Third and final episode on ways to think about what is special about living in Eindhoven/brainport. The first episode reflected on what it means to be a Dutch city, the second on what that implies for the feeling of place of those, especially expats/internationals, living there, and for those trying to figure out how toContinue reading “brainport’s real highlights”
In a previous post I’ve written about the environmental and social rhythms we are immersed in. That post included the 1982 cult classic koyaanisqatsi. Experimental films go way back (as e.g. Bert Haanstra’s work form the 50s and 60s shows) but I continue to be surprised by new examples of old work that superbly illustrateContinue reading “the city as an emergent life form”
This is a follow-up to a previous post on viewing The Netherlands as one very green polycentric metropolis. To avoid repeating myself too much, reading the below assumes that you are familiar with this predecessor….Here I focus on what this implies for anyone, but especially the more recent foreign arrivals (expats, internationals, whatever your preferredContinue reading “what is my backyard?”
For those with too much time on their hands and a particular hobbyhorse, in my case familiarizing myself with my current living environment, the www offers nice visual finds that inform, wipe the doors of perception a bit cleaner, just increase one’s appreciation for the already known, or provide a motivational jolt.
There is a reason why the home page of this blog has a video celebrating rhythm. All movement is rhythm, all language is rhythm, all interaction is rhythm, it is the lifeblood of presence. And being (in the ) present is the lifeblood of attention, a core theme of this blog. Stomp comes about asContinue reading “the silly social animal”
Reblogging: Philosopher Martin Buber on What Trees Teach Us about Being More Human and Mastering the Difficult Art of Seeing Others as They Truly Are Not sure if my piggybacking on the indefatigable Maria Popova and her blog brainpickings again is defensible. Nothing easier than let someone else do the hard work, isn’t it? But her concise postContinue reading “more on looking to see”
The advantage of taking one particular feature as your guide through the city is that it leaves you with minimal room for choice. The feature determines what you are going to come across (and hopefully be surprised by). The downside is that it leaves you with minimal room for choice. To make the most ofContinue reading “looking at green and urban Eindhoven differently – mix’em and more”
The Netherlands has a great tradition of documentary film making, by Joris Ivens, Bert Haanstra, Johan van der Keuken, and many others, I share a short classic by Haanstra, his 1962 Zoo, filmed in Artis. A simple hidden camera experiment to highlight our kinship with animals.
Categories and concepts are fuzzy by nature. This fact of life is imprinted on any well-trained social scientist but seems in a constant battle with an equally ingrained striving for the unambiguous. Too fuzzy, doesn’t make sense, too clear cut, false by definition. Finding one’s way between this rock and a hard place, maybe betterContinue reading “from wandering to getting lost”
The more one knows about a landscape, the more interesting it becomes to explore. Obviously only the subject matter specialist can really read the palimpsestic canvas that a landscape is , but it only takes some basic bits of knowledge to realize there is something to be seen in the first place.
Fuzzy concepts offer an endless source of fascination. Take the relatively new concept of running trails. Let’s not start in prehistory, but just go back half a century. when running – as a sport – could reasonably be classified into three kinds, by way of the ‘surfaces’ it is done on: track, road and cross-country.
If you’re really interested in a particular environment, be it a spectacular mountainscape, a beautiful forest, a heritage-rich inner city, you name it, enjoy being part of it, want to connect with it to the max, why would you want to run it?
Whatever land or cityscape you explore, looking out for trees is guaranteed to bring you wonder and joy. My storytelling obsessed mind finds confirmation for this in the biophilia hypothesis propounded by Edward O. Wilson, and similar kinds of we-are-connected-to-nature explanations (but also see this) for our deeply embodied responsiveness to the biosphere. But youContinue reading “on seeing trees”
My first article for Eindhoven News sings the praise of the integrated networks of cycling and walking routes developed and managed by VisitBrabant. I’ve since learned a bit more about their history, design criteria and ambitions. That made me even more of a fan and got me thinking about what kind of tinkering might improveContinue reading “improving Visit Brabant’s interactive map of the walking route network”
It may lack the poetry and the artsy approach to mapping of Solnit’s triad of city atlases, but this stunning atlas in proper Dutch functional design tradition (by the publisher of the Bosatlas – every kid in The Netherlands since the late nineteenth century has grown up with it) has different but equally captivating qualities.
Reblogging: Nonstop Metropolis: An Atlas of Maps Reclaiming New York’s Untold Stories and Unseen Populations Nothing to improve on this review by the indefatigable Maria Popova (her blog brainpickings is a joy to follow!), so I reblog her post on Solnit’s New York atlas in full. It is one in a series of three city atlases (the others are of SanContinue reading “Rebecca Solnit’s city atlas of New York”
Without an exploration mindset we all have trouble connecting with and immersing ourselves in the environment we find ourselves in, be it city or nature. Consciously paying attention is not so easy for most – myself definitely included. Our evolutionary default is switching to automatic pilot as quickly as possible to free up our veryContinue reading “on looking”
The title of this post pays homage to the writer and photographer, Teju Cole. His talk at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, called The City as Palimpsest, is a treasure trove of insights and apt descriptions, and palimpsest is such a great metaphor for what fascinates me in landscapes and cities, that I am truly delighted to have hit upon thisContinue reading “cities as palimpsests”
If you are in anyway like me, you’ll have trouble escaping from the powerful mental dichotomy of nature versus human-made. But when you manage to resist its lure and look at cityscapes as particular forms of nature rather than opposed to nature much becomes visible that would otherwise remain hidden. Cities are the human ant hill,Continue reading “cities as natural environments”