The Lost Kingdom:
William I and Belgium

For the beautiful STAM, museum of Gent we developed six multimedia pieces to give visitors a sense of the zeitgeist of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the early years of the independent Belgium.

To engage visitors in the drastic political changes in this era we let them manipulate the borders of north-west Europe using a slider. In this projection every state has a different color and spreads like acquarel paint across the map to express fluency in the borders. We made use of five historic maps which were traced by hand and put on a timeline.

Every room in the former monastery has a separate theme. For ‘Infrastructure’ we contributed an animation slowly revealing the 714 kilometres of canals that our ‘canal king’ signed orders for. Further down the route we created three touchscreens that show related paintings to the revolts in Belgium and the industry.

Finally we created three big projections onto wooden printed walls that convey the intensity of the revolts in Belgium. From the big fire in Antwerp, scuffles on the streets in Brussels to the attack of an Orangist’s home. The animation was especially made to fit the print and shapes of the wood to create the feeling of a tableau-vivant.


In 2015 it’s 200 years ago since Holland and what was to be Belgium became one in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Though his reign only lasted a short time, king William managed to get a lot done; digging canals, developing the industry, founding universities and stimulating the arts. He got a lot of resistance as well and eventually Belgium separated.

Interestingly, in the Belgium history the independence started at 1830, whilst in Holland the children are taught their southern neighbours separated in 1839.


In collaboration with

Kinkorn, Ruben van Esterik