It’s an iconic symbol of London and one of my favourite buildings. London’s Gherkin, designed by Lord Norman Foster. Last week I visited London so I had to check out the Gherkin… again.
Since I love this building I visit the Gherkin every time I visit London. And every time I take many, perhaps too many pictures. This years winner is the photo pictured above.
Last week a Cobouw journalist interviewed me regarding the Benjamin One Project. He wanted to know what inspired me in the design. I answered “iPhone”. Read the full article here.
Exactly seventy years ago more than 150.000 Allied troops, about half of them Americans, invaded Western Europe. They started on the beaches of Normandy and liberated the entire continent within 12 months. Six years ago I visited the beaches of Normandy myself. It had (and still has) a huge impact on me. Just think of it, hundreds of thousands of soldiers risked their lives invading a continent they didn’t know, to liberate people they didn’t know, all because of a single word… Freedom.
Today, especially today, I try to think of the alternative. What if the Americans decided not to help us? After all, it’s not their continent and it’s not them who neglected their armies for way too long (allowing the Germans to easily conquer the entire continent). But the Americans did help us, the rest is history.
I wish we’d think of this more often…
Can an illustration ever get more Dutch than this? A few days ago I asked the same question on Facebook and as it turns out… Yes it can. The replies I got varied from adding tulips, a bike, perhaps some wooden shoes and yes, even weed to the illustration.
Of course the question was rhetorical, but still… we could add all these things to the illustration above, since we created the windmill-illustration ourselves.
Recently we wanted to refresh our newsletter style. After a little brainstorm we decided, amongst other things, to include a big illustration which covers the subject of the email. Last week we used this image, which obviously referred to our launch in Amsterdam. This week it’s the windmills, which refer to this organiser we added to Kiozk.
I didn’t create the windmill illustration myself. In fact, I can only dream of creating an something like this. Luckily we’re a team! The thing that amazes me most is that the windmill-illustration started with this simple sketch:
This makes me look forward to our next newsletter. Let’s see if you’re able to guess the subject based on this sketch (and perhaps learn a little Dutch along the way):
No, I won’t show you the apps I’m running nor am I willing to show the (sometimes) many icons that clutter my Macbook’s desktop. Instead I’d like to share the wallpapers I get to see every day.
Let me explain.
A friend and I both have a Macbook Pro. And we both use three desktops (I honestly don’t know if Windows has a similar feature). Like everyone else we pimped our desktops using a nice wallpaper (three actually, one for each desktop). I always use three of my own photos and update them about once a year. This friend uses a more sophisticated system. He too uses three different wallpapers but instead updates them every week (!). Every week he picks a theme -this week it’s Hawaii- and searches the Internet for beautiful imagery.
Last week I copied him. I too picked a theme and browsed for three matching photos. The only difference being I used three of my own photos. The theme I used? Walls. Yep, I know, it doesn’t sound inspiring, but it actually is. Check out my wallpapers below.
This is the wall (and ceiling) of the Naples Royal Palace’s Grand Staircase in Italy. This hall roughly dates back to 1768 and shows the full glory of the Bourbon Kings. It’s truly massive.
The wall on this photo is much older… about 1800 years older. I took this photo in Pompeii, the famous city destroyed in 79AD when a nearby volcano erupted. They were so sophisticated at that time, they even painted their walls. Like we still do today.
This also is a Pompeiian wall. It appears to be much simpler compared to the wall on the previous photo but it’s not. Look at the top left of the photo. The painted wall and ceiling are separated from the concrete ceiling. This is done because this wall can be heated. Hot steam would fill the area between the outer and inner wall, effectively heating the walls and ceiling. A similar system was used for the floor. It’s an ancient equivalent of our modern-day underfloor heating.
Remember, we’re talking about 2000 years ago. Fascinating, isn’t it?