Discover Eindhoven, The Netherlands in this catalogue of creative happenings


April 29th, 2010


MADe experiences

The MADe organisation is a sort of network club, corporate meet-and-greet set up, but the functions are not outright networking events. MADe events give attendees the chance to listen to good music, to perhaps learn more about art and check out design while hobnobbing with potential contacts.
Membership fees apply, and there are 6 gatherings per year. Each one involves good food, unlimited drinks, lots of familiar faces and a good cross section of types, ages, professions and experiences.
So far, I have attended MADe music, MADe café and MADe art.
MADe music (January) was tacked onto the Storioni Music Festival which was a delightful contemporary music affair, prefaced by a french picnic gathering.
MADe café (March) was an Emily Hermans fashion parade in a converted church that is inhabited by a group of local young designers whose collection we watched being modelled by MADe members!
And finally the MADe art event (April) was an evening of workshops at the Van Abbemuseum, which was topped off with a lovely Italian dinner in the Flavours restaurant, which is attached to the museum. I particularly liked the activity I had, which was to first select a headline/text/picture from a Dutch paper and then to go explore the work of Polish artist Andrzej Wróblewski and pick a piece that related to the paper cutting. I chose a story on the Frida Kahlo Corporate that is being set up in Mexico, where a whole bunch of Frida merchandise will raise money for local up starting artists by printing Frida’s face on plates and mugs. I then matched it to a Wróblewski study of a man on a chair, which is really a silhouette of a man whose own legs disappear into the legs of the chair. I liked its sense of anonymity and simplicity. It was so very far away in spirit from the other tortured, post-WWII life in Eastern Europe paintings. After the workshop and after dinner, we did some interactive art. Okay, so you had to be there, but basically we were a sea of people in a room, with two people at each end calling out a word, phrase or statement, which were in some way controversial. The objective was to choose a side, and then once you shifted to “your” side of the room, you were cordoned off, labelled as believing or supporting concepts like “gay vs straight”, “pro-Israel vs pro-Palestine”,”art vs design”, ” forgiveness vs forgetting” and “Balkenende vs Cohen”. All hard choices and fun (and challenging) to see who would cross the floor for what.

Does MADe really create business opportunities for those who gather? Yes and no. I normally detest networking events. I find shop talk extra difficult because most of the events take place in Dutch and I often can’t really be myself in my second language. However, I see people that have become more familiar to me with every event, I invite people I think will enjoy the experience, and I get to spend time with my guests. What’s nice about MADe, for me, is that it’s a chance to experience some Dutch culture with a cross section of Dutch (and some international) people. Whether we end up building long lasting, meaningful, or profitable relationships is irrelevant to me. Perhaps I’ve missed the point of MADe, but I think my membership fees is money well enough spent.

The last MADe event for the 2009 – 2010 season is 11 June, and will be a bike ride of Eindhoven with an architectural flavour, followed by a slowfood feast and then an evening of dancing. If you’d like to join me, please contact me at; there will be a 75 euro fee to come along, but I’d be happy to host you. Oh, and you’ll have to bring your own bike.

Add your comment

Related posts

Take a deep breath, and …Happy birthday Van Abbe museum!Mid-november round upCollecting as a strategy to depict a social situationExceptional human beingsSummer smorgasbordBig village or small city? MADe eventHealing handsFrank’s friends’ tableA master missing something