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.
This week I kick off with future perspectives on how the bicycle can change the city at the first Bicycle Architecture Biennale in Amsterdam. Also, I went to the opening of the exhibition ‘The female perspective’ in the always spectacular Castrum Peregrini, the former house of the famous artist Gisèle van Waterschoot van der Gracht. The last part of my week I spent in the always lovely Barcelona, where I saw a special photo exhibition of Susan Meiselas and got to see the just opened Casa Vincens, one of the first works of Barcelona’s beloved architect Gaudí.
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.
As director of the John Adams Institute, I’m also a member of the American Women’s Club. I met them at the Hyatt Regency Hotel with its very stylish interior. In the evening I spoke at the meeting ‘Het temmen van de Stijl’, about if the once radical artistic movement has now become an empty vessel, nothing more than a marketing tool. Thursday was a very fun evening with my own talkshow Stadsleven about the theme Obsessively Healthy. Later in the week, I was at Sexyland for a debate about the cultural free zone of the NDSM-warf.
Believe it or not, but this week I was for the very first time in Royal Place Het Loo. I spoke with director Michel van Maarseveen about the upcoming enormous renovation. Thursday, I went to the farewell party of Haig Balian, former director of Artis. Also, I interviewed Angela Nagle before she spoke at a John Adams event about her book Culture Wars and the Alt-Right movement.
This week I was in full preparation for my Stadsleven talkshow about our obsession with health. Sanne and I visited the Changing Life Hub of Tom Barten who created a one-stop-shop with a gym, delivery meals and active wear to create your healthy life style. Furthermore, I was interviewed by Marjolein Moorman, chair of the labour party (PvdA) in Amsterdam about Happy Amsterdam. I also dined in our StadsSalon with members of the Summit Foundation about water. On Sunday, I interviewed Ryan Lizza, journalist of the New Yorker, about what Trump has brought the world. And he thinks Trump has a chance of being re-eclected again…