This Happened #8 – Sound Bytes

The quotable This Happened Utrecht #8.


Then we will have those infamous drinks sponsored by Microsoft.


Five minutes later she forgot that it all happened and she was all nice to me.

Something that really makes these people happy is cake, because they think it’s somebody’s birthday or there’s a party.

Everybody is in a different timezone and they have difficulty connecting to each other.

They had the need but they couldn’t really interact with each other.

They should be able to show off to others what they can do.

There were people falling asleep and during our user test only one person fell asleep.

What you can provide is some fun during the day, that they’re not just sitting there and staring.

Even when the phone is ringing the caregiver has to direct them what to do.

The caretakers really like to have more control.


The term generative has been used too broad lately.

Usually when you talk about generative methods, they result in visual complexity.

I could talk about my interest in noise for hours.

I always use random parameters and noise functions that transform my images.

After we got commissioned we found out that the opening of the room was in two weeks.

This emerged from the idea that we wanted to work with the architecture in the room.

At first sight it’s not clear what’s projected and what’s fixed.

Somehow it always resulted in noisy visuals.

I started to bring back the analog aesthetic.


I was working in New York and I was mildly bored.

It wasn’t very attractive.

Let’s ask her to make a WordPress skin.

We just had all this content on the site and we needed a place to put it.

Aren’t there periods? They said: yeah there are periods.

Minor details but really part of the process of figuring out where you’re going.

I did all this in Illustrator because I didn’t know there were other tools to do this.

Wanted to find a visual way of dragging people in.

We want to provide an alternative to the really expensive art history books.

If you send out a survey you never get good answers.

We’re just five art historians and an information architect.

I know it gets more audience than the Boijmans website. And it gets less than MoMA.


It’s also my first keynote so I went a bit overboard with the transitions.

They really try to make the most of exposing themselves.

We decided to visit the location. This was very good.

Once you’re standing there and you see the area, you really see the potential of the area.

It would be really absurd.

There were all these connotations of playfulness from your childhood.

We modeled it using lego. It has nice affordances.

Here’s a man staring at something he built with his own hands.

It’s as if his face is about to break from smiling so hard.

We didn’t imagine that two people wanted to sit on the thing at the same time. Which was quite erotic actually.

Two girls one chick.

There were definitely people coming back for more.

On Twitter I was reading: I think I broke my arm. It’s quite a strenuous exercise.

Week 193

I’m writing this sitting in a foggy Village Bagels in Amsterdam looking out onto the snowy streets. It’s been a while, and things are different than they were a year ago.

Last week was a busy one (are there any other?). A bunch of PLAY Pilots integration work getting ready for the release of Bandjesland and some work getting back up to speed with Urbanode.

Monday marked work for PLAY Pilots and Urbanode and finished with another This Happened Utrecht. The fourcelabs guys really swung it out of the park with their presentation on Wip ‘n’ Kip. I also wrote up some soundbytes for This Happened.

Tuesday I went to Hilversum to meet with the friendly people from the VPRO in their awesome headquarters. That night there was the opening of the installations of Mediamatic’s Sensorfest (sort of the Dutch version of ITP) and I did a bunch of data journalism work on project querétaro.

Wednesday I worked all day in Rotterdam at Buro Pony’s offices on mérida and finished the first version deliverable for querétaro. Also announced the third edition of the Dutch Data Drinks.

Thursday I got interviewed by Reimer Meulenbeek for Johnny Wonder about serious gaming (which is getting very serious indeed). We had a strategy meeting with the journalism track of Hack de Overheid and finished the day with a great dinner with professional friends.

Friday I met at the Amsterdam department of Economic Affairs to talk about interfacing with the city and about our presentation for the Open Innovation Festival this week (Friday morning at 11.00 in City Hall). There was a bunch more roundup integration for Bandjesland before heading to Utrecht to go to the opening in Tivoli at Le Guess Who?


It is hard to describe just how much the Bandjesland experience rocked if you weren’t there, but we are going to do our best by at least putting the full tracks and all the recorded samples on PLAY Pilots. Stay tuned for that, it is bound to be hilarious.

Friday also the outcome of the press innovation subsidies were announced and a project we submitted made the cut and we got featured on a large Dutch blog. I am still to formally plan the project and write-up our plans and aims what to do with the money, but rest assured that we will be open, we will deliver quality and that we will take things to a higher level.

Sunday played around with till deep into the night as anybody with an interest in data and journalism is wont to do.

Week 192

A busy week the last one, met with several people busy in the field of open transit data to the point of actively starting projects or planning to integrally solve the problem. Good to see that a lot of momentum (and perceived value) is in that space.

Worked on the integration of Bandjesland for PLAY Pilots.

Gave a presentation Wednesday at Social Media Club 030 which was pretty well received giving an overview of the Location Based Services landscape both in breadth and in history with some hints towards the future. I think this screenshot of Plazes from early 2006 was pretty telling.

Non-Potable Speaker Gift

Got the idea for project toluca and did some initial research and work on that. More of a self-itch relevance thing, but should cause a bunch of attention when it launches.

Mobile Monday Amsterdam posted the video of my presentation at their event. Thanks for that.

I also did a planning session on culiacán at Booreiland, research can start though production should be more of a 2011 thing.

Project querétaro is a hugely relevant data-journalism thing which got the in-depth brief and coding kick-off.

Laptop opladen

Friday the expedition to the VVOJ congres in Ghent started where with a group of people from Hack de Overheid we held a data ‘genius bar’ where journalists could ask their questions and Saturday we did our best to assess and resolve their issues. Interest at our desk was large (and only partially because they thought we were real hackers) and we managed to resolve pretty much all of the issues to some degree.

Stadhuis Gent

Also it’s not on the site yet —it is on the new one—, but I joined Hack de Overheid due to synergies we couldn’t ignore any longer.

Also Saturday in two weeks we will have the Open Data Day and Dutch Data Drinks #3.

Kantoorruimte beschikbaar

We hebben bij ons op de studio in @ouroffice binnenkort twee bureau’s vrij. Wil je op bureau met de leukste en creatiefste mensen van het VolkskrantgebouwEric, Maarten en ik— roep dan en we kunnen kijken of het past.


Koffie, internet, bureau en andere voorzieningen reeds aanwezig. Dus je kunt er direct in. De huur is een koopje voor de locatie en het kantoor is één van de mooisten in het gebouw. Kom eens kijken als je interesse hebt en/of neem contact op met mij.

Week 191

Last week was the first week that I was back from the Levant. I have notes for the three weeks in between, but I think I’ll skip those (though plenty of interesting stuff happened over there too).

Monday I presented an introduction on data for Mobile Monday, roundup post here: “The Rising Tide of Data on Mobile Monday”

Tuesday we picked up development of PLAY Pilots for the next live game: Bandjesland. And that night an open data proposal we helped author was adopted by Amsterdam, write-up: “Open Data in Amsterdam Center Adopted”

Wednesday and Thursday were spent doing roundup on data related issues (lots of stuff brewing) and further work on PLAY Pilots.

Friday I did a bit of consultancy for a next generation dating startup being spearheaded by three very nice friends.

And part of the weekend was spent preparing the presentation for Social Media Club Utrecht.

Post Digital Roll Call for the Netherlands

Russell Davies apologizes, though he needn’t.

The only way to be a Post Digital business is to be a thoroughly, deeply, massively digital one. To be digital in culture not just in capabilities. To know how to iterate in public, to do experiments not research, to recognise that it’s quicker and better to code something than it is to describe it in meetings. You need to be part of the wider digital culture, to have good sharing habits, to give credit where it’s due, and at the very least to know how to do ellipses in Processing. (post digital – an apology)

All Dutch agencies who think they qualify kindly to leave a comment below.

Real Time Bushalte

In Seoul hebben ze deze weergave draaien van buslijnen en wanneer ze bij de halte aankomen:
Seoulscreens IV: Bus stop real-time display

Ik wil dit heel graag hebben/bouwen.

Het is niet zo moeilijk om vergelijkbare dingen te maken in Nederland, alleen gebrek aan: budget, handelingssnelheid en visie. Allemaal vloeibare subjectieve gebreken; dingen waar een mouw aan te passen is als men maar wil.

foto: Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike Licentie door Adam Greenfield.

De stad is er voor iedereen

Mensen die me kennen weten dat ik er nogal heftige meningen over de stad op na houdt. Veel is goed, maar veel kan ook beter en ik zou die verbeteringen graag zien en eraan bijdragen.

Zo twitterde ik wat met Sebastiaan Capel, stadsdeelraadlid voor D66 in Amsterdam die in zijn twitterprofiel Jane Jacobs heeft staan. Dat is een goed begin, maar waar blijven dan de verbeteringen in de stad? Zeker aangezien een eerder onderzoek liet zien dat D66 één van de auto-vriendelijkste partijen in Amsterdam is.

Dus kwamen we bij elkaar voor één van Sebastiaans stadsgesprekken, waarvan het verslag nu op zijn site staat:

Het is een leefbare stad, het is hier prettig toeven, maar ik merk wel dat er heel weinig gebeurt, juist omdat iedereen het wel OK vindt. Ik vind dat je breder moet kijken, maar het overgrote deel wil dat niet, die zijn tevreden zoals het is. (“Stadsgesprek #4 Alper Cugun over 24-uurs economie en vertrutting”)

Een en ander behoeft misschien nog toelichting maar het was vroeg en we gingen hard, dus ik ben heel blij dat dit eruit is voortgekomen. De uitspraak over de 24 hour diner is trouwens van Ben Hammersley, maar hij vindt het vast niet erg dat ik hem geleend heb (voor een goed doel).

D66 lijkt op het moment de vriendelijkste partij voor “De Stad”. Nu kijken wat er verandert.