Computing stuff tied to the physical world


In Musings on Feb 7, 2013 at 00:01

About an hour’s drive south of Houten, in the Netherlands, lies the city of Eindhoven. This is where the Philips family started, and as a technological giant, the company has shaped the city over the decades. Now, it’s also the beating heart of a fascinating new “brainport”, with a University of Technology (TU/e) and a creative Design Academy (DAE).

Dutch Design is known around the world by now.

And then there’s Strijp – an area being developed where the Philips factories once where.

Wow – if only I could be 20 again, and live that life and learn from scratch today!

These trends fascinate me. The idea that future generations will grow up in such a fertile environment, changing everything in the world around them, down to the very fabric of living together and applying creativity and technology in ways never before imagined.

If you have 20 minutes, and turn down your speakers a bit… here’s a video describing the vision and work of the city planners and architects involved in the Strijp project:


Wow. Just wow. If this doesn’t lead to an explosion of creative makers and idealists applying technology to shape the world of the(ir) future, then I don’t know what will.

I do have to add that I have a special emotional bond to what is starting to happen there, as our daughter Myra and her boyfriend Pieter, both currently studying at the DAE, are about to settle into one of the first apartments being set up in those re-purposed Philips buildings at the “Torenallee”.

Yeah, ok, so I’m a proud papa, I guess… :)

But hey, whatever. It’s very exciting to see these trends, ehm, materialise in today’s world!

  1. There are also very interesting things going on at TU/e Industrial Design Dept. They want their students to operate on the border between technology, design and social sciences. Very promising area :-) Search e.g. for “friendly vending machine” video or check this startup: Really cool IMHO :-)

  2. About 30% of the jobs around here have something to do with technology, ie a lot of so called ‘Systemizers’. For that reason Eindhoven also has the largest percentage of autistic people in the Netherlands…

    I wonder what happens if design would be 30% of the jobs around here!

  3. Hi JCW,

    Here’s a convenient excuse to visit your daughter next month, the first ‘Hue Developer Conference’

    Very cool stuff, as many people have commented, what if you could control light strips like this..


    – Mark

  4. Nice ideas indeed… But skyscrapers on strijp-s….I wouldn’t do that. – gone is your overview of Eindhoven – give a huge amount of shadow, so instead of green grass and trees you get brown mud and grey concrete…

    They want a place for Urban sports, but they are going to replace the BMX hall by apartements…strange

    Has your doughter been to glow already last year? ( Or 2011? (that one was better)

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