3Develop image blog Blog

Interior of a fictional museum with large photos of rusty schip's hulls on exhibition

The Rust Museum

Let’s talk about rust today. In other words, about corrosion, the decay of metals caused by electrochemical reactions. There is a rule of thumb that says that with every scientific formula in a text you lose half of your readers. So for the detailed chemical explanation I refer to Wikipedia. But the bottom line is that iron is converted into iron oxide through the influence of oxygen and water. Bad news Rust is usually considered bad news. A rusty hull is regarded by the ship owner as costly and cumbersome damage. That’s understandable: the lifespan of a boat, or a...

Detail of a world map made of facemasks, carelessly thrown away on the pavement, showing the distinct shape of North America

Toilet Paper and Facemasks, Icons of the Pandemic

In March of this year, in the week we discovered that the corona pandemic would not pass the Netherlands completely unnoticed, I saw someone walking with three mega packs of toilet paper. And moments later another person with the same commodities. And another one. It was a trend. And although there was still plenty of toilet paper in warehouses, the shelves in the supermarkets were mostly empty for a while. I’ve heard many explanations for that sudden toilet paper hoarding. Maybe it was because people ran out of their supplies faster because they worked from home. Perhaps a shortage of...

World map of a tiny section of a hypothetical Flat Earth, with the known oceans and continents in the center surrounded by various other land masses and bodies of water

The Flat Earth

One of the most bizarre conspiracy theories has to be that of the Flat Earth. There is even a society with hundreds of members who gather at conventions to discuss the “evidence” that NASA and other agencies, with malicious intentions or out of ignorance, maintain the idea that our planet is a sphere orbiting the Sun. But the mere fact that it is not day or night everywhere at the same time suggests that the Earth is not flat. When the sun is shining in Europe, it should be visible from New Zealand as well, on a flat Earth. Even...

Block's little Block, a tiny houseboat in a green environment with forest, water, shrubs, reeds, grass and geese

A Tiny Houseboat: Blok’s Blokje

About a year ago I designed Blok’s Block, a kind of tiny house XL. A compact home for adventurous urbanites, to be placed on roofs of tall buildings. One of the reactions I received on the Block: it is not really a tiny house. There seems to be an unofficial upper limit of 50 square meters for this. Although the Block is relatively compact, it still has a floor space of 65 square meters. Would a smaller variant be possible that does fit within this 50 m² standard? Tiny The dimensions of the Block are based on the two floor...

Artist impression of the planet Venus in a remote future after terraforming, with oceans and continents, cloud patterns and an impressive ring system

The Rings of Venus

The closest planet in our solar system, Venus, looks suspiciously like Earth, at first glance. With a diameter of 12,104 kilometers, Venus is only a few percent smaller than Earth (12,757 kilometers). Gravity is also only a fraction less: 0.9 g. That similarity is very striking when you consider that the planets orbiting our sun vary enormously in size, from the dwarf Mercury to the giant Jupiter. As a child I was fascinated by this twin sister of the Earth. I even drew a map, not based on any scientific knowledge, with seas, continents, mountain ranges and wave currents. The...

The Ares, the spaceship on which the First Hundred travelled to Mars in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, arrives in orbit around the Red Planet

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy is one of the highlights of American science fiction, as far as I’m concerned. Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars were published between 1992 and 1996 and tell the future history of our neighboring planet over a period of almost two hundred years. In those two centuries, Mars is fully terraformed: transformed from a cold, dry, lifeless desert into a living world with seas, forests and cities. Not all main characters are happy with those changes: the battle between the Reds, who prefer to keep Mars as it is and the Greens, for whom...

A map of the inner city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands and surrounding neighbourhoods, made of digital scrapwood, plywood and chipboard

Scrapwood Cities: Groningen and Rotterdam

Mid-March, in the week that the corona panic began to take hold, my growing apprehension was somewhat tempered by a nice little job for the municipality of Groningen. They had seen my digital scrapwood map of the Netherlands and wondered if there was such a map of the city of Groningen. That would be a perfect gift for a departing alderman. Blocks That map did not exist yet, but could of course be made. The question was: do I make each neighborhood out of a separate piece of virtual scrapwood, as I had done with the provinces on the map...

Pink blossoms of a prunus tree at Droogleever Fortuynplein in Rotterdam with in the background De Rotterdam building by Rem Koolhaas

Corona springtime; nature gives and takes

Right now, especially in these turbulent times. We’ve all heard the cliché a thousand times over the past few weeks of lockdown, quarantaine and social distancing. And yet I will use it once again: particularly during this difficult time, nature can offer us comfort, hope and inspiration. Home To be honest, I don’t have that much to complain about my own situation. I have always worked at home and I don’t suddenly have to deal with children who I have to teach or who drive me crazy in other ways. There are undoubtedly better, but also much worse, places to...

Gibberish: dozens of fantasy words in the bedroom colors yellow, blue and green, to easily fall asleep

Forget counting sheep: this is the way to fall asleep!

I’ve had a lot of sleeping problems in the past. Falling asleep in the evening was usually not that hard, but when I woke up at about three o’clock in the morning, the tossing, turning and worrying began. As a result I had a hard time concentrating during the day, creating a lot of stress and making sleep even worse in the next night. Tricks I have come up with a lot of tricks over the years to get out of that vicious circle. Trying to remember my latest dream, for example. Or counting my breath. Or running the marathon...

A "post-completion drawing" of the Basic Plan for the Reconstruction of Rotterdam bij Cornelis van Traa from 1946, with the city as it has been built in the 80 years after the 1940 bombing

The Reconstruction of Rotterdam Revised

This year we commemorate that eighty years ago the reconstruction of Rotterdam started. On May 14, 1940, much of the city was destroyed by the German bombardment and subsequent fire. Just four days later, on May 18, city architect W.G. Witteveen was commissioned to make a plan for the rebuilding. The ultimate Basic Plan for Reconstruction, drawn by Witteveen’s successor Cornelis van Traa, was not aproved by the city council until 1946. As I searched through my Rotterdam archive, I came across a thirty-year-old brochure, published in 1990 to celebrate fifty years of reconstruction. On its front page is a...