SOMETIMES the most sublime and unusual enterprises can grow out of the grimmest of circumstances. In the late 1970s and ’80s, Philips, the multinational company best known for electronics, which had been based in the small city of Eindhoven in southern Holland since its founding in the 1890s, started to farm out its production to Asia. Not only were hundreds of skilled professionals out of work, but the city was also left with several abandoned and polluted factory complexes just a few minutes from the city center.