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For three whole days – from 16 to 19 February 2018 – the third edition of MONO JAPAN will transform Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy into a tiny Tokyo, full of Japanese design and craftsmanship. We would like to introduce you to Emiko Chujo, initiator and director of this unique event.

[Konnichiwa Emiko!] What was your motivation to start organizing MONO JAPAN?About ten years after I moved to the Netherlands, I started to miss a certain kind of handcrafted products which I loved so much in Japan, but couldn’t find anywhere in Dutch shops. I wondered why, and began investigating the differences between Dutch Design and Japanese craftsmanship. I realized that both cultures could learn a lot from each other and felt an urge to connect the two on the level of design and crafts.

Why do you focus solely on the subject of design and crafts?
Me and my father shared an interest in arts and crafts, specifically paintings and ceramics. I studied Oil Painting on the art academy and, influenced by my father, started to collect handmade Japanese ceramics.

The Netherlands and Japan both have a certain reputation when it comes to design and crafts, though their approach is very different. Japanese artists put a lot of effort in getting better and better at crafting handmade products, while Dutch artists emphasize on the conceptual side of a product and not so much on how it’s made. Furthermore, Japanese craftsmen tend to be extremely modest about themselves and their products, while Dutch artists are great at marketing and selling their work. What I find interesting, is what happens when you connect these different approaches.

What do you hope to achieve with MONO JAPAN?
MONO JAPAN is essentially a fair to create a European market for beautiful Japanese products. At the same time, I want to create new perspectives for both Dutch and Japanese designers by, amongst others, forming collaborations between them. MONO JAPAN motivates Japanese craftsmen to be creative an innovative, and simultaneously urges Dutch designers to explore all the amazing crafting techniques Japan has to offer.


38 years ago publisher Joost Elffers moved to New York, but he’s back regularly to his ‘sweet Amsterdam’
His first American best seller dates from 1973, 'Tangram'. In it, he and Michael Schuyt present 1600 silhouttes of the ancient Chinese puzzle. It sold 1 million copies worldwide. Next, he did 'Play with your food' in which he and Saxton Freymann showed how fruit and vegetables can be transformed into animals in 150 weirdly hilarious pictures. It received national coverage in shows of David Letterman and Martha Stewart. With Robert Greene he teamed up in 1998 to produce 'the 48 Laws of Power', again a major best-seller, followed by 'The Secret Language of Birthdays' which also reached 1 million copies.

DANIEL BURNS - Chef at Luksus, New York

Once upon a time Canadian Daniel Burns wanted to be a math professor. When he realized it was not exactly his path, he switched to philosophy. It is only after completing his degree, that he started cooking professionally and went on to pursue proper chef training. Burns, who is now star chef himself, has worked at all the big names: The Fat Duck, Noma, Momufoku until, finally his own – Luksus. 

That chapter too is already closed and a new adventure - Burns Gelato - is on the way. Expect the proper gelato with the most unexpected flavours! Expect to be wowed!
What is the ultimate dining experience? - we wonder. He answers quickly – it's the one that brings up a memory of childhood. Could that have something to do with the fact that Burns himself says his mothers home cooking was probably to blame for his final choice of vocation? - we guess.

Where does he get his inspiration? Art, among other things. A show of Marina Abramovic left a deep impression. The passion that she has for her work, the devotion that borders with life threating obsession, one can only admire that.

ANDREAS RIEGER - Chef at Einsunternull, Berlin

Andreas Rieger of Berlins einsunternull, is reserved and incredibly serious. And though he does not see himself as a star, believe us, the guests were still savoring the memories of his dinner days later.
Andreas is on a mission. He believes that German kitchen needs an identity. And he is on to something. Bitter, he says, is not only one of the misunderstood flavors, it is the one that describes Germans the best. Gastronomy is not just about nutrition, especially on that high level.

It has a broader cultural and social value. Unfortunately, taking utmost care of the dishes he serves, creating and developing unique flavours, comes with a higher price tag, making it an exclusive adventure not everyone can afford. But only if he could cover the running costs of the restaurant (including fair pay and healthy work load for his staff, he talked about with as much passion as about the food he and his team make) he would gladly charge 10 euros per meal.

KRISTIAN BAUMANN - Chef at 108, Copenhagen

The soft-spoken Danish chef and owner of Copenhagen’s one Michelin star restaurant 108 (pronounced as one-o-eight) Kristian Baumann is an energy bomb. He says, he has so much energy, that he actually needs the routine of running his own restaurant next to the fun part of being a creative chef with a test kitchen and a plot of land with 220 crops.

We asked Kristian about his experience with Steinbeisser Experimental Gastronomy and the dinner he served the night before. He told us, that though from the very start he was excited about the projects and was looking forward to it, the perfectionist side of him was very nervous. But on the night itself, just moments before the dinning room was finished and the guests walked in, he realized that the wow-power came not from food of vessels alone, but from the combination of the two, and it gave him an amazing feeling of creative freedom. So if you were one of the 65 guests nibbling on flower petals or sharing starters with people you never met before, thank the artists. The ultimate dining experience, according to Kristian, should have an element of surprise to it.


The genesis of EarthEnable began in 2013 when Gayatri (32) travelled to Rwanda as part of a Stanford class on Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability. The problem: 80% of Rwandans live on dirt floors that encourage disease and infections. Gayatri, now based in Rwanda, set about addressing this issue with an affordable and sustainable idea: an earthen floor finished with a custom-developed oil. No concrete, substantially less emissions and reduced chances of disease.

How did you approach problem solving in a brand-new context such as Rwanda?
"Design thinking changed the way I think about problems and how to solve them. This was a major turning point in my life. Before, as a management consultant I came up with a hypothesis, did the analysis and then came up with an answer. Now, instead, I spent two and a half months just learning and being with people in their homes in Rwanda; being open to spending time learning and being empathetic. You can’t lack empathy and design a product for someone’s needs. And empathy can be taught. Innovation can be taught too. I learned it, I am a living example of this."

EarthEnable was the winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2017


Videographer Levi Maestro from Los Angeles, CA stayed with us for 10 days in August 2017 to discover Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy and make a video about us. We met up to get to know him a bit better.

What brings you to Amsterdam?
"I’m travelling in Europe. Trying to see new things and make videos along the way. I have my own production company, so I’m doing work for companies as it comes. Like this video I’m making for Lloyd, I only thought of it two weeks ago. I was thinking that I want to make videos about places that I like. 

Usually my videos have a multitude of things happening: persons, places. It’s about so many things. I wanted to start profiling places that I could dig into more. This place is something like that. It has a lot of layers. So I’m going to try to make videos now, sort of the same I’ve been doing all along, but for instance I’ve never made one just on a hotel. Those are the things I’m looking, well, not looking for, but like when they come along, then I act on it, you know? It’s really cool when you’re in a place that’s so much different than when you’re from, because things tend to be more interesting.

What was the very last thing you photographed?
"That was probably my room, 602. The reason I like this room so much is that I always thought the A-frame roof is so neat. Like in the States, you barely ever see it. Only in maybe some really old houses in certain kind of states, but it’s very rare. There’s something about it that seems so fake, right? It seems kind of like a dream, like a fairytale type of place. And it’s funny, because the swing is not even that much big of deal, but just it being there makes it a whole different kind of place. Very cool."

Saad Hajo, Mwafaq Katt, Sahar Burhan

What do you do if you live in a regime where you are scilenced? You start your own revolution. A revolution of cartoons has just landed in Amsterdam...

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Millions of Indian pilgrims descend on the city of Ujjain to bathe in the city’s Shipra river. This is the Kumbh Mela, the world’s biggest religious pilgrimage, held every 12 years. Now consider this: in 2016 for the first time in history, a transgender (hijra) congregation joins the pilgrimage and the high priestess at the head of this congregation is dancer-turned-movie-star-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-social-activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi. The journalist Marnel Breure calls her inclusion in this ancient Vedic tradition, ‘a religious and transgender revolution’ in India.

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She is the Miss Marple of art and archives stolen first by the Nazis, and then again by the Soviets; a quite senior lady who with her kind yet persisting manner is able to access archives that remain firmly closed to others and crack unsolved cases.

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Sukima Switch is one of Japan’s best-loved pop and jazz fusion duos. Founded in 1999 by Shintaro Tokita and Takuya Ohashi the group has produced six albums and countless live shows across Japan. Most recently they produced a single titled ‘Line’ for the manga series film Naruto Shippuden.

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Lloyd Hotel room 202 was recently transformed into the 'Migration room' by an Iranian design trio. Hida Kasei (designer), Amir Komeilizadeh (designer) and Mohammad Reza Amiri (calligrapher) share a keen sense of migration issues and especially what it means to re-define the notion of 'home'. They were inspired by the ancient tradition of weaving in the transformation of this room and created a truly awe-inspiring shower installation. The 'Migration room' officially opened during the Migration Festival in the Lloyd Hotel (May 29, 2016).

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Eddy Wijngaarde (73) is a serial entrepreneur who fell into the film business while entertaining friends at his restaurant in Amsterdam in the 1980s. Having grown up in Surinam and The Netherlands his projects straddle both countries and cultures. His past successes include award-winning documentaries and pioneering projects like ‘Surinam Youth News’. He tells Kim van Beek how his career as a film producer unfolded and what we can expect next.

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Ursula studied languages at university and got a first taste of the creative world when she spent a year abroad working in a contemporary art centre. Since then she has always been interested in the business side of creativity and culture. Her first job was for a placemaking consultancy called Locum Consulting, then she spent a few years at the UK Design Council which she left to run operations for a photography start up. “All those things have been super useful for my job at Makerversity.”

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Museum Director Katia Baudin once described Dutch artist Frank Bragigand as the ‘last true modernist’. His practice includes a range so diverse it spans from the restoration of furniture to public space interventions and hotel bar design. But if only for the sake of context, ‘painter’ best describes Bragigand’s role in his latest exhibition, Art Language, on show at the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy and Gallery Lumen Travo in Amsterdam.

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Chitose Ohchi - Curator

Based on the first sugary sweets introduced to the Japanese city of Hirado in the 16th century, Chitose Ohchi has curated an utterly unique jewellery collection for MONO JAPAN. Calling on nine different Japanese jewellery designers, Chitose presents their work as part of a multi-layered exhibition that also references the age-old maritime relationship between the Dutch and Japanese. Chitose as a long-standing relationship with the Netherlands in particular working with design alumni from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. The exhibition will be accompanied by intermittent live piano performances and a tea-making ceremony in Room 221.

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Masashi Sueta - Fashion Designer

Fashion designer Masashi Sueta will introduce his fashion label Hihihi for the first time in Europe at MONOJAPAN. Masashi is a guest of the Cultural Embassy for MONO JAPAN - a Japanese craft & design fair and cultural event taking place at the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy from 5-7 February 2016.

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Hanako Matsunaga - Ceramics Expert

Meet Hanako Matsunaga, an avid Japanese ceramics collector, expert and importer. Hanako is a guest of the Cultural Embassy for MONO JAPAN - a Japanese craft & design fair and cultural event taking place at the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy from 5-7 February 2016.

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The 'Asia'  exhibition at the Rijks Museum this winter, showed how Japanese design was introduced in the Netherlands through the 17th century VOC.

One of the specialties the Dutch elite loved instantly was the precious, luxury porcelain of the Kakiemon workshop. Soon this was favoured over the Chinese porcelain.
Now, the celebrations of 400 year porcelain crafts in the Japanese Arita region, brings the 15th generation of Sakaida Kakiemon, to Amsterdam and Lloyd Hotel.

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Hany Abu-Assad - Film Director

Palestinian director Hany Abu Assad is in Amsterdam for the Shortcutz annual film awards and a guest of the Cultural Embassy. No stranger to awards, Abu-Assad is an Academy Award nominee and a Golden Globe winner amongst many more accolades. His latest film, The Idol (2015), currently showing at the Rotterdam Film Festival, was shot on location in Gaza and tells the tender real life story of 23-year-old Mohammed Assaf, winner of the Arab Idol in 2013.

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Roberto Negrin
Dressed in a gold costume we came across couturier for dogs Roberto Negrin from New York. He visited Amsterdam briefly to do a photoshoot and filming at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy for an online commercial. RTL-Boulevard jumped to the opportunity of talking to him.

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Philipp Fürhofer creates opulent works of art and works as a set- and costume designer for the opera.
He's staying at Lloyd Hotel as he's in Amsterdam often for his work on Pique Dame, Tchaikowsky's opera which will open during the Holland Festival, 9 June 2016, directed by Stephen Herheim. 

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Simon Stephens, 44, is a playwright whose productions include a highly acclaimed adaptation of Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'.
His play 'Song from far Away' is set in Amsterdam with Lloyd Hotel written in as the chosen location of the principal character Willem. It premiered in Sao Paulo, to continue in Amsterdam and London to rave reviews.

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This year Masataka Miyanaga organised his three-day high-end workshop and lecture tour for Japanese beauty experts at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. The course results in a photo shoot.
He works together with his wife, Mamechiyo, who’s a key figure of the Kimono revival movement in Japan. Her kimonos are ‘like modern landscapes, where Eastern and Western worlds collide’, writes Trend Tablet.

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Hirokazu Tokuyama is curator at the Kyoto City University of Arts (KCUA) Art Gallery @KCUA, and his connection to Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is through artistic director Suzanne Oxenaar, whom he met for the art project ‘Still Moving’.

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American theatermaker Annie Dorsen is in Amsterdam for the world premier of ‘Yesterday Tomorrow’, Thursday 4 June in the Holland Festival. This is a concert for three humans and a computer, based on the Beatles'song Yesterday and Tomorrow, from the musical Annie.

The stage setting is extremely simple, consisting of three white leather Marcel Wander’s couches she’s borrowed from the Lloyd Hotel restaurant. Annie’s just in from a stroll in the Eastern Docklands after a day of setting the stage and finetuning at the Muziekgebouw.

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Together with his brother Till, his mother Renate and his father Alex, Leopold Rabus (1977) has just opened at TORCH gallery. Their group exhibition is called ‘Comme une grappe estivale d’helices de Pise’, and runs until 20 June. Leopold has had numerous exhibitions, among which was a solo exhibition at the GEM The Hague before.

The lobby is plastered with the drawings his son Edouir (5) and daughter Ellie (9) made of the Lloyd Hotel and its surroundings. Perhaps these are the budding works of a next generation of artists, for the Swiss Rabus family covers already two generations of them. “I do not know of a hotel in Switzerland that would organise space for children as well as the Lloyd. They would have a nice playground but with an unpleasant esthetics.”

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Delegations of Saga Prefecture, Japan and the Arita area frequently stay at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy as they further their object to promote the international awareness of 400 years of Arita pottery & culture. 
Recently, Momota-san was in Amsterdam to meet with Dutch designers Scholten & Baijings. As CEO of a centuries old manufacturing and trading company of Arita pottery, Momota instigated the brand 1616/ Arita Japan together with designer Yanagihara Teruhiro and Dutch design studio Scholten&Baijings. This brand precedented the 2016/ project, which will launch at theMilan Salone di Mobile next year. 

As he relaxes between a busy meeting schedule, we have an opportunity to talk with him. 

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Nathalie Boseul SHIN is the very active chief-curator at Seoul’s first private museum, the Total Museum of Contemporary Art. Her background is in the Media Arts, yet she curated Contemporary Art exhibitions since she joined the museum in 2007, and organised a number of annual international projects since 2010.
She stays at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy on invitation of the Mondriaan Fund, as one of a group of art professionals from South-Korea and Japan who represent a wide range of art institutions.

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On 11 March, it will be 4 years since the Great Japanese Earthquake took place, with the ensuing tsunami and nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Prior to the day of remembrance, on Sunday 8 March, the 'Hope, Step, Japan' event at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy presented an overview of ways to deal with the aftermath - in lectures, screenings, and food. Visual artist Nishiko set up her exhibition 'Disaster Repair', with debris she's been collecting around the tsunami area since 2012. 

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Invited by ZAM Magazine, we are delighted to have the renowned undercover investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas with us. Yesterday evening he was guest at De Zwijger speaking about his job. Saturday 7 March we will show the IDFA documentary ‘Chameleon’ made of him by Ryan Mullins.

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Kyoto-based product designer Yanagihara is in Amsterdam to further his project celebrating 400 years of the Arita pottery industry in the Saga Prefecture, Japan. The project -called 2016/ is supported by the Dutch embassy in Tokyo and embraces the opportunity to deepen the economic and cultural relations between the Netherlands and Japan. 

Primary aim of the project is to develop 16 new series by international designers, together with 16 Arita pottery producers. These will be presented at the 2016 Milan Design Week. Design partner in the Netherlands are Scholten & Baijings.

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Renzo Martens, visual artist, whose documentary film 'Episode III / Enjoy Poverty', caused a huge stir in 2008 when it came out at the International Documentary Film Fesitval Amsterdam (IDFA). In it, Martens' epic journey through the jungle of Congo is depicted. He encourages Congolese people to market and sell images of their state of poverty, and he carries with him a huge neon sign ‘Enjoy Poverty, please’. The work was shown at the Centre Pompidou, at the Berlin Biennale, in Tate Modern just to name a few, and was widely discussed by eminent thinkers from in- and outside the art world, from the London School of Economics to Yale University.

Early in the evening he walks in, wearing a white jacket and burgundy trousers, his sleek long hair combed back; yes, he does play with his likeness to the actor Klaus Kinski. He stayed at Lloyd Hotel for a week, while further developing his plans.

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PABLO MARTIN-CAMINERO - Innovative Flamenco Free Style Musician

Invited by the Flamenco Biennale to join forces with three Dutch jazz-improvisers, the Spanish band Ultra High Flamenco is having a great time playing in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. 
Double-bass player Pablo Martín-Caminero is about the only band-member who's fluent in English. We talk about UHF's Dutch experience.

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Victoria de Pereda and Pierluigi Cattermole - DESIGN CREATIVES

Under the auspices of the Dutch embassy in Madrid a group of Spanish design professionals travelled to Amsterdam last week, staying as guests of the Lloyd Hotel’s Cultural Embassy. They embarked on a whirlwind tour of Dutch design covering Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Delft and Tilburg. The aim was to intensify the cultural relationship between Spain and The Netherlands culminating in an exhibition, event or symposium of Dutch design in the near future in Spain. Amongst the group was Victoria de Pereda, industrial designer and educator and Pierluigi Cattermole, the publishing editor of the well-celebrated Spanish design magazine experimenta. We caught up with both of them right before their exit back to Spain….

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In Amsterdam from New York to speak at the 2014 FASHION SYMPOSIUM - Time for Reflection of the Dutch Fashion Foundation is fashion designer Pascale Gatzen. She started as one of six young designers who were the first Dutch with a pret-a-porter show in Paris back in 1995. Ten years later she's settled in New York, with big plans for a textile mill in the Hudson Valley.
At Lloyd Hotel she is surrounded by work of one of the people she counts as example; Claudy Jongstra.

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Travis Chamberlain is Associate Curator of Performance and Manager of Public Programmes at the New Museum in New York.

Staying with us as a guest of TROUW he’s here to test the most ambitious thing he’s ever done: to present a large scale performance art project in an exhibition.

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London-based Lucy McRae gave the keynote at Ninety Minutes of Frame on October 3rd and was our guest over this time. The engaging lecture series themed 'Get Physical' is in its fourth edition so a keynote from a self-proclaimed Body Architect fits the scene. Merging backgrounds in classical ballet and interior design, McRae explores relationships between the body and technology.

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Head of the Japanese contemporary jewellery gallery ‘O-Jewel’, Chitose Ohchi is here to elaborate on the theme of the current exhibition of which she is the curator, ‘Holland – Japonism’.

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Journalist, art consultant, independent curator and artistic director of CIRCA, Puerto Rico, Paco Barragán fiddles with his Spotify playlist. He does some DJ-ing at opening parties of art projects on the side. Over his apple pie, he explains that he’s here for two reasons: to talk to photographer Erwin Olaf as a curator of a new tour of his show ‘Erwin Olaf; The Empire of Illusion’, and to propose a solo show of eight large scale paintings based on Dora Mar’s photos of the development of the Guernica by a Spanish artist.

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Kickstarting the first edition of 'Trouw Invites.....', a series of exhibitions and performances at Trouw / De Verdieping in collaboration with Stedelijk Museum, is the Parisian Palais the Tokyo. They curated the installation 'Landscape' of artist Fouad Bouchoucha.

For tonight's opening, Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy sponsored the rooms of Jean de Loisy, director of Palais de Tokyo, and DJ Joakinm Bouazis, with whom the French art institution will throw one of their infamous nightly parties. (image courtesy

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Robbie Mahoney – creative director at renowned design agency Graphic Thought Facility – will be our guest on Monday, 16 June. He wil also be giving the keynote address at the third edition of Ninety Minutes of Frame that same night at Pakhuis De Zwijger Having studied graphic design at Central Saint Martin's and the Royal College of Art, Mahoney joined Graphic Thought Facility in 2001. The London-based design consultancy has an international reputation for its diverse and progressive approach for clients such as Vitra, Kvadrat, Frieze Art Fair and the Design Museum.

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Sophie Oluwole welcomes me warmly when we meet at the reception of the Lloyd Hotel. It’s almost like I’m visiting her, instead of her visiting Amsterdam. She’s here only for two days. The original plan was to be there on Thursday for the Alternative G8 of Philosophy in TheRedBar of the Lloyd Hotel and the next day as speaker on the official G8 of Philosophy together with among others Peter Sloterdijk and Benjamin Barber.

photo © Michel Mees

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Brought up on a diet of art, textiles and tribal craft Laduma Ngxokolo was primed for a life in fashion. Then his late mother showed him how to use a knitting machine. What happens next is amazing…

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For more than twenty years our General Manager Piet Boogert has been leading a double life. It started in July 1992 when he persuaded a group of hotels in Amsterdam to organize the biggest dinner the Dam Square has ever seen. This year it involved a trip to Ethiopia. Intrigued? So were we....

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They have their ‘Wednesday Look’, sipping on their lemonade and beer. As usual, Alexa and João Rodrigues have spent most of the night editing the photos taken during Tuesday’s session of their weekly shorts program at the Kring: Shortcutz Amsterdam.
It’s the first thing attendees look for on Facebook the morning after the session: their pictures.

The international guests of Shortcutz Amsterdam usually stay at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, and we are showing a ‘General Audiences’ selection of winning short films on the Lloyd tv-channel in all hotel rooms.

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Haco de Ridder Officer International Visitors Program Mondriaan Fund
Since 2007 the guests of the International Visitors Program stay at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy.

I work for the Visitors Programme and the yearly Orientation Trips organized by the Mondriaan Fund, the Dutch public cultural funding organization focusing on visual arts and cultural heritage.
We invite around 20 people a year, mostly on an individual basis but sometimes as a group. The idea is to provide them an insight into the Dutch art field. Together with them I prepare a tailor-made programme of artists and institutions that they would like to meet.

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After his training as an architect at Hiroshima Institute of Technology, and working as a graphic designer, Oji Masanori found out that what he really liked was product design.
His success as self-taught designer is based on his knowledge of materials and relations with small craft manufacturers in Japan, who still know how to use traditional techniques. With them, Masanori develops carefully made innovative home ware products, which have become available in boutique shops from New York to Taiwan.

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Ilco van der Linde, founder of MasterPeace initiated an impressive series of successful peace projects: he started Bevrijdingspop in 1980, the Bevrijdingsfestivals, the Liberation Day National Classical Concert in 1995, Dance4Life in 2002, and MasterPeace in 2009. Last December, MasterPeace received the U.N. Certificate of Recognition for Innovation in Peace-building from UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon.
On 14 March 2014, a dedicated MasterPeace hotelroom opens in Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy.

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She came to the piano much later than other ‘star children’ like the brothers Jussen or LangLang. Starting with lessons at nine years old, she was on stage in various countries around the world at 12 and found herself winning the prestigious Prinses Christina Concours in 2009, when she was fourteen.
(photo Oscar Timmers)

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