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Work in progress by the author on a digital graffiti world map on a wall of ten by five metres

Graffiti and Coffee Beans: Two New World Maps

More or less at the same time, I finished the work on two new world maps. Two maps with a totally different look and feel, and created in rather different ways. They have, however, one thing in common: when I started, I expected to finish them in one or two days, but it took weeks before I was completely satisfied about them. Cartograffiti Below you see me working with a spray can to put the finishing touches on map no. 1: the graffiti world map: Virtual street art The picture is, of course, fake news, just like the whole piece...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Interieur image St.Mary's church in Watford, showing the alternative with a stone floor, looking towards the chancel

Working in Watford

The past one and a half week I’ve been in Watford, England, to provide my services to the design for the re-order of St. Mary’s Church. I previously wrote about this beautiful eight hundred year old church building, built with the typical flintstone that can be seen often in this region: The church’s interior is beautiful too, but also a bit impractical and not very flexible to use. For some time, there have been plans to make the church more accessible and welcoming. Now it looks like that is finally going to happen. Re-ordering the chancel My work was mostly...