Thank you

2014 was a year of personal growth. In my relationships with family and friends, in my freelance work and at the Academy for Pop Culture. I’d like to thank everybody who has helped me grow last year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In particular (and no specific order) I’d like to mention a couple of people; José, Joas and Filip, for giving me such a warm, fun, patient and creative home.

All the Cousteau students from 2014: Arjen, Aischa, Adriaen, Attie, Carla, Christa, Constance, Corné, Carmen, Cyrilo, Dennis, Edward, Eke, Fay, Femke, Frank, Gabriël, Ivar, JP, Jennifer, Jop, Julien, Laurieke, Lisa, Lotte, Lothar, Maaike, Max, Menno, Nelleke, Roelina, Ramon, Rosan A., Rosan R., Rudy, Sjoerd, Sharon, Sophie, Tammy, Thomas, Tjalling, Vera, Victor and Wytse. And of course my faithful sidekick Cor!

Reinout, Madeleine, Ard, Hanneke, Rob, Marijke for sharing your holidays with us.
Victor and Sarah for being part of your wonderful wedding amongst your inspiring friends and family.

Per for an unforgettable one way journey Stuttgart – Leusden. Erwin for having the entrepreneurial spirit to go solo with Bright. Guy, Hannie, Attie, Ard and Harmen for an inspiring evening. Willem-Jan and Bram for driving some fabulous and less fabulous cars from all over to Winsum. Govert, Ferry, Marlies, Mandy, the Tesla crew, Renault and Bluekens for an electrifying weekend at Into the Great Wide Open.

Marketing Groningen, the Maki’s and all at Studio05 for a great cooperation. And everyone who didn’t just pop into my head when I wrote this. You know who you are!


Coaching art

Lately I have had the opportunity to coach two young artists in their projects for the CBK Groningen. Sarah Janßen was the winner of the Hendrik de Vries Stipendium and worked on projections that took filmclichés into a new context. More recently I worked closely with Anneriek de Vries in her creation of the work “Volgers” (followers). During the Noorderzon festival she gave visitors the opportunity to look at the people around them in a new light and eventually turn the camera onto themselves.


Bright Ideas

After a good run of 55 copies Bright Magazine is no more. The physical magazine that is. It’s substituted by a bi-weekly online magazine called Bright Ideas. It means I won’t be reviewing cars the way I used to, I’ll be writing more about people, ideas and larger subjects. I have written two articles so far. About Tesla’s tremendous push and their future plans and about the diminishing role of the car as a status symbol. If you happen to read Dutch and are even remotely interested in bright minds and big ideas: sign up!

Honeywell Evohome review

There’s something quite annoying about my house. It is incredibly difficult to heat every single area at the time you need to be there. I’ve had electric heating as a supplement for my studio, but was still frequently finding myself with a hat on and in need of gloves behind the computer.

Honeywell promised to have the solution with it’s second generation Evohome system. It’s a system that monitors the temperature in every single room in the house and is able to regulate the temperature for every single room as well. I had the chance to testdrive a setup in my own house for Bright.


Philips Hue DIY birth announcement

Now that it’s pretty easy to tell your 563 Facebook Friends all and anything about yourself in a matter of seconds, taking the time to make an official offline printed birth announcement, might feel like too much work. On the other hand it’s a lot more personal to get a card sent specifically to you then it is to read some announcement just shot into cyberspace. So like with most things, it is probably best to do both. And a little extra. So for my son’s birth I came up with the idea to light up the house with Philips Hue lamps in pink or blue to give the neighborhood a first indicator of his arrival.

For I made a step by step instruction.



Thank you

2013 was a year to be thankful for. I’ve been working on some challenging projects with talented and nice people for demanding but fair clients. And to surpass everything else, we got to invite young Filip into our lives. So in no apparent order: here’s my thank you’s for 2013.

José, Joas and Filip for making our house a home filled with love and joy. All the Cousteau-regulars for being honest and vulnerable. Young Gjiezing and Smiley Muskee for their excellence at musketeering. Marten, Grietje, Thea, Harm, Sikke and the other extended family in the neighborhood. Michiel and Bart for putting the finishing touches on our house. Arnoud and Liesbeth for your trust. Hans, Inge, Lianne and all the others at Marketing Groningen for smiles, cake and some of the most challenging projects I have worked on so far. Roelof for being patient and giving. Jascha for being frank, open and driven. Michael for asking me in. Martijn and Martijn at Soigneur for a great adventure and opportunity. Aldo for some grade A Autobahn transport. Corrie and Erwin for allowing me to have yet even more Bright adventures. Joop and Margriet for my second home. Tony for sharing a Zoe. Sander, Hans and P.E. for your patience. Ard, Reinout, Michiel and Arjen for never quitting. Paula for getting me to drive a Tesla Model S. Dennis, for not one but two excellent cars in a year. Rudo for buying a Porsche. Carolijn, Hannie, Jeroen and Anne for having me drive around topless all summer in some fantastic convertibles. Per and Lia for taking me to Le Mans and being awesome. Robocop Jaap and Mega Marisha. Willem-Jan for being the go to driver. Aischa. Mirjam for welcoming me as a Skoda driver. Jakob Warring for pulling my bumper. Wencke for the 208 GTI. Nienke, Mieke and Marije for good conversation and making me feel 27 again. Victor and Sarah for being there. Bart for navigating Tokyo with me. Lambert, Roelf, Ronnie and Roger for our UMCG woodland adventure. Meneer Berghuis for some excellent Latin translations. Julien and Laurieke for giving Bright day that roadtrip feel. Daniel, Jeroen, Selma, Jachim for making the Grensland project look so @$%$@ good. Johannes, Roelina and Tammy for dressing up. Paula for making Filips first week such a joy. All the people at the CBK, that believe I know something about art.


1568 is everywhere

My granddad used to have a small museum next to his house. We could make tin soldiers there. But he also had a big collection of diorama’s. Everything from cavemen to Napoleon at Waterloo and Willem van Oranje being assassinated. When I showed even the faintest of interest in history he’d bring me books about the subject my next birthday. Geert Mak’s excellent book “In Europe” rekindled my interest in history and so I couldn’t have been more excited when I was asked to work on a project about historic sites and museums about the era from 1568 to 1672. The 80-year war with Spain and Louis XIV attempt to annihilate the Netherlands.

The Grensland Vestingland project’s aim is to tell people about all the different places people can visit in the north of the Netherlands and the northeast of Germany. The site where the Battle of Heiligerlee was fought. The excellent Bourtange Fortress that was rebuilt and so on.

I have brought together a team of excellent talent from all over the Netherlands to make it happen. Studio05 from Amsterdam for the creation of some unique visuals and video. Daniel Thomassen (also from Amsterdam) for the conception of a unique “Bommen Berend” historical design toy. Freed from Surhuisterveen for creating an app and Reinout Tiekstra for some pixelpushing extraordinaire. All the different elements are coming together by now and before the end of the year there’ll be a map, a poster, designer toys and a website.

Off-topic #6: Doing it three times

Some time ago I stumbled onto the book “50 succesmodellen” (or “the change book” in English) by Michael Krogerus. It’s a tiny little book filled with ideas, frameworks and models. Boy, that sounds boring. It ranges in topics from “Recognizing winners” to “What does your circle of friends say about you”. The most helpful one I found is the Result Optimisation model. YAWN!

Yes, they should have named it differently. How about: the-three-strikes-you’re-done-method?

The idea is simple. If you’d get a month for a project, you’d normally work towards one end result within that month. The radical thing here is: don’t do it once, do it three times. Divide your month in three periods of ten days and work towards an end result each period. The first time you have  a go at it, it will be quick and dirty. But the second time round you’ll have  a pretty good idea about what you need to know and do for this project. The third and final time you work on it, you’ll have previous ideas to build on and a little experience.

Now I’ve been preaching this to my students without necessarily practicing it myself. But I found out in two recent projects how much it would have helped to use this technique. So I hereby solemnly swear to do so in future projects.


Cousteau aftermovie

Every semester I get the pleasure of a new group of students to help and collaborate with. We call this team Cousteau. These explorers get to know each other on a field trip. We’ve been to Berlin, Paris and Leuven but this year we’ve been at nearby Dwingeloo. In a couple of houses at the edge of a forest. In april we each wrote a song (yes, including me) and last week we did everything ‘epic’ so we could create a fantastic aftermovie. Here’s the result of both trips.



Bright #54: Panamera plugins and Tokyo visits

Bright 54 is out and I am proud to say there’s not 1, not 2, but 3 items written by me. Four of the best concept cars from the IAA car show are featured in all their glorious detail. My Tokyo visit has resulted in a story about the next Playstation. #4. How does it actually differ from the new Xbox one? The specs are a lot alike, the culture it was born and bred in isn’t. And of course there’s a spotlight on a car in the cockpit section: the Porsche Panamera Plugin Hybrid. Marije Kuiper and me had at least one sleepless night each about the idea for the photography. So let me know if it was worth it. You can pick a copy up tonight at Bright Night (Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam) or buy one next week in stores.

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Royal Haskoning DHV ipad sales tool

Quite a while back I sat at a table looking at A4 copies of leaflets that were passed out at sales pitches. They had a nice ’90’s charm, but according to my client they were not the ideal tool to help with sales. So we sat down and discussed who their clients were, what their sales pitches were like and what their product consisted of. It took us a lot of time and debate to simplify our ideas. But last week Sander Tiekstra and me had the privilege to unveil the finalized product to our client Royal Haskoning DHV. It’s a sales tool that works on an ipad and in any browser. We feel it’s a great talking piece during a sales pitch.

Royal Haskoning DHV

Bright #53

Bright #53 is out and will be in stores from next week. Guest editor Alexander Klöpping wrote about YouTube schooling (Buro Rust made some fantastic illustrations). I wrote about a scale 1:1 self build car, the Toyota Camatte. In the cockpit feature of the magazine I compare the Le Mans accident the resulted in the death of Allan Simonsen to the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding in 1986. Go buy it in your local Albert Heijn next week or order online.