April 9, 2019

Press release x-Ordinary Phenomena

Amsterdam, April 9, 2019 - Tailored for Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam, Marthe Biezen & Justine Kontou collaborated with Sizzer, Menno Kroon and Iscent in shaping a restorative sensorial experience; x-Ordinary Phenomena for the hotel’s annual Art Months.

Designed for the monumental buildings’ entrance situated at the Paulus Potterstraat, the installation’s focal point is accentuating sensorial awareness amongst the hotel’s visitors. Inspired by natural phenomena, guests entering the Conservatorium Hotel will be encouraged to reset and leave the outside world behind before setting foot in the hotel’s lobby. Natural elements, soundwaves, scent, and mindful design make for the aesthetic installation aiming to guide guests into a calmer and more contemplative state of mind, allowing visitors to fully submerge into the comfort and luxury Conservatorium Hotel has to offer.

The installation features three phases, each with its own composition and subtle references to nature’s restorative qualities. Being the successor to Kontou’s Contemplation Spaces (Dutch Design Week 2017), this sensorial experience is once again the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration focusing on wellbeing.

In order to improve well-being, existing studies on environmental psychology and Biophilic Design were explored to serve as a steady platform for Biezen & Kontou’s approach.
Cooperating with scientists and experts in all disciplines involved substantiated this way of working. All participating partners in no particular order:

Sizzer: auditory concept and bespoke composition, supported by MSV and Genelec
Menno Kroon will enhance the aesthetic installation with fresh flowers and plants
Iscent provides a custom made scent experience for an instant feeling of calmness

To complete the installation design lamps from Steven Banken, studio Thier & van
and VANTOT are integrated.

Official launch
From March 29th ’till June 30st, the installation will be open to public during Conservatorium Hotel’s annual Art Months. On the opening night, March 29th, from 16:30 till 18:30 initiators Biezen & Kontou, joined by participating partners, will share their vision on sensorial practices during the official launch of x-Ordinary Phenomena.

About the collaboration between Biezen & Kontou
Biezen & Kontou shape healthy interior concepts and spatial experiences with the purpose of enhancing overall well-being. Their human-centred approach on design aims to improve our connection with nature and imbed natural processes in contemporary constructed environments. By integrating natural elements, art, sound and mindful design, an allround healing environment is substantiated. Biezen & Kontou ’s well-balanced concepts fusing these aspects shape the ideal environment benefiting the physical and mental state of its beholders.

Currently Biezen & Kontou are conducting research for their most recent venture “The design of spatial well-being”. A first casestudy was implemented in a mental healthcare institution where the patient’s entrance halls and waiting rooms were upgraded, the second part will be executed in a work environment.

Marthe Biezen
Marthe Biezen graduated with distinction from the department “Man & Well Being" at Europe’s most renowned design institution, Eindhoven’s Design Academy. Over the years,
Marthe was involved in a wide scale of healthcare-related projects, covering design research as well as concept - and product development to improve daily lives of people with autism and those suffering from dementia. She also performed as a tutor (lecturing design research, design durability and material experiments) and worked as an interior designer specialising in hospitality design. Marthe’s mere goal as a designer is to intertwine both healthcare and interior design to meet the needs of everyday people.

Justine Kontou
Schooled a commercial economist with degrees in trend forecasting & concept development, Justine Kontou is about strategy without losing the imperative creativity and finesse to visualise and materialise her beliefs.
Kontou’s work is underscored by a multidisciplinary approach, resulting in an aesthetic and grounded end-result. Her years as projectmanager and curator specialised in art and design a.o. for the organisation of Dutch Design Week, led to Justine combining these elements with the purpose of affecting wellbeing. Extensive research in various pillars as introspection, serenity and mindful interconnection, led to launching her very first multi sensorial experience “Contemplation Spaces” during Dutch Design Week 2017.

Contemplation Spaces
This experimental and meditative exhibition immersed visitors in a series of sensorial spaces during Dutch Design Week 2017. Art, design, scent, sound and tactility were merged to strategically stimulate the senses, leading participants into a calmer and more contemplative state of mind. This sensorial experience was initiated by Justine Kontou and realised in collaborating with architect Lex Hildenbrant, psychologist Florijn Vriend and a wide selection of twenty designers, artists and experts.

About Sizzer
Sizzer is an international music partner with offices in Amsterdam and Berlin. They work together with brands and agencies to create music and sound concepts for moving images. Sizzer strives to be the go-to partner for the most ground-breaking musical stories being told. They want to work with people that make them happy, that dare to embrace the unknown and thrive on a bit of chaos where creativity flourishes. Sometimes these people work for brands like Heineken, Diesel, Mercedes or Chanel.

About Iscent
Iscent is a scent marketing agency and creates unique context based scents for premium brands, hotels, universities and cultural institutions, while taking care of the right intensity, aromatic quality and diffusing methods.

About Menno Kroon
Menno Kroon is a well-known florist with a vibrant high-end flower concept store in Amsterdam and a private secret venue in Cothen. Each bouquet by Menno Kroon gives meaning to a special moment. Eccentric color compositions of fresh flowers in a seductive scent language. His floral signature now enjoys worldwide recognition. Relying on his intuition is key in everything he does, whether it’s floristry, interior design or his artistic vision. It is the compass which has kept Menno Kroon at the top of his game for the past 25 years. Always searching for the disarming purity of as yet undiscovered flowers or interior design combinations. To capture these and share them. 

Photo: Today's Brew

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