Week 145

It’s been a short­er week than usu­al due to East­er (which was a nice long week­end with friends and fam­i­ly, by the way). I’ve divid­ed up my time equal­ly between work at Layar — which for me has entered its last phase; a few more weeks to go and then I’ll be hand­ing over — and “oth­er stuff”, being:

  • Some prep work for This hap­pened – Utrecht #6. The line-up is shap­ing up nice­ly and we have an awe­some spon­sor again. Announce­ments will be made next mon­day.
  • An appear­ance at Vis­i­ble Cities #03 which was all about urban games. I had the plea­sure of shar­ing a table with Michiel, James and Juha; sharp folk all around. Some notes will prob­a­bly find their way to the Hub­bub blog soon.
  • Teach­ing at the HKU. Which can more or less be summed up by the tweet I post­ed after­wards: “Real­ly pleased with the hands-on men­tal­i­ty of my design stu­dents. Feet in mud, head in clouds, as it should be.”
  • And now, on fri­day, some loose ends to tie up before the last week­end of my life as a twen­ty-some­thing kicks off.

So there you go.

Week 140

Is it march already? Time flies.

I’m on my way to Ams­ter­dam again. Around 10 hours ear­li­er, I was in a train in the oppo­site direc­tion, com­ing back from Vis­i­ble Cities #02. This turned out to be an evening well spent. Some nice exam­ples of AR projects were shown but in par­tic­u­lar Ole Bouman of the NAi’s per­spec­tive on the changes archi­tec­ture will go through under the pres­sure of new tech­nolo­gies was enlight­en­ing. He came across as both crit­i­cal and knowl­edge­able, pas­sion­ate about the field with a sol­id ground­ing in its his­to­ry. Inspir­ing. Final­ly spend­ing an evening in TrouwAms­ter­dam — eat­ing a burg­er and drink­ing a beer in the space where print­ing press­es used to run — was anoth­er plus.

I’m at Layar a lot this week again. Still can’t tell you too much about what’s going on there. But it con­tin­ues to be both a chal­leng­ing and fun engage­ment, so that’s good.

Apart from this, I spent a day brain­storm­ing new game con­cepts for one of the Netherlands’s big lot­ter­ies, with which they’re hop­ing to reach a younger gen­er­a­tion. It’s always a chal­lenge to immerse one­self in a new con­text that fast, but it went well. Lots of nice ideas came up and the work­shop was facil­i­tat­ed in a tight man­ner. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in these things always results in use­ful insights for when I run my own ses­sions.

I do feel slight­ly exhaust­ed from all this, not in the least because what should have been a two hour review of pro­pos­als on mon­day morn­ing with my stu­dents turned into a three-and-a-half hour marathon ses­sion. They’ve had to sub­mit their grad­u­a­tion project pro­pos­als now, so I’ll soon sit down and do a final assess­ment of them. Then they’re good to go.

And so will I.