Category: Visualisation

In fact, I started making visualizations as early as primary school. Usingh pencils, felt pens and paper I made “artist impressions” of buildings and cities. When studying architecture (an obvious choice, indeed) some more advanced tools were added: drawing board, rotringpens and pattern foils. But since the early nineties, when I was introduced to AutoCAD, 3D Studio and Photoshop, I really have the tools to make the images I have in my head. And, not to forget, the images that others have in their heads.

Downtown rotterdam between central station and the river and between Claes de Vrieselaan and Mariniersweg; fragment of a map of Rotterdam with all city blocks as glass in 15 different colors

The Glass Map of Rotterdam: a plan in fifteen colors

Wow! That must have been a hell of a job … Cutting all those pieces of colored glass, exactly the right size and shape. And then carefully arranging them on a steel plate to create a colorful map of Rotterdam. Digital glass No, fortunately these days we have software to simulate things like that digitally. This glass map of Rotterdam was made using an AutoCAD file of the city’s building blocks. In 3ds Max, I added some irregularity to make it look not too computerized. Then I, totally randomly, assigned to each block one of fifteen different colors of glass....

The Barge at Night, artist impression of the new Feyenoord stadium on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam

The Barge: a New Stadium for Feyenoord

For a few years now, there have been discussions about a new stadium for Feyenoord, replacing the legendary football temple and municipal monument, De Kuip. Allthough I am not as frequent a visitor of the stadium as some of my fellow townspeople, I also have my memories of De Kuip. For example, of a competition match of Feyenoord against Vitesse: 2-1. Pierre van Hooijdonk was still playing then, so it must have been a while ago. Much longer ago I was at the best concert of the  (twentieth) century by Eric Clapton. With Elton John as a disastrous support act and the then virtually unknown Bonnie Raytt doing...

Virtual relief made of orange peel, created using autocad, 3ds max and photoshop

Orange and the Colors of Reykjavik

“Did you know that the Netherlands made it to the Football World Cup final seven times but didn’t win even once?” A brilliant quote by Kim van Kooten, alias steerswoman Brechtje in Mission Earth, the acclaimed Star Trek pastiche by VPRO television. The series is set in 2063, so it is not unlikely that there is some truth in this prediction. Or even that the Orange team may become world champion for once. If not, we haven individual athletes like Dafne Schippers and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (probably the only athlete who has all five Olympic rings in her name). Orange Moments...

Interior picture of the basement of the Orange Bridge after adaptation to a hotel suite, with double bed and ship stairs.

Sleeping in a Bridge Keeper’s Cabin in Schiedam

In Schiedam, at a stone’s throw from my place of birth, is the Orange Bridge, a structure from the thirties which spans the New Harbour. Since early this year, the bridge keeper’s cabin is managed by fellow photographer, local resident, architecture lover and Schiedam promoter Jan Sluijter, who uses it to organize exhibitions and other events. Here’s a pre-announcement: on 2 and 3 June there’s an exhibition about the architecture of Dudok, including my Bijenkorf triptych. A suite in the basement Under the bridge keeper’s room is a basement, which is accessible via a ladder in one of the towers...

Artist impression of a fictional Icelandic cafe, warm and cosy inside, with paintified landscape photo's on the wall, beer on the bar and the Icelandic flag on the tables, and with a snowy landscape outside

Virtual Iceland – Cafe with a View

Iceland, the land of ice and fire, volcanoes and glaciers, fjords and lakes, hot baths and boiling mud puddles. The land of four seasons in a single day, where the sun, the wind and the clouds provide a continuous and spectacular light show. The land where nature is leading, where fords at some moments are suddenly not that fordable. I was in Iceland in the summers of 2005 and 2008 and in the winter of 2012. Statistically, it is about time to make another trip to the island on the edge of the world, the most beautiful place on the...

The names of all bodies in the Solar System larger than 100 kilometres, with font sizes relative to their radius, based on the realistic colors of the objects against the black background of space

87 Members of the Solar Family

A while ago I made a family portrait of the solar system. Or rather a portrait of the leading members of the family, the eight planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury. Moons, asteroids and dwarf planets But there’s more happening around the Sun. Moons for instance; our own Moon, of course, but also a large number of satellites of the four gas giants. There is an asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter where, besides a lot of little ones, also bigger objects are turning their rounds. But many asteroids can be found outside...

Artist impression of the facade sculpture by Hendrik van den Eijnde, originally on the old Bijenkorf bij architect Dudok, integrated in one of the entrances of Beurs metro station in Rotterdam

A Visit to the Bijenkorf Sculpture

Last Friday I finally saw it in reality, the sculpture by Hendrik van den Eijnde that once adorned the regretted Bijenkorf department store by architect Dudok on Coolsingel. Since 1973 the piece has been sitting on the Bijenkorf’s expedition area in Woerden: For years people have been trying to return van den Eijnde’s work to Rotterdam. As a result of questions by Labour councilor Co Engberts and of the proposal by West8 for refurbishment of Coolsingel, the discussion about the sculpture has flared up again. A good reason to visit the object, together with some stakeholders, including representatives of the...

A room with world map Mars 2.0, showing the planet as it may look after terraforming, as decoration on the wall, while Mars rover Sojourner is driving around between the furniture

Mars 2.0 – Return to the Red, Green and Blue Planet

Liquid water has just been found on Mars. The movie The Martian (the perfect blend of Castaway and Apollo 13, with a touch of Saturday Night Fever) is in cinemas right now. And NASA has announced detailed plans to send people to Mars in twenty years. A good moment for me to take a look at the planet again as well. Mars Society Netherlands Mars and I have a long history together. In 1999 I founded, together with Arno Wielders (currently involved in Mars One) the Dutch chapter of the Mars Society in a café in Leiden. In the first...

Group portrait of the eight planets of our solar system, shown to scale: Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury in their entirety and parts of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus

Portrait of the Planets

When you want to capture the whole Solar System in one image, you come across a problem: the distances between the eight planets and their star are huge, almost unimaginable. In all the pictures of the solar system you’ve ever seen the sizes of the planets are wrong: they are strongly exaggerated, by necessity. On a scale model of about two metres – a nice size to hang on the wall in your living room – the Earth would be only four thousandths of a millimeter. You wouldn’t even be able to see our homeworld! Heaven on Earth The only...

Impression of The Sulawesi Space Elevator, with a rotating space station and solar panels in the foreground, the Earth in the background and the cable with elevator cars in between.

The Space Elevator: It Ain’t Cheap, But…

An elevator into space: it sounds like science fiction. And that’s what it is: authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Kim Stanley Robinson wrote heavy books about it. But what’s science fiction today, is in the newspaper paper tomorrow and in the history books on the day after. And Arthur C. Clarke has been right more often; after all, he also conceived the communications satellite. An appealing concept In recent years, organizations such as NASA, but also companies like Google, started exploring the possibilities of the space elevator. And the concept certainly has some appeal. The traditional way to get...