Flowing Force

The rivierdelta as one contiguous nature area shaped by wind and water

Flowing Force is a ‘cultural design’ for the Dutch river delta, aiming to reshape the approach to Dutch landscape design. The project takes existing natural forces and the ‘DNA’ of the river delta as starting points for spacial designs. It shows how natural forces can do our work for us and how they can be used to create a more robust, rich and dynamic river-landscape.

Project details: Master thesis Academie van Bouwkunst Amsterdam
Date: 2016 - 2017
Commissionmembers: Bruno Vermeersch, Eric-Jan Pleijster, Eric Frijters
Awards: Flowing Force received an honorable mention during Archiprix NL 2018
Online publication: View the link

A transition in Dutch landscape design

Dutch identity is strongly tied to the ability to conquer nature – to turn an inhabitable river delta into an engineering wonder. But strong pressures from both climate change and biodiversity now cause us to rethink our traditional approach. We need to re-value the natural dynamics that have shaped our country over time.

The project Flowing Force is a future vision supported by landscaping tools called landshapers, that shape the landscape using natural forces – creating rich biotopes.


Three types of interventions

The ingredients for a rich and dynamic delta consist of three components:

  1. strategic interventions, linked to ongoing assignments concerning functional topics like water-safety and navigation.
  2. ‘landshapers’, a toolbox of small interventions activating natural forces, contributing to biodiversity and human exploration.
  3. Improvement of accessibility on specific locations so passers-by can experience flowing forces, without disturbing the peace.

Toolbox of ‘landshapers’

The Toolbox of Landshapers consists of a series of small interventions that can have long term effects on the landscape by strategic implementation.

These design interventions accelerate natural forces like blowing wind, flowing water or rising currents and reshape a landscape over time. The  implementations are simple designs, consisting out of sticks and tree trunks, and they facilitate new forms of recreation at te same time.

For example an Underwater forest, where dead trees are being anchored underwater. It creates a new biotope for marine life and forms a bio-diverse reef for diving recreation. Or a mountain bike trail, where the hurdles are creating river dunes, because of their specific position towards the wind.