An exhibit of semiconductor history reinterpreted as art recently finished its run at
ArtEZ University of the Arts in the Dutch city of Arnhem, close to Nijmegen, and it was based on NXP’s large collection
of machinery and technologies dating back to when Philips, NXP’s predecessor, opened Europe’s
first semiconductor factory in 1953.
A Creative Twist on Semiconductor Innovation
“We have so much history literally stored in the basement, starting with the very first memory
chips that we made by hand,” explained Jan-Paul Kimmel, social responsibility manager at NXP’s
facility in Nijmegen. “While we’ve preserved the collection over the years, our former site
manager challenged us to innovate in order to make that history more engaging for people today.”
The team came up with the idea of using the drawings and technology artifacts as the basis for
works of art, and they brought the idea to the
Design, Art & Technology program at the ArtEZ University of the Arts. From that innovative idea came an internship
for fourth-year students who worked with NXP on their graduation project.
Berend te Linde
Visualizing Technologies’ Impacts
Their work, which was displayed at the ArtEZ Finals from 30 June to July 4, 2021 visualized the
structural beauty of microchip technology and used art to explore the social and ethical impacts
of human interaction with tech.
NXP’s Continuing Support
Based on the success of this collaboration, NXP has established a foundation to engage with ArtEZ
students on future projects, and Nijmegen is supportive of the idea, too. So, there could be more
temporary or even permanent art installations in the city’s future.
Erik de Geus
NXP is focused on accelerating breakthroughs that anticipate, automate, and advance the world,
but context and perspective matter and looking back and understanding our past is a part of
looking forward. We’re inspired to work with student artists to help make those connections more
real and engaging.
More info on the Artez Design, Art & Technology Programme and the exhibition: