Tagged : news

On Demand Experience

Six of the best futuristic skyscraper concepts

Several years ago a Jelmer Frank and I developed the On Demand Experience. This skyscraper was our entry for the 2011 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. Every year, architecture journal eVolo runs this international competition. Hundreds of architects and designers participate every year. Out of 715 entries, our entry was awarded an Honorable Mention.

Recently co-participator and friend Jelmer Frank discovered an article on UK technology website TechWorld.com. It’s an article written five years after the On Demand Experience. The article mentions six of the “best futuristic skyscraper concepts”. TechWorld writes:

Architects from around the world participate, and contributions have ranged from an apartment building with an integrated robotic warehouse for on-demand goods to a sprawling eco-friendly data centre highrise in Iceland.

Yep, we’re the “apartment building with integrated robotic warehouse” TechWorld talks about. Five years after we competed in eVolo, people still remember our entry. Amazing! TechWorld continues the article by highlighting six concepts, including the On Demand Experience. Read the full article here.

Cobouw

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.

Tulips, canal houses and… Kiozk

Kiozk Start in Amsterdam

Tulips, canal houses, Anne Frank, the Rijksmuseum, the red light district and coffee shops. These are things Amsterdam is famous for. Starting today, you can add Kiozk to this list.

No, I won’t mind. Really.

Of course I’m exaggerating and Kiozk won’t be as famous as tulips and canal houses anytime soon (if ever). But still, theoretically it’s possible… theoretically…

Why? Because Kiozk, the company I co-founded, launched in Amsterdam this very weekend. Now Kiozk can be used in our Dutch capital, something we’re thrilled about. As you probably know by now, Kiozk shows activities taking place at the users current time and location. This way it’s easy to discover new and fun activities nearby. While preparing the launch in Amsterdam, we literally discovered hundreds of great activities, many of them free of charge. Every day, there are concerts, expositions, boat trips, lectures, entertainment, events and much much more. It’s amazing how Amsterdam, a city I thought to know quite well, offers so many surprises.

A big surprise is the Civic Guards Gallery, located next to the Kalverstraat, one of the busiest shopping street of the Netherlands. It showcases 15 substantial paintings of the Amsterdam Civic Guards from the 17th Century. It’s not only free of charge, it’s also the only place in the world where paintings are displayed in the open air, with only a glass roof to protect them. 

Another great surprise is the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, located next to the central railway station. The conservatory offers several free concerts a day (!), which actually isn’t the only reason to visit the conservatory. As it turns out, the architecture is worth checking out too. The entire building is brand new and the auditoriums are simply beautiful.

There are many more surprises worth mentioning. What to think of free activities like a boat ride, a film museum or a city walking tour and paid activities like a tour of the Ajax stadium and a bike ride to typical Dutch windmills.

I know I’m biased, but you should definitely check out Kiozk.com when visiting Amsterdam. Oh, and follow me on Twitter (here or here) to stay up to date with Kiozk related news.

This is where history could’ve been made

Less than two weeks ago Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to talk about the Ukraine crisis. At that time, Crimea still belonged to Ukraine and Kerry tried to prevent an annexation (yes, he failed). Somehow I’m always interested in where such (potentially historic) meetings take place. I knew they met in London and discovered this great photograph on Twitter. It’s a beautiful location for such an important meeting and even more so when you realise this building is located within the city limits of London. Quickly I learned the location they used is Winfield House, the official residence of the US ambassador to the United Kingdom.

This week I got the chance to visit the Dutch version of Winfield House. Or, to be more precise, be at the location used by Secretary John Kerry and Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia for their next round of talks. They used a (much smaller) mansion in The Hague and I was just a few blocks away. Finally I get the opportunity to see where a historic meeting like this takes place!

Below are some of my photos.

Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Surprisingly, security wasn’t that tight. Sidewalks on both (!) sides of the street could still be used. There are no roadblocks, no barricades and almost no police.

Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov 2

This cameraman is employed by news agency Reuters. All he needed was a shot of Foreign Minister Lavrov exiting the building and entering the car, which is what he told me. He waited for hours…

Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov 3

Finally Lavrov exits the building, which enabled the Reuters-guy to make his much-desired shot (and I snapped this photo).

Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov 4

Suddenly the street is crowded with cars and security guys. It took Lavrov seconds to enter his car and leave.

As it turns out, these talks were unsuccessful as well. I guess this isn’t such an historic meeting after all…

kiozk accenture innovation award and exchange

Accenture Innovation Exchange

Last week, the 2013 edition of Innovation Exchange took place in Amsterdam. Accenture, which organized the event, provided seven of their partner companies with a list of hundreds of Dutch innovative startups. This list included Kiozk. Three companies were interested in us and invited Kiozk to the event.

This gave us the opportunity to present Kiozk to three amazing companies. And, it’s the first time I attended such an event, which made it even more exciting. We met great people and got introduced to more than just three companies. I’m excited about the future!

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