Category : personal

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Coop Himmelb(l)au Q/A

Sometimes readers of this blog ask questions about previous blog posts and my previous experiences. This time it’s a question about me being an intern at Vienna based architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au. I could answer the inquirer by email, but by answering his questions on this blog I might help other people. Here’s our Q/A…

How’s the experience?

In one word: Fantastic! In the past I worked for several architecture firms. But non of them employed over 150 employees (which is pretty big for an architecture firm!). And none of them had projects all over the world (ranging from the United States to China and from Azerbaijan to Albania). Also the fact that one of the founders, Wolf D. Prix, still works at this company adds something special to the experience. Wether you’d agree with his design philosophies or not, it is awesome to learn (first hand) from such a worldwide renowned architect! And to quote a colleague: “It is fantastic to work for a company who invented their own architecture style”. And this is actually true (check Wikipedia!).

How’s the work environment?

Very special. Each project will comprise a small team of 5-10 people. Within such a team you’ll make friends really soon. Since stakes are high, people sometimes often make long days, but are thoroughly motivated. This adds to the ‘energy’ inside the office. There are models, concept renderings and drawings all over the place!

What kind of projects did you work on?

Big projects! That’s all I can say. I’m sorry! Everyone working with Coop Himmelb(l)au has to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Since my projects aren’t even mentioned on their website (or anywhere else on the web), I’m not allowed to tell you a single thing about the projects I worked on.

What software did you use?

AutoCAD and Rhino for the 2D and 3D drawings. Also I used Photoshop and InDesign a lot.

To conclude: Perhaps the best thing at doing an internship at this (or probably any other) company is you’ll get the chance to meet so many interesting and fascinating people. And you’ll work on fascinating projects worldwide, while you live and work in the old and classic city of Vienna.

TWEEDE KAMER-ZETELS

Vote

I am standing next to some members of the parliamentary press in a room adjacent to the Dutch House of Representatives. A few meters away, in the plenary hall, the following discussion takes place between two members of parliament…

MP 1: “I want to move this vote to Thursday”

MP 2: “We are voting today”

MP 1: “We would like to vote on Thursday”

MP 2: “I want to vote now to decide wether we should vote today or Thursday”

Yes, you read it correctly. The MP’s want to vote about the date they want to vote! Of course you’re wondering how this ends, but perhaps more importantly, what I’m doing inside the Dutch House of Representatives. I am part of a five member group, invited by a MP to get a backstage tour in this great building.

We had lunch in the official restaurant, saw the old and new House and walked down long marble corridors. We also visited offices and the meeting room of political party CDA and walked through the “famous door” (people interested in Dutch politics know which door I’m talking about — also see picture below). Finally we attended a session of the House of Representatives. Several ministers, including the Prime Minister, came to the House. I guess we were lucky. Few moments later, we went down one floor. Standing next to the entrance of the House of Representatives I am following the remainder of the debate on a nearby screen.

I assume you’d like to know how the debate on voting today or thursday ended?! The Speaker of the House called the leaders of all political parties together. Lip reader as I am, I saw she said “come on guys! Don’t be so childish!”. At the same moment, two people walk towards us. I realize it’s the minister of economic affairs and the MP who invited us over to visit the House. We had the change to speak with the MP, which we did. This resulted in me not knowing the outcome of this undoubtedly ‘very crucial’ and sometimes amusing debate. Nonetheless, it was a great day!

Note: Since it’s not allowed to take photos inside this building, I used a photo of rnw and a video still from the NOS. Thanks!

The Princess and Me

Not long ago ago I was tagged on Facebook. For those of you who’re not on Facebook, someone else uploaded a photo with me on it, so it appears on my Facebook page as well (Edgar: Thanks for uploading the photo!) Because I like this photo a lot, I’d like to share it here as well.

A little background info: Last year, while being a fourth year undergraduate student at NHL University, our new campus was officially opened by Princess Máxima of the Netherlands. Before attending the ceremony the princess toured the new building. I got lucky, because I got the opportunity to speak laugh with her.

Best of Amsterdam

While lying on the grass of Museum Square in Amsterdam, I’m kind of thinking what I like most about Amsterdam. It’s hard to make a decision. Should it be Dam Square or the Royal Palace which I just saw? Is it the Keizersgracht with its famous canal houses? Maybe it’s the always incredible Rijksmuseum which I can see at this moment.

Or… wait! I think I know what I like most. I’m here, lying on the grass of Museum Square. Enjoying the sun, the view, doing nothing… Truth be told, it’s the best grass I’ve ever experienced. I could be here all day. Maybe this is what I like most about Amsterdam… the grass!