I always having trouble finding Dutch souvenirs for my overseas friends as most souvenirs are a bit tacky. But now I have found the perfect gift; the Amsterdam city mug from iittala! Iittala’s Local Mug project, which is taking place in a number of cities around Europe, is aimed at developing local reinterpretations of the Teema mug and encouraging debate, particularly among young people, on the role of design in our everyday lives.
The Local Mug project will be launched in four cities: Helsinki, Amsterdam, London, and Stockholm. Iittala will work with a local design company in each of these cities to create a special, limited edition mug based on the Teema design created by Kaj Franck in 1952. DUS is Iittala’s partner for Amsterdam. This partnership resulted in two designs.
The distinctive houses along Amsterdam’s many canals were a powerful inspiration for DUS. “You can get a great introduction to the city’s story by looking through the windows of its houses,” says Hedwig Heinsman of DUS. “Amsterdam residents are well-known for not pulling their curtains in the evening, and they often place their most treasured items on display in their windows.” This local tradition, and the dialogue between public spaces, the street, and the very private spaces that are people’s living rooms, which it represents is something that fascinates the people at DUS. Unfortunately, the tradition is gradually dying out. “That’s why we wanted to create two mugs, to draw people’s attention to the city’s ‘eyes’, its windows,” explains Hans Vermeulen.
“The red ‘XXX’ mug features a map of Amsterdam and shows where the most traditional windows are to be found. The design also revisits Amsterdam’s old city coat of arms and its three distinctive red crosses. The blue ‘City-eyes’ mug shows a selection of the city’s most popular windows. “Together, the two mugs tell a common story about the city, its windows, and where they can be found. Two mugs, and two people, make up the two halves of the story.”
The Amsterdam city mugs can be bought in iittala stores in The Netherlands. Click here to find a list of iittala shops.