Flip Over Tree Trunks
Ladder to Utopia
Augmented Reality Megastructure
Tree House



Veennhuizen as a metaphor for Babylon; with its rigid grid and high prison watch towers, this village in Drenthe demands rising above it... The goal is to create an opposite experience by implimenting nature's laws of on top of Veenhuizen through an interactive cycling route. The route is about reconnecting with that primal instinct, which is a must for progression, and embedding a new set of laws that transform the daily reality.




Homo Ludens



Johan Huizinga's 'Homo-Ludens' philosophy is about the the importance of the play element in culture and society. It shows how 'play' is a primal instinct, that is also a fundamental need for progression. According to Huizinga, play is fun, it's about feeling free and disorientated with time and space in a new world where there is no material profit.


The Latin word 'luden' (play) has a letter root: L-U-D, which still exists in the English language as 'allude', 'ludicrous', and even ‘illusion’.


‘Ludicrous’ is an adjective deriving from the Latin word ‘luden’ (play) and the later ‘ludicrum’ (stage play).
This word has the ability to ‘play for both teams’ as for it’s located in the middle of the positive / negative word spectrum.

Visiting Veenhuizen


I experienced an old place that is ruled by 3 things: coservative heritage, prison culture and beautiful nature. Taking upon myself the role of the Homo-Luden, I went in search of new sensations and was drawn to the embedded nature and witnessed a fight between regularity and irregularity in an area between law and chaos.

A New Set of Laws that Transform Daily Reality


Like nature, human history has also led into an area between law and chaos, where we play ‘the game of classes' with capitalism as the backdrop. Like in any game, there is a set of laws that maintain the order. Part of being a designer is to redesign that order, to change a way of life, to progress a mind-set and transform the daily reality.


The laws of nature were present before Veenhuizen existed. In 1818, general Johannes van den Bosch built a society (of humanitarianism) on top of this nature, with laws that seem ludicrous today. This society proved that living in physical constraint doesn't mean you will be free-minded and vice-versa. I believe that the vision of  Nieuwenhuys's 'New Babylon' project (physically rising above the 'bourgeois' and allowing for a new set of laws to take effect) must be implemented in Veenhuizen if it is to take a step towards utopia.



Veenhuizen = Ludicrous


Predictability vs Unpredictability in Nature


One of the most common ways to see predictability  in nature, is in Fibonacci Spirals. Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa introduced the Hindu-Arabic system to Europe (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0), making Roman numerals (I, V, X, L, M) obsolete. In his book on how to do arithmetic in the decimal system, he persuaded European mathematicians to use this new system. Fibonacci did not invent the famous sequence named after him: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. 13, 21, 34... This sequence is important in nature because it shows up everywhere, hurricanes, galaxies, to the way that a tree grows.

Opposing the predictability of the Fibonacci Spiral, is the unpredictability of mycelium. We are more related to this network than any other as we too first conquer territory and then begin to network. It is THE mother network that is giving nutrients in multi-directions between plants and fungi, moving information like the internet to us. Funny how both are ‘hidden’ from us..

Rising Above Babylon with Music


In 1974, 'The Wailers' from Jamaica made a song called 'Rastaman Chant' that goes: "Here the words of the rastaman chant, babylon your thrown gone down. One fine morning when my work is over, I will fly away". In this case, 'Babylon' is used as a metaphor for capitalistic classed society, as Nieuwenhuys saw it.

‘Lateralus’ is a song by American progressive rock band ‘Tool’. The opening and chorus lyrics of the song also appear to have the Fibonacci sequence embedded inside them. The lyrics are subdivided into phrases based on the rhythm of the vocal melody, the number of syllables in each phrase gives this sequence. The time signatures of the chorus of the song change from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8 - 987 is on the Fibonacci sequence.

‘The Fibonaccis’ are an American art rock band that released one album in 1987. On this album is a song titled ‘ Romp of the Meiji Sycophants’. The Meiji era of Japan (1868-1912) stood for: Involvement of all classes in carrying out state affairs, revocation of sumptuary laws and class restrictions on employment; And replacement of "evil customs" with the "just laws of nature".

Krusseldorf aka Simon Heath was born in Stockholm, Sweden. His music can be described as electronic, dubby, ambient and cinematic with a lot of soundscapes. In his track titled ‘5 Pointed Star’ he uses an audio sample of a quote by English intellectual Aldous Huxley saying: “...It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free - to be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive...”




The Fibonacci Route and Interaction


The route is an adaptation of Veenhuizen's grid to the Fibonacci Spiral. From 'The National Prison Museum', spiraling outwards to the outskirts of Veenhuizen and back to the museum.

The route's interaction allow users to rise above Veenhuizen in multiple ways. Imagine a megastructure made of Mycelium rising up from the underground in a Fibonacci Spiral... Imagine it crawling up the trees to create new places to wander around in... Imagine the music up there...

Using an app for augmented reality, the visitor will interact with a geo-embedded 3D Fibonacci Spiral megastructure made of Mycelium, which rises above Veenhuizen and will be viewed through a smartphone along the cycling route. If this object were to be real, it would diturb the residents of the village along with its prisoners, that is why it is to be digital.

To connect the 'digital viewer' with the 'physical world' along the route, playing objects stimulating the feeling of elevation shall be installed. Objects such as ladders to climb trees that get higher and higher until they transform into a network of tree houses for contemplation. The position of these objects will be based upon the growing points of the Fibonnaci Route.

Having drawn inspiration from music that makes one rise above, I decided to let the visitors of the route listen to it as they ride along. Having a series of flip-over tree trunks with engraved QR codes and info about the music on the trunk itself.