Dazzle Ship
October 2003

Tent pattern / part 1

Lowlands Festival
In Februari 2003, we were visited by Eric van Eerdenburg, director of Lowlands Festival, who asked us to design a tent for the festival (or more precisely, to design a print for such a tent).

Lowlands is a huge alternative music event, an amazing rock festival that takes place in a number of large tents on a terrain the size of a small village. Because of their size, these tents reminded us of giant warships; an association that was only reinforced by the almost military-type names given to these tents: 'Alpha', 'Bravo', 'Charlie', etc.
Thinking about a print, we decided to design a pattern that was inspired by the phenomenon of 'Dazzle Ships' (also known as 'Razzle Dazzle'): an experimental form of camouflage painting used on warships during the first World War, disturbing Op-Art-like patterns that were used to confuse enemy ships.

We were asked to design the front of a specific tent that was called Juliet (another NATO-style military name). The facade of Juliet actually measured 25 x 10 meter. Shown below a couple of sketches of that facade. (We only designed the front of the tent; the part with the blue stripes was not designed by us).

We also proposed an A6-sized postcard (a sketch can be seen at the very top of this page), to announce the installation.

However, a short while after we designed the above patterns, the plans changed drastically. Instead of a festival tent, we were now suddenly asked to design a light tower. We actually liked this plan even better; for the tent, we were only allowed to design the front, while a tower needed to have all four sides covered. So we really loved the idea of doing a tower. We changed the title of the project from 'Dazzle Ship' to 'Dazzle Rocket', and immediately started sketching. These new sketches can be seen at Dazzle Rocket 1.

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