In the wake of an escalating global crisis with water, ‘Water Index: Design Strategies for Drought, Flooding and Contamination’ (2017) is a critical inventory and analysis of innovative architecture, landscape architecture and design solutions to address the rising, disappearing, and contamination of water. The book works to create an enduring manual and manifesto for water development and design in the twenty-first century and to acknowledge crisis-initiated design as an important trajectory for architectural discourse. The chapter ‘Catastrophe’ is taken from my book ‘Sweet and Salt: water and the Dutch’. You can read the chapter here.
Hong Kong: that is the world’s most densely populated city, an island of glistening skyscrapers, fashion and fast money, the most expensive real estate in the world against a backdrop of rugged mountains. Right? But the city also has a hidden life, on high and down below. Two fascinating books – as well as the ‘Homes for All’ video that Max Hirsh and Xiaoxuan Lu made for the digital magazine of my talkshow Stadsleven – shine a stark light on Hong Kong’s housing dilemma’s.
A glimpse into the many interesting exhibitions and performances that I saw these past two weeks. First, a performance of Faustin Linyekula and Hlengiwe Lushaba at the Prince Claus Awards, and the funny wonderful creations of Jacqueline Lecarme made of…combs. I spoke with Michiel Riedijk of architecture firm Neutelings Riedijk who just won 50.000 euro (the Abe Bonnema Prize) for his design of the cityhall in Deventer and with Tom Frantzen who explained the flexible wooden housing concept Patch 22 to me. In the weekend, we went to Ghent, to the Vitra museum exhibition Hello Robot.
On November 4th, 2016, I was awarded the Maaskantprijs 2016 by Mayor of Rotterdam Aboutaleb. This is a bi-annual prize for a person that stimulates the debate on architecture, landscape and urban design by publications, teaching or commissioning. That day I also launched the multimedia project ‘Tracy in Nederland‘ (Tracy in the Netherlands) that I developed with multimediaproducer Submarine, artist Jan Rothuizen and podcastmakers De Kostgangers. Part of the project is the essay The Dark Side of Urban Success designed by Hamid Sallali.