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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My Venice Biennale 2012 #4:  People’s urbanism in Caracas

My Venice Biennale 2012 #4: People’s urbanism in Caracas

With beer, Latin food, loud music and salsa dancing, Urban Think Tank’s Venezuelan bar was of course the hottest venue at the 2012 Architecture Biennale, which closes this weekend. Architecture’s bad boys Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, together with co-curators Justin McGuirk and photographer Iwan Baan, won the Golden Lion for the Biennale’s best project with their portrait of Torre David, a ‘vertical slum’ in downtown Caracas. Read the article…