Engineering will Make us Free: Rutger de Graaf van Dinter - Episode 12

May 7, 2018


The guest of this episode of the Floating Architecture, Engineering & Design Series is Rutger de Graaf van Dinter, a civil engineer with a very special vision. In this conversation with our seavangelesse, Rutger speaks of how floating architecture can make human societies more resilient. Not only at an engineering level, but also in terms of better governance. Engineering will make us free! Free from bad governance is the conclusion of this podcast between Rutger de Graaf and Nathalie Mezza-Garcia.


1:02 Introduction to Rutger de Graaf and his PhD thesis

1:43 Harnessing complexity in sociotechnical systems

4:07 Transition management

4:36 Why building floating structures

5:00 Water management in the Netherlands

6:22 Algae fuels

6:45 Land scarcity

7:48 Sea level rise

8:33 Resilience and adaptation

10:48 Vulnerability of centralised systems

12:23 Decentralised water management

12:57 The robustness of decentralised and distributed systems

13:49 Achieving political independence with decentralised physical infrastructure

14:55 Governance on the commons

15:37 Autonomy and self-governance of utility infrastructure

16:58 Public/private partnerships on seasteads

18:00 The limitations of traditional legislation for technological innovation

19:20 Can engineering make us free?

20:10 The value of experimentation

22:20 Monitoring as a mechanism of control and learning

22:45 The weakening of the nation-state

25:10 Space at Sea, a project between Blue21 and Marine in the North Sea

26:10 City states on water

27:18 Floating Special Economic Zones  

29:40 The impossibly of knowledge

28:37 Learning from ecology

29:53 The failure of hierarchical management for organising societies

30:20 What has changed in the past ten years

32:58 The visionary municipality of Rotterdam

34:30 The municipality of Rotterdam  

34:20 The power of young innovators and the role of luck in success

36:30 The limitations of innovation steering by governments

37:20 The value of failures

39:38 A future full of seasteads

41:00 The impact of Joe Quirk’s book

43:29 Rutger childhood’s dreams

44:36 Indymo, water monitoring with underwater drones (Indymo)

48:33 Underwater sensors (algae monitoring, temperature, turbidity, salinity, nutrients…)

51:00 Rui Lima, the global expert in underwater drones for monitoring water quality

52:18 The intrinsic value of nature

54:25 How floating structures can help create new underwater ecosystems

56:45 Monitoring water in the Floating Island Project

58:30 Floating Futures Conference



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