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!
Johan van den Noort is a Dutch artist who has designed serveral solutions for flexible water managment that have been implemented all over the world. I visited him in his studio in Kampen to look at his flexible flood barrier and tsunami barrier.
In the wake of an escalating global crisis with water, ‘Water Index: Design Strategies for Drought, Flooding and Contamination’ (2017) is a critical inventory and analysis of innovative architecture, landscape architecture and design solutions to address the rising, disappearing, and contamination of water. The book works to create an enduring manual and manifesto for water development and design in the twenty-first century and to acknowledge crisis-initiated design as an important trajectory for architectural discourse. The chapter ‘Catastrophe’ is taken from my book ‘Sweet and Salt: water and the Dutch’. You can read the chapter here.
Hong Kong: that is the world’s most densely populated city, an island of glistening skyscrapers, fashion and fast money, the most expensive real estate in the world against a backdrop of rugged mountains. Right? But the city also has a hidden life, on high and down below. Two fascinating books – as well as the ‘Homes for All’ video that Max Hirsh and Xiaoxuan Lu made for the digital magazine of my talkshow Stadsleven – shine a stark light on Hong Kong’s housing dilemma’s.
Built in 1917 by the chief government architect Daniel E.C. Knuttel for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Trade in The Hague, the brick and stone building at Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 has been transformed by the Rotterdam-based Kaan Architecten into a home for five government-related planning and advisory agencies. I wrote an article for Architectural Record about how the once dark and heavy interiors of this national landmark are now light and transparent, and, in keeping with the changing times, B30, named after its address, is ready to facilitate an exchange of knowledge rather than the exercise of power.
We all know Captain Robert Falcon Scott as one of the tragic heroes of the heroic age of polar exploration: in 1912 he reached the South Pole, only to discover that the Norwegian Amundsen had beaten him to it. Scott and his companions did not survive the return trip. Scott’s polar career had already started in 1901, when he set off on a scientific expedition in the legendary ship the Discovery.