Born in The Netherlands, Erik van der Palen studied industrial design at the Academy of Industrial Design in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He worked for Mercedes Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany as an apprentice designer in the automotive styling studio.
Mr. Van der Palen moved to California in early 1980 to attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA where he graduated with a B.S. in Transportation Design. Upon leaving Art Center he joined Syd Mead Incorporated, world renowned futuristic designer and illlustrator, and worked on a variety of projects including motion picture concept design for films such as Bladerunner, Tron and 2010, among others.
In 1984 Mr. Van der Palen started his own design and illustration studio and worked in the fields of architecture, leisure, publishing, products, toys and videogames. By the mid 90ís he started consulting for the Walt Disney Imagineering and worked, among other projects, on the new Winnie the Pooh attraction; a trackless ride system for Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in 2000.
In recent years his efforts have continued in the fields of film (Harry Potter), theme park, entertainment and sports product design. In 2004 he joined the LandRoller project team and designed and developed three editions of the patented angled wheel technology rollerskates. Since 2010 he has been working on gaming concepts for Sony and a number of new and redesigned Disney themepark attractions and concepts.
Some of Mr. Van der Palenís clients include:
Holiday Inn 3D International Lockheed Skidmore, Owings & Merill Tutor Saliba DMJM Aichi Corporation (Japan) Bunker Hill Associates Studio Smania Interni (Italy) Syd Mead Inc Johnson, Fain Partners Dallas Convention Center Landmark Entertainment Southern California Gas Company Playmates Toys Sony Music Princess Cruises Hilton Hotels Walt Disney Imagineering Universal Studios Entertainment Design Corporation LandRoller Inc