Johan van den Noort is a Dutch artist who has designed serveral solutions for flexible water managment that have been implemented all over the world. I visited him in his studio in Kampen to look at his flexible flood barrier and tsunami barrier.
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.
We all know Captain Robert Falcon Scott as one of the tragic heroes of the heroic age of polar exploration: in 1912 he reached the South Pole, only to discover that the Norwegian Amundsen had beaten him to it. Scott and his companions did not survive the return trip. Scott’s polar career had already started in 1901, when he set off on a scientific expedition in the legendary ship the Discovery.
For the radio documentary of CBCRadio ‘go with the flow: Using nature to help fight climate change’ I talked about the challenges with which the Netherlands has to deal with concerning water. The Netherlands have to think ahead. If they don’t, this country will simply disappear under the waves. And that makes prevention really part of the DNA of this country.
The American television channel, CBS Sunday morning, visited the Netherlands to learn about how we deal with the rising sea levels. They interviewed me about my book Sweet & Salt.
Windmills are more than just a traditional part of the Dutch landscape; they have played a key role in the war Holland has waged against the sea for centuries. Today the Dutch are using ever-more innovative methods to combat rising sea levels, strategies that may also benefit other nations confronting the effects of climate change.
The New York Times quoted me when they recently published an article about architect Koen Olthuis this November. The reference derives from my article for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad from 2009 which is also recently translated.
The work of Dutch architect Koen Olthuis is still relevant because it is progressive and genuine at the same time. Olthuis envisions entire cities being built on water in the (near) future. ‘Save the world, build on water’ is Olthuis’ philosophy in a nutshell.