WoW Eindhoven follow-up – now with Tzarina

I’ve already written here about the Women of Wearables movement, and a very interesting inaugural event of their local chapter that I managed to attend last November (Women of Wearables Eindhoven). The program of this first gathering was excellent and rich (though I have to admit that my presence had a bit weird slant, too, as I was the only man in the 30+ audience of WoW ladies back then).

Never mind. In fact, quite opposite, the event lead to many other interesting developments, including our conversation with Marija Butkovic, the WoW’s founder, and with many other interesting people from this network. All these contacts keep enriching Summ()n’s own Future of Fabric program, and we also hope that Summ()n can inspire the WoW-ers, too.

Guess what? The next development turned to be ‘curiouser & curiouser’, as I was invited to the next WoW gathering in Eindhoven, but already as a key speaker! I was invited by Yelena van Kharitonova to talk about the future of… well, basically, of everything: women, fashion, wearables, and what not.

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City of Happiness: Caviar Rouge Game

I wrote about Caviar Rouge Forum, one of the projects by the Caravan Culture agency I was involved (albeit in a minor way, I was just a member of a panel discussing the concept of ‘design-mindedness’). This time it was a much bigger project, a game we designed specially for the project, and played in the premises of Vanabbe Museum in Eindhoven. Instead of just talking about the impact of (national) culture on design, and design – as a discipline and a mindset – on cultures, we suggested to play (with) these ideas and to act them out in a tangible format.

We suggested for the participants (who were both from the Caviar Rouge’s team and the general public; the event was openbaar, public in Dutch) to imagine that they represent different national design team, and from this role to construct a City of Happiness for a imaginary client. We proposed to play with four teams, quite archetypical but also appropriate for the given context: the Chinese, Dutch, Russian, and US ones (we made an effort to not include real Russians in the ‘Russian Team, and likewise, there were no Dutchmen in the “Dutch Team”).

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Game for Caviar Rouge

Logos galore! Summ()n has developed a game (code name ’Happy Street: Better City, Better Life’) for a Caviar Rouge design forum, organized by CaravanCultura , to be held in Van Abbemuseum, during the Dutch Design Week! Pheew!

Ok, an attempt to decipher of this logo thicket: CaravanCultura is an agency that promotes cultural innovation and conducts a range of cross-cultural projects and initiatives. Summ()n is very happy to partner with CC and already participated in its annual CreArt forum in Brussels.

Caviar Rouge is another branded annual project of Caravan Cultura and Yelena Kharitonova, its passionate leader. A week-long event is aligned with the Dutch Design Week, a nation-wide festival of design and creativity traditionally held in Eindhoven in October. This year’s edition of Caviar Rouge is already a third in a raw and as before will provide an excellent opportunity for designers and other creative professionals to see and learn from the DDW, and to share their own ideas with the peers. From what I know, the Caviar Rouge program is completely filled with formal meetings and informal discussions, debates, workshops, and lectures; if you need a total cultural immersion, this is it.

This year we will add another format to the already very interesting program of the forum: following Summ()n’s philosophy, we will play a game, to challenge people’s ideas about the future of creative spaces and co-create the prototypes of ‘Better Life’ (yes, we always aim at modest goals). A very interesting dimension is that the game will be played in Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, one of the most original and creative institutions, not only in the Netherlands, but also worldwide, I believe. The museum itself is currently progressing to the third, and the final stage of the ‘Play”, its own program of cultural research and art provocation, and it seems only logical to play our game in its premises.

We look forward to the game, it should be an exiting event! It is announced as an ‘openbaar’ (=public), so hurry up to register and secure your place among the players, and not only the observers.

PS: When writing this post, I’ve discovered another game, to be also played in Van Abbemuseum during the DDW. A Tricksters Tricked workshop by Chris Lee will explore “alternative currencies as a starting point to think about economic networks”. Sounds fascinating too, and I will try to attend this event as well. I wonder how close it will be to the Kashklash game/initiative (I’ve been to one of their sessions in Geneva, during Lift’09).

Connecting cultures, summonning connections

Finally I met Yelena, from CaravanCultura creative agency/consultancy, a long time due contact. Based in Eindhoven, the agency organized a vast array of projects and initiatives all around Eurasia: from Moscow to Almaty, from Brussels to Belgrade, creatively mixing design, technology, cultural studies and art.

CaviarRouge was one of the latest proejct in the raw. Held during the Dutch Design Week’09, the forum explored possible developments of the design industry, today and in the future. The event was both playful and practical, and not only left pleasant memories but also opened new opportunities to collaborate and create new values for all its 40+ participants.


There is a strong affinity between the Summ( )n activities, both current and future, and projects by Yelena and CaravanCultura, and I am sure we will summon something very exciting very soon.

PS: As a useful feedback point, I’ve been told that Summ( )n should explain, once and for all, what does ‘summon’ exactly mean in our context. I thought it’s clear that we didn’t mean “an order to appear in court”, but rather a beautiful magical ritual of evoking, or calling something – or somebody – to appear, through spaces and time. Nope, we need to tell this story more explicitly; we will.