Intro Week At UID 2011

Ping-pong from Umeå Institute of Design on Vimeo.
Ben Hopson, industrial designer, artist and educator from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, led this year's joint kick-off project for all first-year students at UID. The idea for the annual kick-off project is to familiarise the students with each other, the facilities and the staff.

VDL Futura, International Coach of the Year 2012

Yes the bus that was done by van der Veer Designers, while I was there won the prestigious International Coach of the Year 2012.  Great job and congratulations to van der Veer Designers on this achievement, which is some great recognition.
And having that logo on the front I worked on sure makes me happy and proud too!


7 flights in 7 days

So on my journey to Sweden, I decided that it would be cheapest(?) to fly with Iceland Air via Iceland to Sweden.  At the same time, I also still had KLM vouchers left over from my whole flight fiasco from last summer where they routed me through Memphis on my way from Amsterdam to Toronto.  And with yet another wedding invite, this time of my cousin in the Netherlands, I thought I'd make good use of one of my vouchers for that trip.  
So with all of this lined up, and looking at my agenda, I had scheduled in 7 flights in 7 days.
Mon: Toronto - Reykjavik
Tues: arrive in Reykjavik, enjoy a planned 1 day stopover in Iceland
Wed: Reykjavik - Stockholm, Stockholm - Umeå
Fri: Umeå - Stockholm, Stockholm - Amsterdam
Sun: Amsterdam - Stockholm, Stockholm - Umeå

-Keflavik Airport, Iceland - and one of the very first things I encounter, while looking for my airport shuttle, it this bus, the VDL Futura that we did for work, with my logo prominently on the front.  That was a crazy cool feeling!

-volcanic landscape - the route between Keflavik International and Reykjavik has some crazy barren volcanic landscape, with no trees in site or much else either

-more volcanic landscape - the moss was neat, all in all, really different, bizarre feeling to see a landscape so devoid of Trees or much other vegetation beyond moss

-The Blue Lagoon Spa - having booked in a full day stopover in Iceland, and in planning a shuttle from the airport to Reykjavik, they advertised the option of stopping at the spa on the way, so, why not?

-early morning mist at the Blue Lagoon

-Geo-thermal energy - or just geothermal heating, I dunno, but still interesting to see (at least that's what I assume these pipes were for).

-Antoin & Nicole's Wedding - and yes, the traditional dutch wedding seems to involve getting married at a Castle, with a coach with horses these days (well, maybe not the norm, but that was the case this time)

Kenora Road Trip

Made the road trip up to Kenora mid/end August for Danielle and Peter's wedding.  Quite the trip.  Super long drive.  Ontario is really really really wide (i.e. some at least 24hrs driving from Ottawa to Kenora +/-, and that's still just one province)!

-Lake of the Woods boat tour

-The happy couple just before officially being married

-Yellow Bird Lodge - the main reception hall, which us ID kids helped deck (being tall, I was put on lights)


Intermission - Home on the range

So as a sort of intermission between working, and heading back to school to do my masters, I came back home to the farm, in Canada.  It served as a nice break and mental vacation, and I think was a good way of splitting up work and the start of school.  The farm can be really amazing and great, beyond just being home with family, it can just be a great amazing and relaxing place sometimes.  Almost therapeutic - which you may also infer from these pictures I snapped one evening when the lighting was so perfect I made a mad rush for my camera.

-The homestead - sunset, perfect light

-Jules in a field of gold - (oats)

-sunset, rural Ontario

-field of gold - looks like its on top of the world

Last day of work

With the craziness and being busy with moving and lots of other stuff, it's been a little bit since posting.
I guess here's a quick recap on the end of June.  Last day of work at van der Veer Designers was cool.  We had a BBQ on the rooftop terrace, which was only slightly rained out.  Was a nice time, and people brought a nice variety of good food.
I tried to bring my bit of Canadiana by making a Maple marinade for some salmon which we grilled, as well as making 2 maple walnut cheesecakes which were VERY rich (like 4 bricks of Philly and 3 eggs per cake rich), which was super good.

-Moment of rain on the rooftop terrace - still a great location to hold a BBQ

-some of the spread - some great salads to accompany what was BBQ'd, as well as my maple walnut cheesecake

-things I'll miss - just a cool street scene in Utrecht which I recognized on one of my final evenings there as something I'll miss: the cafes/restaurants with the large street patios and street life, the human scale of things, and bicycles everywhere - a great way to live.

-life condensed - this was my final train trip from Utrecht (moving stuff to relatives in the NL), and walking around with a full size suitcase, 40L hiking pack, another bag, and a bike in a box is no easy task.