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What’s going on

What’s going on

The latest news and products from FLEX.

04 Aug 2017

Designing Red Bull’s ‘Petrol Store of the Future’

It’s safe to predict the automotive industry will change dramatically in the coming years as electric cars take over the market. This will have major implications for all the stakeholders in the industry. What will happen to the pertrol stations for instance, as people will mainly charge their car at home and at work? Red Bull – who’s been closely cooperating with the petrol sector for years – decided to gather a team of experts to find answers to this question.

Together with TNS, Instinct Laboratory, Wyne Strategy and Red Bull’s Out of Home team, we developed a toolkit for petrol station entrepreneurs to help them drive traffic to their location, after the main reason to visit – fuelling – has ceased to exist.

In this toolkit, the petrol station owners find concepts on the cross section of retail design, experience design and service design. Concepts that build on the specific characteristics of locations, as every location is unique when it comes to its surroundings, demographic profile, nearby retail, traffic situation and governmental plans.

These concepts were developed in the co-creation workshops we organized. In these sessions, we combined location characteristics with the extensive trend research done by TNS and Instinct Laboratory to come up with a large number of ideas. We thought about new categories that can be added to existing shops, but also about complete new destinations that offer people relevant reasons to visit a specific location.

The result: 15 modular concepts that re-invent stations’ value. Inspiring module examples: Module Runner’s Block – that facilitates running straight after work, DropOn/DropOff – a concierge service for all your small errands, Power Meeting – a room for super-efficient meetings, Dug out – to gather with your team mates before a game.

Red Bull aims to implement the first Future Station concepts still this year.


An article about this project was published in ‘Petrol’, a magazine for the petrol industry. You can download the article here.

04 Jul 2017

Our house extension concept ‘Matchbox’ wins

Together with the experts from De Mar, KAW, and Reimarkt, we faced housing corporation Stadlanders challenge ‘The Housing Transition Hackathon’ and won the first prize! The jury praised our ‘Matchbox’ house extension concept for its smart solutions. They especially appreciated the circular approach, enabling the re-use of the box. The high residual value makes it an affordable extension.

Stadlander, a Dutch housing corporation based in Brabant, organized this challenge to tackle two major social issues: reduce energy consumption to zero in combination with an increase in living standard. Their Brief: design an affordable and flexible extension on ground floor level that doesn’t interfere with the renovation solutions for less than €9.999,-.

Our experienced team, with expertise in design, architecture and building technology, faced the challenge. We developed a simple box that’s made of smart materials and solutions that can be connected to average houses easily and disassembled at a later stage. The residents can transform the extra available space as they wish; one room or a bedroom in combination with a bathroom or kitchen on ground floor level. In close collaboration, we carefully chose materials and worked on connections and other details.

Matchbox is another example of a successful concept when joining forces with experts from different fields. ‘Connecting the dots between people, technology, and business.’


Check with Ronald for more information about this exciting concept.

19 Jun 2017

UNA Grill enthusiastically received on Kickstarter

UNA Grill, the unique tabletop grill we created for our client UNA Grill B.V. is on Kickstarter and received ultimately well. This on-line crowdfunding community featured the project as a ‘Project We Love’ and already in the first two hours reached its fundraising goal. Due to its smart yet simple design, UNA Grill can be used anytime, anywhere. Check on Kickstarter and get your own!

UNA Grill revolutionizes outdoor grilling and creates an exciting social experience. This portable charcoal tabletop grill with a fresh and elegant design is made to enjoy outdoor dining year-round. Its compact design can be the center of your meal anytime, anywhere; a summer meal with friends on a garden terrace, an intimate barbecue for two on a city balcony or a picnic at the park. We created plain design full of smart solutions.

The cover comes in five fresh colors. It ensures an easy, compact storage and doubles as a secure foot for the grill, just by clicking it underneath. The leather handle makes it quite easy to carry along. The grill even has two heights above the charcoal, and when reversed it has a dedicated setup for skewers. After grilling UNA is easy to clean in a dishwasher and ready for a new adventure. It is a must-have to enjoy outdoor living!

Kickstarter is a global community, build around creatives and creative projects. It helps creators find the resources and support they need to bring their ideas to live. Over 10 million people from all over the world already backed a Kickstarter project.


Contact John if you’d like to know more about this case or our guidance for start-ups

13 Jun 2017

Enjoying a great FLEX team event


Last Friday, June 9th, we enjoyed our yearly team activity and faced educative and sportive challenges, which led to hilarious situations, lots of fun and great team building. We ended our day at one of the Rotterdam’s hotspots, a rooftop on ‘the Markhal,’ watching the most beautiful sunset.

We started in the morning, with four different teams building our own Arduino-powered line follower robots. Holding some key ingredients, we found out that it’s quite a challenge to write a program that sends your robot precisely in the right direction. Of course, for us, the robot’s design was just as important! Before lunch, we had our final.

In the afternoon many of us practiced archery for the first time. After the instructor had taught us the basics with real bows and arrows, all hell broke loose when four teams fought each other in an arrow battle with soft top arrows. Great fun and good team spirit!

We ended our day on a rooftop at one of Rotterdam’s hotspots, enjoying a great view over the city and Italian specialties.

08 Jun 2017

Helping consumers navigate the Philips LED portfolio

Philips New Led packaging wide

For Philips Lighting we created new packaging for their LED lamp portfolio. We focused on bringing down the cost-price while at the same time reducing the time consumers need to navigate the shelf.

Over the years the market for LED lighting transformed from a premium into a highly competitive market, where margins are constantly under pressure. Philips Lighting asked us to develop a new packaging range for their LED lamps that would help them realize a considerable cost-price reduction. Our thinking led to a solution that uses fewer components than their current packs and decreases the amount of material used.

For consumers, navigating the lamp category in stores can be a true nightmare. Finding the right replacement bulb takes time and can be quite annoying. Research shows that people look first for the right lamp shape, next, they look for the right fitting and wattage. Our new packaging design shows all three at a glance. We integrated the new Philips corporate identity on the front panel, which optimizes the navigation and ensures a recognizable and consistent brand identity for Philips’ LED lamps series in store. Consumer tests showed that they need only half the time to pick the right product compared to the previous packaging solution.


Contact Marcel for information on our packaging design work for Philips

01 Jun 2017

Introducing two new engineers

Jort en Tom

Recently two new engineers joined our team. Both with quite a different background, Jord Stijsiger and Tom Sweep enjoy creating the technical concept for new products. At our studio they found a challenging environment, closely cooperating with our product designers from the very first ideas to final design for our international clients.

Jord studied Product Design in Rotterdam and did his master study in Antwerp, Belgium. He gained a lot of experience working as a mechanical engineer but missed the creative and ergonomic aspects of design. The development process from wild ideas into a realistic design fascinates him. Jord: “It feels great being part of the enthusiastic, passionate, and creative team at FLEX.”  When not at our studio, he loves photography and scouring unique vintage items on flea markets with his girlfriend.

Tom fancies timeless design, that shows a perfect balance in shape and functionality and closely follows developments in sustainable design. He has quite some experience in product development and production techniques. He loves the engineering part of designing, combining technology and creativity, with a focus on functionality, choice of materials, assembling and producing products. ‘It’s a great privilege to be part of a team with that much experience and enthusiasm’ according to Tom. His next biggest passion: riding the waves!

It’s great to have you at our studio guys, good luck!


Would you like to join our team? Check our job page

24 May 2017

Meet us at Electronics & Applications 2017

news E&A beurs wide

From May 30 to June 1, the ‘crème de la crème’ of Benelux’ industrial electronics companies will be present at Electronics & Applications at the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht. More than 130 exhibitors will share their latest innovations, knowledge, and skills in industrial and consumer electronics. Meet us at the Development Club Paviljoen at HALL 7/B094.

The Internet has transformed the way we create and interact with objects. Today’s consumers demand products and services where physical and digital are seamlessly integrated. For our design solutions, this means exploring the links between trends and ideas, man and machine, potential and possibility.

Meet our designers to learn about our latest Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, electronic housing designs, and user interface projects. Explore how we can help you to create products that combine the latest IT technology and insights into consumer needs to fulfill your business goals.

On Thursday morning June 1, one of our founders and Creative Director Ronald Lewerissa will tell share the ins-and-outs of user interface design and prototyping at the Croesezaal seminar at 10:00.

From May 30 until June 1 The Electronics & Applications exhibition welcomes you every day from 09:30 – 17:30. Registration is free.


Our expert Christiaan can tell you all about our connected solutions

17 May 2017

Abke reveals our creative solutions at ADCN event

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On Wednesday evening May 17, the platform Advertising Design Creativity Netherlands (ADCN) organizes ENLIGHTENMENT!, an event that’s all about the creative insights of 2017 ADCN award winning designs. Members of the jury and a few winners of the prestigious Gold and Silver Lamps will share their thoughts, creative challenges, and solutions. Senior Designer Abke Geels will present our Silver Lamp winning packaging design for the Ultimaker’s  2 Go 3-D Printer.

Our packaging design for Ultimaker’s mighty mini 3D-printer isn’t only a great transport solution, but it also challenges the creative maker community to develop accessories to upgrade their Ultimaker 2 Go packaging.

Makers can turn the packaging into a transport trolley or a backpack, or they can add a coffee cup holder, handy while waiting for your next 3D-print to be finished. The 3D enthusiasts share their add-ons online.

Join this inspiring event at New Werktheater in Amsterdam on May 17. The doors open at 18:30, the session starts at 19:00. You can order your tickets through the ADCN.


Contact Abke if you’re interested in our packaging design solutions

02 May 2017

Brand equity for IHC

news - Royal IHC launches first beagle

Dutch supplier of innovative maritime solutions, Royal IHC, launched the first Beagle dredger with our design language that exudes the innovative and reliable character of the brand. A great collaboration, which shows the value of design.

Royal IHC is an international supplier of innovative and efficient equipment, vessels, and services for the offshore, dredging and wet mining markets. Nowadays they are suffering from Chinese and Korean plagiarism of their dredgers in the international waters. These Eastern shipyards build exact replicas, even subsidized by their governments, which nonetheless lack in technical performance.

Impressed by the work we did for Lely Industries, IHC asked for our help.

We secured IHC’s authenticity as highly efficient, innovative and reliable dredger, by creating a design that is eligible for design protection. We developed the ‘IHC-Swoosh,” a red s-curved steel shape starting from the aerial part, to the wheelhouse/bridge, than to the bow at the front and all the way back again. Recognizable design, even far on the horizon, which will immediately be associated a ‘real IHC,’ a dredger of high technical performance.

The final red ‘IHC-Swoosh’ design is a result of our multi-disciplinary approach. We brought together people from various disciplines within IHC to optimize our initial design. Together with IHC’s team, we succeeded in creating a design solution, that’s appreciated by everyone involved and helps to secure a strong brand image for IHC around the globe.


Ask Jeroen what a strong design language can do for your brand

19 Apr 2017

Meet Robin Hoenderdos, our new Creative Director


We appointed Senior Designer Robin Hoenderdos as Creative Director. He has been working with us for years, creating value for many of our clients, including multinationals like AB InBev, Tefal and Philips. In his new position, he will be responsible for the creative output of his team. Time for a chat about his ideas!

Robin: “In the end, it’s all about delivering a consistently high level of creativity for our clients.” We are strong conceptual thinkers, he says. Together with our clients we carefully consider their opportunities in often complex, saturated markets. Design driven innovation helps them to introduce successful new products. Our challenge is to come up with concepts with a twist, offering the end-user real added value, rather than just making it more beautiful. A great example is the de-humidifier we created for Bison. Because of our design solutions, this moisture absorber goes beyond the garage and fits perfectly in consumers’ home interior, which has led to a significant impact on market share and turnover for Bison.

In today’s complex world, the most successful products tell a very straightforward and clear message, which immediately explains benefits to the users. “We should challenge ourselves in becoming even better storytellers than we are today,” says Robin, “a smart translation of our concepts into distinctive, innovative design that consumers immediately embrace.” In our teams, designers and engineers work closely together to get this job done. Our juniors develop these skills on the job to meet our high standards.

Creating a seamless user experience will become more and more important. Nowadays designing is so much more than just creating an excellent product. In this era of smart connected products, we have to make new choices on how to create value and gain competitive advantage. Our design solutions should ensure that every interaction between customer and brand is carefully orchestrated. That’s why we are very keen on an intensive collaboration with our clients and every discipline involved. We can connect all the dots and create essential products for our fast changing world.


Contact Robin for innovative design solutions

14 Apr 2017

ADCN Award for Ultimaker 2 Go Packaging Design

Ultimake 2 go packaging with different add-ons

Our team proudly received a ‘Silver Lamp’ at the official ADCN Award ceremony at Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam. Each year the platform Advertising Design Creativity Netherlands (ADCN) awards creativity and craft in advertising and design with a Bronze, Silver or Golden Lamp. These Lamps are a symbol of the highest creative achievement in the Netherlands.

The jury awarded our packaging design for Ultimaker’s 2 Go 3D-printer in the category Packaging Design.

The design isn’t only a great transport solution, but it also challenges the creative maker community to develop accessories to upgrade their Ultimaker 2 Go packaging. Makers can turn the packaging into a transport trolley or a backpack, or they can add a coffee cup holder, handy while waiting for your next 3D-print to be finished. The 3D enthusiasts share their add-ons in the online community.

Congratulations to our client Ultimaker and the project team Abke, Marcel and Iris for a great job!


Contact Abke for our innovative packaging solutions


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