Expressive Art Forms As Architectural Inventions

Federico Babina has a knack for architectural re-imaginations, whether it be depicting designer dwellings of style-conscious superheroes, or illustrating imaginary director-designed homes. The Italian creative now returns with a new series called ‘artitecture’, which sees 10 art forms envisioned as architectural inventions and delicate mechanical devices. Like kinetic sculptures frozen in time, the compositions’ ‘gears’ bring together inherent structural components of each artistic expression.

Babina’s ‘artitecture’ series pays tribute to various classifications of creative expression like music, comics, theater and dance. In each of the compositions, elements from the art form are abstracted and interpreted as structural systems, such as the keys of a piano, a painter’s brush, or a reel of film. ‘Art is the ability to convey emotions: a personal recipe made up of study, randomness, unconscious gestures, logic and intuition, all mixed to provide the sought formula…’ Babina says ‘…an assemblage of pieces that represent the artistic forms as intuitive elements.’ See more of Babina’s architectural illustrations here.

Netherlands Police Train Eagles

The Dutch National police have joined forces with ‘Guard From Above’, a raptor-training security firm based in The Hague, to keep wayward drones from causing trouble. As the use of drones increasingly worries everyone from air traffic control and law enforcement to firefighters, Netherlands’ national police have aligned themselves with a group that purely hates flying robots on principle, the bald eagle.

gfaGuard From Above
‘s CEO, Sjoerd Hoogendoorn, recently described the project as, ‘a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem’. he and the company’s chief operating officer, Ben de Keijzer, train birds of prey to catch unauthorized unmanned aircraft. Hoogendoorn has a background in private security, and de Keijzer is in bird-handling and training.

Often drones lose their flying privileges because local birds feel crowded, ‘the drones are pretty much the size of a bird of prey, so smaller birds on the ground aren’t likely to mob a bird of prey when it’s flying–but larger birds are, especially when it’s around their nests,’ comments LeBaron, who’s seen the behavior in Barnacle Geese as well as raptors like Ospreys. ‘The birds of prey are having an aggressive interaction to defend their territory from another bird of prey.’

LeBaron is the director of the organization’s Christmas bird count, a crowdsourced wildlife census that tracks US bird populations. The birds, he said, are in many cases demonstrating that they have superior onboard equipment to the drones.

‘What I find fascinating is that birds can hit the drone in such a way that they don’t get injured by the rotors,’ says LeBaron. ‘They seem to be whacking the drone right in the centre so they don’t get hit; they have incredible visual acuity and they can probably actually see the rotors.’

Humans, of course, only see rotors as a blur, LeBaron suspects that the eagles can make out the complete movement and thus have no trouble avoiding injury. It doesn’t hurt, either, that attacking a drone the way a bird might attack another bird is usually effective. ‘Their method of attack is always going to be to hit it in the middle of the back; with the drones they perceive the rotors on the side and so they just go for the rear.’

Using birds to take down drones is that latest in a series of attempts to tackle unwanted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS). In Japan, drones using nets have been developed to capture rogue UAV that might threaten disruptions along flight paths. A team of British contractors have developed a ‘death ray’ for drones that can disable them in flight.

Good Enough To Eat…

Mosaic sushi is the latest food art trend to take the internet by storm. Instagram users across the world are sharing their snapshots of this artistic culinary craze that sees pressed sushi squares organized into vibrant, tiled compositions. Various ingredients from cucumbers to corn comprise colorful displays of carefully-cut pieces, forming an entirely edible artwork.

The staple Japanese cuisine is made to look like ceramic titles, where perfectly cut sushi squares are organized by pattern, color and hue. Bright pink pieces of tuna are positioned alongside golden egg arrangements, forming a mosaic design that satisfies symmetrical aesthetics.

Or visit: Tastemade Japan

Day Of Hearts… I Love You!

HartjesdagOriginally Hartjesdag (Day of Hearts) was a festival celebrated on the third Monday in August in the areas of Haarlem and Bloemendaal and in various parts of Amsterdam, particularly around the Haarlemmerplein, in the Jordaan, and on Zeedijk. On Hartjesdag fires were kindled and children collected money. Later it developed itself into a type of cross-dressing carnival, where men dressed as women, and women dressed as men. A typical scene was captured in the oil painting entitled Hartjesdag, by the artist Johan Braakensiek in 1926.

During the German occupation in 1942 the Hartjesdag became prohibited, and after the war it eventually became obsolete. In 1997 a local committee on Zeedijk, Amsterdam, decided to see if they could revive the tradition. Each year since then, the festival has flourished into a two-day event on the 3rd weekend in August.

Where the name Hartjesdag comes from is not clear. Probably it has arisen in the Middle Ages. It is suspected that the name is a bastardisation of ‘hertjesdag‘ (Deer Day). This was a festival where in the forests around Haarlem deer (herten) hunting could be done by the ordinary people, which was normally reserved for nobility. The deer were then taken to Amsterdam and roasted in the streets.

On Sunday evening it’s now ‘Night of Romance’, when at the bars and restaurants, but also in small theaters in the surrounding streets, live music is played and songs are sung. On Monday they start with a brunch for the people of the neighborhood, and the ones who feel part of the neighborhood (like me, and I live 4.5km on the other side of town). After brunch the ‘Hearts’ (people who normally don’t cross-dress) and ‘Queens’ (the ones who do!) can register to win a prize at the end of the day.

I was greeted by a creature looking as ‘Divine’ who knew me by name, and I didn’t know who he was. I do know now, and when he dares to do it, with consent of his wife, I can do it too… next year!

Here are some photos who were posted on Facebook, I thanked the photographers already. They are in random order, and will change place every time you open this page. Click on one and it will open in a new page, there you can scroll through them.

EuroPride 2016, The Party Is Almost Over…

Yesterday was the main event of EuroPride2016, our world-famous Canal Parade. I didn’t make photos, others have better equipment and a more steady hand than I do. Below you find some impressions and on Facebook you’ll find another 595+ photos…

Second Life For 17th Century Furnace

The oven which was found by archaeologists of the Department of Monuments and Archaeology of the City of Amsterdam, a month ago at Spuistraat, will be rebuilt. Within 18 months one can be visiting the oven on the externally accessible courtyard of the new residential complex ‘De Keizer’ on Wijdesteeg in Amsterdam.


The oven that was found during the archaeological survey was part of the seventeenth century soap manufacture ‘De Clock’ (The Bell). Originally, the oven was used by brewery Delfftsche Wapen which was located in the same building from approximately 1510 to 1608. The oven consisted of a round brick construction with max. 3.4 m outside diameter, 1.3 m inner diameter and an inner wall of chamotte stone. The floor was made up of a lattice of chamotte bricks, supported by a structure of wrought iron. The iron door was still present and on the grate they found layers of peat blocks. The oven and the deeper boiler room could be reached through a brick staircase, which was filled up with construction debris and household waste from the last quarter of the 17th century. This archaeological dating fits in well with the historical fact that the ‘De Clock’ soap manufacture was closed in 1680.

For those who can’t wait, the oven is recorded in a 3D model

Click here for the 3D model.

The director of the construction company who develops residential complex ‘De Keizer’ was particularly struck by the discovery and therefore decided to rebuild the furnace. The oven is carefully dismantled two weeks ago by a team of archaeologists and construction workers. The iron parts are being preserved in the coming period in the archaeological workshop. Later, the oven will again be built, brick by brick, in the courtyard of the complex. The courtyard will also externally accessible so interested parties can take a look.


Yesterday’s Pride Walk also broke a new record, while the front of the walk passed halfway over Rokin, near Dam square (the destination), the last people of the walk just left the beginning at Vondelpark, a stretch of 2 km (1.24 miles). Traffic and public transport was blocked for nearly an hour and a half.

You may think that’s not that far or long, but those of you that have visit the centre of Amsterdam, and have seen the traffic through the narrow streets, cyclists included, know how a great havoc this can become.

The flags you see are from the 79 nations in the world where you can’t show whom you love, or live the life you want to live. In 12 of them you are killed for being gay.

I was somewhere half a kilometer behind this group, just turning up at  Munt square, driving my mobility scooter and Pink Noord banner, a local group of LGBT’s who meet for drinks. (BTW this photo was taken while we were still waiting in Vondelpark.
Next to me is Els also in a scooter, she’s a huge supporter for human rights, who lives on the opposite side of town in the Southeast.

American friend Bob Newmark who lives in Amsterdam posted 444 photos of the Pride Walk on Facebook. You can find me and his photos here.