conversations on Suriname.

(by Matthew Hicks, reposted from

The Rotterdam Public Library exterior is probably the ugliest exterior architecture I have ever seen, but it’s not surprising since the design was conceived of in the worst years for modern architecture – the 1970’s. I don’t know what it is about that decade, but most buildings built during that period should be systematically torn down for the benefit of mankind. It’s visual pollution, to say the least. However, I don’t think they should tear down the Rotterdam Public Library – the inside of it is amazing.

The Dutch Designs program took a tour of the library today, and I really enjoyed it.

The interior has a nice “home”, comfortable feel – without the guilty feeling like you need to vacuum. Once you reach a floor, you can see all around you and you don’t have big towering bookcases blocking your view. There’s also really interesting furniture and an awesome chandelier. What I liked most about the interior is that they actually thought about each detail – which is so important in design. Inside, it’s easy to find what you need, easy to do what you need to do.

One the top floor of the Rotterdam Library there is a great view, although the weather here has been really rainy lately:

The library was focused on being there for the community, not to exist as some bureaucratic, dusty, and scary place. Our tour guide was cool, we talked about the comparisons between Rotterdam and Berlin and I realized how much I like spending time in this city. The diversity, the public transportation, the architecture, the small art scene, the location – it’s a great place to be.

The library also had small showcases of local artist’s work – which I found cool. Check out this awesome art, that is unfortunately placed next to this awful looking chair (that really belongs in a $0.10 bin at a garage sale in Yakima):


About netherlanders2010

We are 21 students, one teacher, and a few info-groupies on a study abroad program in the Netherlands from August 22-September 17 2010. We will be working with faculty and researchers from the Virtual Knowledge Studio, the Erasmus Studio, and the Continuous Access to Cultural Heritage (CATCH) in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Hilversum, to study the ways in which research informs design in information systems and practice in the Netherlands. Plus, we'll spend a lot of time wandering around, going to libraries, museums, and the Oude Sluis, and doing whatever strikes our individual and collective fancies. Alstublieft!
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One Response to conversations on Suriname.

  1. Ruthie says:

    So cute to get a post card from you!!! I’m so glad that you are having fun. Say hi to “Suzette” for me ;). Great photos on your blog, the art, food and architecture and countryside look to die for!!
    I’ll have to pass your blog along to my mom, so that she can live vicariously through your tour of amazing Netherlandish libraries.
    Much love to you across the oceans!
    See you when you get back home, soon, no?

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