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Ivo Schoofs (43) works at the High Tech Campus at OMT Solutions BV, where he develops, amongst other things, new optical measuring equipment. Currently two of his big projects are prominent at GLOW. One of those projects, ‘Just because you are a character, doesn’t mean you have character’ at the Stationsplein, will even remain there after GLOW. He also helped developing the 100 meter long lightning bolt on the TU/e-campus.

He started in a pigsty in Erp, then he ended up in the abandoned Natlab at Strijp-S and he currently has a workshop at the Kanaaldijk-Noord. That’s where he is working on Eindhoven’s ‘miracles of tomorrow’ with his associates Pieter Oppers, Pieter-Paul Heijnen, Jurgen de Wolf and Koen van de Merwe.

His first crazy creation was a breakfast machine that is driven by a jet engine. He spontaneously mentioned this at the Dutch Design Week in 2009. “I enjoyed seeing that everybody was so enthusiastic and that motivated me to do more.” He then got the idea to put a Pendulum Wave between the two wings of the Natlab at Glow in 2013. “After that things went very fast. Curators of festivals from over the whole word had seen my work in Eindhoven.”

He went to Ghent, Prague, Jerusalem, Bucharest and recently he was in Moscow. In 2014 he initiated the project of the big Fire Tornado, which was tested in the Natlab in LAB-1 and presented at Glow in 2015.

In 2016 he started his new project: ‘Just because you are a character, doesn’t mean you have character.’ It’s a kinetic design of moving elements such as beams, that are connected by means of pivot points. “It turns rotation into translation.” The machine has a double design so that you can see several patterns when the machine is moving. On each of the moving beams there’s a light that can separately be turned on and off and can change colour. “With that, characters can be written, a kind of new visual language.”

The goal is for the audience to be able to control this interactive by means of an app with a control panel. “Through which the people from Eindhoven can draw their own characters.”

This new project is part of the ‘city miracles’ and is getting a permanent spot on the Stationsplein. De construction is 21 meters high, which gives the machine a drawing surface of 15 by 15 meters. “And hopefully this will be one of the symbols of Eindhoven.” says Schoofs. The project is also a prominent part of “Roundabout Design“.

Schoofs is also involved in ‘Exploring Wire’ which he designed together with the TU/e. A copper wire of 100 meters on which a lightning bolt is controlled to move more or less forward.

The wondrous world of technique and beauty. That is the incentive of Schoofs. According to him a large gap has presently been created between what people use in technique and what they understand of it.  

“My creations look like real lifelike creatures, even though they’re pure physics and science. A lot of forces of nature are present in my work, such as fire and gravity. I purposely put the mechanism on the outside, so that you can see it turning. If you trace the system with your index finger, you can unravel the whole system. I hope it motivates people to think about what’s happening. I want to show people understandable technique.”

Kinetic Humor is currently working with many companies. And Schoofs is aspiring to make a permanent job out of this hobby project that resulted from crazy ideas.

Exploding Wire (foto Claus Langer)
Exploding Wire (foto Claus Langer)