The ITCH – Lennart Booij and the art of public in Amsterdam

By Esther Ellard

The ITCH is getting warm with the deadline for application fast approaching- that’s the 24th of March in case you were wondering. Here’s some more inspiration for applicants…

We’re very excited to welcome Lennart Booij to our panel of judges for the ITCH. Lennart is the curator of the Amsterdam Light Festival as well as an expert on brand development, the modern luxury industry and Franco- Dutch relations in the arts around 1900. A man of many interests!

Lennart will be looking for ideas that artfully combine IoT technology with that all important ‘joy’ element that is so important in public works. To give you an idea of what floats Lennart’s boat we asked him what his favorite pieces of inspiration are right now.


De Kus by Jeroen Henneman– Amsterdam Zuid Oost. Henneman’s illustrative steel sculptures can be found dotted all over the Netherlands. Described by Henneman as ‘standing illustration’, ‘the carrier of this presentation is not paper, but air.’ This evocative sculpture was erected in 1983 but still looks as fresh today as did then. Importantly the lofty steel outlines look amazing when the sky is grey and moody- which, as we know, is pretty much every day in Amsterdam. The sculpture is in temporary retirement after the site was bought for development- look out for its new home in Summer 2017.


Apis Cor 3D printed house– How do you solve a global housing crisis and begin to up-end the trillion dollar mortgage industry? Build a house using a 3D printer.  Apis Cor hacked the construction, mortgage AND 3D printing industry by creating the worlds first on-site 3D printed house. Pre fabricated housing is not a new concept but creating a printer that is mobile enough to build on location is truly ground breaking. What’s more, the house cost a mere $10K.

Your idea…

We’re hoping The ITCH will be equally as diverse. We’re looking for ideas that not only combine IoT thinking with Amsterdam data but ones which can change the fabric of the city they live in because of their very presence in it. Apply if you have an idea for a public work that:

  • Uses data in Amsterdam to identify a problem or opportunity – e.g. Amsterdam has the highest density of electric car charging ports in the world. How can we use the data stored in the ports to inform the city about green energy? More info on this here.
  • Utilises IoT thinking to bring the idea to life – e.g. the open beacon network in Amsterdam. This incredible network of beacons is currently in development with Google to give real time information seamlessly across the city and open the door to location based services. Maybe your idea can use this IoT network to give people’s journey’s in the city a lift? More info on this here. 
  • Bring a healthy dose of joy to the City. What will make people stop and smile when they see it. One of our favorites is the San Jose ecloud– a living artwork which pulls in weather information from a network of sensors across the world and visualises them in a beautiful cloud between departure gates 22 and 23.

Feeling inspired? We want to hear from you! Applications close on Friday 24th and every makerthon idea receives €500 to take part.


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Posted By Esther Ellard