Cathedral Thinking – Art & Design

Meet Anne Beate Hovind

The lady with the dream. The dream of bringing people together by introducing a whole new way of thinking – Cathedral thinking. Meet Anne Beate Hovind, a true visionary and an Oslopolitan.

Meet Anne Beate Hovind from Snöball Film on Vimeo.

Cathedral Thinking: The 200 year designs of Maarten Baas

Designer and artist Maarten Baas unveiled his piece New! Newer! Newest! at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. But no one alive now will be able to see it. Here, Baas explains some of the thinking behind this piece and his wider work.

as told to Johanna Derry

New! Newer! Newest! consists of two parts. With a production time of 200 years, The NEW Forest is a 100 hectare area of woodland Maarten Baas has had planted on Flevoland in the Netherlands. By 2216 it will reveal a souvenir from the 21st century: a flashy logo saying “NEW!” Each season will show different colour combinations, generating a new NEW! logo for years to come.

Part two is The Tree Trunk Chair. In the grounds of the Groninger Museum in collaboration with designer Gavin Munro, he has planted a tree next to a mould that over the next two centuries will slowly grow over the form to reveal a chair, that can then be harvested.

Can you describe your work in one sentence?

Just some stretching exercises in designland.

Where did the idea for planning a long-scale piece of work like New! Newer! Newest! first begin?

The title is a reaction to the increasing amount of hype we have for things that are new. But something new today is old tomorrow, and still we demand to be further entertained. I think all that’s cool – two years ago I took on that concept by creating a wild circus [Baas is in Town at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan]. This year’s piece was the counter balance, something which is slower to come about than one can imagine.

Did you find it challenging to design for something that would only come to be after your own lifetime?

Yes, it puts a different perspective on everything: A year is short term, 10 years is short term, even 50 years is short term, compared to eternity.

What’s the appeal of working with nature to create something?

The slow growth. It needs the time that it takes, no more, no less. We can’t speed it up, and human beings can’t control it.

Do you think long-term thinking will become an ongoing feature of your work?

No, nothing is an ongoing feature in my work.

Can you describe your workspace?

It’s a farm, which has turned into a studio. It’s a very rural and nice!

Do you see yourself, and this installation in particular, as part of a tradition or a school of thought?

I never think about these kind of contexts. I just make what I feel like making, that’s it…

The above was originally posted on

‘Festival state’ gets set for arts shake-up as director questions reliance on big events

By Matthew Smith

Acclaimed theatre director Geordie Brookman has raised doubts about South Australia’s current arts strategy, saying an obsession with big events and festivals is hurting the sector.

Brookman has recently left the State Theatre Company South Australia after six successful years as artistic director.

He did not pull his punches on the state of the industry as he prepares for his next challenges in Europe.

“I think we’re in a tricky spot,” he said.

“We’re an industry with an enormous amount of potential and reach and energy and passion, but I don’t think there’s any doubt we’ve taken a series of hits over the last few years.”

The arts sector is going through a massive upheaval, with cuts in federal funding, the downgrading of Arts SA, and the move by the Steven Marshall’s Government to use consultants to develop a comprehensive arts plan.

Brookman is cautiously supportive of the first blueprint since 2000.

“It’s a critically important time. These are once-in-a-generation moments and it’s going to feed into what sort of city, what sort of state we want to be,” he said.

“I think the way we relate to the arts helps define who we are as South Australians.”

Too much reliance on big events

He said while SA had earned its reputation as the “festival state”, the reliance on events had gone too far.

“South Australia has become, to a degree, event-obsessed, and I think it’s become a bit of a rabbit hole for our industry,” he said.

“Traditionally, we’ve been a state that is all about makers, and all about generating work that has a long life, instead of being a touring hub for other people’s work.”

Experienced interstate arts administrator Tony Grybowski is heading the new arts plan and said the initiative would be a pivotal moment.

“I’m a great fan of cathedral thinking — the decisions that we make now will impact our future environments and communities,” he said.

His consultancy team is conducting digital surveys, focus groups, interviews and town hall meetings in Adelaide and in country regions.

“You’ll have clarity about a vision, what the priority areas are, some issues and recommendations that the Government will consider to bring this plan to life,” he said.

Bleak climate for smaller companies

Corey McMahon worked in Sydney and London before returning to Adelaide in 2012 and setting up theatre company Theatre Republic.

He works from project to project in what he says is a bleak climate for small- to medium-sized companies.

“It’s pretty tough, can’t really dress it up any other way, it’s just a fact that the pot of money that we’re all going for from Arts SA is pretty small,” he said.

The State Government’s last budget allocated $1 million annually in grants for artists, but it also outlined more than $9 million a year in savings cuts that had to be found by 2021–22.

McMahon believed the answer may lie in alternative funding sources.

“I just encourage the Government to have a conversation with us about how we can provide incentives for the private sector and for business to support small to medium and independents,” he said.

“Not just the festivals, not just the big organisations, but actually further down the ladder for the small to medium sector.”

Connect ‘with artists themselves’

That view is supported by Geordie Brookman.

“I hope this could be one moment where there could be new money and that that money would connect with the people who make the work, with artists themselves,” he said.

A frequent sight at shows during Mad March, Brookman believes Premier Steven Marshall is a supporter of the arts.

But like a well-known movie line, he said it must be a case of “show me the money”.

“He’s displayed a good knowledge and passion for the form, you know, I guess the next step is you always want to see that translate into cold, hard support,” he said.

The new arts plan is expected to be handed to the State Government by June.

The above was originally posted on: 

Adaptive Architecture – Shifting Mindsets Towards Cathedral Thinking

A documentary exploring adaptive reuse an alternative modus operandi for sustainably futureproofing our cities.


Time based architecture: building with TIME

Article by Piet Vollaard, published in Oase nr. 57
the Ecokathedraal by Louis Le Roy (ca. 1970-3000)

Having been out of the limelight for some time, Louis – The Wild Man – Le Roy is back in the news once more.

On the 1st December 2000 he was awarded the oeuvre prize by the Fonds Beeldende Kunst, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst [Art, Design and Architecture Fund], and in the summer of 2000, his Ecokathedraal formed the centre of the Frisian ‘Simmer 2000’ millennium event. Le Roy’s topicality is not really associated with Wild Gardening, a gardening method that was very popular in the seventies and which – to put it briefly – consisted of simply allowing nature to run riot in the garden. This time it is mainly the result of the Ecokathedraal project which was started thirty years ago in the IJntzelaan in Mildam, a small hamlet near Heerenveen. Its significance lies in the ideas behind the project: the importance of the time factor in spatial processes and (related to this) working with complex, dynamic systems. These processes and systems are highly relevant to present discussions in the fields of architecture, urban development and environmental planning.

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