Design stuff to do in Amsterdam?

I’m going to Amsterdam tomorrow morning for a week, so of course I am doing my highly organized advance planning the day before by asking strangers on the internet for advice. Anything non-obvious / cool / design-related I should hit? I’ll have my 8 year old daughter with me, but she’s an exceptionally good traveler. We’re visiting Fablab on Tuesday so she can talk to a guy who’s working on a $50 prosthetic leg.

I found some kind of Droog place - it was either their studio, or a retail store that looked like a studio, but it rambled in and out of doors, through different buildings, all full of whimsical, oddly useful stuff. Its on ‘Staalstraat’.

Rent a bike and ride around, and marvel at the amazing co-existence of cars, bikes, buses, streetcars, and people.

Although a very heavy topic, Anne Frank House is a must see - you’ll really appreciate the interaction rooms at the end, their content is designed to invoke just about every emotion you could imagine and it is very well designed and executed.

I really enjoyed Tropenmuseum as well. A mix of anthropology and ethnography.

If you have enough time, take a train out to one of the 6 planned suburbs, they’re well laid out and easy to walk once you’re out of the stations.

I really liked the Heineken museum, design related there is a good story about their typeface and ‘the happy e’, plus the square bottles they exported, with the aim of them being used as glass bricks.
You get a few free beers along the way, but the best ‘ride’ was being the beer bottle on the line, you get bumped and jostled, sprayed with water etc. Good fun.

Scott I’m sure we’d all love to hear a recap of your trip upon return.

Hey Scott, Im flying to A’Damn on Saturday 3-1, staying for a work week in the south of the city til the following Saturday 3-8… If your around and want to meet for a pint and check out some of the local design sights, it’d be cool to meet you.

Personally, I really want to check out the Van Gough museum and the Rijksmuseum… maybe go to some of the street markets. My contact there loves Salsa dancing and we’ll probably be out doing that a couple nights next week too (apparently because of the historical colonies in latin america, it’s big over there)

I’ll PM you my contact details, just in case…

Cool, thanks for the tips everyone. Travisimo- I’ll respond separately.

I think the Stedelijk Museum has an exhibition on Marcel Wanders at the moment, should be interesting. Apart from that, wonder around the nine street just west of the center, lots of fun little shops there. Utrechtsestraat is also interesting. I’m sure you’ll have a great time, it’s a very relaxed city.

Some design highlights so far:

  1. Wanders exhibit at the Stedelijk. Huge with lots of interesting stuff.

  2. Stedelijk gift shop. Great book selection, quite a few local design goods. Nice.

  3. The Frozen Fountain- interior and design goods from mostly Dutch designers, including a lot of things you don’t see in every store around the world. Dirk van der Kooij 3D printed chairs, a bunch of Piet Hein Eek stuff, etc.

  4. Anne Frank Huis is very well done, but the logistics of putting that many people through a tiny space is tough. You’re standing single file slowly shuffling through the whole thing. The inability to linger really limits how much you can connect the events with the space, and I also can’t see how the building can withstand that sort of wear over the long term.

A lot of shops are closed Mondays, so that limited what I could get to today. Tried to go to Moooi and a few others.

Got to check out Fablab Amsterdam today and talk to a designer there who worked on a low cost prosthesis project (my daughter has an interest in prosthetics). It’s in De Waag, the oldest non-church building in the city, and instead of making it into a trendy hotel or turning it into apartments they put a hackerspace in it! Awesome and crazy.

The De Waag Society does a lot of interesting stuff actually. We went to a talk on post-human food systems there too.

This place was cool too, right around the corner:

Home tomorrow, sadly. Cool city and looking forward to coming back.

I’d also recommend the Stedelijk with the exhibit on Wanders and Gijs Bakker. Real Dutch design. And the van Gogh museum.
Also I heard recently has been the opening of a 3d printed house next to one of the canals, that should be interesting to see.

Ah here it is:

Headed back next week, from October 3 -17th. Anything I shouldn’t miss?