IAmsterdam: Open Mind Sharp Business

IAmsterdam: Open Mind Sharp Business

The tagline ‘Open Mind Sharp Business’ expresses the correlation between the mentality and the business climate of the Amsterdam region. ‘Open mind’ refers to the region’s diversity, inclusiveness, openness to new ideas and quality of life. ‘Sharp business’ emphasizes innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to do business swiftly. I am one of the Amsterdammers who were asked to embody the character of Amsterdam for this short film for the IAmsterdam campaign.

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Water in the city – TEDx Zwolle

Water in the city – TEDx Zwolle

During TEDx Zwolle I gave a lecture about water in the city around the world. The sea and the rivers have shaped the identity and the country itself. Climate change increases the risk of flooding and drought. The effects of a disaster in a densely populated country like The Netherlands are incalculable. Climate change is now forcing itself upon us: a new reality that cannot be ignored. Read the article…

Fast Company:  Against the Tide

Fast Company: Against the Tide

As the rest of the world is coming to terms with catastrophic floods and droughts, the Dutch are telling – and selling – what they have learned through centuries of experience. In his story, reporter Jeff Chu quotes me as a person “who best represents how Dutch thinking about water management has evolved over the past two decades”.

Foto’s Misha de Ridder

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Architectural Record: Social housing with dignity in Belgium

Architectural Record: Social housing with dignity in Belgium

The American magazine Architectural Record was so impressed by MDW’s social housing project on the site of the former soap factory Savonnerie Heymans in the center of Brussels that they put it on the cover of the March issue. The architects managed to retain the industrial flavor of the location while providing social housing that has shared public space, amenities and – perhaps the most important – dignity. Read my article here.

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Architectural Record: the canaries in the global warming-coalmine

Architectural Record: the canaries in the global warming-coalmine

The Dutch are the canaries in the global-warming coalmine, writes James Russell in his review of Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch in the December print issue of Architectural Record. ‘Sweet&Salt is a profoundly humanistic consideration of the culture of water, with many ideas by designers about how to deal with water’s myriad challenges.’ He describes the book as ”an intensely visual consideration of the history, culture and engineering of water that engages our senses and our emotions – not just our intellect – with its ravishing photography, cartography and art.” He is manifestly relieved that it is possible to talk about water issues and climate change without having to put on a hair shirt. 

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