The Design Academy Eindhoven has moved its 2018 graduation show to the former Campina milk factory on the edge of town.. There’s lots of space not only for the objects, but also for the ideas behind them. I chose four that address both the physical and the digital domains, from morphed office chairs to the way women sit in public, with their knees together… but not on Anna Jensen’s chairs!
What does it mean to be human in a time when man and machine merge? The exhibition Robot Love, curated by Ine Gevers, asks whether our capacity for love still distinguishes us from robots, now that robots – thanks to artificial intelligence – have the ability to learn. Can robots learn to love? Ine Gevers is also a guest in my talkshow Cinema Stadsleven in EYE Film Institute on Oct. 24th.
At first sight, the flat Dutch landscape under gray skies would seem to be lacking in drama. Photographer Saskia Boelsums has found a way to make the landscape look truly dramatic: with color, with clouds, with patience and of course with the computer. And rather than having Instagram crop her images into squares, she decided to photograph in a square format herself. “It’s difficult. I like that.” She has a solo show now at Eduard Planting Gallery.
The churches are almost empty, but religion is undergoing a comeback in the city. One example is Kleiklooster, a modern-day ‘monastery’ in the 60’s apartment block Kleiburg in the Bijlmer. I met with one of the founders, Johannes van der Akker, who will also be a guest in my live talkshow Stadsleven on Sept. 27th. And… they also brew beer!
All over the world, cities are trying to take back public space from the car. Barcelona has invented the ‘superblock’, where through traffic is banned to make space for playgrounds and gardens. I went to see the superblock in the neighborhood Poble Nou. Where four lanes of through traffic used to drive, there are now gardens, benches and playgrounds. “All cities should try this”, says neighborhood resident Silvia Casorran.
The Portuguese city of Porto was European Cultural Capital in 2001, and one of the projects that spawned was the Casa da Música by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. It took longer than expected – it didn’t open until 2005 – and it went way over budget, from 31 million euro’s to 111 million. But the result is spectacular, combining hard materials like concrete, glass and aluminium with soft surfaces like the Noridc pine wallsof the main hall with goldleaf motifs and the lovely wavy glass wall around it. One thing did surprise me: the Soviet-style furniture along the walls. Watch my vlog and judge for yourself!