Category: Visualisation

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...

The facade sculpture from the old Bijenkorf department store by Dudok on the Coolsingel after renovation of the Rotterdam's main boulevard to a design by West 8

The New Coolsingel: More Space for Pedestrians and for Dudok

In early September the plans for Coolsingel, Rotterdam’s main urban axis, were made public. The proposal by Adriaan Geuze makes some very smart moves concerning the various flows of traffic on the busy boulevard. The tram tracks remain where they are, because it would be too expensive to move them. But car traffic, with less lanes, is concentrated east of the tram. Cyclists get a generous lane on the west side. The rest of the space is for pedestrians. Balance This plan holds a good balance between the desire of some to completely pedestrianize Coolsingel and the wishes of others...

Fragment of the the Double Streep Map Rotterdam 1939-2016, showing the position of the overhead railway on Binnenrotte in relation to pre-war and contemporary city blocks

The Overhead Railway on the Double Street Map of Rotterdam

About a year ago I created the Double Street Map of Rotterdam 1939-2014, which shows how the street pattern of my hometown has changed as a result of the 1940 bombardment and the subsequent reconstruction. That map did not go unnoticed: local newspaper AD/Rotterdams Dagblad wrote about it and I received a lot of reactions. The comments were actually all positive, except for on a small point of criticism: the Overhead Railway is missing! Parisian allure Indeed, the Overhead Railway … I’m old enough to remember: the railway viaduct on Binnenrotte, which gave an almost Parisian allure to the market...

Axonometric drawing of the Moulin d'Orsennes, an old water mill in France which has been transformed into a center for courses and holidays related to yoga and arts

Axonometrie du Moulin d’Orsennes

Just like last year I’ve spent a few weeks in Orsennes this summer, to do volunteer work at Sadhaka. A beautiful place in central France, where creative, yoga and massage courses are given in and around a beautifully converted watermill. Besides the work in the kitchen, plenty of time remained to experiment with crayons, pencil and watercolor. It may sound like professional deformation that as a subject I mainly  looked at the architectural, urbanistic and landscaping context of the Moulin and the adjacent buildings. But it resulted in some nice drawings, as shown above. A computer-generated sketch Creative teacher Patricia Benjamins challenged me to make a kind...

Impression of solar sail Johannes Kepler on its way to the moons of Jupiter against a background of stars with the Earth on the left and the moon in the distance

Sailing on the Solar Wind

You can state by now that the wind is a recurring theme in my work. That’s shown most clearly by my triptych about wind energy on the North Sea. But also my plea for the rebuilding of windmill De Noord at Oostplein in Rotterdam fits perfectly into that story. Probably not everyone realizes that there’s wind also beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Another kind of wind, though: solar wind. The particles from which the sunlight is composed exert force on objects that are illuminated by it. Johannes Kepler was, in the 16th century, the first to realize this when he studied...

Computerbeeld van duizend windmolens en een traditioneel zeilschip op de Noordzee, terwijl de laagstaande avond zon net achter een wolk vandaan komt.

3000 Windmills on the Wall

We’re on a planet that is close to its primary and has a molten core, a substantial atmosphere, and a large natural satellite. Any species that can’t develop a sustainable energy infrastructure on such a planet doesn’t deserve to escape its gravity well. This quote from my friend Shaun Moss tells exactly what it is all about: we could be much worse off. If that star would be further away solar panels would be useless, without the atmosphere there is no wind, if that core has cooled you can forget geothermal energy and without such a decent size moon like ours tidal power...

Facade sculpture of the old Bijenkorf department store by architect Dudok, relocated to it's original position on Coolsingel, supported by a steel structure

The Only Right Place for the Bijenkorf Sculpture

Exactly 75 years after the old Bijenkorf department store in Rotterdam was hit by a German bomb, Dudok’s masterpiece is back in the spotlight. It’s a tragic story: the most beautiful Dutch building of the twentieth century was badly damaged in the bombing on May 14, 1940, partially patched up but finally demolished in 1960. I wrote earlier about this forgotten monument on the 3Develop website and in a blog article. City of Light A very important role in the renewed interest is played by the documentary City of Light, the forgotten Bijenkorf of Rotterdam, made by journalist Peter Veenendaal....

Artist impression of St.Mary's church in Watford, looking from the west entrance towards the main church hall and the chancel area

Return to Watford – more impressions of St.Mary’s

In February I was Watford, England for a week to visualize the planned renovation of St. Mary’s church. I wrote this blog article about it. Convinced Those images, of the chancel area of the church, were primarily intended to convince the monument committee, which has now reacted positively to the plans. The church council was pleased with my pictures and they asked me to come back to also to visualize the plans for the main body of the church. And so I got back on the train to the UK. Meeting place The main change in the nave of the...