I am a Dutch person living in Berlin, Germany. I grew up in Anna Paulowna, The Netherlands. If you met me, I may have told you that I’m from the area where they grow the tulips. Not just because that’s one of the few things people know about the Netherlands; I spent a lot of my school vacations (sidenote: But then still—do I mention it because I like to be part of a stereotype? Shouldn’t I be opposing that? Farm work was an important part of my teenage life, but not the part I’m the most fond of. Perhaps I mention it to show that I know what doing real labor is like? Am I now culturally appropriating labor? Am I now overthinking things? ) on a farm.
I got a masters degree in Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft. After having worked at a startup, I joined my girlfriend, now wife, on her journey of being a trainee and moving to new places every 6 months. This was when I started freelancing. After her stationing in Düsseldorf, we first moved to Oslo, then to Amsterdam. I was a bit disappointed that of all other exotic options, we ended up in The Netherlands again. Although it turned out to be nice there, we also wanted to see a bit more of the world before settling down.
We decided to go to South Korea, because we knew only very little about it and our impression was that it’s a very civilized and advanced society. One week before our trip was to start, we didn’t have any concrete plans other then just flying there and to see what would happen. Our lack of plans also had to do with me being preoccupied with applying for an engineering project at Apple in Cupertino. Just in time, I got the assignment confirmed. We (sidenote: Later we had a vacation in Korea and verified that it’s indeed civilized and advanced. I felt like an oversized barbarian there, not knowing the customs and bumping into things with my head all the time. ) our flight to Seoul and flew in the opposite direction to California.
Living and working for half a year in Cupertino and San Francisco was great. I felt like being just in the center of where new technology comes from. At the same time, I didn’t like the idea of paying taxes in the US and seeing about half of it to be spent on their military. We also didn’t find the bay area a (sidenote: I wouldn’t know how to explain why the richest part of one of the richest countries in the world can’t help homeless people, doesn’t have decent public transport nor proper highways. ) to raise children, so we didn’t pursue options to stay there. In 2013 we moved to Berlin instead. Initially I did some more freelance work. Then I joined BCG Digital Ventures.
We’re still in Berlin and did the settling down thing. Since March 2022 I’m responsible for everything design at ForTomorrow. We live in a house with a small yard in a development with lots of small children, including our own two. It’s nice here.
You can find my resume on LinkedIn.
About this website
Once the online store front of my freelance business, I reduced this website to a blog. There are easier ways to post things online. But having my own website has several benefits:
- It’s fun!
- It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on how websites are built.
- It’s nice to have full control over the both the design and the content of posts. For instance, I added (sidenote: This! I can add these sidenotes and keep on rambling about things that are really not that interesting. ) that allows me to add asides, so I can keep writing longer than necessary texts without really being in the way of my dear readers to getting to the more important things.
- I have full control over the visibility of my content. I’ve had to learn the hard way that platforms don’t provide that. I once lost access to a Flickr account after they migrated it to Yahoo accounts. I had to do a password reset with an email address I had no longer access to. Medium capped the number of posts non-paying users can see per month, basically rendering a lot of content inaccessible to many. And when it comes to reaching an audience: not being a famous person I found that the content I posted on Medium was read less than on my own website.
- It’s nice to have a single place where I can collect content that I want to share, that is accessible to everyone, rather than just to those who are at the right time on the social networks that I would be posting to instead.
- Having all this hand-written HTML also allows me to do a bit of experimentation here. Even if I’m just a designer, I find that being hand-on with code helps to understand the possibilities of technology.