Ronald Rietveld is the fourth speaker at This happened – Utrecht #7

Vacant NL

I’m hap­py to say we have our fourth speak­er con­firmed for next Monday’s This hap­pened. Here’s the blurb:

Land­scape archi­tect Ronald Rietveld talks about Vacant NL. The instal­la­tion chal­lenges the Dutch gov­ern­ment to use the enor­mous poten­tial of inspir­ing, unused build­ings from the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st cen­tu­ry for cre­ative entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion. The Dutch gov­ern­ment wants to be in the top 5 of world knowl­edge economies by the end of 2020. Vacant NL takes this polit­i­cal ambi­tion seri­ous­ly and lever­ages vacan­cy to stim­u­late inno­va­tion with­in the cre­ative knowl­edge econ­o­my. Vacant NL is the Dutch sub­mis­sion for the Venice Archi­tec­ture Bien­nale 2010. It is made by Rietveld Land­scape, which Ronald Rietveld found­ed after win­ning the Prix de Rome in Archi­tec­ture 2006. In 2003 he grad­u­at­ed with hon­ors from the Ams­ter­dam Acad­e­my of Archi­tec­ture.

At first sight this might be an odd one out, and archi­tec­tur­al exhi­bi­tion at an inter­ac­tion design event. But both the sub­ject of the instal­la­tion and the design of the expe­ri­ence deal with inter­ac­tion in many ways. So I am sure it will pro­vide atten­dees with valu­able insights.

Week 170

Time is short (as seems most­ly the case these days) so a quick run­down of what hap­pened this week:

A promise a bit more reflec­tion on next week’s events.

links for 2010-09-22

Week 169

Fiona Raby once told me that the major­i­ty of her work with stu­dents at the RCA was about psy­chol­o­gy. After a week like this, I can see where she’s com­ing from. With­out going into too much detail, I had my work cut out for me with a new group of stu­dents who I will be work­ing with on a design research project at the HKU. After a first meet­ing with the team and a kick-off with the client the next day, it became clear I was deal­ing with a group with some seri­ous moti­va­tion­al issues. The trick was to fig­ure out where it all was com­ing from. To do this it was vital to try and see things as they real­ly are in stead of as they were pre­sent­ed to me by the group. After sev­er­al addi­tion­al ses­sions (mess­ing with my sched­ule but that comes with the ter­ri­to­ry) I had it fig­ured out more or less and have for­mu­lat­ed a plan to deal with it. Psy­chol­o­gy.

In between all that crazi­ness my week con­sist­ed of:

  • Work­ing with my two new interns at Hub­bub. We reflect­ed on their expe­ri­ences at the Nat­ur­al Net­work­ing Fes­ti­val and pre­sent­ed a post-mortem of the first game to Thieu after attend­ing one of the Learn­ing Lab mee­tups.
  • Sketch­ing out addi­tions to the PLAY Pilots web­site nec­es­sary to sup­port the Zes­baans instal­la­tion for the Nether­lands Film Fes­ti­val. These will launch next week in time for the installation’s unveil­ing on Thurs­day.
  • Pre­sent­ing my pre­lim­i­nary list of inter­ac­tive works suit­able for next year’s Twee­t­akt fes­ti­val. This is my first time curat­ing an event oth­er than This hap­pened. I am keen to mash up play­ful inter­ac­tion design with the fringes of game design and it seems Twee­t­akt are up for it too. Hap­py days.
  • Anoth­er full day of work on Maguro. Best part of which was a few qui­et hours to bang out a first playable paper pro­to­type of the game. Con­ver­gence is a bitch but always reward­ing when it hap­pens.
  • Today, I hung out at BUROPONY and took care of a few odds and ends for their web­site. In return work has start­ed on a last bit of Hub­bub cor­po­rate iden­ti­ty: a design for the box to hold our busi­ness-slash-col­lectible play­ing cards.

And with that I am sign­ing off. A train is tak­ing me from Rot­ter­dam to Utrecht, per­haps I will be in time to catch the tail end of fri­day drinks at the Dutch Game Gar­den. Nev­er a dull moment there.

Playful street tiles, artful games and radioscapes at the next This happened – Utrecht

After a bit of a long sum­mer break Alexan­der, Ianus and I are back with anoth­er edi­tion of This hap­pened – Utrecht. Read about the pro­gram of the sev­enth edi­tion below. We’ll add a fourth speak­er to the ros­ter soon. The event is sched­uled for Mon­day 4 Octo­ber at The­ater Kikker in Utrecht. Doors open at 7:30PM. The reg­is­tra­tion opens next week on Mon­day 20 Sep­tem­ber at 12:00PM.

The Patchingzone

Anne Nigten is direc­tor of The Patch­ing­zone, a trans­dis­ci­pli­nary lab­o­ra­to­ry for inno­va­tion where Mas­ter, doc­tor, post-doc stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als from dif­fer­ent back­grounds cre­ate mean­ing­ful con­tent. Ear­li­er, Anne Nigten was man­ag­er of V2_lab and com­plet­ed a PhD on a method for cre­ative research and devel­op­ment. Go-for-IT! is a city game cre­at­ed togeth­er with cit­i­zens of South Rot­ter­dam and launched in Decem­ber 2009. On four play­grounds in the area street tiles were equipped with LEDs. Locals could play games with their feet, sim­i­lar to con­sole game dance mats.

Ibb and Obb

Richard Boeser is an inde­pen­dent design­er based in Rot­ter­dam. His stu­dio Sparp­weed is cur­rent­ly work­ing on the game Ibb and Obb, sched­uled to launch for Playsta­tion Net­work and PC in August 2011. Ibb and Obb is a coop­er­a­tive game for two play­ers who togeth­er must find a way through a world where grav­i­ty is flipped across the hori­zon. Play­ers move between both sides of the world through por­tals. They can surf on grav­i­ty, soul­hop ene­mies and col­lect dia­monds. The game is part­ly financed by the Game Fund, an arrange­ment that seeks to stim­u­late the devel­op­ment of artis­tic games in the Nether­lands.


Edwin van der Hei­de stud­ied sonol­o­gy at the Roy­al Con­ser­va­to­ry in The Hague. He now works as an artist in the field of sound, space and inter­ac­tion. Radioscape trans­forms urban space into an acoustic labyrinth. Based on the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of radio each par­tic­i­pant is equipped with a receiv­er, head­phones and an anten­na. Fif­teen trans­mit­ters each broad­cast their own com­po­si­tion. Inspired by short wave sounds, they over­lap to form a meta­com­po­si­tion. By chang­ing posi­tion, the inter­pre­ta­tion of sound is changed as well.

A big thank you to our spon­sors, Microsoft and Fier for mak­ing this one hap­pen.

links for 2010-09-10