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Thursday evening was unordinary one because it was lit up not only by the bright street lights in the city centre of Eindhoven but also by the enthusiasm of all people cozily gathered in De Kazerne. The venue intertwining a restaurant, a lab, and an art gallery transformed into an exhilarating hub for all creative minds eager to share their ideas and seek advice from other visionary people.

The 5th edition of Bliksem en Donderdag brought people from various cultures, ages, and disciplines together with the sole purpose of an informal discussion and exchange of their  creative ideas. Scientists, artists, students, entrepreneurs, managers of start-ups, and various other doers and dreamers mixed together and created one dynamic evening full of interacting, accelerating, brainstorming, but mainly – enjoying the two hours of sharing inspiration.

Six speakers presented their ideas and asked the audience for extra inspiration, ingenious suggestions for their projects as well as for help with technical particularities and finding additional connections and partners.

The presenters

Mohamed Emam presented the project The Vditory which aims at helping blind people by facilitating their interaction with community. The Vditory eyeglasses are meant to be used by blind people who can wear them like normal glasses. At Bliksem en Donderdag Emam asked the audience for suggestions for manufacturing and prototyping Vditory.

Floriane Misslin presented her research exploring how male and female bodies are displayed in a genderless image, how the visual codes work, and what their social meaning is. At Bliksem en Donderdag Misslin looked for feedback on her research and asked for advice on formats and narratives that can best portray her research in contemporary media.

Jesse Koenders from the University Racing Eindhoven (URE) presented the project of the student team from the TU Eindhoven – the Electric Formula Student Racecar. Since the team is planning to participate in FS Driverless in the summer of 2018 the students have to work on the road and object detection of their car. This is why they are presently looking for an efficient but also inexpensive alternative to LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging system) and Bliksem en Donderdag provided an opportunity for them to ask for ideas relevant to the driverless automotive industry .

Fidan Rustamova presented Lia – a wearable device and a mobile application that helps people develop the habit of a good posture by ultimately achieving a full treatment posture. She asked the audience to brainstorm ideas on how her team can prevent the main problem with wearables where people forget about them after having used them for a month.

Erna van Holland presented the idea of the Foundation City Stories to breathe life into the industrial stories of Eindhoven in an innovative way. In a fairy-tale like style she expressed their idea to connect the special places and neighbourhoods, the history, the stories, the creativity, and the generations of the city of Eindhoven into one living archive. Van Holland asked the audience for suggestions for partners gathering stories and making creative productions.

Last but not least, Tessie Hartjes presented the Empowered by Robots-challenge which is a design competition challenging designers, technicians, start-ups, robot enthusiasts, engineers, and everyone keen on robots and humans. At Bliksem en Donderdag Hartjes encouraged all visionary people enthusiastic about robots and the automated labour market to participate in the Challenge.

In the end all creative minds got together and discussed their inspirational ideas with a drink in hand and a smile on their face in the wake of the uplifting event.