SUBVERT THE ORDINARY
Todd van Hulzen is an exhibitionist. At his design studio a shameless love of history and beauty are harnessed to help you connect with the public immagination
Todd van Hulzen Design is an Amsterdam based design studio specialized in showing off: creating museum exhibitions, visitor experiences, design presentations, exhibit furnishings, art objects and theatrical environments. We combine vision with pragmatism, and fantasy with professionalism
Finally, together with our partners Studio Louter and North-Holland Archives in Haarlem, we opened the exhibition “Johan Enschedé: Printer of Value” . Since 2015, the North-Holland Archives has aquired the unique and extensive collection frp, the printing house Royal Johan
In between all the hard work, we noticed that one of Todd’s Twitter posts had achieved more than 50,000 unique viewers and a lot of positive feedback. What a surprise. Somehow it had hit a chord among fans of Amsterdam
In October 2018 we wrote a post about our collaboration with the Archives North-Hollands in Haarlem. We made a “bid book”, or a presentation brochure for a subsidisable exhibition concept. Many months later we can report that we are already
“Einmal Niederlande und Zurück” is an exhibition that Todd van Hulzen Design created at the Haus der Niederlande in Münster, Germany about German areas under Dutch control after the Second World War. Artifacts and archive materials tell the story of
For the Dutch Navy Museum in Den Helder we created a kind of memorial display for a bit of neglected, but no less glorious, history. In cooperation with the Technical University in Delft the Navy Museum aspired to tell the
Life as an immigrant is fraught with enough challenges; life as an asylum seeker even more. But life as an LGBT refugee has its own set of hurdles, traumas and triumphs. For the organisations that are committed to taking care
That marvelous, terrifying moment has arrived for our project at the NEMO Science Center: the first concrete installations are taking place. No longer a design process in which to endlessly vacillate between possibilities, we now have incontrovertible real objects being
After three years of hard work, the Geheugenpaleis (Palace of Memory) has come to completion. This project represents the crowning achievement of not only our studio, but of the long term ambitions of the National Archives itself. It is grand,
who is Tvh?
From a little studio in Amsterdam Zuid Todd (and occasional intern) is conquering the world of museum design. At least, that’s the idea.
todd a van hulzen
Todd van Hulzen (1967) hails from the state of Oregon in the U.S. from a family of Dutch Reformed rancher-farmers. He studied history and art in Portland, Oregon (Lewis & Clark College.) After an initial stay in the Netherlands in 1989 and in Italy after that he settled permanently in Amsterdam in 1999. He returns yearly to Klamath County, Oregon to work on his cabin.
After an early career as a fine artist and sculptor in the film world Todd moved on to be a designer of film sets, with as a specialty period architecture and design. As Art-Director/Set-Designer Todd designed film sets for the Oscar nominated films Girl with a Pearl Earring and Fantastic Mr. Fox. Recent Dutch productions are Bloed, zweet en tranen, Michiel de Ruyter en de western Brimstone. Since 2007 he has turned towards the museum world as an exhibition designer. In his own words, “the scientific side to museums gave me something that I could never get from the fiction of film.”
At Todd van Hulzen Design it’s all about making unforgettable experiences and inspiring emotions such as admiration, amazement, and self recognition. We love to help people discover how awesome the world is.
The love of a museum for it’s collection is something we admire. We encourage clients to rediscover the beauty of their own missions. Yet, making an exhibition that is also an artistic sensation in itself is the designer’s valhalla. So let’s combine the two!
Here’s a guide to a proper work strategy when making an exhibition:
You begin designing a space by first immersing yourself in the content. Draw everything you can out of historic and scientific material. Draw connections and dare to make thematic leaps.
Make sure that you can unite as many exhibit elements as possible under one umbrella: graphics, multimedia, architecture, PR and story. Encourage as much cross-pollination as possible.
Distill all the themes into one visual brand; if possible one that represents your narrative in a nutshell and one that visitors can have an emotional bond with. Couple it to a slogan.
Value the building and its history and keep the unique mission of the institution in high regard. Don’t let an exhibition clash with its surroundings. Remember accessibility.
- Visitor orientation
Make sure the design answers basic questions of orientation:
Where. Where am I? Where am I within the whole and what is my next step? (Give a clear structure)
Why. Why am I here? What draws me onward. (Reward curiosity with amazement)
What. What is the key question? (Make the raison-d’être of the exhibition apparent)
How. How is my world view changing? (Effective means of communication)
Todd keeps up an Instagram feed where he shares his observations over art, design and museums.
Come visit Todd at the studio in Amsterdam’s De Pijp, or call for an appointment to see a presentation