Dikes are the framework of the Dutch landscape. But even though there are so important, no book has been written about it. That is why the landscape architects of LOLA Landscape wrote it: Dutch Dikes. I contributed to this issue by writing an essay: dikes as a source of innovation.
In the wonderful Berlin bookstore Do You Read Me? I found an intriguing little oblong book with a blue and silver cover and a Japanse character on it. Under the character was written the word, or the name, ‘namida’ and the names of the Swiss artists Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger. The publisher is Edizioni Periferia. A Japanse-Swiss-Italian co-production, apparently – but what is namida? I had to know. Read the article…
Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch is the title of book and an exhibition on the changing relationship between the Low Countries and that element which is so fundamental to the landscape and to the Dutch identity: water. Under pressure from climate change, the Netherlands are redefining their relationship to water, and in the process are subjecting the landscape to an extreme makeover. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander accepted the first copy of the book and opened the exhibition in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam in February 2012.
Here is the English edition of the book:
Cover photo by Han Singels, design by Marty Schoutsen of Opera.
You can order a copy here.
Free time is becoming an ever more important factor in the shaping of our society, in the changing landscape, and in the physical and spatial arrangement of the Netherlands. Fun is ubiquitous and has a far-reaching effect on the development of the inner cities, the periphery and the countryside. My book Fun! Leisure and landscape examines, describes and analyses this phenomenon in text and photographs.
In the Netherlands, as in many other countries, urban and spatial planning often seem driven by good intentions, policy initiatives, and blueprints, and not by actual changes in the public’s way of life. When these kinds of ‘planning’ actually do come alive, when people find that something in their daily living environment has changed, they are not sure why. Seeking to shed some light on how spatial planning and daily life intersect, I worked with photographer Theo Baart and urban planner Tjerk Ruimschotel to create ‘ Atlas of Change’, a portrait of the perpetually changing Netherlands.