Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels and Béla Zsigmond are a multi-award winning design collective that combines technical excellence with a critical approach to contemporary issues. It is a trend that, since the mid-2000s has come to be known as “design for debate,”
Meijdam, Snels and Zsigmond studied together at the School of Fine Arts and Design (AKV) St. Joost, before going on to found Studio Smack in 2005. Blending incisive commentary and humour with computer generated imagery and visual effects, their animated films tackle consumer culture, the ubiquity of branding, surveillance, identity and environmental concerns. They have taken on projects for a range of clients, including NGOs such as Greenpeace, arts festivals and public institutions. Among the studio’s museum works, the most significant to date is PARADISE, a contemporary interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights commissioned in 2016 by the Stedelijk Museum as part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary. Together with Onkaos, the team is now working on the two remaining panels of Bosch’s triptych, Eden and Hell.
Over the past decade, Studio Smack’s creations have received numerous awards. Their early work, KAPITAAL (2006), took first prize in three different festivals (Keying into the Brain, Amsterdam Film Experience and Film Front Festival); PIMP MY PLANET (2010) was recognised at the Dutch Design Awards and European Design Awards; and WITCH DOCTOR, for the Dutch rock group De Staat, has received fifteen different awards, including Best Animation in a Video at the UK Music Video Awards 2016 and Best Music Video at Bogotá Short Film Festival.
Represented by Onkaos