Panel Discussion


25 October 2012

Location: Theater Kikker

As we have become indifferent to the omnipresent multinationals, templates and logos and increasingly estranged from specific cultural traditions and folklore, we see at the same time an expanding interest in the local and artisanal. Global is no longer the default mode. For ‘Let us praise the vernacular!’ Impakt Online invites artists and researchers to present their works that are an ode to the specificities of places. From the recapturing of the ancient and magnificent Atlas Maior by the library of the University of Utrecht, to the joyful analysis of web colours per country by the Italian design studio Density Design. Loes Sikkes presents her provocative re-shuffling of symbols of national pride and graphic designer Annelys de Vet presents her award-winning Subjective Atlas project which consists of highly personal accounts of places such as Palestine, Serbia, Mexico and the Netherlands.

Presentations by

Tommaso Renzini and Federica Bardelli (DensityDesign) – National Web Palettes

Federica Bardelli and Tommaso Renzini, of DensityDesign Research Lab present the web research project titled ‘National Web Palettes’. In 2011,, the online community for creating and sharing colour palettes and patterns, published an overview of the dominant colours of the web. Looking at the top 100 web brands, the researchers concluded that on the worldwide web, blue was still the most dominant colour. Wondering whether this would also be true for national webs, Italian designers Bardelli and Renzini set out to collect the colours of top websites for a total of 27 European countries. The results show a bright and colourful national use of colours, presented in a set of downloadable palettes and national website design templates.

Loes Sikkes – EUtopia

For her project, Loes Sikkes has traced national emblems of various European countries from their typical carriers, like currencies. Boiled down to their outlines,  they reappear at once isolated and open to novel interpretations. The emblems can be coloured, regrouped into configurations, and even add up to a pattern representing a new European identity. Visit EUtopia on Colourlovers to start your own experiment. For your colour selection, you can even choose from the national colour-schemes created by Bardelli and Renzini of DensityDesign.

Doris Ebner – Atlas Maior

The Atlas Maior is a masterpiece of printing from 17th century Amsterdam and the result of public motivation as well as personal ambitions of the famous publisher Joan Blaeu. Prosperity, rivalry, intercontinental trading and technical improvements are some of the motors that made its production possible. This comprehensive world atlas is the climax of making cartographical publications over decades and therefore includes a lot of different sources and influences.

Utrecht University Library recently digitized its Dutch edition containing nine volumes and the two volumes of Toonneel der Steden, which is a town atlas that often came along with the Atlas Maior.

This atlas is part of the Canon of Dutch History, a list of 50 items proposed to be taught in Dutch primary and secondary schools.

Doris Ebner studied art history in Vienna and Utrecht. She has been working on digitization projects of the Special Collections at Utrecht University Library. Interested in the artistic aspects of cartography and the impact on contemporary art, she started to examine the 17th century masterpiece by Dutch publisher Joan Blaeu, the Atlas Maior.

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