Ryan Pescatore Frisk and Catelijne van Middelkoop are the founding partners of Strange Attractors Design (2001), an international studio located in Rotterdam and New York, which creates innovative and strategic solutions to influence culture and commerce.
As active researchers and educators Van Middelkoop and Pescatore Frisk have given workshops and lectures in cities worldwide including Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Chicago, Delft, Eindhoven, Katowice, Moscow, New York, Novi-Sad, Prague, Rotterdam, Split, The Hague, Weimar and Zagreb. Catelijne and Ryan are both lecturers at Design Academy Eindhoven, guest critics at the ArtEz Fashion Masters in Arnhem and previously also taught at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague, at Parsons School of Design, NY, and the Willem de Kooning Academie, Rotterdam.
Pescatore Frisk received a BFA in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, an MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, an MA in Typography and Type Design from The Royal Academy of Art/KABK, and an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology—Media, Visual and Material Culture from Leiden University. He is a PhD researcher at the Visual and Digital Cultures Research Center of the University of Antwerp.
Van Middelkoop has an MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a Degree in Graphic & Typographic Design from The Royal Academy of Art/KABK, studied Art History and Archeology at The University of Amsterdam and was on the national board of directors of the BNO (Association of Dutch Designers) from 2006 to 2012. She has been heading the Department of Man and Communication at Design Academy Eindhoven since 2013 and is a PhD candidate at the Bauhaus Universität in Weimar. Recently, Van Middelkoop was appointed as Professor of Visual Communication Design at the Faculty Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).
The work of Strange Attractors has been shown in venues all around the world and has won various design awards including the overall ‘Jury Prize’ as well as the ‘Gold’ award in the category Brand Implementation from the European Design Awards in 2010 and a prestigious nomination for the Rotterdam Design Prize in 2007. Besides receiving almost a dozen Certificates of Typographic Excellence from the Type Directors Club (TDC) over the past decade, their work was also Judge's choice in TDC2 & TDC53. Early on in their careers Pescatore Frisk and Van Middelkoop were nominated for a Dutch Design Award in 2003, included in ADC Young Guns 4 (Art Directors Club NY) and ID Magazine's ‘ID Forty’ of 2006. The work of Strange Attractors was shown at the Dutch Pavilion of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and is part of the permanent collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
An international list of commissioners includes: AIGA, Art + Commerce, BNO, City Centre Offices Berlin, Cranbrook Academy of Art & Museum, Design Academy Eindhoven, Designplatform Rotterdam, Eye Magazine, Fontys School of the Arts, FSI FontShop International, Graphic Design Museum Breda (MOTI), IDEO, Items Magazine, Konstfack College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Max Bruinsma Editorialism, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museum Hilversum, (Historical) Museum Rotterdam, NAi Publishers, Onomatopee, PostNL, Print Magazine, Studio Dumbar, Singer Museum Laren, TENT., Typonine, Vanity Fair, Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond and W+K Tokyo Lab. In 2012 Van Middelkoop and Pescatore Frisk were appointed Curators of the renown Graduation Show of Design Academy Eindhoven.
The work of Strange Attractors has been published in numerous books and periodicals including: 25 Jaar Stadscollectie R’dam (Museum Boijmans), ADC Young Guns 4 (Art Directors Club NY), Area 2 (Phaidon), Art Directors Annual 82 (Art Directors Club NY), Brno Biennale Catalogue 2004, 2008, 2010, Contemporary Graphic Design (TASCHEN), Designprijs Rotterdam 2007 (Distributed Art Pub Incorporated), Drawing for Graphic Design (Rockport), Dutch Type (010), Real Dutch Design (BIS), ED-Awards catalogue 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 (European Design), Exploring Typography (Thomson Delmar Learning), Exploring Typography II (Cengage Learning), Graphic Design Referenced (Rockport), Handjob (Princeton Architectural Press), Icons of Graphic Design (Thames and Hudson), International Yearbook Communication Design (Red Dot), Left, Right, Up, Down (Gestalten), Lettering Large (Monacelli Press), Playful Type 2 (Gestalten), Tactile (Gestalten), TDC Annuals: Typography 24, 25, 26, 28, 30 and 31 (Type Directors Club NY), The Atlas of Graphic Designers (Rockport), The 3D Type Book (Laurence King), Typography: Graphic Design in Context (Thames and Hudson), Typography Referenced (Rockport), Staging Space (Gestalten), Super HD:Holland Design (Actar), Women in Design (Jovis), Women of Design (HOW Books) and magazines including 2+3D (Poland), Adbusters (USA), Design 365 (South Korea), designNET (South Korea), DPI (South Korea), Eye (United Kingdom), Étapes (France), Experimenta (Spain), I.D. (USA), IdN (Hong Kong/China), Items (The Netherlands), Metropolis M (The Netherlands), Hollands Diep (The Netherlands), Le Monde (France), Page (Germany), Print (USA) as well as Dutch newspaper NRC.
Interview from Playful Type 2
Interview from IdN
Interview from AIGA.org