A Personal Note

Finding and ordering impressions, feelings and thoughts related to the city as an ecosystem was challenging. And exciting, too. Inspiration I found in the forest, in the language of Silvology. The forest’s secrets always intrigued me, but my interest was ignited by Professor Dr Ir Roelof A.A. Oldeman (emeritus).

As a Silviculture and Forest Ecology professor at Wageningen University, he taught me how to read the forest’s complexity and understand its core elements and processes. And find beauty in the forest’s laboratory of design. I learned how to diagnose and reflect on the forest as a system, leading to a better personal understanding of life and society.  

Johannes Vermeer, 1657-1658, The Little Street. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

The inspiration to explore the public domain of society and the city started on my home’s sidewalk, where I played as a child and grew up, made friends and discovered the world. The Little Street of Johannes Vermeer is a metaphor for this. I believe the city starts on the sidewalk. The ecosystem is layered above the sidewalk. The language is built up from here.