Temporary Spaces, Life on the Move

the-new-nomads We wrote about this trend two years ago; the nomads are back! And if (after the holidays) you feel the itch to try a nomadic lifestyle, this is the perfect read for you. The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life On The Move, written by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann and Michelle Galindo, is a book about mobility, flexible spaces and innovative architecture.

It’s a guideline on how to live a mobile, hi-tech life in which one moment you can work in an office in Berlin, then move with a camper through Russia for a workation during summertime and then show up at a hot-desk in Los Angeles for your next project. “Aside from a functioning wireless connection and good coffee, we developers, designers, musicians, journalists, and other creative entrepreneurs need, above all, inspiration, new ideas, contacts, and international exchange.”

The New Nomads is a useful guide for those that want to literally live and think outside the box. New Nomads do not live in one part of the world; for them, the entire globe feels like home.

Debate – Old Public Spaces

het laatste woord

The old famous churches of Amsterdam should become public spaces again like they were in the 17th century. Currently most of them are closed off for big parts of the week. Willem wrote this article together with three others in Het Parool (a Dutch newspaper with a news-focuss on Amsterdam). It stirred up some discussion, we love to debate further about it. Feel free to comment if you speak Dutch:).

Reli-Heritage: My favorite Places #3

zeerijp

We’re talking a lot about reli-heritage lately…how it should be re-used in a post-christian society and how you can keep the space (semi) public. Churches are meant to be open for everyone. Willem is working on a couple of fascinating projects at the moment so somehow we keep discussing interesting concepts and best-practices.

This weekend we ended up in a super cool Bed & Breakfast that can definitely be marked as a successful concept. It used to be an old little baptist church from the early 20th century. The congregation consisted of +/- 50 people. This group decided to sell the place ten years ago (since they also had a similar small church in a nearby town).

Currently this former religious building in Zeerijp (Groningen) is not just a B&B but the bigger spaces are also used as a venue for retreats and yoga-classes. The place also hosts little singer-songwriter concerts and coaching sessions. Of course -in terms of reli-heritage- it’s a mini-project, done by just one (super creative) couple on a budget, but the atmosphere is extremely vibrant. It’s a place that attracts not only locals but (thanks to the B&B) people who seek rest and peace from all over the world. You should check it out.

One World, One China Issue

One World cover

Today is your last chance to buy the special June issue of One World Magazine on China (if you’re living in the Netherlands, that is:)). I wrote a couple of articles for it. I loved doing research for the piece on Taobao-villages.

Hunger for food safety of China’s city dwellers is satiated in an interesting way by e-commerce businesses in rural villages. Beijingers don’t shop for groceries in a supermarket around the corner but go online to buy fresh vegetables thousands of miles away… Will this trend close the wealth-gap between well-off Chinese who live in the city and fellow countrymen who are farmers and used to struggle to get by? Find out:)!! 

Work Therapy

collage1

Writing has been a form of therapy the past couple of weeks. I was able to work on several articles about China-related topics for Dutch media. While it’s lovely to be back in Europe, I still miss life in Hongkong very much and writing about Asia-related issues somehow makes it a lot easier to deal with a reversed culture shock.

You can read some of my work for Nederlands Dagblad and China2025 on my blog here. I also wrote three pieces for the June issue of One World Magazine… they curated a special China-edition. Keep you posted on that project. It’s being printed as we speak!