SCENOGRAPHY & EXHIBITION
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 set the scene for lasting memories.
Todd van Hulzen Design is an Amsterdam based multifaceted 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.
You never really give up on your old loves. While rebuilding my website recently I came across a lot of old drawings and research material from past projects that made my heart flutter. For the series ‘Sanctuary’, a Canadian Sci-Fi/fantasy romp among vampires and lizard-men, I had the chance to get completely immersed in the world of the Gothic and
In 2016 the Amsterdam daily newspaper Het Parool began a conversation about the city’s central square, the Dam, or “Dam Square” as tour guides call it. Originally built as a proper dam in the Amstel River giving the medieval town a bridge and diverting water into its moats, The Dam has always been the navel and namesake of the city.
For the exhibition Pride & Prejudice (see below), a show about the creative lives of LGBT refugees in the Netherlands, we conceived and created a board game. It was in the form of a “Game of Goose”, an old European board game similar to Monopoly which propels an avatar along a path with the throw of a dice. Either one
The Marinemuseum (Museum of the Dutch Navy) in Den Helder wanted to create an application for a “photo souvenir” and a physical installation to accommodate it. The app takes a shot of a visitor against a backdrop and then renders it as a historical poster from the collection of the Dutch Marines. Studio Louter created the application and Todd van
Todd has been intermittently working on his own cabin in Oregon and occasionally posts updates here. Each year seems to be greeted with a new design. The most current update reflects a desire to finish the project quickly and affordably, but also to keep true to the spirit of openness in the great outdoors. The wooden walls have now given
In the Gothic galleries of the Janskerk in Haarlem, Todd van Hulzen and Studio Louter are reimagining an exhibition space for the Archive of North Holland to permanently house a great monument of Dutch history and identity: the collection of the state printer Royal Joh. Enschedé. Anyone who has ever admired the beauty, ingenuity and intricacy of a Dutch guilder
The semi-permanent exhibit Eenheid in Uruzgan (Unit in Uruzgan) in the Mariniersmuseum in Rotterdam was conceived as a place of reflection about the human costs of the Dutch mission in Afghanistan. Studio Louter created four compelling —occasionally dramatic— films and Todd van Hulzen conceived of a simple plan to focus devotion and consciousness onto various themed clusters. This project seems particularly suited
The Museum Broekerveiling showcases the phenomenon of the Dutch agricultural auction, an institution originating in the 19th century as a product of cooperation by independant produce farmers in the watery regions of the Province North Holland. Centered around a historic “water-borne” auction house, where auction lots are proffered by boat and are bid on using the “Dutch auctioning” technique, the
As we described in an earlier post, we were nominated for an “InternationalMuse Award”, the prestigious award presented by the American Association of Museums, in the category of “Multimedia Installation” for our work at the Broekerveiling, the floating action house. Considering the competition, we are very pleased with our Honorable Mention. Following is the text from the association website: HONORABLE MENTION:
Not every pitch is a winner. We could dedicate a monthly post to all of the marvelous fish that got away. The odds are simply not always in your favor, and everyone knows this before going in on a design tender. Still, it’s a shame to have the designs disappear into oblivion. We were particularly proud of designs we made for the Mauritshuis in
Het Nationaal Archief (the Dutch National Archives)is the largest archival institution in the Netherlands. It oversees over 600 separate archival collections and is, in a sense, the memory of the Dutch people, from the Middel Ages, through the Republic and into the 21st century. In 2012 it will be opening its new 800 square meter exhibit space in The Hague
who is Tvh?
From a little studio in Amsterdam Zuid Todd 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)
Come visit Todd at the studio in Amsterdam’s De Pijp, or call for an appointment to see a presentation