Introduction to film at Casla

On invitation of architectural centre Casla, in the Dutch new town of Almere, Michiel will be giving an introduction to the film ‘Concert of Wills, Making the Getty Center’:

“This acclaimed documentary traces the building of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, designed by Richard Meier and one of the most ambitious cultural undertakings of the twentieth century. Spanning fourteen years, from the early blueprints to the groundbreaking to the public opening of the Center in December 1997, the film takes viewers from California to a rock quarry in Italy where the Center’s signature travertine originated. The gathering of creative personalities needed to complete this monumental complex gave rise to conflict as well as consensus, to tension as well as resolution. Concert of Wills looks behind the scenes and chronicles intimate moments of success as well as frustration and heated debates.”

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By Michiel — Posted October 20, 2011 — 57 Comments

The Medium is the Metropolis

Oakland Crimespotting by Stamen

Oakland Crimespotting by Stamen

“The age of ubiquitous computation is condensing around us even as you read this.  The various systems throughout a modern city that you probably interact with everyday are beginning to maintain persistent memories of their own use, communicate with each other about their status, and even reconfigure themselves based on your dynamic needs.”

This is the opening statement of VURB, a European framework for policy and design research concerning urban computational systems. VURB was founded in July 2009 by our friend Ben Cerveny, design strategist and data visualization theorist, in collaboration with James Burke (Roomware, Narb) and Non-fiction’s Juha van ‘t Zelfde.

“In the same way that social networks and digital representation have had profound consequences on the cultures of print, music, and video, so too will the urban fabric of the city itself be transformed into an information layered, collaboratively shapable medium.”

The VURB foundation, based in Amsterdam in the Non-fiction office at Museumplein, provides direction and resources to a portfolio of projects investigating how our cultures might come to use networked digital resources to change the way we understand, build, and inhabit cities.

“The modern city is built not just upon physical infrastructure, but also patterns and flows of information that are always growing and transforming. We are only now beginning to develop the tools that allow us to see these patterns of information over huge spans of time and space, or in any local context in realtime.

Just as the industrial age transformed cities with the addition of towers to the skyline and far-reaching transit networks, the digital age will bring new urban-scale infrastructure into  everyday experience.  Where the products of industrial urban evolution were huge physical manifestations that celebrated the magnitude of urban culture, the digital era is instead producing equally impressive manifestations that live in the cloud.”

For more information on VURB, visit .

By Juha — Posted September 6, 2009 — 4,152 Comments

Data as architecture

In the Air is a visualisation of microscopic and invisible agents in Madrid´s air

In the Air is a visualisation of microscopic and invisible agents in Madrid´s air (

With only 6 entries in Google at time of writing, ‘data as architecture’ is either a mistake of my tourist-mind, or it opens a new way of thinking about the convergence of the physical and the virtual. Now that the field of data visualisation is rapidly taking over the world (have a look at the New York Times’ VizLab, Stamen and Visualizar), it is possible to add layers of information to spaces that interact with its occupants.

For De Verdieping, the cultural addon of Trouw, Non-fiction is looking for brave new ideas for data visualisations in the context of architecture, media, art and politics.

Please get in touch with juha at, or just post a comment. Thank you very much in advance.

By Juha — Posted March 2, 2009 — 4,048 Comments

It’s not where you from, it’s where you at

Today we visited Trouw and de Verdieping to talk with the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam about a possible collaboration. We are pretty excited about the prospect of aggregating organisations to create new projects at de Verdieping.

One would be the role of architecture in hip hop aesthetics, an idea pondered by Michiel and subscribed to by Victor Ponten of Habbekrats. “It’s not where you from, it’s where you at” (sic). If anyone has some examples of this perceived relationship please let me know, we appreciate your candor.

And before I forget, here are some more pictures of Trouw 15 days before opening.

By Juha — Posted February 13, 2009 — 7,911 Comments