidopsis Symphony to Tokyo (Japan) for the International Conference for Arabidopsis Research! It will take place from the 5th until the 9th of June.

The Arabidopsis plant grows all across Europe, Asia and Africa, and although it is commonly seen as a weed, the plant is popular as a model organism amongst plant biologists. The plant’s life cycle is quite short and its genetic traits have been very well mapped and archived. This makes them interesting to study. Researcher Sander van der Krol of Wageningen University recently told us all about his scientific research into their growth processes and inner dynamics, as well as his vision of plant life (plants are more boring than animals? Absolutely not!), his fascination with it and how Arabidopsis Symphony blossomed into what it is today.

Arabidopsis Symphony shows us there is more to a plant than meets the human eye by translating scientific research into augmented reality and music. The installation uses real-time local data, such as weather conditions and time of day, to illustrate the hidden growth processes of plants. It shows us just how dynamic plants really are and invites us to interact with the plant world. The installation looks and sounds very different in every part of the world we’ve been to, so we’re excited to see how it will behave in Japan!

Opening Walk of Wonder at Radboud University & Radboud UMC (Nijmegen, NL)

As NRC recently wrote in an article about the Stations of the Cross: “In life, suffering is inevitable; in art, too”. We created a walk along campus in Nijmegen to create space for reflection and contemplation through nature and art. It starts – or ends, depending on how you look at it – at Radboud University and runs to Radboud UMC.

Artist, writer and general practitioner Ignace Schretlen spends his life being incessantly inspired by the Stations of the Cross. He owned 600 informational pieces about the theology and philosophy behind this biblical agony, and when he donated his collection to Radboud, they decided something should be created upon Schretlen’s life’s work. During an interview with him we noticed tiny notes and countless artworks scattered all around his house, incidentally showcasing the life and mind of a man who cannot stop sharing his fascination for this subject. We realized it should be our mission to translate this into something meaningful that can be experienced by as many people as possible.

A deeper dive into the world of plants with Sander van der Krol

In view of our newest project Arabidopsis Symphony — which visualizes the hidden growth processes of plants — we wanted to shed some light on the extensive research done by Sander van der Krol (Wageningen Plant Research). Next to technical details about plants and research methods, we asked him about his vision of plant life, why he is so fascinated by it, and how Arabidopsis Symphony came about. The below text is based on Sander’s own words.

Thanks to Eindhoven Design District, Arabidopsis Symphony remains at its Dutch Design Week location (Wilhelminaplein in Eindhoven) until February 11th, 2023.

No worries if you missed our installation at Dutch Design Week 2022: Arabidopsis Symphony can be visited and (above all) experienced in Eindhoven until February 11th! So head over to the Wilhelminaplein as soon as you get the chance. As the weather will change from autumn to winter, we highly recommend visiting at least twice, preferably at different times of the day. Why? Because our digital plants react to real-time data of local weather conditions and time of day — just like real plants do.

Eindhoven Design District aims to make the strong design field in Eindhoven more visible throughout the city, and especially throughout the year (not only during Dutch Design Week). In close cooperation with the municipality of Eindhoven and local residents and entrepreneurs, we were able to install our project for an extended time. The support of Eindhoven Design District also made it possible to create a sturdy, weather-proof column that will last through winter.

Our column with QR codes can be found by navigating to Wilhelminaplein 9 in Eindhoven.

Get to know more about Arabidopsis Symphony
Read about the official launch during Dutch Design Week

During Dutch Design Week, Fillip Studios was invited to join CreativeNL’s panel talk with focal point USA

Following our travels to the United States of America with Arabidopsis Symphony, Fillip Studios was invited by CreativeNL to join one of their panel talks that took place during Dutch Design Week 2022. This specific event on October 25th was focused on making impact and doing business in the USA as a creative company. Since our colleague Lotte Holterman had represented us at Atlanta Design Festival (Atlanta) and the Sustainable Urban Design Summit (Detroit), she once again joined the conversation on behalf of Fillip Studios.

With moderator Rob Adams, Lotte discussed Arabidopsis Symphony and her experiences with taking the project to Atlanta and Detroit in the USA. As we’ve come to expect from Rob, he dived deeper into Fillip Studios’ mission to make ‘impact through wonder’, asking Lotte: “do you think wondering is something people should do more?”. The answer was obviously yes.

Subjects that were discussed with other participants included the Dutch input (in the field of architecture, mobility, and sustainability) in a city like Detroit and the success of Dutch Digital Design in the USA.

Valuable connections

At CreativeNL’s event, Lotte reunited with some of the wonderful people she met at SUDS in Detroit: moderator Rob Adams (Six Fingers, Embassy of Mobility), Andrea van der Grinten (Consulate General of the Netherlands in Chicago), and Ivana Kalafatic (Detroitisit and initiator of SUDS — online). The networking event also gave her the opportunity to connect with other speakers, such as Alex Rodríguez (MVRDV), Bert Hagendoorn (Dutch Digital Design), and Danny Frietman (New Dutch Wave). Vera Kuipers of CreativeNL hosted the afternoon event.

Read CreativeNL’s report on the USA event
All photos by Ben Houdijk

Lotte Holterman of Fillip Studios and Rob Adams in conversation at the CreativeNL panel talk USA during Dutch Design Week

Lotte Holterman in conversation with Rob Adams.