Brussels - a Manifesto: Towards the Capital of Europe

‘Towards the west, the border is sharp because of natural conditions…’ [Brussels – a manifesto, p.27] I have mentioned before that Bruxelles is one of my favorite cities in the world and certainly in Europe. This is in spite of (or rather because) the city is a mess: European institutions reside in buildings that most of the time look as if they have been randomly dropped from the sky and fact that the city is a nightmare to cycle in but a joy to be in a taxi since it has lots of tunnels (i ❤️…

Looking at the crisis from inside the belly of the beast

One of the more notorious/famous places in São Paulo is the boutique department store (Villa) Daslu. According to wikipedia ‘the boutique is known as the ‘fashion designers mecca’ of Brazil as it houses more than 60 labels plus 30 store-in-stores and is the place where Brazilian socialites, ranging from multi-millionaire soccer players to conglomerate bigwigs shop for the latest accessories and clothing’. Leged has it that Daslu is the only department store in the world where you can also buy he…

Dancing on the remains of the 20th century

I am on my way back from the still ongoing conference ‘Kreative Arbeit und Urheberecht‘ (Arbeit2.0) organized by irights.info and the HKMV in Dortmund. The conference is taking place in the phoenix-halle on the terrain of the former phönix-west iron works in Dortmund. The whole terrain is currently being developed into a nanotechnology/creative-industries/science park and this development takes place around the industrial ruin of the blast furnaces 5 & 6 of the former Phönix-west iron works,…

Elevators

Geoff at BLDGBLOG has a post about elevators, which reminds me of the first and only time i have been inside the empire state building: in 2000 during metropoloco one of the checkpoints of during the main race was suite 6172 (or something like that) in the Empire State Building. Never having been in a building with more than 10 floors before i somehow assumed that this meant that the suit would be on the 6th floor (taking a clue from the leading 6 ignoring that the first two characters might ind…

There is another warehouse way beyond the end of the long tail

So the commonly used images to visualize the Long Tail are shots from inside the enormous warehouses run by the online book retailer amazon.com all over the world. Seems like that these warehouse are not the only ones associated with the long tail. In reality (which is not properly depicted by all those fancy graphical representations of the long tail) enormous warehouses are being constructed way beyond the (imagined) end of the long tail: The Guardian has an excellent article (‘Inside the tomb…

Change & rain

It is a bit more than a month that i have left Waag Society and started working for Kennisland | Knowledgeland. Although i have not really had time to reflect it feels really good to work for a new organization (and with new colleagues!!) after almost 5 years at the Waag and there is lots of exiting stuff ahead. However for some strange reason the time i have been at KL more or less corresponds with the period of extremely shitty weather here in Amsterdam, which is best illustrated by this pictu…

Pictures from Bombay cinema halls

Sarai independent fellow Zubin Pastakiais talking pictures of old-style Bombay cinema halls, and has started posting them to his blog: I am currently photographing cinema halls in Bombay, India, the city in which I live. Here, we still have a mix of older, single-screen halls, and modern multiplexes. I am fascinated by the cinema hall – from its built architecture and physical surfaces to the people that come to watch films and the people that work there. The project seeks to photographically ex…

Helipads (!!!)

I have mentioned it before, but the thing that impressed me the most so far is the facts that people actually travel by helicopter within the city. There are lots of heli-pads on buildings in the city and if you find yourself placed high enough to oversee a bit of the city you actually see helicopters taking of somewhere and landing elsewhere on a heli-pad. Of course this is kind of sick (someone told me that you can actually commute by helicopter from the north-zone to downtown for R$ 5000 per…