stefan sagmeister at experimentadesign amsterdam 2008
stefan sagmeister at experimentadesign amsterdam 2008 stefan sagmeister at experimentadesign amsterdam 2008
sep 21, 2008

stefan sagmeister at experimentadesign amsterdam 2008

sagmeister inc.’s public intervention ‘obsessions make my life worse and my work better’ (2008) image © designboom



designboom is just back from experimentadesign 2008, a month long event dealing with the theme of space and place. a biennale which first originated in lisbon, this year it’s taken over the city of amsterdam, exploring design for the urban landscape and looking at how it fulfills the needs of the city’s inhabitants. shaping a place is much about imagining as it is about building with participants in the event looking to the city’s public spaces for inspiration, interpreting the urban landscape as a theater of conviviality. from informal interventions to happenings which are sometimes illegal, experimentadesign 2008 proposes that the city’s public space becomes a place in which architects and designers develop the urban area into a playground which initiates social interaction amongst city dwellers.

one of the major events is the droog event 2: urban play, the amsterdam route which brings together international creatives to put together 13 newly designed interventions along the central IJ-riverfront, organized by droog design and curator scott burnham.

sagmeister inc., was one of the urban play participants with ‘obsessions make my life worse and my work better’, an installation of 300,000 euro cent coins which have been laid out on a 20 x 42 square meter area. drawing the phrase from one of his old diaries, a team of eight painstakingly placed each of the coins down to create the visual aesthetic which stefan sagmeister is known for, the use of calligrahy and modern typography with floral embellishments that give the feeling of old script in a contemporary context. with coins representing a certain value, the beauty of the design challenges the passer-by. will they leave the piece in tact because of its beauty? will they take the coins and create their own design in response the the work? or will greed take over?



image © designboom



image © designboom



image © designboom



some of the coins were arranged to look like old topography image © designboom



image © designboom


image © designboom



the back of each coin was painted blue to indicate whether or not someone has taken a coin from the installation image © designboom



image © designboom



image © designboom



image © designboom



image © designboom



five hours after the installation was revealed, the coins had been moved, turned over and taken by individuals image © designboom



someone has taken the work to the next level, creating their own commentary placing the coins elsewhere in the city image © designboom



people try to keep the coins in place image © designboom



more experimentadesign amsterdam 2008: droog design: sagmeister inc.:

  • Sadly, this piece met a sudden end, being removed by the Amsterdam police less than 24 hours after it was installed. Read the story here:

    [url=] Sagmeister piece removed by Amsterdam Police [/url]

    Scott Burnham says:
  • One off the things de Amterdam police can do.

    someone says:
  • LOl the police thought we where ruining the streets… 🙂

    “Pleas stop this nonsense”

    🙂 well its mr police

    LOL says:
  • “one of the things the amsterdam police CAN do” =)) lool

    Alex says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,303 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample