Dutch design brand Moooi has partnered with Argentinian 3D artist Andrés Reisinger to mass-produce his Hortensia chair, also known as “the chair that could not be made”.
Back in 2018, Reisinger designed the chair as a ‘digital’ piece of furniture, but it has now been made into a physical chair covered in 30,000 fabric petals, available in the original pink as well as grey. This chair is said to be the first time that a product designed for the digital world has gone into mass production. The updated version being released by Moooi features a steel frame, rather than wood, covered in injection-moulded foam, while using lightweight polyester fabric laser-cut into long, scalloped strips that are then bunched together into clusters of 40 petals each. Moooi used special sewing machines to sew the petal modules onto a thick, elastic backing textile that is then wrapped around the chair.
“The Hortensia was considered impossible to produce – and yet here we are,” said Moooi CEO Robin Bevers.
(Link and image: dezeen.com)
Tags: Amsterdam, chair, flowers, hortensia, Moooi
In 2013 Shell had to transport an eight-story metal building from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.
They hired a company called The Timewriters to create a time-lapse video of the transport, which has now been released in glorious 4K format on YouTube, accompanied by a beautiful, if somewhat ill-fitting Dvořák piece.
The day-long journey begins on the Nieuwe Maas river near the Feijenoord neighbourhood in Rotterdam, then goes past Gouda, Alphen aan de Rijn and Schiphol Airport to end in Amsterdam. If it hadn’t been dark by then, you might even have been able to see my house at 9:14.
This is worth watching for the bridges alone.
And then you come back a second time for the places you know and a third time to figure out how and why the Dutch created their environment the way they did.
Also check out the comments on YouTube, lots of insights from people who recognise certain types of trains, planes and places.
(Source: YouTube / The Timewriters)
Tags: Alphen aan de Rijn, Amsterdam, bridge, bridges, canals, Feijenoord, Gouda, Holland, Noord Holland, rivers, Rotterdam, shell, time-lapse, time-lapse videos, Zuid Holland
Every once in a while it’s good to ask ourselves some deep questions, and this one popped up as news recently. Why do old Dutch windmills turn left and newer ones turn right? It has nothing to do with the wind or with most millers being right-handed – let’s get that out of the way now.
The material that older blades are made from provide a more precise explanation. The two rods that form a cross to which the blades are attached are made from a tree trunk. As it was growing and needed sun to do so, the trunk would rotate to the right because the sun rises in the East, then moves to the South and sets in the West, and the tree would follow.
By turning the blades to the left, counter-clockwise, it would turn avoid splintering the wood. The wood needs to be super solid and ideally be of high quality, which could sometimes come from trees that grow very straight in forests, but not all the time.
Taking physics into account, there is no reason why modern-day windmills should have a preferred rotation direction. For example, wind turbines are manufactured in factories that use the same type and angle of blades, making them standardised and so they turn the same way – to the right. They could all be made to turn left if for some reason the world decided to do so.
Old Dutch windmills were not standardised and unique, which makes them nice to visit.
Tags: forests, physics, trees, windmills, wood
It has gone quite wrong with planting gingko biloba trees in Valkenswaard, Noord-Brabant. The female trees are dioecious, with separate sexes, and the female trees produce seeds that contain a type of acid that ‘smells like rancid butter or vomit’, although the residents of the city say it smells like poo.
The goal was to plant male trees that look slightly different and don’t have an odour, but that got messed up, and some streets apparently smell really disgusting. Residents are cleaning up the seeds, but even after putting them in the bins, they continue to stink the place up. The trees will not be replaced, but the seeds will be cleaned up by the city more often.
(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Ginko biloba tree by BM Begovic Bego, some rights reserved)
Tags: Ginko biloba, odour, poo, smell, trees, Valkenswaard
YouTuber Tom Scott visited the Waterloopbos in Marknesse in the Noordoostpolder and had a little chat with Leo van Rijn, a specialist in modelling the flow of watercourses.
As wiki says: “The Waterloopbos [literally ‘Watercourse Forest’] was the property of Delft Hydraulics […]. In 35 large scale models of sea arms and harbours, such as the Deltaworks and the harbour of Lagos, tests were performed in order to learn how to predict the way large hydraulic systems influence the course of water.”
The laboratory closed in 1995 and the forest is now owned by Natuurmonumenten and is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset (Dutch). It is part of the Voorsterbos, the oldest forest in Flevoland, a province that was entirely reclaimed from the water.
Read more about Waterloopbos at Holland.com.
(Photo: screen capture of a video by Tom Scott / Youtube)
Tags: dams, dykes, engineering, Flevoland, hydraulics, Noordoostpolder, rivers, water
The Afsluitdijk, a 32-kilometer dike that is 87 years old, is one of the key water defences against the sea, located between the provinces of North Holland and Friesland. Due to climate change, which causes rising sea levels and storms, the dike is being thoroughly renovated through 2023. You’ll notice that at least the parties involved believe in climate change – they’re not taking any chances. “The Netherlands is currently the safest delta in the world,” the government said. “We want to keep it that way.” Although sea levels have been rising for years, the levels are rising more quickly.
Engineers are strengthening the Afsluitdijk, including laying thousands of custom-made concrete blocks and raising parts of it. They are also improving the highway that runs over the narrow strip of human-made land which lies between the shallow Wadden Sea and the Ijsselmeer inland sea and which, despite its name, is technically a dam rather than a dike because it separates water from water.
This kind of innovation and the constant care needed to maintain the Netherland’s thousands of miles of dikes and levees does not come cheap. The government has earmarked nearly 18 billion euros ($20 billion) to fund such projects for the period from 2020-2033.
(Link: phys.org; photo: lc.nl)
Tags: Afsluitdjik, climate, dams
In the Drents-Friese Wold National Park in the province of Drenthe, mycologists have discovered a type of mushroom never seen before in the Netherlands, the Pycnoporellus fulgens. It’s currently being referred to by its Latin name because there’s no Dutch name for it yet, but it won’t stay without a name for very long.
Normally, this type of mushroom is found only in old spruce wood forests, something more akin to Scandinavia than here. It is also odd that the Pycnoporellus fulgens has not appeared in the neighbouring countries of Germany and Belgium. The Dutch Mycology Association is not only trying to figure this mystery out, but also wants to give the mushroom a name, and are leaning towards ‘oranje sparrenhoutzwam’, or ‘orange spruce wood mushroom’.
(Links: nu.nl, Photo: naturetoday.com)
Tags: Drenthe, mushrooms, Scandinavia, trees
Thanks to amateurs and experts at waarneming.nl, the Netherlands is currently the only country in the world that is able to properly and automatically count insects, and plans to spend this summer doing so.
Using 100 camera traps that will be placed throughout the country specifically developed to automatically count and recognise insects, Software will be ‘trained’ using a photo database containing several million photos. The size and quality of this database is apparently unique in the world.
Counting and identifying insects gives researchers insight into the numbers of insects nationally as well as the effectiveness of measures being applied to restore biodiversity. According to recent publications in scientific research, there’s an alarming drop in numbers of insects in Western Europe and in Dutch nature reserves. Regular folks like myself often see adverts about the lack of bees, with garden centres selling seed mixtures for plants that attract bees and butterflies.
Using camera traps is a bid deal because they can count and cover more ground as it were. The Netherlands apparently leads the field automatic image recognition of insects and the technique, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, will now be delivered in time for the summer.
(Link: phys.org, Photo of Bee swarm by quisnovus, some rights reserved)
Tags: bees, insects, wildlife
The Dutch flower bulb company Borst from the wee town of Obdam, North Holland are now world famous for having provided the bouquets of tulips for the Golden Globe Awards, with a whopping 10,000 individual tulips having been ordered.
When the company received the order for the tulips from the United States, which doesn’t happen very often, they were kept in the dark about what they were for. Soon after the event aired, they got a message about what they were for and saw their product all over the news.
The fun part is, the Golden Globe opted for a type of tulip called ‘Rambo’, like the movie. “It’s a tulip that is heavy and gives big flowers,” explains Menno Boots from Borst.
(Link and photo: nhnieuws.nl)
Tags: flowers, tulips, United States
For the first time in eleven years, a night-blooming cereus at the Oude Hortus in Utrecht is ready to bloom, and when it does, it does so at night.
The flower that blooms from the plant can be up to 30 cm. The experts say that it is the tropical weather we’re having in the Netherlands that is encouraging the plant to come out after more than a decade.
Over the next few days, one flower should come out, but when, nobody knows for sure.
(Link: rtvutrecht.nl)Photo of Night-blooming cereus by Sumita Roy Dutta, some rights reserved)
Tags: botany, flower, Utrecht