Back to all blogs

Justus Bruns

The Dutch are known for their exquisite design. Combining design and technology, Justus Bruns is one of the emerging designers carving out the future of intelligent, impactful, beautiful design. He cofounded the Amsterdam-based design innovation studio VOUW, and recently completed a large scale public light project in Singapore, City Gazing, 2019.

1. Where do you feel most at home

When I enter De Pels. It’s an institution, the kind of café where you are likely to encounter Dutch authors, intellectuals and creatives contemplating their next work. De Pels’ bread and croissants are from the excellent French bakery De Gebroeders Niemeijer.

2. Most memorable meal

My Spanish German wife can acknowledge that the Dutch are not known for their cuisine. However when we entered De Kas, we experienced a whole new level of food. They use mostly their own(!) fresh produce to deliver you a new and deliciously surprising take on the Dutch kitchen.

3. One thing the guide books don't tell you

You must go to Sama Sebo! (I think they even had their restaurant removed from Foursquare to reduce their foot traffic) Order a rijsttafel (rice table), it’s basically a feast of Indonesia’s best dishes presented on a multitude of plates that cover the whole table.

4. A famous Amsterdammer you'd like to take to lunch

The current and very inspiring first female mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema. We’d go to Raïnaraï, an Algerian restaurant. It’s very low key, and food is out of this world.

5. One place to see art that is off the beaten track

It’s hard to go off the beaten track in Amsterdam as it is tiny compared to cities like Shanghai or Madrid. With that said, for photography one spot that people tend to miss is Huis Marseille (it’s actually the oldest photo museum of the Netherlands). For contemporary art visit Torch Gallery, they have a great eye for emerging artists.

6. Best book to read before visiting Amsterdam

Definitely read Amsterdam by Russell Shorto

7. Best store for buying gifts

Two places actually: Droog and The Frozen Fountain. The Netherlands is known for a lot of great design, these stores will show you exactly why.

8. Favorite travel route in Amsterdam

Through the Vondelpark, by bike, obviously. Especially during peak hours it always blows my mind how many people cycle in Amsterdam.

9. Where have you travelled to recently

Shenzhen. It’s just insane to realize that giant cities like that can sprout up so quickly, in less than one generation.

10. One thing you always bring back from a trip

A different perspective on things.

11. What are you working on at the moment

Our company VOUW are developing public chairs that will cause people to have to sit next to each other. The idea is to increase social cohesion in the city.