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Share the Vibe: Ricky van Broekhoven

Eindhoven fans may know maker Ricky van Broekhoven from his installations at STRP Festival and GLOW or the first season of the Hungry for Design video series. For this brand new Share the Vibe, he created an ode to the work methods of Eindhoven's most famous laboratory: Natlab.

Sound and light as malleable materials

Ricky is a designer, researcher, and musician. For him, sound and light are malleable materials that allow him to develop sensory narratives that cannot be expressed otherwise. He produces spatial experiences, kinetic instruments, and dynamic sculptures in his laboratory sound studio in Eindhoven. Installations that, in recent years, have gained international attention from media such as VICE and Wallpaper. 

As a maker, Ricky is interested in the intersection of technology and expression. He is inspired by science, and finds it fascinating and intimidating at the same time. 'My work could be described as 'tools' to translate the complexity of our natural and artificial world into an experience that puts our surroundings in a new perspective. A place or object where reason and intuition flow together in an accessible image or experience. Those contradictions match my personality, I like to be immersed in busy urban environments as well as go deep into the mountains.'

Ricky van Broekhoven
Eindhoven is a city where there is still room to play

Reference to the work method of Natlab

His Share the Vibe video is an experiment with light, reflection, and refraction. Ricky was inspired by optical tables: laboratory instruments used to take measurements, such as lasers and lenses, positioned on a particular surface. 'Laser light is used for these measurements, as these are strong bundles of light.' The video references the work methods of NatLab: the Philips laboratory and the cradle of Eindhoven's science branch. In mid last century, science went hand in hand with playful research at Natlab. For the video, as an experiment, I built an optical instrument to make a dynamic composition of light through lasers, mirrors, and motors. This instrument is the first prototype and came about through trial, error, and dedication. Various synthesizers make the soundtrack.'

Room to play

He says the following about Eindhoven: ‘Even though the high-tech sector in Eindhoven is no longer as intuitive as back in the days when scientific research was carried out in Natlab, it is still a city where there is room to play and to try unconventional things. It is a modular place with short ties between different institutes, organizations, and creative areas. I feel the energy the most when cooperation arises and different people join forces to explore new territory.'