Ah, The Carbon-Based Life



  • nienhuis at dutchashell.com
  • nienhuis at gmail.com
  • Phone:

  • 415.283.5794 mobile
  • 415.513.5973 home

  • Excuse Me. Who Did You Say You Were?

    My name, in full, is Kristin Brooke Nienhuis. (That's "Neen hise" and um, yeah, it's dutch.) I was a Carbide brat growing up, so I moved around a lot. I've lived in the Mid West, England {old & new}, the South, and most recently along the western edge of the United States. Everywhere I have ever lived had a major body of water. Four times nearby a river, once a lake, twice the Atlantic Ocean, and now the Pacific. It seems natural, inescapable, my draw to the constant change, the coming and going, inherit to large bodies of water; the strange forms that land take around water, bowing to its grandeur.

    It makes sense that I am in awe of water. It is one of the most pervasive and powerful elements known to man. It is harnessable, but only with great respect. Few have had the respect/gumption to manipulate either water or land as the Dutch. And as much as I love the Dutch, in truth I am not a pure breed. I am a European mutt; made up of more countries than I care to elaborate. But it is undeniable that even before I began design, that I feel the greatest affinity for all that is Dutch more so than any other part of myself. It is my father's side of my family and the origin of my surname. I love the culture, the art, the people, and the their undeniably assiduous spirit.

    If you want to learn more about the dutch, I recommend reading False Flat: Why Dutch Design Is so Good, written by Aaron Betsky.

    It has two great things going for it:
    • 1. It's all about the dutch and why they rock out on design and architecture (and why, sometimes, they fail miserably).
    • 2. It's a Phaidon book.

    An aside

    I *heart* books! I can (and often do) lose myself for hours in a book shop. The tactile experience alone is, well, I *heart* books. They are the only thing that I collect. And they are something I love making. I marvel at their simplicity. They are so simple; paper stitched together. What is put on each page can be a powerful reflection of how we see ourselves and our world. Acting as little bits of proof that we've existed.