MINDSCAPES OF OIL
Type: History Thesis Title: Mindscapes of Oil Author: Deniz Üstem The Summary: Petroleum, which has become so much a part of our lives today has transformed our built environment with its interconnected networks of drilling, storing, refinement and transportation. Petroleumscapes has spread across industrial zones, transforming port areas and building new urban forms. These concrete manifestations of the oil era also tranformed mentalscapes which are intangible forms of petroleumscapes which are formed in people’s minds. In this research, mindscapes of oil were studied by harvesting the information lying within people’s mindscapes. Keywords: Oil, Rotterdam, Port Industry Mentor: Carola Hein Faculty: Architecture and Built Environment Department: Architecture Hand – in date: 05.10.2017 Laguage: English Study Number: 4512049 Submitter email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CONTENT INTRODUCTION PET’R OIL PETROLEUMSCAPES: SPATIAL AND MENTAL THE AIM OF THE RESEARCH
CHAPTER ONE METHODOLOGY INTERVIEWS RECOGNITION TESTS DRAWING EXAMINATIONS
CHAPTER TWO EARLIEST MEMORIES OF OIL “WHEN I WAS A CHILD…” GAS STATIONS GAS STATIONS IN EARLY MEMORIES IMAGERY OF A GAS STATION OIL SPILLS OIL SPILLS IN EARLY MEMORIES IMAGERY OF OIL SPILLS OIL CRISES AND WARS CRISES AND WARS IN EARLY MEMORIES IMAGERY OF OIL CRISES AND WARS
CHAPTER THREE ILLUSORY LANDSCAPES “IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF THIS WORLD” REFINERIES EMBEDDED IN PORT DISTRICTS: ROTTERDAM CASE ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS EMBEDDED IN BUSINESS DISTRICTS: ROTTERDAM, DEN HAAG AND AMSTERDAM CASES
CHAPTER FOUR THE FUTURE BEYOND OIL “THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR OIL” WE ARE EVOLVING CREATURES FUTURE OIL SCAPES
CONCLUSION APPENDIXES APPENDIX I - TRANSCRIPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEWS APPENDIX II - PHOTOGRAPHIC RECOGNITION TEST PHOTOS APPENDIX III - DRAWING EXAMINATION RESULTS
INTRODUCTION PET’R OIL When you came, as if a sun has dawned Illuminating my day and night, my life was wonderful Now, all of a sudden, everything has changed Without you, life is difficult and hard ~ Lovely Pet'r Oil, sweet Pet'r Oil I need you now, Pet'r Oil Lovely Pet'r Oil, sweet Pet'r Oil I need you now, Pet'r Oil ~ In the beginning, Pet'r Oil, in the end Pet'r Oil Now my reins are in your hands, Pet'r Oil In the beginning, Pet'r Oil, in the end Pet'r Oil Now my reigns are in your hands, Pet'r Oil ~ You are so proud, I can't come close to you I wonder who else suffers from your love You speak of nothing but dollars and marks I am so suffering because of you1
Fig. 1: Ajda Pekkan passes through a gas station in the music video of Pet’r Oil. 1980, Turkey
Superstar Ajda Pekkan performed “Pet'r Oil” in the Eurovision Song Contest held in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1980 just after the OPEC2 embargo hit Turkey along with other targeted countries. It cannot be assumed under such circumstances that the song had nothing to do with the price of a gallon of crude. Indeed, it has been rumoured that the song refers to petroleum under the name of the fictitious character Peter Oil. “Pet’r Oil,” translated by Luc Deneulin from original Turkish, written by the musician and songwriter Şanar Yurdatapan. 2 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations. 1
“Pet’r Oil” only received 23 points and placed 15th in the contest, yet became a hit in its home country of Turkey. Despite the fact that the political song with an oriental breeze could not succeed in competition, “Pet'r Oil” captured the diminishing prospects of a Turkish society beyond oil and depicted the sudden changes in people’s lives and the burdens of the petroleum crisis. It never seemed far-fetched to understand the Eurovision Song Contest as part of the political arena, and this phenomenon has been studied by Ivan Raykoﬀ and Robert Deam Tobin in their book “A Song for Europe”. In their series of essays reflecting on European politics and Eurovision, Raykoﬀ and Tobin proclaim that “Of course the Eurovision Song Contest has always been a transparently political event, not only in the sense that singers are encouraged to reflect the national identity of the culture they represent, or in the way host nations use the opportunity to export their own cultural capital, but in the voting process itself ”.3 Accordingly, Pet'r Oil was an allusion to OPEC countries. That explicit message had been amplified with its oriental sound,4 conjuring the image of the sheiks of oil rich countries. The only thing that might be more oblique than the song itself is the final scene of the music video. In a haunting image, the superstar passes through a gas station, followed by a horse-drawn Mercedes-Benz (Fig. 1). This black parody echoes back to November 1973 during the oil crisis, when the Dutch rode horses on the streets of Amsterdam (Fig. 2). Horses at this time were beating the pavement of Amsterdam instead of the countryside of Anatolia as one would expect. During interviews for this research paper, one young physicist remarked that “as humans as creatures in society, we deal with petroleum mostly through intermediaries. And by intermediaries I mostly mean cars.”5 Thus, both images are evidence of how our lives are dependant on the abundance of cheap oil.
Fig. 2: Car Free Sunday. 1973, Amsterdam Raykoﬀ, Ivan, and Robert Deam Tobin. A Song for Europe: Popular Music and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2007. 4 Pet’r Oil is composed by Atilla Özdemiroğlu in an oriental-pop style which was one of the most popular musical trends in Turkey, especially in the 1980s. 5 Helsen, Jonas. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 3
PETROLEUMSCAPES : SPATIAL AND MENTAL Petroleum, which has become so much a part of our lives today, was only introduced in large scale a century and a half ago when the the first oil well was drilled in Petrolia, Ontario. Since then an interconnected network of drilling, storing, refinement and transportation has spread across industrial zones, transforming port areas and building new urban forms. Our perception regarding the built environment has also been changed by the inheritance of these colossal transformations through this oil revolution. According to Dirk Sijmons, much of our built environment was transformed by the intricate relationship between the dominant form of energy and space, and he argues that “Over the past two centuries, our society, economy and world order have been built upon an abundance of fossil fuel energy. This has had an unprecedented impact on the use, appearance and perception of the available space.”6 Sijmons introduces two aspects of petroleum; spatial and mental. However, Carola Hein introduces a new term regarding these spatial and mental aspects. Hein uses "the notion of petroleumscapes to capture these flows and spaces, and their specific scopes and forms, both spatial and mental.”7 Hereby, she introduces both the tangible and intangible landscapes of petroleum with the term “petroleumscapes”. Spatial landscapes are the tangible forms of petroleumscapes; refineries, gas stations, administration buildings, ancillary buildings and infrastructures. They are concrete manifestations of the oil era. On the other hand, mental landscapes are intangible forms of petroleumscapes which are formed in people’s minds. Hein also employs the word “mindscapes”, a term coined by Magoroh Maruyama in order to describe “something which exists between the physical landscape of a city and people’s visual and cultural perceptions of it.”8 Throughout this thesis, the term “mindscapes” is used to refer to mental landscapes of petroleum. “Mindscapes” is an intricate term because it can change according to the perceptions, personal experiences, knowledge and the meaning regarding that particular space. Thus, the construction of mindscapes is so much about our routines, where we live, where we pass by and what we see and perceive. We collect images from our built environment and we build an archive of images in our minds. These images contain meanings within our mindscapes. Somehow, our mindscapes can be perceived as an amalgam of these images and the meanings that come with them. But most of the time the latter is more significant, especially when authorities dare to manipulate that meaning, leading to the manipulation of our mindscapes respectively. According to Hein “oil companies have the greatest impact in constructing mindscapes for the general public.” She elaborates on that idea: “the mindscape of oil generated for the general public is much larger than the eﬀects of the petroleumscapes that the companies physically built. Maps, brochures, and booklets produced by oil companies rarely depict refineries or headquarters; instead they tie company colours and logos to traditional landscapes, to tourist destinations or to historical, scientific or cultural explorations.”9 This means that a greater part of mindscapes are reproduced by third parties rather than the interaction between the user and the urbanscapes. Kevin Lynch, the urban planner known for his profound studies on the perceptual form of urban environments, has had a major influence on this paper, in which inspiration was drawn from his well-known book The Image of the City. Lynch argued that “every citizen has had long associations with some part of his city, and his image is soaked in memories and meanings”.10 However, he criticised meaning as easily separable from form and did not prefer to work with the meaning of an image. In contrast to Lynch’s methods of analysis, in this research mindscapes of oil were studied with images and their ascribed meanings, since a great part of it was artificially generated and served to the public.
Sijmons, D., Hugtenburg, J., Hoorn, A. V., & Feddes, F. (2014). Landscape and energy: Designing transition. Rotterdam: Nai010 7 Vereniging van Nederlandse Kunsthistorici, Bulletin 2015/3 8 Vereniging van Nederlandse Kunsthistorici, Bulletin 2015/3 9 Vereniging van Nederlandse Kunsthistorici, Bulletin 2015/3 10 Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 2008. 6
THE AIM OF THE STUDY The aim of this study is to discover how people’s mindscapes were transformed by the presence of oil. Therefore, this paper seeks to reveal the intricate relationship between the tangible and intangible landscapes of petroleum by reaching people’s minds, or in other words, by reaching their own archives. For that purpose, studies were carried out to collect two types of information regarding the tangible and intangible aspects of petroleum. Using conventional methods, data regarding tangible landscapes can be harvested. For instance, we usually obtain necessary information regarding the historical context of petroleum estates from books, essays, maps or brochures. Through investigation of these conventional sources, we can learn about when these estates were built, in which exact part of the city they developed or if any other interconnected developments were made. But when it comes to intangible forms of petroleumscapes, harvesting data for specific information is a more complex task to achieve. Most of the time we do not know what exactly the public thinks about a particular space or building. New methods are critical and necessary in order to decode our understanding, our perceptions regarding the built environment. In their collaborative research project “Architectures of Black Gold”, Carola Hein and Alexander Koutamanis managed to access that specific data by welcoming the public to share their own personal stories with a mobile app, “Augmented Reality Tool”. They intended to integrate this specific information into their research. In his interview about the app, Koutamanis commented on the significance of user-generated data by questioning the validity of that which is obtained from conventional sources. “We have a very strange attitude concerning information. Information is contained in books, it is contained in computers, it is contained in the internet… It is something that has no substance. It is intangible and distinct from our perception and understanding of the real world.”11 In light of the critical approach that Hein and Koutamanis proposed in their research, which archives the information lying behind our memories, stories and perceptions comprise the backbone of this study. Subsequently, conventional and unconventional, detailed and generic, tangible and intangible, personal and public, academic and practical scopes are intended to collide into explicit and substantive evidence in order to understand how everyone’s mindscapes are transformed by the presence of oil. Only by doing so, we can learn about the “memory of a built environment”. Koutamanis regards this memory as the main subject of their research “Architectures of Black Gold” as well: You walk around, you see a tree, you see a flower, you see a bird… And it sticks to your memory and then you go home, look it up in a book, in Wikipedia or something like this. So it is very much still the old way of learning about the world. While at the same time, if you know something, every brick can tell you a story. Our subject is not just the history of the built environment but also the memory of the built environment: the way it influences our understanding and our interaction with it, so it makes sense to get out of books, computers, oﬃces, get outside of buildings in general and look at the buildings themselves rather than having a very distant view of them.12 Consequently, this paper carries parallel intentions with “Architectures of Black Gold” in terms of the “memory of a built environment”. In contribution with distinct methodologies, it tries to contribute to the “oil story” on a diﬀerent layer. This research may also be perceived as an archeological study, not into the crust of earth, but through the ground of peoples mindscapes.
Koutamanis, Alexander. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, June 29, 2016. Koutamanis, Alexander. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, June 29, 2016. 5
CHAPTER ONE ~ METHODOLOGY The information lying within people’s mindscapes are harvested by three principal methods: interviews, recognition tests and drawing examinations (Fig. 3). There are two groups of people identified according to their expertise, and these three methods are combined and applied accordingly. The first group, “experts,” consists of people who have developed expertise in the field of oil through research or fieldwork. Academics, researchers, engineers and site operators form the first group. The second group consists of people who do not have any expertise in oil business (Fig. 4). The study included twenty-nine subjects in total, made up of eight experts and twenty-one non-experts. These twenty-nine people were comprised of people with diverse backgrounds, both from Netherlands and from other countries all around the world (Fig. 5). In order to make more precise arguments, their length of residencies in Netherlands had been taken into account. But still, since the scope of this research is not limited to Dutch borders, this information is used to measure various arguments. First of all, the interviewing method invented by Kevin Lynch was applied13 . The second and third method— recognitions tests and drawing examinations respectively—was only applied to the second group. Since the experts had already examined “petroleumscapes” in detail, they were not asked to recognise any oil estates or to draw their mental maps.
Fig. 3: Methodology applied according to expertise of the interviewees
Lynch, Kevin. The image of the city. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1960. 6
INTERVIEWS Essentially, structured interviews are made with the first group, since they have expertise in oil business. In contrast, unstructured interviews are preferred with the second group in order to capture their personal stories. All interviews are recorded on tape and then transcribed. Transcriptions of the interviews are attached in Appendix I. The interview questions are ordered along a span of time. The first question, “What’s your earliest memory about oil?”, represents the past, while the last question, “How do you imagine the future beyond oil?”, represents the future by contrast. This specific structure has been applied to allow the interviewees to recall their stories from the beginning, brainstorm in between, and conclude with their future visions or scenarios.
Fig. 4: The ratio of the experts and non-experts people interviewed.
NATIONALITIES NUMBER OF PEOPLE 0
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Total Amount Dutch German Greek Italian Indian Argentinian Belgian British Hungarian Latvian Lithuanian Swiss Turkish
Fig. 5: Total amount of people interviewed coming from diverse backgrounds but the majority of the people are based in Netherlands.
RECOGNITION TESTS After the interview, a recognition test consisting of ten photographs (Fig. 6) were shown to each non-expert. These were photos of the petroleum estates taken from diﬀerent locations in the Netherlands. This method, which has also been applied by Lynch, was regarded as a tool to test the recognisability of petroleumscapes in the interviewee’s everyday life. After introducing each image, they were asked if they know the building and where exactly the building stands in the city. They were also asked what these images recall in their minds and what they feel or think when they see that particular image. All photographs that were used are attached in Appendix II. During the tests, images of administration buildings , ancillary buildings such as houses built for oil workers, refineries and filling stations were shown to the subjects in this exact order: the Former Shell Headquarter in Amsterdam, The Shell Building in Rotterdam, The Shell Kantoor oﬃce building in The Hague, the Bloemhofplein Estate in Rotterdam, the Heijplaat Estate in Rotterdam, the Vreewijk Estate in Rotterdam, an Exxon Refinery in Rotterdam, an Exxon storage facility in Rotterdam, and two diﬀerent Shell gas stations in Rotterdam (Fig. 6).
MATRIX FOR THE RECOGNITION TESTS 1
Former Shell HQ, Amsterdam
Shell Gebouw, Rotterdam
Shell Kantoor, Den Haag
Refineries Botlek, Roterdam
Tank Stations Botlek, Roterdam
Shell Gas Station, Aveling, Roterdam
Shell Gas Station, Maasboulevard, Roterdam
Fig. 6: Matrix of the photos this had been showed during the recognition tests: in four categories.
DRAWING EXAMINATIONS After the completion of the first two examinations, the third method was applied. The group of non-experts was asked to draw their mental maps of oil. A blank sheet of A3 paper and eighteen fineliner pens with diﬀerent colours were given to the interviewees. They were asked: “Can you please draw your mental map of oil?”. This question aroused a little confusion, and most of the time subjects responded with, “What!?” or, “Do you want me to draw a map?” Explanation was given that avoided clear answers that could have influenced their free state of mind. All results of the drawings tests are attached in Appendix III. Drawing examinations were a substantial part of the data harvesting process because subjects were asked to make their own statements. Thus, they depicted subjective landscapes of oil. The collection of twenty-one images have a power to represent a collective picture of oil in everyone’s mindscapes. They were never asked to come up with realistic drawings, yet not one of the subjects drew an abstract map (Fig. 7 & 8). The impact of oil estates on our built environment and our lifestyles was explicit in the drawings. They depict “Where is the oil exactly?” or “Where do we see oil in our built environment?”.
Fig. 7: A Mental Map drawn by Ioannis Anastasopoulos
CHAPTER TWO ~ EARLIEST MEMORIES OF OIL “WHEN I WAS A CHILD…” The most common response to the question “What is your earliest memory about oil?” was unquestionably stories about petrol stations. There is no doubt that the proximity of petrol stations to our everyday lives has played a tremendous role in the shaping of early memories. Out of twenty-eight subjects, eleven regarded gas stations within their earliest memories. Another frequent theme was automobiles, frequently in association with petrol stations, but sometimes with car parks or road trips. Two subjects even mentioned the brand of the car: a Russian Moskvitch14 and an extremely old Ambassador.15 Automobiles were always described as family vehicles with other family members in it. Also, in their descriptions, there is always another figure filling the tank. One way or another, cars always take part in everyone’s oil stories. After gas stations, the second-most popular type of story revolved around oil spills in various forms. Seven out of twenty-eight people recalled oil spills with oceans, car parks and cartoons. The least popular but most striking types of memories recalled were about wars and crises. Three out of twenty-eight people mentioned oil crises, while only one subject regarded her earliest memory of oil with war.
Fig. 8: A Mental Map drawn by Dionysis Nikolopoulos Moskvitch was an automobile brand from The Soviet Union, produced from 1946 to 1991 by a government-owned car factory. 15 The Hindustan Ambassador was an automobile manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India, which was in production from 1958 to 2014. 14
GAS STATIONS IN EARLY MEMORIES For almost all persons interviewed, gas stations are the earliest generic image, usually in association with family members: fathers, mothers or grandparents in the front seat of a family car, accompanied by the distinct smell of petrol. Some also mentioned that their parents were always stopping at the same station as if by family custom, because in most cases the gas station was the only one in their small town. They usually remember themselves in the backseat of their family car during a stopover to fill the tank with petrol. They also mentioned that their father or grandfather was filling the tank. Right after mentioning the gas station they often continued with “Oh! And that smell!” Subjects persistently referred to smell with the words “distinct”, “peculiar” and “stink”. One subject said, “now even talking and thinking about it makes me nauseous.”16 For some of the subjects that smell was so strong that the most common remark after gas station was the smell of it. A major number of the interviewees confessed that they still like the distinct smell of the petroleum. One subject recounted: When I was a kid, I was going in the car with my father and my father was stopping in a gas station to fill the tank. The owner of the gas station was a friend so we were always stopping there and chatting, and I remember that I liked very much the smell of oil.17
Fig. 9: A Mental Map drawn by Christian Dickel
Vasser, Anne-Roos. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdamt, September 15, 2016. Valozzi, Angelo. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, July 11, 2016. 11
IMAGERY OF A GAS STATION In addition to early memories, the subjects were also asked “How can you describe a gas station?” or “How would you recognise a gas station?” depending on the context. When asked for a general characterisation of a gas station, one of the most common responses was the pump station (Fig. 10). Many remarks referred specifically to the roof, as subjects persistently referred to it with the words “flat”, “flying”, “extending on the ground”. One subject described it with “a flat roof in a certain colour that you recognise. The pumps are standing there. It has a certain aesthetic.”18 Some subjects described them through spatial aspects rather than physical features, pointing out how "they are just kind of lost in space because there is no city or something around. The ones that are in the city are usually small enough that I do not really perceive them as gasoline stations. But these ones, usually they are
recognise a gas station with a flat roof
describe a gas station as an iconic distinct shape
5 People find colours a very distinct characteristic
can only recognise a gas station by sign
10 People find pump stations highly recognisable
Fig. 10: Recognisibility Diagram
mentioned that there is always a 24/7 market attached to gas stations
Vasser, Anne-Roos. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 12
appear kind of dirty to me also. I mean, of course there are so many cars going by every day. They get dirty for sure.”19 The participant actually describes its distinct feature from the settlement as something lost in space. She also regards them as “dirty” which was heard from other subjects as well. This “lost in space” description reappears in other responses during the recognition tests. When subjects are shown two generic Shell gas stations in Rotterdam they and were asked to describe them, all of them recognised them as “another”, “random”, “Shell” gas station. Two out of three Rotterdammers could recognise exactly where the gas stations are located. One subject surprisedly exclaimed, “Oh, this is the one near my house!”20 But respondents who do not live in Rotterdam usually responded that the filling stations “ can be anywhere”. This confirms that gas stations have their own aesthetic distinct from the place where they are built. One subject described the type as "a very iconic thing”, pointing out that its architecture is “very important and very recognisable.”21 All the subjects could easily describe and recognise gas stations. Only seven out of twenty-one drew gas stations during drawing examinations, and all seven were drawn in combination with other petroleumscapes in the oil network, such as refineries or drilling wells. (Fig. 8 & 9)
Lange, Lea. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 17, 2016. Ramos, Daniela. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 21 Dickel, Christian. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 15, 2016. 19 20
OIL SPILLS IN EARLY MEMORIES In addition to gas stations, oil spills were also vivid elements in subjects’ earliest memories. Eight subjects out of twenty-eight mentioned oil spills in their memories. These memories can be categorised in three groups: oil spills as colourful oil slicks on the ground, oil spills as environmental pollution and oil spills in cartoons. A considerable amount of people interviewed recalled their first petrol memory as an oil spill on the ground in a car park or in a gas station. These people expressed that they were really surprised at the time when they first saw the beautiful bands of kaleidoscopic colours appearing in the tiny oil slicks on the ground. As in the gas station stories, oil spills were also remembered with the distinctive smell. One subject recounted a childhood memory: When I was a child we used to live in an another house and we had chalk to paint the streets, to draw pictures on the street. But there were parking lots in front of our house where there were stains on the ground from the oil that the cars that were parking there. And our mother told us that we weren't to play there were those oil stains were and we were not allowed to draw with our chalk on the street where those oil stains were. That was the first time that I realised there is something that makes the car actually move.22 Another subject was looking for his plush animal in a parking lot with his parents when he realised the peculiar smell of the oil spill: I had this plush animal, it was a mouse. It was a plush mouse and I lost it in the parking lot when we left, and we were looking for it. We were in this parking lot for a really long time, because I loved that mouse. And I remember the smell of this parking lot, this is sort of burned into my mind, like losing my favourite thing and being in a parking lot for two hours with my parents looking under cars to see if they can find the mouse. And this smell…this massive parking lot! It is just like a big village with thousands of cars. And it was thirty-five degrees, something like that. It was warm, and so you have this hot asphalt that has been repeatedly drenched with gasoline. It is a very peculiar smell, and that smell is in my mind. I think that is sort of the earliest thing that I can clearly recollect as a gasolinerelated memory.23 Oil spills caused by tanker accidents were also often mentioned as a theme regarding environmental concern. What is striking about ocean spills is that when asked about from where they recollect these memories, participants pointed mostly to news media or commercials on television. Even though they had barely ever such catastrophes in person, they remember them clearly. One subject described how “in the eighties there were a lot of news items about oil tankers disappearing on sea”, recalling the image of “big oil spillage with bird feathers being stuck in it”.24 The most striking answer came from one who remembered oil spills in a Looney Tunes cartoon. She recalled how there is often a malicious character who pours "some oil on the street and one of them slips.”25 Perhaps many other children remember an animated cartoon by Looney Tunes in which the character “Maverick"26 searches for oil in Texas, or “Sport Goofy” in “Soccermania" by Walt Disney, where we can see oil as a substance to make the ground slippery. (Fig. 11)
Dickel, Jasmin. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 15, 2016. Helsen, Jonas. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 24 Palosi, Karina. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 25 Lange, Lea. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 17, 2016. 26 Maverick is a fictional character in a Warner Bros. cartoon “Oily Hare”. 22 23
Fig. 11: Sport Goofy In Soccermania, Walt Disney (1987)
IMAGERY OF OIL SPILLS Oil spills are disastrous events whose dramatic consequences can vary economically, environmentally, and socially. As a result, the attention of media, political parties and non-govermental organisations have been productive in the creation of a hazardous oil imagery. Mass media often uses images of Greenpeace protesters trying to climb an oil tank, oil muck being scraped from beaches or aerial photos of colliding tankers on the ocean. Every disaster is remembered by symbolic images like the ‘Napalm Girl’ from Vietnam War, or the iconic ‘falling soldier’ photograph by Robert Capa from the Spanish Civil War. A miserably oiled bird with whole feathers soaked in petroleum is one of them (Fig. 13). The oiled bird has the same powerful impact on people’s mindscapes regarding the dramatic consequences of oil spills. The power of that image can be observed in both drawing examinations and interviews (Fig. 12). Throughout the interviews there is a common-sense and stern severity unrelieved by the interviewees. Oil is regarded as the one of the biggest harms to the environment. Subjects describe oil in concrete detail: ‘dirty’, ‘polluting’ and ‘poisonous’. The environmental concern of the interviewees can be observed in their drawing examinations as well. This concern was illustrated by dead birds with oil soaked wings, dead fishes, black spills and skulls. One way or another they illustrate the dark side of the industry by drawing environmental disasters as the cause of death for many species.
Fig. 12: A Mental Map drawn by Anne Roos Wasser
Fig. 13: Oiled Surf Scoter in 1971 found near Land's End in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background. IBR photo
OIL CRISES AND WARS IN EARLY MEMORIES Crises and wars are two frequent themes from people’s early memories. Interviewees who were young during the 1970s regarded the 1973 and 1979 oil crises as the most vivid earliest memory about petroleum apart from their nationality or where they have grown up. Since the OPEC Embargo was a multilateral conflict, it severely aﬀected many places around the globe. The consequences of the embargo years were regarded with a feeling of depression, given the economic recession and empty highways while Iran was radically transformed by the Islamic Revolution. One subject referred to the ’73 oil crisis in the Netherlands: That was special and weird, and I did not really understand it. That was the moment that I became aware, that we all became nationally aware, of the amount we were depending on oil. It was like 'Oh my gosh! If we don’t have that anymore’ that would be the worst thing to happen. And we were kind of practising for that but as for kids—I was nine at the time—it was fun. You know, we were just biking on the highways.27 There were also some memories that cars were necessary, but due to the oil crisis many families could not able to drive them anymore. One Dutch subject recalled: It was the oil crisis of 1973. So we had some days without cars, but we were living in the North of the Netherlands and we were about three kilometres from the village. We had to go to church on Sunday but because we were living that far away we could go by car and we had an old granny living in our home so she couldn’t walk or go on bicycle. So we had to go by car and it was so quiet on the road! There was nobody there! It was frustrating.28 One Iranian interviewee explained the scarcity with long queues in front of the gas stations: …When i was 6 years old, it was during Iranian revolution and I remember that there were a lot of long queues in front of gas station because we had a shortage of fuel. The cars had to wait for gas, just to have gas for their cars. That was my first memory about oil and gas: how important it is for us.29 The most interesting aspect about earliest memories is that subjects sometimes replied to the question, not with their personal memory, but with a collective memory of their society. We may observe it in the oil spills on the ocean bed. Even if one of the subjects had never seen them, they replied to the question with a environmental concern, with a collective concern of their society. We may see a similar approach in petroleum and war conflicts. One subject regarded her earliest memory with the Iraq War (Fig 15) : Turkey is next to Iraq. So we knew a lot about the war between Iraq and The United states. So I think it is the earliest thing i remember about it The main reason was that The United States wanted the oil resources in Iraq. But then when the war started, we were seeing a lot of news in television like the cities were being bombed and they also had some conflicts with Turkey as far as I remember. I was very young but everyone in Turkey was saying that the main reason is oil, because it is very valuable in the world and especially Middle East.30
Van Bennekom, Henri. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, June 08, 2016. Haveman, Betty. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, October 13, 2016. 29 Parandakhteh, Rohaam. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, July 10, 2016. 30 Bağcı, Dicle. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rozenburg & Rotterdam Havens, Rotterdam, July 10, 2016. 27 28
IMAGERY OF OIL CRISES AND WARS The petroleum crises is confined to the supply and demand of a vital commodity. It is inseparable from a rapidly emerging environmental problem of monumental proportions. To make matters worse, because so much of the world’s most readily accessible petroleum is located in zones of military and political conflict, the quest for oil is immediately tied up with bloodshed and war31 . Consequently, oil became notorious for bloody conflicts in people’s mindscapes. According to one subject: Well, the really hard thing is that as we slowly start running out of oil there will of course be wars and fighting about who is controlling what is left of it. There will be less and less oil and at some point there will be only enough oil to fuel one, two, three, or four nations. There will be big fights about who will control what’s left of the oil. And by fights I don’t mean wars with soldiers necessarily but also economic fights. Because people are stupid. They will not start researching any other technologies until there is no oil left. [Laughs]32 This notoriety of oil was apparent in the interviews. People seemed to be sensitive and quite emotional about the consequences of oil conflicts. One subject said: The current macro economic situation in the world is heavily dependant on oil. There is still no alternative cheaper source. But I wish that it could come sooner. I really wish we could kick petroleum out within the hands of a few. Wars are being fought for oil. Next is going to be water and I think before oil runs out we might even have issues such as water running out and other disasters. Oil is one of the major contributors to this problem. I really hate what oil has done to our world, what it has done to us. I am actually very much against oil. It creates a lot of damage to the environment if you ask me.33
Fig. 15: Massive demonstrations in İstanbul against war in Iraq, 2003, TR
Laxer, J. (2008). Oil. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press. Dickel, Jasmin. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 15, 2016. 33 Muthusubramanian, Nandini. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 31 32
CHAPTER THREE ~ ILLUSORY LANDSCAPES “IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF THIS WORLD” Landscapes of petroleum have composite morphologies by visible and invisible features. A considerable amount of this compound is embedded in our landscape, which makes it nearly impossible to visualise the giants of the industry. They are latent in the landscape that we experience every day. Dirk Sijmons, in his book Landscape and Energy, identifies landscapes of petroleum as an illusory landscape: In the current landscape a large part of the energy supply has been discretely concealed. Our gas runs silently under the ground, and gasoline flows eﬀortlessly from the pump…Our energy supply is embedded in a global system in which we do not have to know the origin of oil or coal that drives our way of life, or the eﬀects that mining has on the scenic qualities of those faraway places. Thanks to this concealment, our landscape is largely an illusory one. We manage to maintain the illusion that our use of energy has not radically changed our landscape.34
Fig.16: Esso refinery in Rotterdam. Image shown in the recognition tests. 2016, Olivia Forty Sijmons, D., Hugtenburg, J., Hoorn, A. V., & Feddes, F. (2014). Landscape and energy: Designing transition. Rotterdam: Nai010 34
The interviews are full of evidence to support this concealed landscape theory put forth by Sijmons. In questioning refineries and administration buildings, it becomes apparent that there are distinct diďŹ€erences in the image of refineries and administration buildings versus gas stations. In almost all the interviews where subjects described refineries and administration buildings, they hardly link these estates with the urban landscape. Yet they regarded gas stations with their early childhood memories rather than with their every day routines. Refineries are usually a part of port districts while administration buildings are typically located in business districts. Since port districts are segregated from the housing and business districts of the city, subjects can barely describe how they look or where they are located in great detail. On the contrary, subjects frequently pass by administration buildings, but such buildings are not recognised, as they are no diďŹ€erent than any other anonymous business block.
Fig. 17: A tank station image shown in the recognition tests: Storage Tanks of Exxon Refinery in Rotterdam. 2016, Olivia Forty
REFINERIES EMBEDDED IN PORT DISTRICTS: ROTTERDAM CASE There is an intricate relationship between ports and oil business. Port cities are quintessential petroleumscapes, where the physical presence of oil infrastructure—storage tanks, pipelines, shipping facilities—overlaps with oil-related administrative and cultural functions.35 During the interviews, the image of refineries in mindscapes was harvested with regard to subjects’ experiences associated with port areas, the Port of Rotterdam in particular. This was because nearly all the subjects were living in the Netherlands for at least one year, despite the fact that they were a diverse group of people from diﬀerent backgrounds. When non-Dutch subjects remarked that they do not have any experience with regard to the Port of Rotterdam, they were questioned about images of other ports located in their home countries. When subjects were asked if they had ever been to the Port of Rotterdam Port, only ten out of twenty-one people responded aﬃrmatively. These ten subjects had an idea of the port, but they were unable to make a visual connection between the port and city. The other eleven people varied in their experiences: some had seen it from a plane, some from a boat, and some had not seen it at all but had some second-hand information about it. But for almost all of the people interviewed, this port was understood as another part of the city, or even as another city next to Rotterdam. Rotterdammers in particular stated that they had been to the port but that they did not know what goes on there. According to one young Rotterdammer: The port of Rotterdam is a diﬀerent part. I see it like a diﬀerent part of Rotterdam but it is also a part of Rotterdam. A lot of people don’t know that. When you first come by underground then you will see the port and then it’s a whole strange area. People live there but there is also the industry next to it. And when I see it, it is like i do not want to live there. Not at all! 36 Subjects persistently referred to the port with the words “unknown", “alien-like” and “out of this place”, expressing that they can not aﬃliate what is going on there. They claimed that these industrial estates do not give much information to understand the business happening there. One interviewee described it as from “another world that does not belong to our world”, as if “something from the future or some alien city”. She regarded it as something that does not seem to be “very accessible for human beings”.37 A substantial fraction gave another characteristic to the Port of Rotterdam: that it is distinct, “far” and “distant” from the city itself. They regarded the port as a secretive place. One subject said, “even though it is close to the city, you do not really aﬃliate with it.”38 The size of the Port of Rotterdam makes a strong and clear impact on descriptions: that it is “very big”, “huge”, “humongous”, “big”, “built for a big scale” and even an “un-proportional” place. Many also describe it with comparative and superlative adjectives: “used to be biggest in the world”, “most important port of Europe”, “second biggest in the world”, “third biggest in the world” or “second biggest in European Union”. One subject described it as “pretty much insane”, pointing out its impressiveness: The Port of Rotterdam is the third biggest in the world. But only in 2004 it was taken by Shanghai and Singapore. But it is still the largest in Europe. And its very well organised, which does fit with the Netherlands. And it is ten percent of the GDP of the whole country. But its handmade! So they dug it out manually, and later of course with machines, but still it is impressive.39
New Geographies; 2: Landscapes of Energy; ed. by Rania Ghosn. Boston: Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2010. Spirova, Marija. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 37 Dickel, Jasmin. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 15, 2016. 38 Ramos, Daniela. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 39 Palosi, Karina. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 35 36
The interviews also commented on the busy traﬃc of the port. Subjects emphasised their descriptions with the words “busy”, “crowded”, “alive”, “productive”. Many of them use phrases such as “things are coming and going”, “loading and unloading” or “there is stuﬀ happening” to emphasise the dynamic quality of the port. It is definitely a very important reality for the economy, and I think now it is the third biggest port but for many decades was the biggest port in the world. I think it is a typical Dutch product: they take a problem and they engineer it and make it work. Fifteen years ago they had a quite complicated system to run the entire harbour, from integrated monitoring of the boat and the loading and unloading of the cargo with automatic robots. It is a part of the world. It is a reality that it is necessary to run things around.40 Additionally, many remarks came out about regarding the importance of the port to the European economy. But only two interviewees connected the Port of Rotterdam with oil business. These findings suggest that oil imagery is not a vivid element in people’s mindscapes. In other words, subjects do not necessarily aﬃliate oil business with port areas. Beyond the port context, subjects were questioned with a focus on more intrinsic characteristics of refineries. The recognition tests were especially helpful to draw the image of an oil refinery from everybone’s mindscapes. The most prevalent response infers a ‘dislike’ regarding to the refinery image in recognition tests. After being shown the Rotterdam refineries of Esso and Exxon, (Fig. 16 & 17) many subjects denounced refineries with words “ugly", “not looking great”, “not attractive”, “dirty” and even “disgusting”. A small minority of subjects drew what they described as a “cool” image in contrast to prevalent negative image of refineries. They found refineries beautiful in a certain industrial way, “like a sort of nightmarish enchanted castle” or a “torture chamber.”.41 The second-most-frequent response reflected the oddity of a refinery with the words: “something out of this world”, “alien” and “dropped from the sky”. With estranged features they were also regarded as “dangerous”, “intimidating”, “nightmarish”, “torture chamber”, “shady”, “dark”, “ominous”, “violent” and “scary”. In Murr there is Bayer, a chemistry and a medical company, and they have a refinery that has products delivered to them for whatever they do. How can i describe it? It looks like something out of this world, as if somebody dropped it from the sky. It does not look like something that actually fits into the landscape because around it there are a lot of woods and green, and it looks like some alien building.42 Another interviewee recalled when she first moved from the North of the Netherlands to Rozenburg, an industrial area near Rotterdam known for its petrochemical industry. (Fig. 18) Driving past “all the big pipes, all the lights, and the smoke and refineries” with her husband, she thought ““where in the world am I going to?”43 One subject explained the mysterious figure of a refinery, “big”, “dominant” and “shady,” for “there is this huge plant and stuﬀ comes in and stuﬀ goes out. You do not really know what is going on there, there is an air of mystery to it."44
Bruno, Alessandro. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. Palosi, Karina. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 42 Dickel, Jasmin. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 15, 2016. 43 Haveman, Betty. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 44 Helsen, Jonas. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 40 41
Another portion of the respondents added other characteristics of the port regarding its giant scale. I have crossed it multiple times but it always makes me a bit sad when I see all the machines. I do not know the proper word for it but always makes me a bit scared because I think “Wow! Look at what we humans are doing to the earth. I do not want to be a hypocrite, because I also use all the products that need oil to function. It always makes me feel a bit small. When I see these really big buildings like the model that was there in the exhibition it makes me feel very tiny and insignificant, and also very aware of the fact that I know nothing about these very technical issues. I studied things with words and language, and this is very much the opposite. 45 There were other physical features described by subjects: the smell, pipes, cylindrical structures and the flaming signature on top. As in the case of gas stations, smell becomes a powerful factor accompanying other landscapes of oil. Pipes were also recognised as hallmarks on a refinery, regarded by one subject as “Centre Pompidou style”. They described the most significant structural elements of refineries—the chimneys that identify these “very large, very big cylindrical buildings”—with the words: “circular”, “thousands of tubes”, “chimneys”, “bipods”, or “towers”. They also elaborated on their material properties: “metal”, “metallic”, “rusted”, “oxidised”, “full of rust”, “steel”, “iron” and “industrial looking”.
Fig. 18: A Mental Map drawn by Betty Haveman 45
Vasser, Anne-Roos. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 24
Beyond its physical features, remarks came about from two Dutch interviewees regarding the economical impact of refineries on the Dutch economy. Accordingly, these refineries are “something that we need” and they have a “positive impact in society”. ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS EMBEDDED IN BUSINESS DISTRICTS: ROTTERDAM, THE HAGUE AND AMSTERDAM CASES Administration buildings are no diﬀerent than any other business department, with the exception of the “Shell Kantoor" in The Hague. But the former Shell Headquarters in Amsterdam (Fig. 20) and the Shell Building in Rotterdam (Fig. 19) are recognised as “faceless” and “generic” oﬃce blocks. For almost all the persons interviewed, the Rotterdam and Amsterdam towers were not recognisable, even though both are located in some of the most expensive properties in the central districts of these two cities. The image of the former Shell Headquarters was only described as a tower, and only when identified by the three Saint Andrew's crosses46 on the top of the building did people recognise it as a building in Amsterdam. The Shell Building in Rotterdam received similar reactions to its Amsterdam counterpart. Some of the interviewees recognised that the tower was erected on the Hofplein in Rotterdam, but still they did not associate it with the oil business.
Fig. 20: Former Shell HQ Amsterdam
Fig. 19: Shell Gebouw, Rotterdam
Three Saint Andrew's crosses: The current design of the flag of Amsterdam depicts three Saint Andrew's crosses. 25
CHAPTER FOUR ~ THE FUTURE BEYOND OIL “THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR OIL” The era of “Fossil Expressionism”47 has been dominated by excessive use of petroleum, coal and natural gas, but we are heading to a new era with regard to recent transitions in the global energy sector. One of the serious discussions of this new era questions how this energy transformation will change our built environment, brought into the debate by Dirk Sijmons in his book “Landscape and Energy”. According to Sijmons: “This energy transition will once again take place in interaction with spatial changes. New sources of energy require a diﬀerent use of space both in size and in shape.”48 With respect to that discourse, the major goal of the final questions were to inspire interviewees to dream of a fossil-free future, ponder about alternative sources and what their spatial consequences would be. Thus, the conclusion of the interviews was comprised of thoughtprovoking questions in order to draw a future cityscape beyond oil. There were plenty of positive ideas regarding “what will replace oil” or “alternative sustainable sources” (Fig. 21) . Subjects brought confident arguments with faith in the human race, stating that “we are evolving creatures” which would assuredly overcome the eventual catastrophes of the post-oil era. However, so few people had an opinion regarding “what will post-oil cities look like”. Interviews, recognitions tests and drawing tests
Fig. 21: A mental map drawing by Alessandro Bruno regarding to the future of oil. According to Bruno fusion energy will bring down the kingdom of oil. Fossil expressionism is a term borrowed from German philosopher and cultural theorist Peter Sloterdijk. Sijmons, D., Hugtenburg, J., Hoorn, A. V., & Feddes, F. (2014). Landscape and energy: Designing transition. Rotterdam: Nai010 47 48
did not bring a collective image about how our cities will look beyond a few fascinating ideas regarding the future cityscape. WE ARE EVOLVING CREATURES In all the concern over the end of oil era, only one doomsday scenario stood out when asked “how do you imagine the future beyond oil?” The interviewee replied, “The future of oil! Wow! There is no future of oil.”49 However, in spite of some minor concerns regarding a post-oil era, subjects pointed out that renewables are a promising alternative for the post-oil era. One way or another, major discussions regarding a fossil-free future were always discussed within the trajectory of renewable sources of energy. First of all, with regard to the end of oil, there was a consensus that there is no substance can replace oil unless it becomes a cheaper option. One structural engineer with four years of experience in a world-renowned oﬀshore company stated that, “when oil will be too expensive to produce, in that case, in that moment, we will try to find another substitute.”50 This hypothesis was also confirmed by Carola Hein during her interview in Delft where she emphasised that the oil era will not end because we are running out of oil. When asked for a future proposal beyond oil, Hein replied, “the stone age did not end because we are running out of stones, so the oil age will not end because we are running out of oil.”51 Secondly, subjects agreed on the idea that “we should stop burning oil” and reserve it for niche products like medicines or other vital products for human beings. Many interviewees agreed that oil will be so scarce in the future that we will not be able to burn it for arbitrary reasons. Henri van Bennekom compared oil to a deluxe Cognac: We should not burn it all the time you know. You can compare it with burning your best cognac instead of drinking it to build up something within yourself.52 But nevertheless these opinions contain hope regarding the future. The majority of the interviewees admitted that oil has already peaked, but many have come to regard alternative scenarios as a great white hope for a new era. One subject said: I hope that we are going to avert peak oil because we hopefully will stop burning it. I hope that in fifty years we will not be burning oil anymore except for some niche reasons. The point here is that we sort of have to. We can argue that it is going to be diﬃcult to make this transition while we are really trying to make that transition, which I am fairly hopeful about.53 In conclusion, all opinions presented above regarded our future in a positive manner. There was a consensus that “we will figure out a way” to overcome the conflicts of a post-oil era. In other words, one way or another all people agreed that “we are evolving creatures”. Subjects completely trusted the human intellect and the technology that developed by it. They had no despair, they were totally comfortable with the prospects of a post-oil era. One subject said: It is very tough to see this world without this valuable source in the near future, but in distant future people have to do something for themselves. And I believe that they are so clever that they can do it.54
Oosterhuis, Stephan. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, October 15, 2016. Vallozzi, Angelo. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, July 11, 2016. 51 Hein, Carola. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Delft, July 4, 2016. 52 Van Benekom, Henri. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Video and tape recording. Rotterdam, June 08, 2016. 53 Helsen, Jonas. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. 54 Parandakhteh, Rohaam. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape and video recording. Rotterdam, July 10, 2016. 49 50
But there were two major questions in subjects’ minds that came in conflict with this confident outlook. The first conflict was aroused from the fact that “every substance evokes another problem”. In other words, alternative sources that will replace petroleum will arouse new problems, just as petroleum did before. One subject demonstrated her concern regarding a fossil-free future, in addition to her belief in human intellect: I hope we are smart enough. I think we are evolving creatures, for every problem we find a solution, but every new solution evokes new problems. I think we eventually find new ways in our evolution to cope with those changes. Because the civilisation we have now has been the same ten years ago and ten years ago. Every new technology has new problems so I hope it just keeps going that way, and we eventually just find new ways.55 In other words, subjects noted that there will not be a new world order after oil in theory. They regard the oil conflict as an energy conflict for all time, with the one and only change being its physical substance. One subject said: Basically, before oil came, before cars came, there were horses. And that was an even a bigger problem than cars are now. Because they were really polluting cities. Then cars came and then they turned out to pollute as well, but now there is a new solution and of course it is probably held back by the oil companies .56 Yet, subjects pointed out a second conflict. They criticised foregoing ideas regarding new sources of energy by conceiving the post fossil era as a new challenge in terms of shared responsibility by several parties. They remarked that building a new future after oil is the joint responsibility of all people. In spite of the fact that we are clever enough to recover from the oil deficiency by developing new technologies for alternative substances, the future of oil can only be constructed by collective eﬀort of all people. It is a process that can be achieved by including all parties; governments, energy companies and users. One subject concluded her description of future scenarios in parallel to that idea of “joint responsibility”: It is a very complicated process, it is not a one way street. It is not just governments or companies that have to adjust their ways but also citizens. I think there is already a lot more awareness now among average citizens about the eﬀects of our energy consumption on the world. But, I think that sustainable development goals are very ambitious. I hope that they will be able to implement them but we will see. I think it is a joint responsibility for all people.57 The main reason to describe this eﬀort as collective is because every member of society is part of the future that will be built. Said one subject: I think that a lot of people rely on other people by saying ”but the new technology will be invented”. I find that a risky attitude because you are part of the new invention as a human being. You can ask for it, think about it, talk about it and come up with new ideas, et cetera. So to just sit back and wait is not gonna work. New technologies do not just come by themselves. We have to kind of ask for it.58
Ramos, Daniela. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. Palosi, Karina. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, October 16, 2016. 57 Vasser, Anne Roos. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, October 13, 2016. 58 Van Benekom, Henri. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Video and tape recording. Rotterdam, June 08, 2016. 55 56
FUTURE CITYSCAPE When asked what post-oil cities will look like, a few subjects conceptualised future cities as distant from today’s, diﬀerent than the current images of our oil-soaked cities. But in contrast, a majority replied that they do not think that the new era will gradually change how our cities look. When subjects proposed ideas regarding the transformation of petroleum estates, they envisioned future petroleumscapes through cars, road infrastructures and gas stations. For instance, one subject imagined the road infrastructure of Hofplein (Fig. 22) turned into a green axis appropriated by artists, “if Rotterdam will open up to the ideas of those kinds of people.”59 Since subjects dealt with petroleum mostly through intermediaries in their early memories, they follow the same pattern in their future scenarios as well. One subject pointed out that cars will continue to run on alternative sources of energy, and that “petrol stations can change into charging stations. So that would be pretty much the same.”60 In contrast to direct transformation scenarios, some subjects pointed out a bigger picture in relation to the new world order beyond oil. They scripted future scenarios through an interconnected network of oil all around the world in contrast to local and regional transformations. They predicted that future cities will con-
Fig. 22: A mental map drawing by Marija Spirova. She was illustrating Hofplein after oil era finishes. She imagined a green pedestrian axis instead of asphalt motorway in the centre of Rotterdam.
Spirova, Marija. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdamt, October 15, 2016. Palosi, Karina. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, October 17, 2016. 29
sist of more “smaller entities” that are able to sustain themselves. These smaller entities were described as small towns or cities where there were only short distances needed for transportation, and as a result, bikes or horses were simply enough for your daily transportation routine. In spite of its nostalgic taste, this network of small, sustainable, slow cities seemed like a appealing alternative. We will somehow go back into smaller entities that are more regional. We have seen since the 1990s globalisation and international styles coming up again. I believe for multiple reasons that we will bounce back with “Hey, but where do I come from?”, “What can I do here?” and “What is actually going on in my own region?” For example, it is a trend to have your own little vegetable garden and I was wondering why that is. That is an example with other examples. It is, you know, going back to your own. You have to be able to sustain yourself, to provide yourself with basic stuﬀ.61 This “smaller entities” idea also regards localisation in parallel to regionalisation ideas put forth by Henri van Bennekom. One subject said: Transportation will be a major issue. But I think part of this would be solved through logistics because we will have better computers, better information management and maybe we have to transport less things and make production more local.62 In conclusion, as conceptualisation of future both “we are evolving creatures” and “smaller entities” in spite of they represent diﬀerent scale and context, they represent “how positive people are regarding to the world beyond oil”. Henri van Bennekom said: I would not mind if we start using less. And if that means that sometimes you have to you know, ride a horse, I would love to do that. I would really love to do that! I do not see it as going back in time or something. That is a part of life. No, so I am not afraid of the world without burning oil.63
Van Benekom, Henri. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Video and tape recording. Rotterdam, June 08, 2016. Dickel, Christian. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 15, 2016. 63 Van Benekom, Henri. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Video and tape recording. Rotterdam, June 08, 2016. 61 62
CONCLUSION In order to discover “how peoples mindscapes are transformed by the presence of oil”, we need to take a step back and question where the oil is present. After being asked “how can someone recognise the presence of oil in our built environment?” one subject replied:, “I think it is pretty much everywhere.”64 This statement is merely the briefest definition of petroleum and its great impact on our built environment. But how much of these spatial transformations are present in our mindscapes? This study oﬀers insights into the visible and invisible features of petroleum in our mindscapes. Two chapters, “earliest memories of oil” and “illusory landscapes of oil”, are carefully organised in such a way to report the present and concealed images of petroleumscapes in contrast. “Earliest memories of oil” are notably shaped by gas stations, oil spills, crises and wars. The results of the interviews, recognition tests and drawing examinations emerged as the petroleumscapes that deeply permeate in our memories. Beyond being the earliest images, they are the most vivid images that we call from our own archives. They are the present face of petroleum in our mindscapes. This is because they are either images of our everyday lives such as gas stations, or striking images created predominantly by the mass media such as oil spills, crises and wars. In a way, this may be understood as a counterpoint to the “image created for the public”65 by oil companies as described by Carola Hein, which is relatively a fictitious one.
Fig.23: A mental map drawing by Marijn Tiggelman. He depicts the love-hate relationship of humankind with oil. His network includes the goods like jobs and the bad like pollution.
Bruno, Alessandro. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Delft, September 16, 2016. Vereniging van Nederlandse Kunsthistorici, Bulletin 2015/3 31
But while such images are omnipresent in our minds, “illusory landscapes of oil” such as refineries and administration buildings were introduced as concealed landscapes of petroleum. In contrast to vivid characteristics of gas stations or oil leaks which mentioned above, the imaginability of these two types are more abstract and conceptual because they are barely present in our mindscapes. In conclusion, despite its exploratory nature, the results of this research comply with the valuable publication of Dirk Sijmons, Landscape and Energy. The findings of the two chapters mentioned are consistent with what Sijmons describes as the heavy use of petroleum as a “janus-faced” energy consumption.66 This double faced nature that realises itself through contrasts both visible and invisible has the greatest impact in constructing mindscapes. (Fig. 23) In that respect, our mindscapes have been constructed by the contradiction of these present and concealed images of petroleum. And our“ love–hate relationship” with petroleum is the most likely evidence that our mindscapes are built upon these contradictions. In the words of one subject, oil is “not so good for your health…but also it brings money into the city. So it has two sides of history.”67
Sijmons, D., Hugtenburg, J., Hoorn, A. V., & Feddes, F. Landscape and energy: Designing transition. Rotterdam: Nai010, 2014. 67 Spirova, Marija. Interview by Deniz Üstem. Tape recording. Rotterdam, September 15, 2016. 66
APPENDIX I ~ TRANSCRIPTIONS OF THE INTERVIEWS INTERVIEW WITH CAROLA HEIN Professor and Head, Chair History of Architecture and Urban Planning, TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Audio and Video Record at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft Date of Interview: 04.07.2016 CH: Hi, my name is Carola Hein. I am the head of the chair history of architecture and urban planning at TU Delft. I have long been interested in petroleum and the way that it shapes our built environment. DU: What triggered your interest in this topic? CH: Well…Why petroleum? I grew up with oil in the sense that my father worked for Exxon. So, starting as a child i collected little stickers of animals for the books that published by Exxon so we were always stopping at the same gas stations, we had all kinds of gadgets in the house… a little Esso man or a little Esso tiger… My father had a big oil can that we still have in the living room. So in some ways i grew up with experiencing oil, looking at gas stations, hearing about oil retail, hearing about oil refineries and that never really interested me a lot until i studying architecture. DU: How do you think oil companies represent themselves in society and the built environment? CH: One of my first articles was about the business district in Hamburg. So i looked at architectural competitions and how they shaped the buildings there and well the three main buildings were BP, Shell and Esso. So i went into their archives, figured out how they did the architectural competitions and then i started writing my Ph.D. among other things and there i found that, talking about the capital of Europe, many of the places were a capital of Europe was planned were business districts. And since none of these happened, Paris La Defence or Milan… Often it was the oil company who would be the first to actually go into these districts and develop them. And again one project after the other… So next one i would be looking for a French planner called Maurice Rotival trained in Paris. He went from Algiers to Caracas to New Haven where he became a professor. Well… Why did he move? Again oil popped up. So in Caracas he met with the Rockefeller’s, he met with Harrison, the architects of the Rockefeller’s and they helped him to get to the United States, get a professorship there and he would work for them along the oil networks for the next decades. Going back and forth between New Haven… He re-planned Caracas. All of it based on oil money. So it felt to me whatever project i was taking on has something to do with oil. DU: In your book “Port Cities” you are examining both global networks linking ports and cities and interconnected port cities in regional context. Could you elaborate how oil transformed those networks and respectively our built environment? CH:At some point, I started looking in to ports: again water mixed with oil very nicely. So then i decided maybe i should just do a project purely on oil. And so thats why the idea emerged to trace commodity flows of oil and see how they played out in the built environment. And at that point i was in the Philadelphia. Philadelphia, Western Pennsylvania is where the oil industry started around Titusville and these oil flows went through Philadelphia into the world. There, in Philadelphia where the refineries… and it was very impressive to see how they these huge industries actually developed a staying power. So once established in the city by 1870, there is still running today. And even those (( )) try to sell them in 2011. It was so expensive from an… to clean it up… from environmental stand point… That they decided to keep these refineries running and actually are now transporting oil from North Dakota by train into the heart of a metropolis just because it is too expensive to clean up. So these refineries of 1870 are still running in the centre of the Philadelphia. And those kinds of development we see around the world, Rotterdam for example was among the very first cities to accommodate oil by 1862 oil came with sail ships. First storage was erected in Feyenoord. And they figured it out pretty quickly that it was not a good idea to put oil upstream and so the oil industry taken out of Feyenoord and moved then downstream from the city of Rotterdam expanding towards what is today Maasvlakte 2. So, in my studies on port cities there emerged the close connection between oil and the port,
but what is really important is that oil is not just in the industry. The industry is something that architecture historians traditionally don’t look at but what they do look at is headquarters or gas stations. But when they do this, they mostly look at the style maybe at the architect, at the author, at the company thats behind it. But they never really do so in conjunction. So what we have been doing now here for the Randstad is to map how the growth of the oil in the port went hand in hand with the growth of oil in Den Haag. Administrative centre next to the ministries and throughout the country car became prevalent and captured the countryside. And when you look at this development, what we are trying to do now is to pair it with the ways in which the companies were actually marketing their own development and the ways in which the general public receives the oil industries development. So, on the one hand, well oil is building these huge industrial structures: the storage tanks, the refineries, the pipelines, the trains… They are marketing themselves through maps: free handout maps for example that encourage travelling through the country and the covers of these maps usually have windmills and tulips and cute little Dutch houses but nothing that is directly related to the oil industry. And on the other hand, the way in which oil has been shaping everyones perception of our landscape is very well captured by artists and architects. So even in the Randstad you have artists who willed to pick gas stations… you have photographers picking up on them as an example of the changing landscape. And architects on the other hand often think that refineries are very inspiring built elements and so they will use refineries as an inspiration. And thats true for people like Peter Cook but even for our local… Jaap Bakema who uses this similar types to design the public library in Rotterdam. There is one more element to this whole oil story that we are only starting to capture and thats where we really need the support of visitors to this exhibition of students and everybody else. We would like to figure out how the presence of oil is shaping everybody’s mindscapes. And what is that mean? So, we want to figure out how your mental map is impacted by oil. If you make a little sketch and say here is how i am getting home to work… well is there a gas station on it? Are you orienting yourself through the sites the imagination of a gas station? Are you using other oil related imagery in the way that you used the city or even in a way that you talk… So these three aspects of oil: the spatial, the represented and what happens in peoples minds are at the heart of the exhibition that we have set up. And we have got a couple of new tools so we have got a website, the augmented reality tool. And particularly the last one should help people to go into the city, take and put an oil lands on and actually make their own experience of oil in the built environment. And maybe taking a step further, you could both travel into the past and into the future so once we got the augmented reality tool really nicely set up. People should be able to bring up an old historical picture of a site while they are on site and actually compare the past and the present in the city. So the museum moves into the city but we also want the tool to be able to move people into the future. So we can even imagine that architects use this tools or anybody use this tool to imagine what could be life beyond oil. So these tools that we now have that depict the black streams, the oily streams… We would love to have in a long term a game that depicts the black streams against the green streams fighting each other. And actually depicting what would have mean to go beyond oil? And It’s always been said the stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. So, the oil age is not going to end because we are running out of oil. It is very much a policy decision that we want to use diﬀerent types of energies. So, the goal with our exhibition and with this research is to intervene in the energy landscapes and develop new green energy scales, energy landscapes around us. DU: How can you tell the diﬀerence between countries where oil is privatised or institutionalised? CH: So in a country like the United States, oil is basically private. There is a lot of lobbying going on to change policies of the nation. But it is a diﬀerent story saying China where the oil company is the state itself. So the state in those countries can use oil in very diﬀerent ways to build cities, to change landscapes and to also invest in public goods. So, you have oil universities, oil hospitals etc. Iran would be yet another story where it started out as the Anglo-Iranian oil company in the beginning, later BP, where entire cities were built on English models. Later it was nationalised and we see yet other things emerged. Mexico is an interesting example where the nationalisation of the oil industry also translated in specific representations of say gas stations… Where the country use them to make a point about its new independence. DU: From your research, how have oil companies shaped our future? CH: There is probably a deficiency in policymaking and actually i was in a conference today this morning where someone discussed the 1970s when there was a report could have been written today asking from the BP asking for solar etc etc. So if the big oil companies could transform into energy companies, there probably a great network set up to facilitate the necessary transformation. But that also means that the policy makers have to actually do what is necessary and to think beyond the four years for which they usually elected to cre-
ate the legislatory framework for such a transmission. And the public itself will have to move and decide to use less energy to try to go beyond oil in their own behaviour. INTERVIEW WITH OLIVIA FORTY Master Student & Student Assistant, TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Audio and Video Record at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft Date of Interview: 29.06.2016 DU: Why is this research important to you? Why does it matter to society? OF: So since the beginning of the film industry film makers have been fascinated by oil and the oil industry in particular. So since kind of the Lumière Brothers in the 1890s, they created the film about oil and since then they have grown along side each other. What i find interesting is the fact that most films is totally fictional so it gives the film maker a blank canvas to portray the industry. And so they create a scene around the oil industry which shows their attitude and maybe their bias. So in a way the built environments that they create through kind of these petroleumscapes that shows us what they think about film, thats what i find interesting. DU: How have oil films developed up to the present day? OF: So it starts of quite early on in like the 30s, 40s and 50s. Its mostly about the boom era of oil and showing the extraction of oil and its quite positive. Then the 1970s most have changed their attitude and you get much more geopolitical films which are much more skeptical an then later in the 70s of much more dystopian view. Because there is also a thriving science fiction kind of world that goes on it at the same time. So you get much more dystopian films about a world beyond oil. Because, they had a taste of maybe what it would be like to have no oil. And so you get this change, and it becomes a bit more negative towards nowadays from how it was. DU: How are oilscapes shown in each of these genres? OF: So in the boom era films its mostly about the actual extraction of the oil itself. So you have derricks whether they are wooden or steel in kind of the 30s. You have wooden ones and then later you get steel derricks but it is really about the pumping the earth and the oil itself. And later the film is from 1970s which are geopolitical shows a much more… It is based around the administration and decision making so you have the administrative buildings mostly in city centres that are these tall, glassy and high rise and it is much more faceless view. But it is about the corporate side so it becomes about the corporation and the collective decision making. Then in the dystopian films it becomes about the user. So you see the city or the environment of the user rather than actually the industry so… And then the last petroleumscape is the gas station which is where it filters into most films that we know the on actually about the production site of oil. So films like Romeo&Juliet by Baz Luhrmann in the 90s has a petroleum station and its mostly about explosion and thats how in films aren't about oil thats why we really get to see the oil industry. DU: How is our view of oil reflected in the movies? OF: So the boom era films, from the early era of film so from the 30s 40s and 50s are really positive about oil. Then films like more recent films such as “There will be blood” which is also about the boom era is kind of more skeptical about the oil industry and it is not quite so positive. And it has a quite dark side, sort of blood side of it. Then the geopolitical films are really skeptical and it is about trust and whether you can trust the industry and thats shown by these faceless corporate buildings and the conference tables, just generic interiors. And then the dystopian films are really… Thats about fear and scaremongering so you become fearful of the world beyond oil. But actually what becomes clear is the whats most scary is a world which goes back to the pre-oil world. So “Soil and green” for examples is film which shows the world is almost like a 19th century city and thats the outcome of having no oil which is more (( )) than “Mad Max” which is a bit more kind of unbelievable. INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDER KOUTAMANIS Associate Professor of Computational Design, TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Audio and Video Record at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft Date of Interview: 29.06.2016 AK: We have a very strange attitude concerning information. Information is contained in books, it is contained in computers, it is contained in the internet… It is something that has not substance. It is intangible and distinct from our perception and understanding of the real world. 35
DU: How do you think the augmented reality tool will contribute to our knowledge about oilscapes? Is this a new way of thinking or type of research? AK: You walk around, you see a tree, you see a flower, you see a bird… And it sticks to your memory then you go home, look it up in a book, in wikipedia or something like this so it is very much still the old way of learning about the world. While at the same time, if you know something, every brick can tell you a story. You look at a building you see a brick and you recognise it as something belonging to the the 15th or 16th century. And you know… If you are in to this kind of stuﬀ, it is interesting. Same with birds, same with flowers, same with trees… And our subject is not just the history of the built environment but also the memory of the built environment. The way it influences our understanding and our interaction with it so it makes sense to get out of books, computers, oﬃces, get outside of buildings in general and look at the buildings themselves rather than having a very distant view of them. So, yes this kind of stuﬀ works… But it is not just, you know, because everybody has the internet with us nowadays with on the format of a smartphone that we carry around or a tablet or something like this but the main problem is that it remains still something distinct so it is not just a mobile app it is augmented reality. Which means that i look at something and i let my portable computer look at it at the same time and it tells me, on the basis of recognition, on the basis of position, on the basis of something, what i see. And smart phones are very clever when it comes to this kind of stuﬀ they are developed very very well. So they know more or less precisely what they are looking at. And if we look at a building, they recognise it and they tell us, you know… This is a building with this and that… More important it is not just the object but also its relations to others: other buildings, stuﬀ that we know of but there is no physical manifestation in the built environment… You know… There used to be a service station by this company or that company by here, by this architect or that architect… So in a fact, the main challenge, it is a bet, i mean with stuﬀ like augmented reality you never know how it will be accepted by people. I mean some people will find this very natural way of looking both through their own eyes and through the screen and the camera of the device. Others might dislike it. So, time will tell. But the bet is for us now to bring information back to the built environment. And on the one hand it is, you know, publishing in a new way, not just in books, in journals, on the internet… But in a way thats usable on the goal. But it is also a research tool because in this way we can involve people. We are talking about crowdsourcing, citizen science, all this kind of stuﬀ and there is been some great work done in that area but we prefer to start with giving something to people. Telling them, well… Do you remember this? Do you know that? In order to you know, get something out of them: memories, reactions, their own archives so the main ambition is not to have just a clever, digital publication but to have a kind of platform on which people can work together with researchers, collect information and even possible processing. DU: We have a lot of information from historians, architects, critics etc., but we do not know much about what the public thinks about particular buildings or districts. How can we reveal this hidden data in order to construct the hidden mindscapes of oil? AK: We are missing two things when it comes to information. First of all, is real, detailed data on buildings, on historical events on everything. If you look at a book on architectural history, its mostly summaries. We summarise something in a movement, in a style, in the (( )) of an architect. And it is useful of course to summarise, it gives you an overview but more importantly when it comes to the specific building by a famous architect, it might be an exception, it might have a certain you know… connotation with peoples memories with their understanding of the building and the environment. That well… it needs more detailed and precise information, more than you can find in a typical architectural guide book. And the second thing, i already mentioned it is how do people see that. Not because of the people know better than the experts, not necessarily but we are designing for people. We are creating the built environment for people so we need to, you know, understand what they feel, what they see, what they remember. In some cases to correct it but all with respect. So, we need to become more humble when it comes to the interpretation of information and the interpretation of dis-information by others than us. DU: How would you describe your personal motivation behind your research? AK: My interest is exactly what i mentioned in the question of this hybrid reality, the reality formed by what i perceive by information i have and yes of course it is always like this even before the computers were invented even before the books were invented but you know… The computer is not an accidental thing, it is not just a replacement of books and journals and paper. It has a diﬀerent potential so if you are talking about hybrid reality consisting of what we perceive and information overlaid on it. Yes, i think it is something completely new and we need to get it out of the computing environments where i am mostly working. And we worked together with others in applications that appeal to both architects and the public. 36
INTERVIEW WITH ROHAAM PARANDAKHTEH Senior Engineer, Heerema68 Audio and Video Record at Rozenburg & Rotterdam Havens, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 10.07.2016 RP: My name is Rohaam Parandakhteh. I am graduated in civil engineering at TU Delft, technical university Delft in structural engineering. Now i am as a senior engineer working at Heerema. Heerema is an oﬀshore company, transporting and installing oﬀshore facilities such as platforms, jackets, sub sea structures, diﬀerent oﬀshore structures. I am marine and also a structural engineer in this company. Thus i have a multifunctional job and i love it. And we have a really challenging work because for each project we have a new challenge, new problems and we have to solve all of these with clever engineering themes and ideas. Therefore, i love it. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? RP: It is a good question. When i was 6 years old, it was during Iranian revolution and i remember there were a lot of long roads in front of gas station because we had a shortage for the fuels. And the cars had to wait for gas… To have just gas for their cars… And that was my first memory about oil and gas. How important are they for us… DU: How did you get involved to the oil business? RP: That is another good question because that was very accidentally for me. Because as i said my background is not really oﬀshore engineering also it is not related to oil and gas industry. I have a good friend, she was at that time in our company, doing a structural engineering. And this friend is also the wife of my professor. And they both actually introduced me to the company. I have been there for an open day and i liked it actually, it was just a challenging work because everything was new for me, i had the basic knowledge: mechanics, mathematics something like that. But i have been trained there for really oﬀshore engineering. It was new studies, new challenging works and i like it. DU: Was it clear from early on that you would travel often? How many countries have you visited during your career in the oil business? RP: My first project was in Gulf of Mexico in Tahiti and it was an installation of a spar that is a floating structure in 3 kilometres water depth. That is very deep and we have to install the spar firstly, just fix it with the anchors to the seabed. And putting on top of this (( )) the top sites. It was my first project in Gulf of Mexico. I was really interested. But when i was not the ship, i was scared. Because i know that was 3 kilometres water depth. And if something happens there, what to do? That was my first project and after that I have been in Australia for another project for almost 6 months. It was a huge jacket of 25.000 metric tone and with a top side on top of this jacket. And i had several projects in North Sea, in Denmark, in Norway, in Germany, in England and… in Angola, in Africa… I have been in Angola… It was really nice times. I love being oﬀshore because of this part. I can also see diﬀerent colours, diﬀerent cultures, diﬀerent foods… DU: So... Can we say "the oil unites”? [Laughs] RP: Yes, yes, yes…[R laughs] DU: What was your most unforgettable or striking memory of oil? RP: You know, when you are in the ocean. We can just throw out the waste of the food in the sea. And i was working in behind of this part of ship (pointing out the other side of the deck). Working there. It was just 8 pm, just having a little fresh weather you know… having a little fun time there. And i saw, below my feet, in the sea… And the chicken guys, just they were throwing out the waste food. And i saw there are so many fishes: big, small, sharks… And i was scaring… Oppps! [Laughs] If i am there, i am gone. [Laughs] I am an eat story… DU: How can you describe the oil business in a global context? From your own experience, what can you tell us about the capital power behind it. RP: Actually oil and gas for a country is a national capital. And so many moneys are behind this business i think. Not just oil and gas companies such as Shell and Chevron but you can see the fabrications. They need
Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) specializes in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures for the oﬀshore oil & gas and energy-related industries. 68
actually also fuel, gas and gasoline and other businesses also. Actually we are all involved with the oil and gas business direct or indirectly i think. That’s my idea. DU: From your experience, how do you think oil companies will transform themselves when the drilling, refining and transportation of oil comes to a standstill? What will replace oil in the future? RP: That is a very good question but it is a very tough one. You know, i know that the oil and gas sources are limited thus we cant continue with this business forever. But from other side, i can’t see the world without oil and gas in a soon future. I think at least, i don’t know but at least 30 or 50 years we have time to replace this energy with other green energies. I know the people are just discovering and researching the new energies such as solar energies, wind energies, wave energies… From nature they are just try to get more energies but how feasible is that? I don’t know. because at this time world without oil and gas, for me is very tough to perform our jobs. Not just oﬀshore jobs, every jobs i mean. Cars, fabrications, our heat systems in our homes… Everything is related with gas and oil. Thus, in soon future, it is very tough to see this world without these valuable source but in longer future people have to do something for theirselves. And i believe they are so clever that they can do that. INTERVIEW WITH PAUL VAN DE LAAR General Director, Museum Rotterdam - Professor of Urban History, Erasmus University Rotterdam Audio and Video Record at Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 22.06.2016 DU: Why do you want the oil exhibition in Museum Rotterdam? PL:When we are doing our exhibition, working together with Carola Hein, from the technical university of Delft, we said well perhaps this is a great idea of integrating a small exhibition on oil landscapes into an exhibition of the reconstruction period of Rotterdam in a period 1945-1970s. DU: Can you elaborate on the role of oil companies in Dutch planning history? PL: Well if you look at the landscape and the great transformations of Rotterdam, how the industrial, the modern industrial estates developed since the second world war. You can actually see that because of the importance of oil, the infrastructure of oil, the landscape of Rotterdam was actually transformed in an industrial estates and the oil, everything which is one way or the other related to the production, the distribution of oil, the storage of oil is related with the development of the port of Rotterdam. So if you want to study the impact of oil or landscapes, Rotterdam is a beautiful example to do that. DU: How have oil companies contributed to the transformation of the built environment in Rotterdam? In particular, how has the political power behind them influenced the city? PL: Well because of the importance of oil for the development of the port of Rotterdam after the second world war you can imagine that the impact of the multinational companies were very important. In fact, because of their investment programmes considering the construction of very large docs in order to accommodate these large vessels, the infrastructure all the pipelines that the influence of the major oil companies on the investments decisions was important. So important that in fact in the 1970s when there is a kind of turn around because people believed, people of Rotterdam in the area of Rotterdam, they actually believe that multinational companies because of the environment had too much power on the investment decisions in Rotterdam. And for instance, when the Shell started to erect his oﬃce here in Rotterdam, it aroused a lot of criticism because the Shell became one way or the other associated with the pollution of this area. So the major oil companies had at that time in 1970s a bad reputation because of the great impact they had on the development of the port in that period. DU: How has oil transformed society in Rotterdam? As you have described it as a transnational city, how have physical and intangible networks of oil had an impact on that? PL: Well, you can actually say that Rotterdam floats on oil. Our wealth were dependant on the successes that we had because of the oil. The distribution, the production or all the chemical products… But in order to create such an oil landscape well it means that former agrarian land had to be turned into an industrial estates. So the impact, the infrastructural impact on environment was very magnificent. And one way or the other the inner city of Rotterdam, towards the sea you can say it’s a landscape dominated by the impact of the oil business. So, you can imagine that everybody, every Rotterdammer who grew up in the 1950s- 60s- 70s… Grew up in an environment dominated with all these major infrastructures. Agrarian land turned into industrial estates. So the impact on the environment was very huge.
DU: How do you imagine the post-oil landscape and the built environment in the Port of Rotterdam? When the refining, storing and transforming of oil comes to a standstill, what will happen to these empty sites in the future? PL: I think this is one of the major fascination questions in the future “What will happen if you run out of oil? What this landscape will become? You can imagine that it will be a kind of a Jurassic Park with all these very huge, large infrastructures, derelict buildings… How we are going to turn it? What are we going to do with all these polluted areas? Will it be possible to turn it into a green zone again? Can we bring in agriculture? And who is going to pay for this massive amount of money needed in order to bring the nature back? So, I think this is one of the major challenges for this area and i think that when the city of Rotterdam, the port of Rotterdam, when they are sensible, they start thinking of creating a kind of well fund or trustee in order to do research and in order to make sure that there is enough money to make sure that it is possible to redevelop. Because what we have seen in 1970s and in 1980s, you see these old ports, areas, these dock areas, they become regenerated, the gentrification. But how are you going to gentrify about 10.000 hectares of industrial estates. I think this is a major challenge of the city. And what will happen to the wealth, how will Rotterdam become a successful city once the oil companies has left this area. I think these are major challenges and we need to do a lot of research and that’s why we are going to discuss it on a round table on oilscapes at the conference. INTERVIEW WITH DANNY KOOPMAN Store Keeper, Heerema Audio and Video Record at Rozenburg & Rotterdam Havens, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 10.07.2016 DK: I am Danny, i work for Heerema for 9 years now. I am the storekeeper. We are doing the logistic part of the vessels. We are right now on the Balder. And the first 6 year i was on the Thialf, the biggest crane facility in the world. DU: Where have you worked? DK:Also the same, before i had another job working on the Heliport in Den Helder but the job was going to the platforms and after two years i decided to go to work for Heerema. And it’s great company to work for, very interesting company. DU: How has oﬀshore business aﬀected your life? How would you describe your working and living environment? DK: Well… It’s aﬀecting our lives a lot because we are living in a small community with a lot of people. And we all have to leave our loved ones at home for five maybe sometimes six weeks. And it’s a very… how do you say it… tight community and everybody is very friendly because we are all in the same situation. Sometimes it’s very hard with Christmas and new years, when your children are having the birthday. Yeah, it’s part of life huh? DU: Can you explain your small community a little bit more? DK: The nice thing here of oﬀshore people, i think especially on Heerema, i don’t know on the drilling rigs or the production platforms, is that we are so socialised. Before i had this job, i always think “Oh, this is an asshole!” you know… “Oh look those clothes, this is a fat guy!” and here it does not matter who you are like the captain is having the same dinner on the same table with me. He doesn't have hi own parking spot. He have the same coverall, the same helmet and we call each other by the front name. There is no distance between all the… only a salary [Laughs] But it’s really…people are more friendly. Even like you are now here a guest and it think everybody is treating you very friendly. And normally in a factory people look and “who’s this?” you know… And here it does not matter if you are from the oﬃce, if you are the CEO. Even our Peter Heerema himself if he walks on the deck all the Malay people go to him and give him a hand and thank him for the job he gave him. It’s very very nice. Although it’s a very big company it feels like a very small family business. Like the Malay people they work here already for twenty, twenty-five years and they are really grateful and proud to work here and now you see the third generation Malay people that is the sons whose fathers working here already long time. Now you see father and the son working together. I am a little bit emotional guy. [Laughs] But i like this even now. When we are looking outside and then these guys say “Hey look Danny there is my son.” and they live in Malay and they work in the Dutch together on one vessel. I think it’s quite unique you know. It makes a very special feeling but also hard times you know. When sickness at home… We have one
colleague he lost his son with Christmas, twenty-eight years… It is a great impact you know. Normally on shore after five o’clock you go home. You live your life and eight o’clock or nine o’clock you continue your work but here after your job you go eat together, you go to the gym, walk around on the helideck. So, you see arch other every day. DU: Have you ever faced a dangerous or frightening situation onboard? DK: No, no… It is quite dangerous environment but everybody have like a six sense that you know that is a dangerous environment and sometimes we have guest from the oﬃce and they don’t notice they don’t have this six sense and they just walk around like this and then everybody’s watching each other say “Hey you be careful!”, “Don’t stand there!”, “Go out of the way!”… And especially the crane operators they take care of us very well. Especially when you are new, you have the green helmet and they see from the top of the crane the green helmets walking around and then they horn, and then they do like this [Waves his hand] So… We take care of each other. DU: Have you travelled to other countries during your career?= DK: =Yes! Yes! Yes… DU: Which countries have you been to? DK: We have been in Norway, the US, Mexico, Croatia… One of our vessels is in Australia, in Malay… [Puﬀs] Everywhere… Only not South America yet but maybe that’s coming. DU: From your experience, Are there any diﬀerences in business between each of these countries? DK: Oh, yes there is. The safety standards in the North Sea especially in Norway, in the UK is very high. And like in Africa, Mexico it’s a little bit low standard. But, yeah there is a diﬀerence. DU: How do you see the diﬀerence between Mexico, where oil business is administrated by the state, and countries like the Netherlands where the business is run by private companies? DK: What i experience in Mexico that… I don’t know how you say… But there are like family you know, there were people on board and we asked ourselves “What are they doing here?” but then it’s a nephew or son of somebody and they sent them for five weeks to the Balder to make some money. But nobody's knowing what he is doing. And when you have like the normal oil companies, it’s not state related, there was people really have to work to make the money. And like my feeling in Mexico is, it’s already there. The wrong people getting rich and they… And that’s my personal feeling… DU: From your experience, how do you see the future of the oil business? DK: I have to think about this… You know the oil business is a very funny business you know. It’s… The price of oil is made by various numbers of things like wars, like political things, in oil company things like in Mexico there is a lot of, lot of oil but they don’t make any money because it is going to the wrong people. In Africa it’s also a diﬀerent story. And every oil company in every country has a diﬀerent story and sometimes in the early days when the price getting low they just slow down producing and the price went up but now at this moment there is plenty war going on, there is a lot of thing going on but the price still going down. So, i don’t know what’s happening in the future but this is already the third time i see this with the dropping the price and going up and it is always like this so we don’t worry a lot by Heerema. We still have enough work But it’s… When you look around, it’s not so good anymore. DU: What about the Netherlands? DK: In the Netherlands we don’t have so much oil. We have a lot more gas but if you see the worldwide there are still big oil fields to be discovered. Especially in the top of Norway, in Brazil… So, we don’t know what’s going. Everybody’s looking for alternative energy but… Like the windmills we have in the Netherlands… We have plenty wind mills everywhere but the price of energy is still rising. We don’t understand why the price is still rising and we have so much wind farms you know… So, we don’t know what’s going on but i think for the oil it’s… the coming twenty or fifty years it’s not a problem. DU: Don't you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? DK: No, i don’t think so. I mean like the solar panels on the houses now in the Netherlands, everybody thinks it’s very ugly and we don’t understand why the solar panels on that… integrated in the roof instead of the big panels i mean sometimes you have the feeling that all those changes are slowing down but i don’t know because i know that oil companies invest also a lot of money to look for alternatives. DU: You work for an oil company. From your point of view, is there any awareness of how much oil we consume or how dependent we are on oil? DK: That’s a funny thing because we also follow the news and we see on the Facebook that like that the green side of the world, they say we are running out of oil and they always have about… cars is not consuming so much oil… and all these kind of things. But the funny thing is like in the U.S. the big trucks are still running 40
on fuel instead of diesel. And, and… what i believe is that the oil consumption for cars is only maybe five or six percent of the complete oil industry. And the others also going to fabricate plastics, food has a lot of oil, oil in food, so we don’t understand why the cars…that the cars has to be less consuming instead of… It’s a very… but, but the numbers are not clear for me. But sometimes you read things and they say “Ahh in twenty years there is no oil!” but we have it already for thirty years and there are still huge oil fields to discover. And also the technique to look for the oil is getting much much better than in early days with the sonar and all that kind of… DU: Do you think extracting oil is getting more expensive? DK: Well, that’s one of the problem because the oil fields are now in more deeper water. So, it is a totally complete diﬀerent action to taken out. Normally you put a jacket on the seabed and a top site and that’s it. But in the deep water you can not put a jacket because you can not build something like two-thousand meters high so that’s quite expensive but it’s still worth it i think. INTERVIEW WITH HENRI VAN BENNEKOM Master Coordinator Track Architecture, TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Audio and Video Record at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft Date of Interview: 08.07.2016 HB: My name is Henri van Bennekom. I am fifty-two years old already. I have two beautiful sons and i live in Haarlem. And i work at the University of Delft trying to you know… I am trying to educate architects. That’s my profession. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? How do you remember the oil crisis of 1973 in Netherlands? HB: That was special and weird and i did not really understand it. That was the moment i think that i became aware that we all became national… national awareness of the… the amount… we were depending on oil. It was like “Oh my gosh! If we don’t have that anymore” that would be… that would be the worst thing to happen. And we were kind of practising for that but for as kids, i was nine at the time, it was fun… you know… We were just biking on the highways. DU: How did you get involved with the oil studio at TU Delft? HB: I got involved in the studio through my colleagues Carola Hein and Kees Kaan whom i work with. They both have their own chair, of Complex Projects and of Urban and Architectural History and the combination of that is almost you know… maybe the… those, those complex topics like oil and life beyond oil. Because it has such an impact on our lives. DU: What have you learned during the oil studio? How can you describe your own studio experience? HB: The last semester was a team of two students only which was in a way pity on the other hand you know… It was like a gift because luckily they could worked together really well. That was one of the conditions of course. But we could focus… It was like a journey with the two of them for me into learning about the harbour, learning about all the aspects you know… play role there… all the commodities that are there. And i could help them, i think… in structuring their thinking but also in… that the design part… helping that the design part of fan… it’s almost fantasy. What is gonna happen? When… you know… companies are leaving the harbour etc. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? What would be the challenge of the Rotterdam Port to keep itself as a top ranking port when refining, storing and transforming of oil come to a standstill? HB: I think that it is challenging and but it has a lot of opportunities. I think there will be a lot of resistance in the first… lets say in the coming ten years or so… ten maybe event twenty years of that people think that they have to give up something. But i have… with my students peaked into another future that we try to imagine, that we try to formulate that is actually really promising. That is more healthy. That provides more leisure. That provides alternative ways of living. And that… in the beginning it might be kind of scary but that are actually really you know… something… it is something to go for. And i think our task is together with students you know enthusiastic students, ambitious people to convey that message into a wider public. For that we… i think we are trained very well trained with our staﬀ and students to visualise that. So yeah… I am not afraid of it, but i think a lot of people are. And the studio made me less afraid of it. And i also think it’s not just relevant. It’s super important because we will face moments where you know… we have less oil and we need it for… we should not burn it all the time you know. It’s like… you can compare it with burning your best cognac instead of drinking it to you know… to build up something within yourself. We need oil to make
products. We need oil to burn steel, to heat it up so that we can make steel etc. Everything that you… if you look around everything that you see is made with the help of oil so we should stop burning it. That is… i am super convinced of that. And i hope people like that message if you would like to keep all the things that you have. All the appliances, and all the tools, all the you know… it’s just… if you wanna keep that we have to find other ways of energy and other ways of transportation. It’s nice to do that. It’s a big task. DU: How do you imagine lifestyles beyond oil? Do you agree that expensive travel or scarcity of medicines can change lifestyles due to scarcity of oil? HB: You know, you say maybe we can’t travel that more. I agree with you about that probably. Although i have seen someone flying over the ocean purely on solar panel energy it took seventy hours but you know… in the beginning it took that long as well with the first plane. Medicines, you also mentioned that. I think that’s a diﬀerent thing. We should… that’s why we should keep oil for that kind of stuﬀ and not burn it with our cars. We just spoiled… we spoil it. We just wasting and making too much… it causes a lot of problems s well in terms of environmental pollution. DU: Do you think the scarcity of oil will provoke new technologies to develop? HB: I think… First i would like to say this, i think a lot of people rely on other people by saying but the new technology will be invented. I find that kind of risky attitude because you are part of the new invention you know… as human being. You can ask for it, think about it, talk about it and come up with new ideas etc. So, just sit back and wait is not gonna work i think. So, new technologies don’t just come by themselves. We have to kind of ask for it. DU: Do you think the scarcity of oil will bring back our old habits? HB: I wouldn’t mind if we start using less. And if that means that sometimes you have to you know… ride a horse… i would love to do that. I would really love to do that! I don’t see it’s going back in time or something. That’s you know… it’s part of life. No, so i am not afraid of the… i am not afraid of the world without burning oil. DU: What would be your proposal for the world beyond oil? HB: We will somehow go back into smaller entities, like more regional. We have seen… you know since the 1990s… globalisation, international styles are coming up again… and i believe for multiple reasons that we will you know… that this will kind of bounce back into “Hey, but where do i come from?” and “What can i do here?” and “What’s actually going on i my own region?” and you know the local things… And a few things as an example… You see people… it is a trend to have you own little vegetable garden and i was wondering why that is. But if you have… that is an example with other examples. It is you know… going back to your own… you have to be able to sustain yourself to provide yourself with you know basic stuﬀ. Because there is so many things happening in the world: wars, refugees, brexits and all that kind of stuﬀ. It is almost like people need to establish a little bit more security for themselves so they will have to find that within their own local areas. And that would… and having less oil would help that movement. DU: What else can change if don’t have oil anymore? HB: If we don’t have oil anymore it will probably change our language as well. INTERVIEW WITH ANGELO VALLOZZI Structural Engineer, Seaway Heavy Lifting Audio and Video Record at Delft Date of Interview: 11.07.2016 AV: My name is Angelo. I am thirty years old. I am Italian and i moved to the Netherlands approximately five years ago for studying and then for… i found a job started working in a oﬀshore company… oﬀshore installation company as a structural engineer. DU: How often do you go on board? Can you explain your work schedule a bit? AV: Usually i am a oﬃce person. I do my eight hours or a little bit more a little bit less everyday but there are thirty percent of time… thirty-forty percent of the time i go oﬀshore on construction vessel or around in a yard… construction yard and depending which kind of project we do, where the project is. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil?
AV: When i was a kid, i was going with a… in the car with my father and my father was stopping in a gas station to fill the tank. There was… the owner of the gas station was a friend so we were always stoping there and chatting and… I remember that i liked very much the smell of oil. [Laughs] DU:[Laughs] I n your experience, how would you describe the global network of oil, and respectively the oil countries that are part of this interconnected network? Do you see any diﬀerences? A: What i saw going a bit around for work is that there is a kind of a… another country lets say that is oil country which people that work in the field that they can come from any place… any diﬀerent place in the world… they speak the same language, they face the same problems, they have the same lifestyle of course especially in… if we consider the oﬀshore environment. I don’t really see from a culture point of view and a way of doing things. I don’t really see big diﬀerences in a… in working environment at least with regard to production of oil and all the things are in a… are protected by law or things go smooth from an economical point of view. I see that Netherlands is a very well organised. There are very modern facilities for example construction yards, the way of keeping the construction yards, the way of keeping the equipment in construction yards is… i think that in the Netherlands it’s the best i saw so far. But if you go in other places, they do the same kind of work but in with much lower work standards. I think that are aﬀected by the local mentality of people. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? AV: I think that for the next probably fifty-one hundred years oil will not be so easily replaceable. But, everything depends by how… in my opinion… how expensive, how diﬃcult is to extract oil, how much people are willing to pay oil and if new technologies will be found to find energy from… to produce energy from another source. I don’t think that oil will… the oil era will finish because oil will finish. Like the stone … the stone age didn’t finish because we don’t have stones anymore but when the oil will be too expensive to produce in that case, in that moment, we will try to find another substitute. At the moment i see that wind energy for example is growing very much at places like UK or Denmark, Germany also Netherlands because it is a part of long term investment. It’s not because… at the moment it’s a more convenient to… to produce energy with wind is only because they don’t want to be… i think to have diﬀerent sources available so in case one source is not available anymore another one will be as a substitute. In general i am a bit… i don’t really think that wind energy is green energy or at least partially don’t think so. Because, i see how much pollution it’s produced to fabricate, to install all facilities for… to produce wind energy. DU: As you do not find wind energy a challenging alternative to oil, in your opinion what is the most promising replacement for oil? AV: I think that the alternative, the best solution, a workable solution is to teach people how to use the energy in a proper way. If you have a window i don’t know… allows the wind to come in during the winter instead of fixing the… closing the window… you just turn on the heater maximum power… We will always be dependant by energy. If people will get a bit more educated probably to the matter, and be more careful, not to waste energy or to optimise the all the consumptions of energy, i think that we can be much more independent from energy. INTERVIEW WITH ANNE-ROOS WASSER Policy Oﬃcer, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs Audio Record at Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 13.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? AV: My name is Anne-Roos Vasser, former student of History in Rotterdam. I just moved to Den Haag. I was born in Utrecht and grew up in Maarssen, a small town here in Utrecht and i came in to the building to see the well… get a look inside this building and i saw that there was a exhibition specifically about oil. So… because a friend of mine is studying oﬀshore engineering in Delft, i was interested to learn a little bit more about oil in Rotterdam. And i actually didn’t know that oil played a big part… [Laughs] Thats a big part in city’s history so… DU: So, it is one of the reasons of the wealth of Rotterdam as well, so…= AV: =Yes! Apparently i know. [Laughs]
DU: [Laughs] Yes, you said that you are from Utrecht, you studied here. Can you tell me a little bir more about your journey between your home town and Rotterdam? Can you explain your experience on your way? Have you experience anything related with oil during your trips? AV: Not really. Because i usually travel by train and most people and including myself are on their phones nowadays when we are in the train. But looking outside and i don’t think that my train from Utrecht would come, would cross areas where there are oil refineries. It’s the other side i think. DU: During the trips around Rotterdam Port, what do you experience exactly? AV: Well mostly that it’s very big, when we went on the boat. And a lot of big ships and containers. I was… somehow my idea about the port was… that it was mostly about the distribution of trades or other… DU: Like bulk? AV: Yes, bulk or, yes… not necessarily oil. I have never really thought about it, or paid much attention to it. And that wasn't until this exhibition that i knew that oil was so important for the port. DU: Can you describe the port with two or three words, especially if you consider the oil? AV: I say it’s a very long time ago that i went there. I think it was six years ago i don’t really remember… DU: As an imagery… How do you remember the port? Is that huge? Is that scary? AV: Well, a few weeks ago or few months ago i draw past Botlek by car. DU: Wow great! AV: And i… I have crossed it multiple times but… It always makes me a bit sad. When i see all the… well all the machines. I don’t know the proper word for it but always makes me a bit yeah… also maybe a bit scary because i think wow! Look at what we humans are doing to the earth and i’m… I don’t wanna be Hippocrate because i also use all the products that are needed… that need oil to function. Yeah, and it always makes me feel a bit small. When i see these really big buildings like the maquette that was there in the exhibition makes me feel very tiny and insignificant and also very aware of the fact that i know nothing about these very technical issues. I studied things with words and language and history and stuﬀ like that and this is a very… very much the opposite. Yeah… [Laughs] DU: That’s interesting. AV: In my experience… yeah… DU: Ok. This is a very important question. What is your earliest memory about oil? AV: Well maybe not necessarily oil but… I think we had a… there was a gas station a very small one in my… in Maarssen. It is a very small town and i remember always getting very nauseous when my mother or father was getting gasoline for car because the smell would get into the car and i was already car sick, quite quickly without the smell so… I don’t really have fun memories of the gas stations because it always… now even talking and thinking about it makes me nauseous. [Laughs] So, i think that would be my first memory. And i… well my i don’t really have much else experience. Maybe oil leaks like the one in the Mexican Gulf. Earlier ones i don’t really know. DU: Have you ever see any oil leak or it is just an environmental consciousness? AV: No, i have never been in an area or on a beach where there was an oil spill recently. No, no… DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Especially in the EU, changing policies… especially about petroleum. Cars using petroleum are transforming into the electrical ones. What else can change if don’t have oil anymore? Can you imagine your life without burning it? AV: Well, i am not an expert but i think and i hope that we will be able to do without oil. We have to eventually. I know it’s gonna be very long process and it’s not gonna happen by itself because the fact that oil is running out is i don’t think enough incentive yet for companies. As long as there is money to make. But i think there is a lot of opportunity in the Netherlands to go, to look for alternative energy sources like wind or through water. And i think its going to be less i don’t know the word for this in English (( )) Well less diﬃcult… the translation will probably be less diﬃcult for us then for example for Saudi Arabia which is a… i think… ninety or ninety-five percent dependant on oil… state income at least now. And i think there is gonna be a lot of transition in those societies in gulf once oil dries up and that money that is earned by oil is no longer, can no longer be used to basically by loyalty of citizens because they don’t have to pay taxes and schools and health cares are for free etc. So, i think there is gonna be a second wave of a Arab Revolutions there in about fifteen or twenty years. But maybe then again maybe also not because the Saudi’s also working very hard to diversify, not working hard they are trying to diversify their economy. But i think there will be some aftershocks. DU: So, in your opinion life beyond oil is kind of a challenge in terms of new energy sources and new economies? 44
AV: Yes, i think there is a… it is a very complicated process that it is not a one way street, it is not just governments or companies that have to adjust their ways but also citizens. I think there is already a lot more awareness now among average citizens about the eﬀects of our energy consumption on the world. But, i think that is sustainable development goals are very ambitious in that… i hope that they will be able to implement them but we will see. I think it is a joined responsibility for all people. DU: What do you think about the new investments of Royal Dutch Shell in green energies? Do you think that they are greenwashing? AV: No, i don’t really see them as green because what i hear is also from people who work there and my friend whose also interested in Shell is that they are not front runners in these area and that for example my friend is actually now on the North Pole somewhere doing some arctic drilling courses and i think Shell pays for it. So… [Laughs] That kind of shows me that they are still trying to get income from oil and i’m really much against drilling in the Arctic but… DU: There are also oil platforms in the North Sea. AV: Yeah, yeah…but also in the North Pole… What was the question again exactly? I am sorry, i am kind of drifting of course. DU: The question was about the future of oil companies? Do you see their eﬀorts as greenwashing? AV: I think, i am not… My friend would be a much better interviewee but i think that greenwashing is the term yeah… to recognise it. I wouldn’t know because this is just perceptions that i have, i don’t know about other companies. My dad for example he has an electrical car and he is very proud of it and because i always pushing him a little bit also now about this new car then he said “Yeah, it is so much better for the environment” and i said “Ok, but how do you charge your car, what kind of energy do you use?” Is it still on coals or yeah… do you have a special like a… there are some firms or agencies so i don’t know really the words in English but… that only have green electricity that its only from wind or… but apparently my parents don’t have that so then is said “I don’t know how much better an electrical car is if you charge it with electricity its also derived from coal or maybe oil. So i think people are not also aware of the fact that it needs to be like a circle just think that maybe the electric car by itself is better. It needs to be like a whole process of things that has to change from beginning to end. DU: It is a circle, it is a flow… AV: Yes! DU: How do you imagine the post-oil landscape and the built environment in the Port of Rotterdam? When the refining, storing and transforming of oil comes to a standstill, what will happen to these empty sites in the future? AV: Since it is going to take multiple years probably like twenty or thirty years before there is a real change there will be enough time to think about alternative ways to use that area perhaps they can use it for like machines that can get electricity from water flows or something that… D: Again you think that it is going to be used for energy sources? A: Yes, but in a diﬀerent way more environmentally friendly. Well you are also on the other hand, as long as there is oil, we are probably gonna finish it so… The role of Rotterdam Port will probably still be distribution as long as there is demand for it. Or, as long as there is not incentive from the government to look to other resources but i think they can use the area, the land for maybe to build wind mills or… INTERVIEW WITH BETTY HAVEMAN Kindergarden Teacher Audio Record at Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 13.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? BH: I am Betty Haveman. I am originally from the north of the Netherlands but because of the work of my husband we moved to Rozenburg and that’s now part of Rotterdam. And the first time we drove there, because that was the first place we could get a home. I thought “Where in the world am i going to?” because of all the big pipes all the lights and the smoke and refineries… huh… i thought “Where am i going to live?” DU: So, does your husband work for the oil business? BH: No, in coal. DU: Coal?
BH: Yes. DU: So, you have a specific reason for living in Rozenburg then. BH: Yes. It was the first place where we could get a house so thats where we ended. DU: How long have you been living in Rozenburg? BH: I think twenty-eight years. DU: Twenty-eight years! BH: Yes. DU: Do you really feel the impact of the industrial zone in Rozenburg? Because, Rozenburg is buﬀered from the industry with a green belt. Do you feel secure and detached? BH: Yes! There is not much of… There is a lot of noise from the factories but the smell from the factories we don’t have much trouble from. Because it’s most of the time west winds, so it blows away from us. And because it’s green around it and there is water on all sides. You don’t really realise you’re living in the mid of the industry. DU: When did you move to Rozenburg… Did you ever feel scared or uncomfortable because of the industry? Did you get used to it after some time? BH: No, no… At the first i thought “Wow! This is big, this is all factories” but when you drive into Rozenburg you don’t see it anymore so i felt comfortable it was no problem. And the second thing is we all live from it. We all get a living from industry and harbour and yeah so… DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? BH: I saw it upstairs. It was the oil crisis from the 1973. So, we had a… some days without cars… but we were living in the North of the Netherlands and we were about three kilometres from the village and we had to go to church on Sunday and because we were living that far away we could go by car and we had an old granny living in our home so she couldn’t walk or go on bicycle… So we had to go by car and it was so quiet on the road! There was nobody there! It was frustrating… Yes, that’s what i remember from oil… the first memory… DU: So, What is your second?= BH: =The Rozenburg. DU: Since you are living in the Rozenburg… BH: Yes. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? BH: Ohh… It is a diﬃcult question. It is something that you can’ imagine very clearly because you see now the windmills and the sun… solar panels you see… and but cars i don’t see them go very far on batteries just now you can’t go far. Maybe in ten years time it will be a lot better so you can drive straight to Groningen. DU: New sources will replace oil anyways… BH: I think so. Yes, maybe i don’t see that in my… DU: So, you are hopeful. There won’t be a scarcity of energy in the future or empty roads… BH: No, no… I think no… DU: So, you imagine our built environment will be like today. BH: Yes. INTERVIEW WITH STEPHAN OOSTERHUIS High School Teacher Audio Record at Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 15.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? SO: Yes, my name is Stephan Oosterhuis. I am a teacher, teaching for twelve to eighteen. DU: Are you from the Netherlands? SO: I am Dutch. DU: Where do you live? SO: I live in Boskoop. That’s about thirty kilometres North of Rotterdam. DU: Where do you work? SO: I work in Zoetemeer. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil?
SO: [Laughs] Really, that’s a question? I really wouldn't know my earliest… i don’t know. DU: Something made you aware of oil for the first time… SO: Well, i used to like the smell of the petroleum and the gas station. My father we used to fill the tank in the car. Yeah, i like the smell. DU: So, it was in the gas station, your earliest memory… SO: Yes. I think so. DU: Then, how can you describe the oil refineries? SO: What they look like? Or… Yes, well… They are big, ugly things that we actually need for all the things that we need oil for. DU: Do you know exactly where they are located in Netherlands? SO: In the harbour, in Rotterdam. There is lot of them. DU: Amsterdam maybe? SO: I think so. I wouldn’t really know actually. DU: How can you describe the gas stations? SO: Gas stations? Nowadays? Well the one that is i am going to is quite simple. [Laughs] There is just a few pumps and you have a… holes… that you put in your car. You pay with your card and it’s quite easy nowadays. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? SO: The future of oil! Wow! There is no future of oil. [Laughs] It’s actually no future so… Well, i don’t really think about that really. But i think around a hundred of years, there is no more oil. And… i think for the museum. [Laughs] This was the way we used to live fifty or one hundred years ago. DU: How are we going to travel? How are we going to sustain our lives? SO: Yeah well… That’s not really where i am worrying about but… Now we enter another topic. That’s what i believe in… i don’t believe the system of things that is now in the world will remain much more longer than twenty-two, fifty… DU: Are you talking about anthropocene age? SO: I am talking about the end of the world as it is now, about the Bible. So… we have seen this world… as for instance this oil thing is not going to last very long. It’s impossible. DU: Are you pessimistic about the future? SO: I am very pessimistic about the future of the world as it is now. I am very optimistic about the future for the world as it can become… how would can become… that is got influence. DU: How do you imagine the built environment beyond oil? SO: I don’t… well you know the Bible speaks about the new world. And when we are in the new world where we don’t need this oil. We are ruining the world now. We are… how do you sat this in English… the world has a lot of… like oil… a lot of energy and we are using it a lot. So there won’t be anything left if we don’t act. And god gave us this beautiful planet and we are wasting it even faster every day and he won’t allow it to be ruined everything. So, that’s what i believe. So… I don’t really care about what this world is going to… do to… to make it all stop. Because it won’t work. Only god can make a… make a diﬀerence here. And i really rely on him to make it all better. So perhaps you picked the wrong person to interview. [Laughs]= DU: =No! No! No… [Laughs] So… How can you describe the Rotterdam Port? SO: Well, the biggest in Europe. When i was young it was biggest in the world. And i must add as a Dutchman that it makes me proud! DU: Are you aware of the presence of oil in the port? SO: Yes! Of course. I know that its there. DU: How do you recognise the presence of oil in the port? SO: When you drive your car on the motorway and you go past the harbour… It’s… It’s obvious, it’s everywhere. Yes the Botlek… well… there is a lot of these refineries on the… you can smell it when you drive the car there so… DU: What else? SO: I know we need this. Because we are used to a kind of living and nobody want to give that up. So we need it. And then again we shouldn't be needing it. [Laughs] And again it’s… it’s dirty, it’s ugly, it’s well… it’s not nice. [Laughs] 47
INTERVIEW WITH MARIJA SPIROVA Primary School Teacher Audio Record at Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 15.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? MS: I am Maria, i am working here at Museum Rotterdam… and working just at the weekends but i know the exposition. DU: Where do you live? Do you live in Rotterdam? MS: I am not living in Rotterdam but i am always in the city. I am living in a small village near Ouderkerk aan den IJssel. It’s nearby. It’s like ten kilometres from here. DU: How do you come to the museum everyday? MS: By train. DU: How do you experience your trip? What do you see around during your trip? MS: Just green… a lot of green and… no, not farms but just open space there is a lot of green and water like Holland is developed you know… [Laughs] And then you have like a shopping mall, best buy and just the stations… And when i’m at the central station then i pick my bike and then go through the city till here so i pass some of the lights to come here. DU: What are you studying exactly? MS: I am studying for primary teacher. DU: Ok. How old are you? MS: I am twenty-two. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? MS: Earliest memory… [Laughs] So, that’s a good question. A diﬃcult one. I think just in the kitchen like oil… oil to bake but not oil like for cars… It’s a period was really later. DU: I mean petroleum. MS: Petroleum… I have no idea when. DU: Like a smell in the gas station or commercials on tv… MS: No… no… It’s not really a memory like but you get in touch with your parents of course by car. You have to go to gas station. DU: How do you describe Rotterdam by two or three words? What is the most vivid characteristic of the city? MS: Growing, multicultural and new. DU: How do you describe the Port of Rotterdam? MS: The port of Rotterdam it’s… It’s a diﬀerent part. I see it like a diﬀerent part of Rotterdam but it is also a part of Rotterdam. A lot of people don’t know that. And it is… when you first came in by underground then you will see like the port and then it’s a whole strange area. It’s like a… people living there but also the industry next to it. And when i see it, it’s like i don’t want to live there. Not at all! [Laughs] DU: Because of the industry? MS: The industry yes. DU: How can you describe the industry? MS: …Not so good for your health, danger of your health and yes but also it brings money into the city so. It has two sides of history. DU: Can you illustrate the port area with your own words? What do you see when you look at the port area?Also, How do you feel while you are passing through the industry? MS: It’s just in the eye. It’s not looking great. And the smell you don’t feel anything at all i guess. It’s not…you have like really the smell of this petroleum or oil but it just don’t look like attractive at all. Like the centre is with architecture and all kind of stuﬀ… it’s just… it’s just the fabric yes. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? MS: For the future, about oil things like recycling will be a nice part but i guess also we are loose some things because of the loose of oil. That could be… how do you say that… They will find alternatives for some parts but there will be also a
loss of some things. And the future will be look like maybe more diﬀerent than we now think. DU: So, we will recycle more in the future… MS: We have no choice! Because there is nothing at all. You have to if you want to replace or some transport is so needed then you have to think about new recycling or other… yes initiative things and otherwise maybe in economic parts it will be diﬃcult or there will be a grow… It depends on how fast people are with the new ideas to replace oil because they know the day will come there is no litter of it at all. And a lot will change. Not only… DU: For example? How are we going to transform the port are? MS: It’s like a lost city i think like… a ghost city… DU: Like Detroit? MS: Maybe artists will take over it. Maybe… if Rotterdam will be opened to the ideas of that kind of people. But if it’s so danger then… have to close it and… Maybe there will be like a ghost city if will be no entrance at all. Or, they will be recycled or makes environment better to take place for new things. Who gets his innovative parts of it. So, i hope they will be find a way to replace the part if it’s not… not using anymore. It will be really stupid if they don’t want to think about it. Because Holland is so full already and there is no place at all so they have to i guess. DU: How do you recognise a gas station with three words. MS: They always have a platform above it. A platform… and always a house with it to buy something like on your way a chocolate or that kind of thing. And you recognise it by… yes you see like… how do you call it… the thing to put out… yeah you see the square of it. This is really typical and the shape of it yes… INTERVIEW WITH DANIELA RAMOS Student, Entrepeneur Audio Record at Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Date of Interview: 15.10.2016 DU: Do you live in Rotterdam? DR: Yes i live in Rotterdam, Kralingen. DU: Can you please introduce yourself? DR: So, my name is Daniela Ramos. I am twenty-six years old. I am also currently doing my masters on public administration and i am a social cultural freelancer. So i work on diﬀerent cultural projects. DU: Are you from the Netherlands? DR: Well, i am a Dutch citizen like i have the passport and everything but i was born in Colombia and raised in Aruba. DU: How long have you been living in the Netherlands? DR: Seven years. I lived in Utrecht for four years and i live in Rotterdam for three years. So, total of seven years in Holland. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam? DR: I really like it. When i came here the first time, when i was sixteen, i visited a couple of cities. Because i was doing research like where do i wanna study. And Rotterdam was my favourite because it was very modern, it was not so old looking and not so… heterogeneous… it was lot of diﬀerent type of people in the street view so i really liked that. DU: How can you describe the Port of Rotterdam? DR: Big, grey and… don’t really know much about it. DU: Have you ever been in the Port of Rotterdam? DR: Yes i have been there with work, with the Museum of Rotterdam we had a exposition there at the Heijplaat. So, i driven there and i know i have been to the city all in Pernis. So, you have to do really drive through the Port of Rotterdam to get in there. So i know it’s really big, a lot of diﬀerent companies but i also know that… as a Rotterdammer… i don’t really know what goes on there. Like i can tell you about the exposition but it doesn’t… so no… i don’t know much about it. DU: Except than your job in the museum… Have you been in the Port? DR: No with the Spido you go there as well. And they tell you that things but… DU: How can you describe your trip from the city centre to the port area?
DR: Well, it’s very far. Like it for my recollection it’s a… even though it’s close to the city… you don’t really aﬃliate that. DU: Do you feel like that you are going to another city or another place? DR: Yes! Yes… DU: Do you think at some point it is detached from the city? DR: Yes… DU: How can you describe the industrial estates at the port area? DR: What i said, big, grey and unknown. There is not much information… there is like this building i used to drive by… that caught my eye. Because it is all black. I don’t know if you have been there. When you go from Heijplaat… there is this building and it’s black and it has like this black hemispheric on the front like a sphere and i wanted to know what this buildings company was inside. There is no… nothing and you see cars parked outside, you don’t really see what it does. So, from the street view you don’t really know what the building is do or what… DU: Do you mean faceless? DR: Yes! DU: Ok. That’s really interesting. If we back to oil again…What is your earliest memory about oil? DR: Cooking. DU: Cooking? I mean petroleum. DR: Well, it also with my job because i teach after school programme and one of the classes is about the sea, the… yes oil platforms but also the damage it can do to the seas. So thats problems so not that early because i knew a little bit about it but because of my job. I had to teach in it, then i learned about it. But it’s not some information that… it’s like in the school system is part, no. DU: Do you drive in your daily routine? DR: Yes, i do. DU: So, you stop by the gas stations… DR: Yes… I never did link… Now i know. But before this i never put the link with the gas and… like had a college you told me even are close is related to oil. No, i did not know that prior to that conversation. DU: How can you describe a gas station? DR: It’s functional and it’s convenient because there is always a gas station open. So i think it… it’s kind of important to have it. DU: Multifunctional? DR: Yes! It’s multifunctional and it’s really important because i live in Kralingen and there are not a lot of gas stations in Kralingen. There is just one near the highway which is expensive like if you go there every time… and there is another one at the Maas and to get… go there i have to take a really big de-road. So it is important but it’s not functional important and yeah… unmissable i think… i could say. DU: Unmissable? DR: Like i don’t think… i think you should have one like a grocery store. So many… so many kilometres away from your house or… cause you never know what could happen and you need so. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? DR: I hope… i hope that we find alternative energies and that instead of investing on other… on other like nuclear energy that we use the same amount of money to develop a technology that we know… already… to say it that way… into maybe discovering other types of technology. This girl i saw a video of, i think in Africa, she made this little car or ventilator i don’t know with her own piss. [Laughs] So, that’s a good idea and it could… i think it went for eight-four hours. So all these types… so yeah it’s quite long and we all have it so… it’s you know. Re-usable energy would also be a good idea so investing new… DU: Do you trust in people and in their creativity? DR: No, the governments. They have to… DU: The policies? DR: No, i don’t trust the policies yet. Because they are investing like for instance in Holland they are going to build two or three new nuclear plants. And they are going to invest a lot of money in those plants and instead of doing this they should maybe invest that same billion trillion amount of money in discovering… maybe being o pioneer instead of being just the follower. That’s what i hope. So, i don’t know how my vision is towards the future without gas. I hope we are smart enough. DU: How do you imagine the future of port without oil? How do you imagine the Rotterdam? What’s your futuristic city image and lifestyle in your mind? 50
DR: Well i think we are evolving creatures for every problem we find a solution and for every new solution evokes new problems. So i think it’s very… i think we eventually find new ways in our evolution to cope with those changes. Because the civilisation we have now has been the same ten years ago and ten years ago and… Every new technology has new problems so… I hope it’s just keeps going that way. And we eventually just find new ways. DU: From your opinion and observation, what the society thinks about the petroleum in that context? DR: I think it’s not well know what oil causes and like the whole process of oil is not known also the eﬀects of oil and what oils are used for. Like it’s not knowledged that you would have as normal citizen unless you are studying or getting cope with it. So i think people don’t know that much and people should know more. Because then they could influence their… [a Dutch word] DU: Their consumption? DR: Yes, yes… DU: Can you please describe what kind of feeling this refinery image gave to you? DR: Not a positive one. It’s a negative one. I lived in Aruba and they just re-opened the refinery like i think last week. So i know it can have positive impacts on the society as in work and stuﬀ like that. DU: How about Colombia? Is oil administrated by the state or by private companies? DR: I don’t know. I know Aruba. I know Aruba is now a state company. Before that it was an Venezuelan company that kind of rented out the land. DU: Now, Is that a state ownership? DR: Now, yes. But we don’t have oil, we do the crude then we ship it oﬀ. So we take the oil already drilled and we refine. INTERVIEW WITH JASMIN DICKEL Law Student, Ruhr-University Bochum Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview, 15.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? JD: My name is Jasmin Dickel and i am twenty-eight years old. I am a law student. I am studying to be a lawyer in the next year. I live in a fairly small town in Germany and i come to Delft on a weekly basis because my husband lives here. DU: How do you go to school or work? JD: I do travel to the university and i work in a law firm. And the law firm i work in is about thirty-five kilometres from my hometown so I need to go there by car. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? JD: I leave the house i get into the car. I drive to the next highway which is about five minutes. And then i have to go via highway about twenty-five minutes. Then i leave the highway, i have to drive for five minutes and i am at work basically. DU: What do you see around during your trip? JD: When i go to work, i see my street, i see the suburb of my hometown. I see a lake which is near the highway entrance. On the highway, i see trees, i see tall buildings, i see houses next to the highway. I always wonder how people can actually live by next to the highway but… DU: Are you travelling from Bochum to Remscheid? JD: Yes, to Remscheid. In Remscheid the environment in Remscheid is very diﬀerent because Remscheid is the city where there are many many small companies and also bigger companies, manufacturing companies which like produce machines or parts of machines or something like that. It is an industrial town and they are also famous for their knives for example. Knives and steel. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? JD: When i was a child we were used to live in an another house and we had chalk to paint the streets, like to draw pictures on the street. But there were parking lots in from of our house where there was stains on the ground from the oil that the cars lost who were parking there. And our mother told us that we weren't to play there where those oil stains were and we weren't allowed to draw with our chalk on the street where those oil stains were. That was the first time that i realised there is something that makes the car actually like move. DU: Ok. It’s very interesting. How can you describe the Rotterdam with three words?
JD: Modern, busy and crowded. DU: Have you ever been in the Rotterdam Port? JD: Yes. I have actually been there yes. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam Port with three words again? JD: Structured, colourful because of all the diﬀerent colours of the containers and ships and stuﬀ. And noisy. It was very loud. DU: Noisy? How can you describe it visually? How do you fell when you see the industry? JD: It feels like something out of this place, out of another world that doesn’t belong to our world. Like something from the future or some alien city. It doesn’t feel like something that like it’s actually human build or very accessible for human beings. DU: Ok. It’s very interesting. How can you describe the refineries? JD: There is actually a big one close to my hometown. Yes in Murr. DU: Really? Where is it? Can you please describe it? JD: Yes in Murr. There is Bayer, they are like chemistry and a medical company and they have a refinery that’s kind of like delivering stuﬀ to them that they need produce whatever they do. How can i describe it? It’s again it looks like something out of this world as if somebody like dropped it from the sky. [Laughs] Doesn’t look like something that’s actually fitting into the landscape because around it there is a lot of wooden and green and stuﬀ and it looks like some alien building. DU: Do you know anybody who is working in that refinery? How the presence of the refinery changed the city? Is this a workers city because of the industry? JD: I don’t know. I see the eﬀect of all the steel and the steel industry but that’s like another… there is like many houses for the steel workers also in my hometown. We actually live in the house that was originally built for the steel workers in the 1930s. And i would imagine that in cities with refineries there is something similar going on that their special housings for the workers or something like that. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Imagine that we don’t have oil anymore. JD: Well i actually think that there is plenty of alternatives but we had no… there was no pressure to put any research in alternative to oil because we had plenty of it and it was fairly cheap for long time. And since we had it and it was cheap there was absolutely no reason to put any eﬀort in finding out about other opportunities. And soon we are running out of oil we will develop technologies and other… research other ways to substitute those substance doesn’t have other things instead. And i don’t think it will be that much of a problem because i think there are alternatives, there are other ways of doing it. We just didn't do because we had the oil. As soon as we will start like running out of oil big time we will probably invest in other technologies. DU: Don’t you have any dystopian image or something like that in your mind? JD: Well the really hard thing is that as we slowly start running out of oil there will of course be wars and fightings about who is controlling like the little… whats left of it… the little… the little rest so to speak. And there will be less and less oil and at some point there will be only enough oil to fuel like one, two, three, four whatever kind amount of nations and they are… the amount of oil they need… so i guess there will be… there will be big fights about who will control what’s left of the oil basically. And by fights i don’t mean wars with soldiers necessarily but also economic fights. Because people are stupid. They will not start researching any other technologies until there is no oil left. [Laughs] DU: Can you describe a gas station by two or three words? JD: It’s very accessible meaning that you can easily like drive in and drive out. You can not reach it without a car. It’s not built in a way that you could as a pedestrian like go there and do something. And it’s very flat. Gas stations are always like very flat extending on the ground, not high buildings. The roof… it’s like always very flat buildings. INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTIAN DICKEL Ph.D. Student in Physics, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 15.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? CD: I am Chris. I am from Germany. I am a physicist, doing my Ph.D. at TU Delft. I have been living in the Netherlands for three years.
DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? CD: I get up. I go out of the door. I grab my bike and cycle to university. DU: What do you see around during your trip? CD: I have to cross a bunch of bridges and streets. But yeah mostly… mostly streets, bridges. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? CD: That’s a tough question. I am very bad at early childhood memories. So… let me think. My god… earliest memory about oil… Well ok. For example i remember when i was like thirteen, fourteen all my friends started having mopets and we started like a… working a bit on them and making them faster so from this time i remember the smell of oil and like having a bit of… yeah having like a canister of oil sometimes… putting it in an out of the tank, cleaning the tank… stuﬀ like that. DU: What else? CD: What else do i remember of oil… Not, not really very much i mean maybe using… using a turpentine to clean things but that’s not really oil i suppose. No? [Laughs] DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam in two or three words? CD: Well… Three words? Not double words? DU: No, no it can be of course. What are the most vivid characteristics of the city that comes to your mind first? CD: Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is the port, harbour. Second thing is the modern architecture. This thing is the football. DU: Feyenoord? [Laughs] CD: [Laughs] Feyenoord. DU: How can you describe the port of Rotterdam? CD: It’s huge. I once had a flight out of Rotterdam and could see the entire port and it’s basically… i mean it’s very long… it’s… i mean it must be like ten kilometres of buildings and containers and… From the air you do see the oil, barrels a lot like when you… when you look from the air onto the Rotterdam harbour you see several really big oil or tanks i don’t know. It’s for oil. Could also be for… other things. DU: How can you describe these tanks and refineries? Have you also been inside the port area? CD: Well it’s a bit intimidating. I always like… if i think of an oil refinery, i don’t know if its really true but i always think of this tower which has like a flame on the top like where they are burning excess oil or something. This is like… but i think that’s the coolest thing about oil refineries. They are like burning literally. DU: Can you recognise an oil refinery at the first sight? CD: I think so. Well i would say it has some oil tanks or… yeah and this signature flaming thingy on the top. So i think the flame is really cool but the tanks and all the stuﬀ looks a bit intimidating. But yeah in general i like the industrial structures. If i remember right refineries also have some structures where you can see basically like a… like the metal construction and in between you have a lot of like you can see the internals of the refineries sometimes like some pipes and those things. I think that’s pretty cool. Centre Pompidou style. DU: Can you please sum up the three words again? CD: Intimidating, i think the flames are cool. [Laughs] I don’t know how to explain it better. Yeah this inside out… you know all the… all the pipes and this kind of stuﬀ. How do you say? DU: Infrastructure? CD: Yeah. It’s pretty nice. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? How can you imagine the built environment without oil? CD: So right now i think about one-third of our energy comes from oil. And replacing this will be very tough. I believe that we will continue to use biological fuels like oil. I think one really cool idea is to have a bacteria in tanks that can produce oil. So i would think that would be pretty cool. Otherwise a lot of electric cars and batteries but batteries are also very dangerous because they can explode like a Samsung Galaxy S7. [Laughs] DU: Are you hopeful about the future? Or, do you have any dystopian view? CD: I think we will become more eﬃcient in our heating and in our… in the energy we need for light. Like for heat and light ok that’s easy to solve basically. Heating make it more eﬃcient light (( )) all these things will be a bit better. For transportation it’s tough because electric cars are not that perfect yet and we have to really like for transportation will be a major issue. But i think part of this would be solved through logistics because we will have better computers, better information management and maybe we have to transport less things and make production more local. But ok. one of the really big question is if we get rid of oil how would we do all our chemistry because right now all of our chemistry, chemical production, textiles and so on
is really based on having oil products… by products available. I don’t think we have a good alternative for oil yet. So we will have to train bacteria to maybe manufacture leads us for sunlight. DU: So, you are hopeful. CD: I am hopeful. I think we can on the one hand engineer bacteria to do things, solar energy will still get better and maybe nuclear fusion. I don’t know. DU: From that point of view? Have you seen any diﬀerences between the Germany and the Netherlands? CD: I think in my home country Germany is more focused on green issues than the Netherlands i would say. Because we had the very active green party and it does really managed to change somethings i think recycling in Germany is better which is also related to oil of course because all the plastics in recycling are somehow related to oil. And i think in… well the Netherlands we use the cars less so that’s better. In the Netherlands they cycle more but in Germany the… many other ecological issues are more… policies are more… politics are more active in ecological things. INTERVIEW WITH NANDINI MUTHUSUBRAMANIAN Ph.D. Student in Quantum Nano-science, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? NM: My name is Nandini. I am from India and i have been in the Netherlands nearly two and a half years now. And i am doing a Ph.D. here in physics. DU: Do you live in Delft? NM: Yes. DU: How do you go to school? By bike? NM: Yes. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? NM: Yes here in Delft i… especially in the Netherlands biking gives you very special sense of freedom. And compared to… i did my masters in U.S. and it was… i would say that travelling was actually very very complicated aﬀair. I was a… since i was a student i had rely on public transport and usually walking. It’s not really possible to bike in the U.S. And here i feel that i… i feel more independent, i am in charge of things and if i need to go to IKEA i just yeah take my bike and go immediately. Where else… anywhere else you need to beat the traﬃc. It’s time consuming. So that way i really feel this is… this would be a very ideal setup like to be here this in Netherlands. DU: Have you been in Rotterdam? NM: Yes. DU: How can you describe Rotterdam with two or three words? NM: Bustling, unexpected, clean. DU: Have you ever been in the port of Rotterdam? NM: Not really. i have not been into the port. Perhaps, i have seen it. DU: Can you describe the port? NM: I don’t. I mean i know it’s the largest port in Europe and it’s one of the main logistics points which makes Netherlands a big export and import hub. So i know that the ports in Rotterdam are really like the fuel huge amount of economic activity in Netherlands. I know that much i mean in terms of i read about it and stuﬀ… Lets say i just not really care to see it i mean… it’s a port, it’s ships… so who cares. So i am not really interested. DU: From your knowledge, how can you describe Rotterdam port with two or three words? NM: Economic, backbone, imported Indian spices and fresh vegetables. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? NM: So i think it was when i was eight years old. We had this extremely old Ambassador car which is sort of… it used to be the common car available in India. And it was really getting old. It was almost with us for seventy-eight years and… we were… we were going as a family to some places for visiting and… while we are turning back our car broke down and apparently there was a problem with the carburettor and i don’t even remember. But yeah basically the entire engine required a complete oil change so i remember the mechanics… so yeah we just managed to get some people on the road and they tow our car. Yeah required oil
changed and i saw something like a green oily liquid. I don’t even know if that was supposed to be the engine oil or whatever but that was my i think… when you ask this question… it is the first memory i can. Yeah like yeah… basically required an oil change. We had to spend the entire night in the mechanic. We just steered at a hotel. That was my first memory about oil. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? NM: Sure. like refineries. I don’t know that mean… i don’t know that there are refineries which i have sort of seen from the side of the road back in India. And all those being… i would say even polyester and related you know plastic manufacturing industries. Basically you are a spin of oil. Oil is basically what is given all of this. Plastic is called oil technically. So anything and any building associated with that is with oil. And NATO building? Well i mean very common you see gas stations like you see gas stations. Gas stations? Most most obvious thing which reminds me of oil yeah. DU: Can you please point out which ones are the most visible ones? NM: First gas stations, second refineries and third plastic and polyester manufacturer, petroleum related industries yes. DU: Since you are from India, how can you describe the diﬀerences between India and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? NM: Oil is a make another break in India because yeah it’s a… it’s a relative… it’s a growing economy. And i remember like even in two-thousand and eleven we had one of the worst inflation… economical like whole sale inflation crisis it chart up nearly seven percent and that was exactly when even oil prices were at the highest… i think those like hundred and ten dollars a barrel. And it exactly coincided with inflation. Everything… every price in India went over the roof. Milk used to cost less than twenty cents and it chart up to nearly seventy cents. If you convert it from the Indian currency to Euro which is actually quite high. So, there is a lot of thing… I mean oil is very scarce. We know that is scarce. DU: Scarce? NM: Yes, oil is something which is considered to be an expensive thing in India. You see that… you see more commonly milage in a vehicle is fewer over power performance or flashiness. All slightly changing because prices have fallen. So basically India is one of the… i think the second largest important port of oil in the world. So it is a make another break thing. We are still heavily independent on although it’s not nice. It’s not very nice but heavily dependant. DU: How oil port is changing the built environment in India? Have you ever realise changes? NM: Of course! It’s very tangible actually. It’s vey very tangible especially in a developing economy. You see that whole swaps of… like for example India is the second largest… India’s largest quantity of remittance foreign exchange remittances come from workers abroad and there are the vast majority of labours from India based in the gulf like Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi. And when the current slump started you know surfacing since late 2015 the remittances from Gulf countries have actually also started dwindling. And we actually, this time we are twenty… twenty-five percent less foreign remittance and that also aﬀected the foreign investment in India. Many factors actually. Many many many factors. But the plus side was that since the oil prices are fallen inflation prices are also fallen four percent now. It’s like a drastic drop and in terms of economy this is one thing in terms of environment yeah like… there is one of the most polluted countries… there is a huge presence of automobiles putting a lot of smoke we have. Some busses we have still running out dated technology, it’s not clean. There is still a large preference of diesel compared to petrol which is… gasoline is relatively clean compared to diesel but… diesel is cheaper and still there is prevalent in India but that is really not good. So… these are like make a sort of broad understanding of how oil works in India. This is what my thoughts are. DU: Do you have any other interesting story about oil? NM: Yes actually very interesting story. This happened so… I went on vacation to Morocco with my boyfriend in 2014 and we were somewhere in the south of the city Agadir, driving along the desert practically like absolutely not… nothing there. Then we had to stop near a small village. I still remember the name it is called Fasq and there was a gas station. And basically in Morocco you either need to speak French or Arabic. We knew neither. We tried to manage with some broken French and Arabic words and what we taught was gas oil was petrol and we didn't even know what the word was diesel. Somehow wherever we filled gas in… during during our tour we just had gas oil and yeah… So if it was an automatic filling station like we did it ourselves but there was the service personal, they did but it was gas oil and this particular station as well we said we want to fill it up with gas oil twenty-five litres… And it turned out that gas oil was actually diesel and 55
petrol was essence. So petrol car was filled up with diesel in the middle of nowhere. And we had to bought our flight back within the next forty-eight hours from where we were. We were pretty much four hundred kilometres away from the airport where we had the depart from. And yeah… we filled up diesel and the car broke down in a couple of kilometres. We were standing in the middle of nowhere in a desert… We were just standing on the highway in a desert. And i was crying my boyfriend was screaming. Somehow by some god whatever like you know sometimes you need to believe in miracles. There was a man who drove past us. He luckily had a rope and a hook in his truck and he actually pulled us back to that gas station where we ended up filling diesel instead of petrol so… and then we explained the situation to the guy who helped us he translated to the gas station folks and… The whole village just stand up like a bunch of young boys and they started arguing what to do and stuﬀ. We realised ok we will be having help and they sort of… they didn't have any motors any nothing fancy very very basic equipment so one of the guys sucked out diesel. It was three hours of working and my boyfriend was doing his best to make sure everybody were getting good spirits. We were giving them soft drinks to show our gesture. Because those guys just came over and they were helping. And it was fixed. It was a rented car. We were very scared of what was gonna happen like if… but somehow yeah we have escaped. We even didn't get any extra charge or what so ever. It was completely repaired anyway. Well yeah… that was the other funny experience with oil. DU: It was very scary. [Laughs] N: [Laughs] It could have been a nightmare! We managed to get the car back and we arrived happy back home. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? How can you imagine the built environment around us, without oil? NM: I am actually very strong i mean i know fight now that the current macro economic situation in the world is heavily dependant on oil. There is still no alternative cheaper source. But i wish that they could come sooner. I really wish we could kick petroleum out within the hands of a few… i mean wars are being fought for oil. it’s yeah… next is gonna be water and i think before oil runs out we might even have issues such as water running out and disasters and catastrophes i mean… And oil is one of the major contributors to this problem. I really hate what oil is done to our world, what is done to us. I am actually very much against oil. It creates a lot of damage to the environment if you ask me. DU: How can you describe a gas station? How can you recognise a gas station? NM: Yes, It is recognisable i mean it is one of the most important think you always note whenever you’re around the road. It is one of the most well remembered locations for a normal person who drives a car or a vehicle. INTERVIEW WITH FLORIAN LUTHI Ph.D. Student, QuTech TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? FL: My name is Florian Luthi. I am from Switzerland originally. I am twenty-five… now here for almost two years. I work as a Ph.D. student at TU Delft at the faculty for technical sciences as physicist. So, i live here in Delft in North of end of the old city. DU: You're going to school by bike? FL: Yes. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? FL: Oh i see. So, first of is basically through the old city which is quite nice in the end because yeah… i am not used to… like i grew up in a small village and still really old nice buildings and here it’s completely diﬀerent. We have some historical value. Second half is basically just towards the university. So, as soon as you cross the canal… it’s sort of boring and everything looks a bit in repair at least until you are on the campus then it’s nice again. DU: Probably you have been in Rotterdam. How can you describe the city? FL: Yes absolutely. It’s a very modern city. I think given… ok it’s only… it’s one of the very few i think. That city super completely destroyed in the war and therefore i think… they actually made a quite nice experiment with this basically redesigning the city from scratch and with all modern architecture. So typically when you
see one of these modern architecture buildings, just standing on its own then it sort of looks stupid but if you have the big enough accumulation or critical mass of them i think it can actually look quite impressive and nice. And Rotterdam i think manages quite well DU: Can you summarise your opinion with two or three words? FL: Yes modern. I don’t know… alive and world open, open to the world. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam Port? FL: The port well… DU: Have you ever been in the port area? FL: Yes thats a cruise ship, yeah well…this port tour. DU: Spido tour? FL: Yes, exactly. I think it is super impressive to see all these huge machinery. DU: Can you summarise your vision with two or three words? FL: Impressive, humongous and i guess astonishing. DU: You think that port is sort of amazing in terms of it’s industry etc. Do you consider it as a part of the city? When you were talking about the Rotterdam, you did never talk about the port but half or the Rotterdam basically port area. FL: If you look at the map most probably but as far as i know at least. There is a clear diﬀerentiation between industrial zones and living area. And it’s not really the living part of the city but more the working part of the city. So no, they are rather classified as it is a huge industrial area. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? FL: Well as an crude oil or as an… DU: Petroleum in general. FL: I guess some when we were like… my dad would stop with the car at some gas station and it smelled a bit weird. But i couldn’t pin point where it was. It’s more… more the smell then some concrete location. And when it becomes more concrete to not only the smell but also the show eﬀect like this fire and speeder shows and stuﬀ. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment rather than gas stations? FL: Gas stations, refineries, pipelines, factories in general… i am not sure if… like factories where they make plastic also. DU: Petrochemical industry? FL: Yes. Well then all that kinds of buildings that heavily rely on it. Such as well in a wider sense airports but also pretty much well thats…well it’s one of the larger… yeah… Then pretty much every building substantial part are petroleum well not really petroleum but oil based. Like a kit for making stuﬀ air tight, all these sort of things. DU: How can you describe the diﬀerences between Switzerland and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? FL: In daily life i would say there is not so much diﬀerence. Then like in a more grand scheme yeah clearly there is a lot of traﬃc in of oil through the Netherlands. There is not so much in Switzerland because yeah… It’s just a consumer. But in daily life… Netherlands has more consumers but it’s also a trading point for the oil. In Switzerland absolutely isn’t. DU: What sort of oil industry does Switzerland has? FL: Well there is a large chemical industry which obviously relies on oil. But it’s not making gasoline or petroleum or any sort of these things. DU: The petroleum that you need probably coming by pipelines… FL: Yeah… Good question. I am not sure. I know there is quite lot of cargo like petroleum cargo on the rails and i think also via just trucks. But i don’t know about pipelines there is… i don’t know. DU: Do you have any other interesting story about oil? FL: Well also not so long ago. I went to the beach in Scheveningen and then i went with someone who is basically good in geography and he knows a lot about such sort of things, also worked for the oil industry before. And then we just walked around the beach and then he would just pick up one of the historic rocks that you see lying around everywhere and pointing out that was actually by product of the oil production. And that’s just like i don’t he call it tar so… maybe that would yeah. We washed up the shore and i was sort of astonished
that yeah… Usually this is something very far away and yeah sometimes you hear it when some catastrophe happens but not… not that you could encounter it just a few miles from your doorstep. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? If you consider the oil peak and the scarcity in the future, maybe in twenty or fifty years, how can you imagine the built environment around us, without oil? FL: So i am not sure whether it’s whether you can already say that it’s not gonna have oil anymore in fifty years because… yeah the higher the prices go the more resource can be used because they become economical first. Second i think it’s more than time to not burn all our oil anymore. Because it’s such a great resource and we can make many things out of it that are way better than burning. That’s why i don’t see clearly the advantage of burning because it has so high energy density. DU: How about the built environment? FL: I mean it’s ugly like the large availability of cheap energy which oil provided in the last two centuries, last one and a half centuries, definitely revolutionised everything but now given the knowledge we have and maybe fifty more years after this can be adjusted to any source of energy. I mean if someone comes up with a very powerful battery why wouldn’t you drive a battery power car. I don’t see that oil should be an exclusive resource for that. DU: How can you describe a gas station? FL: Usually with the logo they have. Mostly also price shields for diﬀerent brands of the petroleum they are selling. On the highways they are usually more pretty well. DU: So… imagine that you are driving on a highway in the countryside. How would you recognise a gas station? FL: So usually from the quite distinct colours and… or the buildings have plus yeah…that sort of the structure of the building they typically have a flat roof, making advertisement so on… INTERVIEW WITH KOTRYNA VALECKATIE Master Student, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? KV: I am a master student in TU Delft. I have been living here for the last three years. So this is the fourth year now. I currently live in the campus, five minutes from university, my work and my study place. So i basically at walk or go by bike. No cars and roads! DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your school? Is there any path that you select on purpose? KV: In a sense there are only two paths. And basically both paths are very prioritised for the bikers. Because i mean therefore there are not a lot of cars especially on the campus. It’s the North part of the campus. It’s hard to reach by car. If there are cars they still don’t have the priority. And if you would go lets say one path it’s completely only bikes. And the other path would be of course cars parked in the middle but it’s also not very busy at all. So, basically bike priority. DU: Have you been in Rotterdam? KV: I have been in Rotterdam not that many times maybe five six times maximum. I have biked there couple of times. It’s actually also pretty bike friendly but i would say it’s kind of funny because this is also… if you’re by foot it’s not really coverable you really need to have a bike or car or go by public transport. But bike is enough. DU: Can you describe your trip to Rotterdam? Have you ever experienced any industrial area on the way? KV: I only saw Van Nelle Fabriek so this is old architectural heritage. But for the rest… no, no… i mean it’s slightly slightly industrial but its only harbour. DU: How can you describe Rotterdam with three words? KV: Probably mostly windy. Slightly Manhattanish [Laughs] Quite green. Modern. Also a bit not cosy. DU: How can you describe the port of Rotterdam? KV: I haven’t been in the Rotterdam Port that much. I have only been to Maasvlakte. It is a bit further away because we go by car to my boyfriend’s parents and we always pass it. DU: Did you go to the beach as well?
KV: To the beach? Yes we go to the beach but its also not that often. It’s like because its just like normal… like you have to pass the port if you wanna go to swim. DU: How can you describe your experience in Maasvlakte? KV: Actually it was very exciting because it’s very busy. If you are going even on a highway, there is always business. There is always trucks driving around also a lot of fumes coming oﬀ and fires… It’s always really interesting to look at it especially at night. It’s a… i mean it wouldn’t be very fun to be at but it’s really interesting because i have not seen that much heavy industry ever in my life. DU: Can you please describe a little bit more your road trip? KV: Basically what we do, we go from Delft through with the A4. And then basically around Rotterdam through underneath the tunnel. Then we go to the Maasvlakte. Oh well, actually its just a lot of interesting civil engineering work, a lot of tunnels, a lot of gigantic concrete blocks all over the places. It’s really interesting and also afterwards we also go through the delta works. It’s also a lot of i mean… Its a lot of human incisions and all of the landscape is completely non-human like completely human-formed. DU: As Dirk Sijmons says, “In Netherlands, we are living on an implant” [Laughs] KV: [Laughs] Yes… DU: So you told me that you have been at the beach in Massvlakte. What else have you seen in Massvlakte? Can you please describe a little bit more? KV: I have not been in beach in Maasvlakte itself. I usually either… i have been only in Scheveningen, in that beach. That one is actually also very man-made but there is though industry except maybe i mean slightly industrial looking that harbour, i don’t know how to call, the pier? DU: Yes, so… What is your earliest memory about oil? KV: About oil? DU: About petroleum. KV: Probably in a car. In a forest, lying in the back seats with my grandma. My grandfather in the front and me and my grandmother were going to sleep. DU: So, you have a kind of car driving scene in your mind? KV: There is a little bit of smell but not petroleum smell just a car smell because i am always a bit sick in the car. Pﬀf… Its sunny. But it’s a… its… its more I don’t think its more about the car but the fact that i dislike being in a car. DU: Ok. Do you have any other interesting story about petroleum? KV: You can also say fossil fuels. I mean in a sense you could say ohhh… all my childhood toys are basically made of you know… oﬀ a… DU: Sure! KV: Mostly actually i remember a lot… not a gas station but McDonalds because it was always with the gas station. So i mean we would never get petrol and the gas station… but we would always going to McDonalds if it was in a big city but its always together i mean so you have to pass the car thing… I mean maybe some people actually go to the petrol station and there since we didn’t. So this is also a big part of my childhood but in a sense petrol did not play a big role except that there are a lot of object made out of you know… oil. You know plastic everything. Everything is made out of it. DU: So… How do you imagine the future beyond oil then? Without all these products… KV: I don’t think it is actually completely possible to get a protection of because i mean we have clothes, we have… we have all the packaging is completely made out of plastic. DU: But we are running out of oil. KV: Yes, so thats… thats a possible thing that we should stop burning it and trying to actually use it for plastic and more things that are not as… they are actually way more important for us in a sense. DU: How do you think the scarcity of oil will change our lifestyles? Do you have any scenarios? KV: I mean so far being reading there are a lot of new alternatives being found out how you actually replace oils and tried to produce natural oils. And probably we can have the alternatives come on! Even, even packaging made out of fungus i mean… great! DU: Lets say you are hopeful about the world beyond oil. You don’t have any dystopian feature or… KV: [Laughs] No, i think its gonna be probably gradual going over. Because currently we have a great industry coming up with the hybrid cars and the… and… and… and also… you know electrical cars of course there is a lot of oil involved already in producing of it. But i think it is possible to… to just… try to… i don’t know! I mean at the same idea of the… of the batteries that are being used some sort of storage mechanism for the 59
sustainable energy so like if you are over producing you are storing in the cars, on the grid. Thats a great idea and i think, i mean… come on! Petroleum is not… i mean it has been in our society what? Two hundred years or something? DU: Yes, not more than this. More precisely, even less. KV: It basically just a very new addiction and we just need to go over it. Then there is probably way more alternatives than we think. DU: How can you describe the petroleum in our built environment? I mean the buildings which are one way or another related to the petroleum. KV: Well the first idea is probably the heavy industry, everything within a heavy industry. Truck distribution centres even motors by the road for me associate with that. Definitely fast food chains. All of them in Lithuania at least. Of course, petrol stations, border crossings, airports. Even the like a… how do you call those… building materials shops because there is always cars next to them… everything with big parking lots. Everything with big parking lots for sure, shopping malls, garage centres… we have a lot of those especially by the big housing blocks, Soviet type of building… There is a lot! [Laughs] DU: How can you describe the petroleum stations? KV: Hmmmm… putting into basic form it could be just basically a roof over the top and a pump. Some sort of either a paying station or some sort of tiny house for a person that you have to pay for the petrol. I mean these are the basic elements for the rest nothing is necessary. DU: How can you describe the oil refineries? KV: God! It’s gonna be diﬃcult. Chimneys… a lot of chimneys with gases coming out and burning… a lot of pipes running around… like a lot of dark darkish metal bipod running around and trying to fix everything with a lot of valves. Yeah thats… [Laughs] DU: If the alternative energy sources will predominate oil like you said, what will happen to the refineries at the port of Rotterdam? What will happen to those hectares of lands? KV: Little by little they gonna die oﬀ. I mean if there is less request for it, i mean… It’s the Netherlands! The land is so expensive! Of course its gonna be somebody occupying it. I mean they are creating land out of nothing so thats gonna be probably breaking it oﬀ… re-usage. If you see at the campus there is like… i was amazed how much of the objects they are re-using well breaking oﬀ the building… because they are taking everything out and tried to use it again. So, i am for sure… i am %100 sure that the metal that is used in the oil refineries or even the engines would probably be re-used. As a whole… or reduced to… how do you called… raw materials. INTERVIEW WITH MARIJN TIGGELMAN Bachelor Student in Electronics Engineer, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? MT: My name is Marijn Tiggelman. I am a twenty-six years old student. I am from a small village called Dirksland on the island Goeree-Overflakkee. I live there my whole life until i moved to Delft where i have been living now a couple of years as a student. DU: How do you go to school everyday? MT: I bike everyday. Its i think by bike one or one and a half minute otherwise half of the time i walk which takes about two and a half minutes. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your school? MT: Yes depending on the path that i take. I mainly… I live on the faculty… on the campus so I mainly pass the Industrieel Ontwerpen faculty then the library then i’m already at my physics faculty so its not enough a lot. And i mainly see bikers and university buildings. If i go the other way i still have to crow car roads twice but other than that its mainly university. DU: So, before Delft, you were living in the south of Rotterdam. MT: Yes, i did my first study there. So, i studied there for four years. Well, five years actually. DU: How did you go to school everyday? MT: I just travel up and down by public transport everyday. DU: By train?
MT: No, there is no train on my island so by bus. DU: Well Ok. MT: So it takes about an hour. Although later there was a faster service so it took about forty-five minutes. The subway and then walking. In total it took me an hour to get there. DU: Can you describe your trip from your parents house to Rotterdam, to your school? MT: That i used to take… So from my parents house i walk about fifteen minutes to the bus stop then i just hope on the bus which is the starting point of the bus. We drive for about sixty kilometres till the other end of the bus line which is the Rotterdam Zuidplein. DU: Can you describe more visually? MT: Its mainly a couple of small villages and farms and country side. Where i live… is i think i pass four or five villages then we cross the bridge and drive north-west to Rotterdam pass a couple of small villages again drive through a tunnel and then we end up around Barendrecht Rotterdam into the city. DU: So, Do you see any other significant thing on the way? MT: No, I wouldn’t say so. Yes a bridge, a tunnel but until… yes infrastructure… until you get to Rotterdam there is not… then you had the IKEA then you know the city starts. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam? MT: What to use a Dutch word “ongezellig”. It’s a very eﬃcient city because it’s so newly set up so it’s… it’s easy to get everywhere compared to Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht and other cities. But because there is also not cosy. Its wide. Its, for Dutch standards, tall… high buildings. Its “kil” Dutch word “kil” but it’s eﬃcient in that way. As you can actually get somewhere and do something. But especially the south side is not that nice although the north side is a bit better. But there are some old regions in the harbour where there is still some small villages a part of Rotterdam. These are quite nice. DU: How can you describe the Port of Rotterdam? MT: Port i really like! It’s… it’s… there is stuﬀ happening. So there is… ohh how do you say this in English… (( )) so there is people working, stuﬀ being done, being produced, and i really liked… its very alive… it’s stuﬀ yeah people are working and its nice atmosphere there. DU: How many times have you been to? MT: In the harbour? DU: Yes. MT: Yes so, my school had one faculty which was located in the harbour in an old dock. DU: RDM69 ? MT: Yes the RDM. So i spent two projects doing there so in total about a year but couple of days a week. So its quite nice i quite like it. DU: RDM is still close to city centre and settled oh the historical part of the city. Have you ever been in the Western part of the port? MT: You mean the Europoort. I have been there a couple of times because my dad works there. He works at EMO the European dry bulk goods and transhipment company so they transfer coal and iron from ships to trains and trucks. So i have been there for a couple of times when i was a kid so… actually i might go there in two weeks to visit. I have not been in Maasvlakte II. We have been to… to the… big (( )) the where the big arms go in to the water which is really impressive and really nice. That was with the… with my work. But i quite like it there. DU: Can we call your father like a “port-worker”? MT: Although he is there in management. DU: But he is going there everyday. MT: Yes, he goes there five days a week. DU: Cool. MT: Yes, he works there for management. DU: So, How can you describe that environment with your own words since you have been there a couple of times? MT: I would say alive. Useful, very useful but… Yes industries. I mean that’s the… it depends more on the region. Cause i drive for example through the region where there is a lot of petrochemical engineering so The Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij, RDM is the Rotterdam Dry Dock Company which was established in 1902 in the Heijplaat district in Rotterdam. Its building in Heijplaat now serving the students at HBO and MBO level in Rotterdam as a campus. 69
thats very diﬀerent from where they stack… coals or where they stack containers. So it depends where you are but its big, impressive. It’s industry so its not pleasant to look at but its impressive to look at. Also due to the sheer size of the whole land that it takes up. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? MT: Like tank stations? D: Yes. MT: I mean of course i drive a car so the first thing is a petrol station. Then and that you see a lot of tankers driving around but there is not buildings. I drive a lot through the petroleum industry so there you see though the silos… Around here…. i don’t think there is that much to do with plastic or oil here so… DU: Doesn’t necessarily need to be Delft, most specially in the Netherlands. MT: In the Netherlands… Thats hard. I mean, there is probably some recycling centres but thats the other end of the petroleum spectrum, plastic. DU: It’s ok. MT: No, not many more than that. DU: What does oil mean for the Netherlands? MT: Oil. It’s… its… i would guess mainly fuel and then fuel as in for cars, for transport fuel. Not so much i would guess for energy. And i think thats are main use of oil apart from plastics but… also oil refining i guess we do. Probably selling it on to the other countries. I would guess Germany is a… is usually our main destination. DU: France and Belgium as well. MT: Yes. So that i guess is also for the Netherlands a big part i mean… the Dutch harbour, the Rotterdam harbour is a big source of income for the Netherlands. DU: So how this aﬀect your country? MT: A lot of money. Thats for one and economy. Thats big part for us and just transport means and i guess partly energy but i am not so sure that it was a lot of energy we get from oil directly. I think it’s a lot of coal, coal mainly. We have one nuclear power plant and there is a lot of small gas power plants around the whole country. So yes if we consider gas then we also use it decent amount for industries purposes also heating a lot especially in the greenhouses. Its used quite a lot which are also used to make energy the… the… i forgot the Dutch name for those plants. MKB or something… a specific name. So if you include gas then its especially very important. Then we also still have our own small source. DU: Do you have any other interesting story about petroleum? MT: About petroleum! No, more about coal… but because my dad is in the industry. But petroleum, not that much. DU: Something fun or something scared you? MT: No, not a lot actually. No… i mean does the recycling of the plastic counts? [Laughs] DU: [Laughs] Yes. MT: So… we were just talking with a friend of mine who does her Ph.D. now shared here in architecture faculty and in Amsterdam. She is into tracking of waste. And so she told like especially plastic recycling is very expensive here so they fill up containers and ship it to China where you do partial recycling and they ship it to Taiwan where you do partial recycling and they ship it back here where the recycle finish. But like just hearing the fact that for a lot of… like these things we ship it oﬀ to diﬀerent countries and ship it back to have a recycled product seems to defeat a bit the purpose of recycling. That was quite shocking. DU: As far as i know, Rotterdam port have the biggest waste plant of the Europe. MT: Ok. So we burn a lot of waste here… DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? MT: Bright for the next ten-fifteen years i would say. I mean there is still a large oil dependance, people talk about renewable energy but thats not gonna kick oﬀ anytime soon in my opinion. On the… on the decent scale. DU: Would you give a time span for like fifty years? MT: Yes maybe. I think we will try to clutch on it as long as humanly possible. And renewable energy is all fine but its… its fine for households but you cant run an industry on it. I mean my guess is be like during the time we will try to find new or other ways of producing other stuﬀ. Cars are a big issue but its… i mean its… these are solvable problems but there will be resistance for long time until its… until you have no choice to adapt. 62
DU: So, you are hopeful for the future. MT: Yes, because cars you can switch to electric of course i mean you still need the energy production but thats a doable problem. Thats manageable i mean for we can also burn gas and coal which we have a lot of thats not maybe a better solution but its a solution. And secondly, we have uranium a lot which is a quite nice solution. We have a lot of uranium plutonium. They are working on thorium reactors in India a lot which is quite promising and then we still have sun. I mean its not being used well now but its a very powerful source of energy. Yes i am pessimistic short term so because i think people don’t want to change because there is so much money involved into this. They want to protect their own interests. But long term… yeah i think this is something that can be overcome if it might be too late talking environment wise but its something that can be done. DU: In you opinion, how these new type of technologies are going to change our build environment? If the alternative energy sources will predominate oil like you said, what will happen to the refineries at the port of Rotterdam? What will happen to those hectares of lands? MT: For the oil yeah thats… i mean if the oil is gone, the oil is gone so thats a shame for everybody who runs oil truck or has a refinery or whatever. Because if there is no oil then you are just out of luck. Yeah i mean if they don’t adapt to anything that changes its their bad luck. I mean the industries just come and go and thats has happen to the other technologies. The telegraph is disappeared which is a shame for the people who build telegraph poles but that happens. So they will just have to adapt or lose their jobs. DU: How the Rotterdam port is going to adapt itself? MT: It’s get reused. DU: What will happen to Botlek. MT: It will get reused definitely. Because land here is so expensive to lay waste. DU: In you opinion, the land is going to be used for industry or other purposes like housing or etc… M: I will guess industry. Because its now brings up a lot of money in industry and there is always enough to go around where trading country. So Germany always needs products, Belgium needs products so i think that can be used but probably in a diﬀerent way. DU: Don’t you think he Rotterdam Port to keep itself as a top ranking port in the future? MT: I don’t think so i mean oil is an important part of it but its not the… i would say its not the crucial part of it. I think transport of goods is also a huge part of it. But yes… For the economy it would be a shame if he refineries would be redundant. DU: How can you describe a gas station? MT: As a useful, necessary and ugly… DU: Ugly? MT: Yes, I mean they are not nice buildings. Some of them are better than the other ones but this one looks very old fashioned i would say with the colours. DU: Would you recognise it without the Shell logo? MT: The logo I don’t mind that much but the yellow stripes and… also it makes it quite old fashioned. But its not pretty but its very functional. INTERVIEW WITH RAMIRO STIZABAL PhD Student in Physics, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? RS: I am Ramiro. I am from Argentina, i lived there until i was twenty-three years old. Then i lived six months in France in Marseille. Afterwards i lived three months here in the Netherlands, in Delft. Then i have a really brief vacation of like three months then i came back to the Netherlands and i have been here for already ten or eleven months… something like that. DU: It is more or less one year. RS: So, it’s more or less one year in the Netherlands yes. DU: What is your profession? RS: I study a Ph.D in physics, applied physics here in Delft, in the Netherlands. DU: Are you cycling to work every day?
RS: Yes, most of the days. Some of the days i walk to work because i live nearby. Actually i live in front of the architecture building. It’s really nearby but yes most of the days i cycle. DU: Have you been in Rotterdam? RS: Yes. DU: How many times? RS: Three or four. Not more than that. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam. RS: Well I am… I like big cities so i kind of actually like it but thats how i describe it… a big city… a really big modern city. In the sense that its not only big but its… it has been shaped as a modern city. DU: What else rather than big and modern? RS: I honestly don’t know. If we are…Wait! If we are saying this in the context of oil consumption of course it is more of a city in the sense you have way more traﬃc but i honestly like that… thats just something i have picked on the side so i couldn’t… i couldn’t grasp it. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam Port? RS: Oh! i haven’t been to the port actually. To the actual port… no, no, no i have no… DU: Have you ever past through in front of it? For example… by boat, by Spido. RS: Nope. I have just heard of it because its the most important… yes its the most important port in Europe so i have heard of it but i have never been there. DU: Can you please describe the port with three words with your general knowledge? RS: I would say important because its the most important… its the biggest port in Europe that i know. Actually the second biggest port in the world by the way. I would say… i would say… relevant. The traﬃc that there is in the port for example settles all prices even in Argentina. Prices of… ok things that we trade in Argentina like soy or whatever. And i would say… i don’t know how to say, how to pronounce in a word… the core of capitalism as in it fits entire Europe. But i don’t know where else to say. DU: What is your earliest memory about petroleum? RS: Earliest memory about petroleum… well… i figure something well for sure being at a petrol station you know just in the car not even in the passenger seats, in the back seat of the car like my mother my father you know on the… on the driving car… driving seat of the car juts loading petroleum. Loading all. And which exactly… a petrol station in my city… I wouldn’t actually know which one. DU: In Argentina? RS: Yes, in Argentina. I actually don’t know which one. DU: Which city? RS: Esperanza. Its a little town in like… its really deep inside the country not the big city like Buenos Aires that everybody knows. DU: Can you please explain the oil business in Argentina? RS: In terms of petroleum, in terms of oil Argentina had this big company that is from Argentina that actually at some point was owned by a Spanish consortium of the petroleum. DU: Was this company a private one? RS: No! That one in Argentina was… oh! Its kind of a mess because in Argentina it was from the state but when i was a child and probably my first memories already during the time that this company was sold to a private company, a private Spanish company actually. And it was not restituted after like… This company was bought back by the state like five years ago. But probably my first memory, it was a private company. Repsol, probably it was Repsol. Repsol is a Spanish… Its name of one of the biggest Spanish consortiums of petroleum. DU: How about the current situation, is it a state ownership now? RS: Since five years ago yeah. DU: How can you tell the diﬀerence between the business in Argentina at when oil is privatised or institutionalised? RS: Well, there is a direct diﬀerence! In terms of profit, in terms of you know… Well its a barely hot topic in Argentina in terms of well… You have two big exponents of these things in Argentina for example WPF which is the letters for National Petroleum Establishment or whatever versus for example in Argentina it is really strong Shell! From here, from the Netherlands. And actually you have a like… the formal government who nationalise this thing this WPF. And you can clearly see that you know this company has a political mission not only to gave profit but some political purpose and on the other hand you have Shell for example and right now the government has changed and actually The Ministry of Energy Aﬀairs is the former CEO of 64
Shell in Argentina. So now they have completely shifted towards everything. I am really giving you a like a… Right now in Argentina its a hot topic because this national company WPF was starting to develop things more in the… in the spirit of trying to develop long term investments. For example Shell is complaining right now that… They could invest more but they need more certainties in terms of you know Argentina is a civil war country which have governability problems you know. DU: How WPF and Shell changed the built environment in Argentina? RS: Well actually they have done a lot of progress although you know reality business realities are quite complex so for example they have done a lot of progress into developing exploring unconventional for example shale gas… unconventional resources. But the problem is the investment they need for doing this is ridiculously high so they always need to partner with someone else for example in our case Chevron from the United States and Shell. And ok these gets into the part of business and politics in South America. They don’t disclose the terms of the contract maybe they have given something away. They have made real big progressing that also for example i am a physicist and i saw for the fist time in a civil war country companies coming to physicist and saying “Hey! We need to explore this problem. We want to get…” you know the kind of development, the kind of investment that cares for not only just hard workers but you know the actual research work that makes actually a big contribution in undeveloped countries as qualified work. People trying to develop new ways of extracting shale gas, new ways of unconventional techniques that is highly criticised but its under research you know. DU: How the cities changed afterwards? RS: Down in the south they have really oil town. Down in Patagonia, they have oil towns. Its in Neuquén, a province in Patagonia. And they have this shale gas. Bacamorta is the name of the establishment. These towns are literally built up in nowhere thanks to this investment! I have one friend. One friend of me from Santa Fe, its literally two thousand kilometres from this town, he went down there you know because he was an engineer, mechanical engineer. He got contracted for working there. They have literally built up, the Patagonia is literally a desert. There is like no more… its half of the country but there is no more than half a million people in there. But they have literally built up from nowhere these towns in Bacamorta actually. DU: Did they bring prosperity? RS: Well that did bring wealth to this town and to a lot of people that are working there. It’s really important. I don’t know in an underdeveloped country its really important the fact that you know they are actually bringing wealth. Most of that people was not getting job anywhere else so literally brought work. But along with this it usually comes i don’t know… a lot of political problems. They have literally risen towns out of nowhere! DU: How can you describe the diﬀerences between Argentina and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? RS: I actually find that the prices of the oil actually the same. I don’t know about the production in terms of… the production of oil… i have never seen in the Netherlands. I don’t know where it happens. I know, i mean Shell is from the Netherlands i suppose they must have some production. Well i was actually wondering like… i have never seen anywhere in the Netherlands or heard from anywhere in the Netherlands where they did that. I know they are big company but i have only seen the buildings… the ministrative buildings. DU: Like an administration building? RS: Yes, but i have never seen a refinery. DU: Where have you seen this administration building? RS: They are everywhere in Den Haag in… In Den Haag for sure. I know they have something in Amsterdam because a friend of mine that finished Ph.D is working now in research in Shell. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment other than administration and the refineries? RS: The refinery, the administration building… well honestly… The oil selling company like you know where you fill your car. DU: The gas station? RS: Yes, the gas station. DU: How can you describe the oil refineries? RS: I roughly know how they work because i used to work in a company that built these buildings. Like a construction company like i used to work in the budget department. The company was in Santa Fe, where i was in the little town but they were building all away like… all along Argentina so… DU: Have you seen any of them? 65
RS: No! No! No! I only saw them through the projects, the visualisation and the maps. I was giving an estimate on the budget that was my job. DU: How can you describe the oil refineries with three words with the reference of these imagery? RS: They seemed really old… like not old but all refineries are like you know not these very modernised buildings… It seemed like these rusted down buildings like they have been… they are all oxidised [Laughs] oxidised metal buildings you know they have been running for a long time. Big… contaminant [Laughs] I can see the smoke that comes always but… DU: How can you describe the gas stations? RS: They are just you know you park your car, you fill it and you go. DU: How can you recognise a gas station? RS: Well, you can clearly recognise the filling posts, you know the post you take out the thing. And you can always recognise the twenty-four seven shop attached to it. And usually depending on how big the gas station is, the… how do you say… the general car maintenance shop like you know selling oil whatever for a car and of course the big sign stating the prices of oil. DU: Would you recognise a gas station without a logo? RS: No, you need the logo. Just by the sign you know the sign says prices, you need the logo. DU: How can you describe the administrative buildings of oil then? RS: Well there are usually the logo for example the one close to Den Haag. For example if you go by the Rijswijk one which is close to Den Haag you can see the big Shell building. You can see the big Shell building! But its just a boring, big building with a parking entrance. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? RS: Well its trimming down now. Right? Like… with advances of technology like electrical… electric batteries basically you know for example the big starting oil was with the automobile. You know thats the biggest boom. Everybody uses oil but actually automobiles before that were electrical. The problem was that there is no way of like… there was no optimal way of turning electrical energy in comparison to actually burning it from oil. But now its pretty diﬃcult because now li-ion batteries have kicked in and we have all these electrical cars, movement and… But i do think that we are still not there yet. We are still depend on oil in a big percentage. I don’t think we can live without an alternative. I don’t think oil is going to be enough in next twenty years maybe. I mean i would like to say ten but i know i am pessimistic and i think it is twenty. I think in like twenty years from now we need other option. Another option but i really believe we already have it. I do think that the whole system like you know in a capitalist system. If oil gets like the oil oﬀer gets lower then it will start becoming more and more expensive. And i do believe that we will trigger… someone, somehow to provide the options. It’s already happening. Its not becoming more and more expensive but there is more and more people that are aware of the problem of oil being a non-renewable resource. And its already happening. There is a lot of new electrical cars which… there is a whole movement of hydrogen cars which i don’t know where they did end up because at some point it was a huge movement and now its like a minimum one. I am hopeful in the sense that i don’t think it is going to be a problem we can not sort out. I think we already have the options to sort it out. And we are not close to be oil independent, not at least in the next forty years. I believe we are going to stop using oil at least for forty years maybe fifty. DU: Do you have any other funny or scary story about oil? RS: No… I like the smell of gas you know when you are in the gas station but who doesn’t? [Laughs] Do you like it? DU: Yes, i like it as well. [Laughs] INTERVIEW WITH KARINA PALOSI Artist Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? KP: I live in Delft. And i usually work on the internet. And i work also in Rotterdam. I use the train. DU: How long have you been living in Delft? KP: Four year now.
DU: Where have you lived before? KP: In Amsterdam. DU: So, all these nineteen or eighteen years, you were in Amsterdam. K: No… no the nineteen… nineteen years i mean it has been sort of a… my first five years then from eleven to sixteen and then the past ten years of which nine years i lived in Amsterdam. now one year in the Delft. DU: Ok. As far as i understand you don’t travel to work. KP: Pretty much then if i travel then its Rotterdam or also in… from Rotterdam… or in Den Haag or in the neighbourhood. But usually if i travel then its with the train. DU: Can you please describe your trip from Delft to Rotterdam or from Rotterdam to Den Haag? I mean what do you see around or how do you experience your travel? KP: I usually read so… In what sense what do i see? The landscape? DU: Lets say landscape. Can you describe the landscape? KP: Its pretty flat. The Dutch landscape is very cultivated so basically what you see is agriculture. And civilisation as in a… roads… Thats pretty much what you see. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? KP: I think in the eighties there were a lot of news items about oil tankers disappearing on sea or crushing and these all big oil spillage with the birds the feathers being stuck in. Thats my earliest memory about it. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam? Maybe with two or three words… What are the most vivid characteristics of the city? KP: I think its the most modern city in Netherlands. Still small comparatively but its the most modern metropolitan city. High buildings, high rises. DU: In that context, How can you describe the port of Rotterdam? KP: Thats pretty much insane. I mean its un-proportional. The port of Rotterdam compared to the Netherlands which is tiny i mean its like “Ok how did this happen?”. And also the port of Rotterdam is the third biggest in the world. But in 2004 it was taken. But only in 2004 it was taken by Shanghai and Singapore. But still its the largest in Europe. And its very well organised which does fit with the Netherlands. And its ten percent of the GDP of the whole country. So… but its handmade! So they dig it out manually later of course with machines but still its impressive. DU: Have you ever been there? KP: Yes, with a Spido70 . You know when you do the cruise but i haven’t seen all of it but… i also have been in Hook van Holland which is where you also see a part of it. DU: Can you describe the port then? KP: I think its… I find it fascinating. I am attracted by this industrial things. I find it fascinating that you can have i mean its… Its a huge amount of stuﬀ coming and going. And they keep it organised. And i think this whole containers and how they are piling it how they are organising it is fascinating. I would say its awesome. Now i think where i have like “Wow how did this happen?” Yes i mean all of European transport is travelling through this. Because for ninety-five percent everything that the world commerce is basically done on ships, with ships. And that is basically coming in through Rotterdam and leaving through Rotterdam. So that is where everything comes in and goes. Its nice to see. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? KP: Not really i mean you know by the petrol stations. In Hungary i would see refineries. But otherwise i don’t know what else would be oil related. Oh! The Shell. In Amsterdam you have the Shell tower and the whole Shell environment but that was also more further related than to that is more the money and the… DU: Administration?= KP: =Administration of oil exactly. But the raw oil, the processing is not done in the Netherlands i guess. The tank stations is the closest that you get. DU: Have you ever been in a refinery in Netherlands or in Hungary? KP: No, in Hungary i would also just see it when you drive by that chimneys burning or… DU: In Amsterdam? Have you ever passed through any refinery? They also have refineries. KP: Really?! I didn't know that. No, i haven’t seen. DU: Ok. Well. KP: Where? Where did i have it? 70
Spido is a water transport company in Rotterdam. Today, the company has five ships oﬀering a variety of tours. 67
DU: In the port, in the west. KP: Really! Oh cool. DU: How can you describe the opinions of the Netherlanders about oil business in the country? KP: I think since there was found in the North Sea and Shell was mining oil and Shell is this huge company. The oil has been certainly good for the Netherlands. I mean it has brought a lot of money. How people see it… i think Shell is now this enemy that is making i don’t know the polar caps disappear. So there is some antipathy but this is one of those issues that you know is wrong but what you gonna do about it. That people… more and more people pay for green energy and buy an electric car and try to. But it is also very distant like ok its bad but yes you need it for your car. And there it stops because you have to do your grocery so you have to go to your work so… DU: Would you agree that it’s kind of a love/hate relationship? KP: Yes and also just you know like ok its bad but its also hard to actually you need it so how you gonna change the system. DU: What happens if the system will change in the future? For example, you were talking about Shell, as far as i know Shell is also trying to change the company. They are building wind farms in the North Sea etc. KP: Oh, good! DU: On the other hand, we will not be able to depend on abundance of cheap oil in the future because oil has already peaked. How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? KP: Sure! I mean basically before oil came before cars came there were the horses. And that was a even a bigger problem than cars are now. Because they were super polluting the cities. And then the cars came and then they turned out to be polluting as well but now there is a new solution and of course its hold back probably by the oil companies so… The dollar is tied to the oil basically. So thats also not very good so they will try everything to keep the oil in. But there are more and more companies delivering electric cars i mean in Amsterdam they will change all the cruse ship… what is it the… the boats that are taking tourists around to electric boats. Electric busses are driving around so things are shifting because its not sustainable. So they are trying… people are looking for new solutions thats electricity. So it will be phased out basically and then we have the electric stuﬀ. And for the consumers, for the population its like “yeah then we buy something new then we have something new. I don’t think… think its pretty seamless. D: So, what about the built environment? I mean, how build environment will transform according to that agenda? When the refining, storing and transforming of oil comes to a standstill, what will happen to these empty sites or the existing infrastructure in the future? KP: Basically, since the cars will be driving but they drive on something else so thats… thats not gonna change. Petrol stations can change into charging stations. So that would be pretty much the same. There are the lines, the pipelines which were for transferring oil which can be either used for something else. Or they will be these obsolete things just lying around. So i don’t think… And the refineries either they break them down or they use it for something else. DU: What will happen to the land especially occupied by the oil business in the port districts. KP: Someone else will buy it and… That is very valuable ground i mean there are hundred more companies that want to have their little place in the harbour or… I don’t know its just things come and go and… DU: So you really don’t think that oil companies have monopolised the port area. Maybe i am very into it but if you look at the map of Rotterdam port you may realise the vast majority of plenty diﬀerent oil companies. KP: First of all, they won’t leave just now. Because all of the ships run on oil. Or basically not on the finance still… ships can run on anything because they don’t have these rules of what they can put in their… So they need it an there are a lot of ships. So i don’t think oil companies will disappear just immediately. I mean thats also gradual decline. But that amount of land that is now used by the oil companies, i think it will be taken over by something else. It will be by the electrical part fabricating or whatever… I wouldn’t be very afraid of what will then otherwise the whole thing becomes more compact but it is also fine i mean… DU: How can you describe an oil refinery? KU: I think it looks very cool. I don’t know its a… describe… Its like a sort of nightmarish and chanted castle. Its pretty in a certain way but its just… It is a crossing between a chanted castle and torture chamber. [Laughs] And these are also cool but you know… industrial beauty. DU: How can you recognise a gas station? 68
KP: Well there is… it has a fat roof with these… Its open and it has a flat roof in a certain colour that you recognise. The pumps that are standing there. It has its certain aesthetics. There is an Amsterdam Noord deserted gas station. Maybe thats interesting for you because its pink but they left it there INTERVIEW WITH ALESSANDRO BRUNO Quantum Engineer, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? AB: Related to the oil or in general [Laughs] DU: [Laughs] Who are you? Where do you live? How long have you been living in the Netherlands? AB: My name is Alessandro Bruno. I am Italian. I live in since five years in the Netherlands. I always lived in Delft and worked in Delft here. My oﬃce is in TU in Physics Department. And we are using a lot of Energy to do cold experiments. Quantum physics or quantum computer. DU: How do you go to work everyday? AB: By car. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? AB: Sure, normally this would be the best place to use the bicycle. But i am getting lazy and i have a car so i spend some insurance and so on the taxes and so on. So i find myself quite lazy so as soon as i go out of the door instead of taking the bike. I enter the car and drive five minutes. This guarantees me the… the no matter how the weather changes at the end of the day, i don’t get wet or i don’t get into rain showers. And i think i am consuming a lot of oil at that point of view. But i already ordered my Tesla car. Next year i will go green on and electric. Well not that i solved the problem but yes maybe here in the Netherlands the energy is more coming from renewable sources at least. That’s what i like to think. DU: Have you been in Rotterdam before? AB: Sure! Sure, i travelled a bit. DU: Have can you describe Rotterdam? AB: Well, modern architecturally vibrant and… in the end thats also very Dutch probably. There is this explosion of forms and shapes and playing with materials and functions but… Well yes at the heart i think it’s a Dutch city. DU: Do you like Rotterdam? AB: Yes, yes very much. DU: Have can you describe the port of Rotterdam? AB: The very old one i think it is called like Delfshaven. DU: Yes, but i don’t mean the Delfshaven, I mean the… AB: The new one? DU: Yes! Europoort or Maasvlakte II for example. Have you ever been there? AB: Yes, several times. DU: By car? AB: I also visited by boat. There was a boat that was making cruise inside. And then other time with the Kavli Institute there was a tour in the port. Or, maybe not directly Rotterdam but Hook van Holland also i think it’s related to the port. DU: How can you describe the port? AB: Well, its a definitely a very important reality for the economy and i think now it is the third biggest port but for many decades was the biggest port in the world. I think now there is Singapore and Hong Kong. Well i think its a typical Dutch product they take a problem and they engineer and make it working. It’s quite i mean… like… i think i really fifteen years ago they had quite complicated system to run the entire harbour from integrated monitoring of the boat and the… loading and unloading of the cargo and automatic robots… So, well i think its a… in some specific part of the world. Its a reality that its a… its necessary to run things around. DU: How can you describe the port image? The imagery of the port rather than how it works. AB: Ohh! I like it. Well i told i was on this small cruise and i really enjoyed to observe the kind of realities that are running around. Like import/export of food, of flowers or of containers from everywhere in the world.
The mega-ships or buildings, oil rigs or old warehouses being renovated. And i think to my mind it comes immediately the history or… Who knows? Only few people maybe knows what really passed by and the stories and the challenges. DU: You mentioned oil. How can you define the oil and oil related structures in the port then? Can you make any diﬀerence between the oil industry and the others when you look at the port? AB: Well if you ask me, i can definitely recognise. Well i guess oil that you are talking on the refinery level or storage or yeah so… You can see when a boat its a transporting send or its something else or its an oil… How do you call this mega boat? DU: Oil tanker? AB: Yes, oil tanker. I think its an important part of the economy or… So if you talk about the port of Rotterdam of course its a… introducing a level of risk and a level of… lets say hopefully controlled contamination. Of course its ugly. It has its tol on the environment but so far i guess the society and… i don’t know how much are we dependant but probably too much or… I think its unavoidable up to now. DU: How can you describe the diﬀerences between Italy and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? AB: Let’s say i don’t really know enough to compare. I guess both nations are importer of oil mostly. We have some natural gas i think also the Netherlands has some gas reservoir. But for the rest we import and we transform it. I think we are both dependant on importing and well then… Then i guess there are diﬀerences in how well the system is and its running. But i don’t really know that much. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? AB: Well, maybe some oil tankers that crushed on some shore and then i was trying to understand how this oil was floating or… DU: Have you ever seen it with the naked eye? AB: No, mostly news on the television back in the time. No, never been there. I have been in some place where like in Louisiana two years ago. I was looking for kind of, traces of big oil spill but apparently its at least the coastline has been cleaned. Probably the under waters situation is still contaminated or maybe the seafloor is underneath meters of oils or but yeah… Normally you don’t get these informations so easily. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment, rather than refineries because you already talked about them? Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? AB: Oh definitely well its about refinery but either these big big tanks where there are storage or refinery which are endless industries and with all these towers with… i think exhaust that are burning. I mean, maybe just the fact of seeing burning energy released, you think “Hell! There is so much energy” that yeah the waste, even the waste… its energy that is just waiting to be released. Maybe its… its the lowest quality form of energy so yeah lets just burn it. Because we have nothing else to do with that but all the rest is stored and… Well i think another form is of at the end of the chain. Oil is not only grinding up in cars but most of plastic that surrounds us is based on oil. So if i see around even probably my… my sweater or my… this table is full of plastic or… I mean in the end there is a lot of use for oil which is not just energy related. So i think it is pretty much everywhere. DU: Do you have any other interesting story about oil? AB: Oh sure! I think its very interesting how all these oil that we are now find… i mean most of the oil it is coming from underground but its actually not so scary. Actually it is a leftover of organic things so… In the end its a… Its already kind of recycling, kind of ages ago there were forests and life and then they died and they covered up. And they slowly got covered and covered, increased their pressure. And over the years its a… kind of rotten and its transformed. And now its useful again. Maybe another interest on this line of thought, maybe also interesting is that in the end all this energy that now we can easily extract from the raw and refine. But in the end energy… this very energy its only coming from only one place, the sun. Because the reason why this mass of plant and animals and dead things that became the raw oil. That now we are using ultimately its their because there was the energy of the sun that was allowing for life to grow and create this organic mass. Then its in the oil so i think in the end its very nice to see how the real energy is from the sun. And the original plants they were harvesting the sun, then they died. The chemical energy that they were storing in the molecules DU: You have a very metabolist perspective.
AB: Yes! Yes… No, but also in the end apart from a few radioactive source on earth, %99.9 percent of the energy that ever was available on earth, this is from the sun. I mean thats the engine of the solar system. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? What would be the challenge of the Rotterdam Port to keep itself as a top ranking port when refining, storing and transforming of oil come to a standstill? A: I think… lets say definitely renewable energy… there is a steady and slow improvement on eﬃciency of how we can harvest energy. There is a steady but even more slow improvement on how we can store for the battery or other means. I have hopes for fusion. That should be very clean. Especially the some new kind of reactors that i heard from MIT. Compact and kind of a… I heard, they should be available maybe in the next ten years. DU: You are hopeful about the future. AB: Oh yes! DU: You don’t afraid of scarcity in terms of energy. A: It is ending yeah sure there is a lot of oil. Of course the easy place where you can extract it, they already pretty much depleted. So it will become scarce but maybe… I think its more a lobby problem like there are the big companies that are extracting oil and they are kind of making opposition but yeah i mean… They cant continue to control the… how things are going. So if there is an alternative… call it the electric car or call it the some diﬀerent i mean some solar farm or nuclear fusion or… I mean i hope that… i mean if we reduce the use of oil to generate energy then there should be plenty of oil to be used not for burning but for… i mean something is useful i mean plastics or… but not necessarily to create energy. DU: In this scenario, what will happen to oil refineries? What will happen to oil companies? AB: I am not sure. I mean i really don’t care. They are rich enough. I mean i hope they can invest in something else but nothing last forever. So they made good business for a hundred years. DU: End of their kingdom you mean? AB: Oh yes! Sure. INTERVIEW WITH JONAS HELSEN PhD student in Physics, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 16.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? JH: Hello, i am Jonas. Do i have to state my full name? DU: Yes. JH: I am Jonas Helsen. I am from Belgium. I am twenty-four years old and i am doing a Ph.D in theoretical physics. DU: How long have you been living in the Netherlands? JH: In the Netherlands, a year and a month now. DU: As far as i know, you live in Delft. How do you go to school? JH: Yes. I walk. DU: Can you please describe your trip from home to school? I mean what do you see around or how do you experience your travel? JH: Ok. So, i live in a rather largish beige apartment block with a sort of parking spot in front slightly too big. So i go outside. I go out the door. I walk pass, like walk over the like sort of entrance area then i walk pass the like… what is it called… the enclosure thing the one that lets the cars in. Then i am basically on the street and this is a fairly quite street which then i follow until another slightly less quiet street. Then i go to the right then i basically get on to this main road which is where the university like straight next to the university. And there is cars. So then… then i have to start watching out for the cars. Basically cross the road and then i am on the bicycle lane cause this is the Netherlands. And then i basically walk across the bicycle lane for about three minutes then i am at the university! So… sort of it. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? JH: Yes! Once. D: How can you describe Rotterdam? JH: It is much bigger than Delft. And it is much more car oriented. I presume because it was completely rebuilt after the 40s. So you feel that the city is a… like has a… like its sort of un-scale… like its sort of slightly
over human scaled. Like Delft has this sort of nice human walkable areas and the buildings are closer together. In Rotterdam, you really feel like it is sort of American style city with a suburb type thing where you have lots of buildings and large roads between them and everything is supposed to be car reachable. DU: It’s big. It’s out of scale. What else? JH: Well, to be fair, I don’t think its that pretty. Its a bit of a… like mambo jambo of sort of this weird Dutch like Dutch modernism. Its not really modernism. Its like Dutch modern skyscraper style buildings and have this weird tendency of making them bright colours which i am not a big fan of. The squares are a lot larger i guess. DU: What do you mean by colourful skyscrapers? JH: They are more colourful than most skyscrapers right? Den Haag also has that but i think maybe Den Haag has it more than Rotterdam. I don’t like the Rotterdam skyline much. No, i guess i like its just when i… initially i didn't like it because i am sort of very used that every town i come to has a historic centre that you can walk around and a bit and then branch out. And Rotterdam doesn’t really have that. I figured the reason obviously but it is… it feels much more American than an average European city. DU: Ok. So… How can you describe the port? Have you ever been in port? JH: I have never been to the port. I have seen it from a distance but i have never actually been in the port area. DU: From where? JH: Either long distance. There is this moment when you can see it from the train or maybe on car. DU: Where exactly? JH: I don’t think i have seen it in any great detail. I think i am talking about… i think i have a diﬀerent port in my mind. So i cant really tell you much about the Rotterdam port except that i know it is really big and spread out. I have some facts about it but i haven’t really been there. DU: Facts? JH: I know that it is an open water port that is really big. I think in terms of freight its the second biggest in Europe, fifth biggest in the world if i am remembering correctly. My statistics might be old. So huge… i assume like super container rally so big as boats. Since this is the Netherlands i assume most of is at least partially automated. I fell like you know really see it that much. DU: So, it is not exiting or interesting from your point of view. JH: It is interesting. I would love to go there one day. I just never had the time. I mean… i would love to go there one day like its just i have never found though… I think ports are cool. They are really big and they have this sort of intricate mechanical downs to them which i really enjoy. I have just never been to the Rotterdam port. Just weird because i actually live here. Yes, never got around to it. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? JH: About oil. You mean oil= DU: =Petrol. JH: Like you mean petroleum as its substance or also as in gasoline or… DU: Yes. JH: Anything that is like sort of related to that. DU: Yes. JH: Ok, so this might not be the earliest one but its a very early one. Ohh… this is actually i haven’t memorise this in a long time. So i was on a holiday with my parents, on a… It was like you know how it is these holiday parks? Like you just go it, like this is like a bunch of little houses that you living for a week. DU: Holiday villages? JH: Yes, holiday villages. Yes, yes, yes, yes… So thats basically the idea. You go there and you live there for a week and then you go home. This was almost ridiculously close to where i actually lived. But i remember when we went back from there like the last day. I don’t remember any of the trip but i remember when i left… i was… i think i was… DU: Where was it by the way? JH: This was in Belgium. I think it was called “Sun Parks”. I can put it on the map later if you want. It was very close… in retrospect was really close to where i actually lived. This must have been less than fifty kilometres from my actual hometown. I mean we weren't be very rich at that time so that was only we could aﬀord. So… but i distinctly remember, i had this… DU: So, Were you going by car?
JH: Yes, we went by car but like the reason I remember this is because I… I had this… this like plush animal. Like it was… it was a mouse. Like a plush mouse and i lost it on the parking lot when we left. And we were looking for. We were on this parking lot for a really long time. Because i loved that mouse. And i remember this… like i remember the smell of this parking lot. Like this is sort of burning to my mind of me like losing sort of my favourite thing and being on a parking lot for two hours with my parents sort of looking under cars to see if they can find the mouse. And this… its just smell like… like this massive parking lot! It’s just like a big village with thousands of cars. And it was this… it was thirty-five degrees also, something like that. It was warm. And so it just… you have this like hot asphalt that has been repeatedly drenched with like covered it with gasoline. It is a very peculiar smell. And that smell is in my mind. I think thats sort of the earliest thing that i can clearly recollect as a sort of gasoline related memory. DU: A car lot. JH: Yes, like a car park in lot. DU: So, do you have any other interesting memories about petroleum? Something scary? JH: I once nearly set my… i actually never told this story to anyone except for the people that were there. I once nearly set my… like my parents house on fire. Well actually i did set it on fire. I didn't nearly set it on fire. So we were… i was… i was an annoying kid when i was like, i think i was twelve, twelve/thirteen and we were basically playing with fire like we had this… we had this lawn mower which was gasoline fired. So we had like a bottle of gasoline. And this was gasoline fed. So we had like this huge orange tank of gasoline standing in our… in our like long house, basically like our town. Whatever you call like… like garden house. And we were playing with it like dropping on the floor and setting it on fire because we were stupid little kids. And i remember at some point that i was pouring it and like my friend was already lighting it and the flame came like in the… in the bottle and i was like “Ohh f*ck”. So i started like yank the bottle away which is like plugged like burning gasoline over the entire building. We were like “Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t!”. So i closed the… closed the bottle which is in retrospect the best idea ever had. Closed the bottle, put the fire out on that bottle. Because at this point this fire was everywhere like big smoke. And we were like “Oh Sh*t”. and then we took like a blanket and hşt the fire out. Luckily the actual building didn't catch fire. Yeah that is like funny gasoline related memory. I can probably think of a couple more. But i mean the general theme here is that they will probably involve either cars or me setting stuﬀ on fire. DU: Since you are from Belgium, how can you describe the diﬀerences between Belgium and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? JH: Antwerp has a big port. I grew up next to a really large half fabricate facility where they made plastic. Half fabricate facility you know… what they basically did is they took petroleum and they turned it into like this little plastic bubbles. So it was a huge factory, i think… DU: Where is your hometown? JH: This is the town next to it. This is Geel. I will point it on the map later. That has definitely huge impact on the… So these guys made little balls of plastic. DU: Ok. So again how can you describe the diﬀerences between Belgium and the Netherlands? From your experience, how oil industry has changed the built environment in Belgium? JH: I think there is i mean in terms of… there is not that much of a diﬀerence because maybe Antwerp is even more oil related. Because there is these huge Exxon Mobile plant right next to there. Its like this massive refinery which really dominates this like that part of the skyline. So now i am talking about the Antwerp port area which i grew up of not too close to but reasonably close. What else is there… There is a massive BASF plant which is mostly chemistry but i also think they do some oil. DU: Ok, then it really doesn’t matter either its Rotterdam or Antwerp. Can you please describe the port of Antwerp? How do you feel when you see these mega structures of the petroleum industry? JH: Oh! The feeling I have about it! Ok, so i have a really stroking image actually but the factory i was talking about before, they had this… So they were about ten kilometres from where i lived. This huge factory! As far as I could see… This is… it is a really impressive thing. So what… like the most favourite image i have like in term of impact of the environment around it is that the… They had this… they burn oﬀ gas from the plastic production. That this huge like fifty meter high pylon. They had like a… like on some nights they had like a twenty/thirty meter giant flame where they have just burn oﬀ the gases. And you would see these thing on good days you would see it for kilometres in the entire sky would be this sort of ominous orange. And i remember as a kid like staring at it. Wondering what it was like why on earth are they. So that is i mean… that
definitely left like an impression on me. And it is also the thing people complain about when they complain about that factory because it… like a really like shines up the entire area. DU: But that factory gave job to the people right? JH: Yes! Yes! Yes! People aren't negative about these factories at all. But i mean if they have to complain about something they complain about the light pollution. DU: Can you please summarise the imagery of these factories with three words? JH: Big, dominant I would say. I have sort of mixed feelings about it because it is sort of shady like there is these huge plant and stuﬀ comes in and stuﬀ goes out. You don’t really know whats going on there like there is an air of mystery to it. But in a sort of like dark way like it sort of hangs heavy around it. DU: Why do you think so? Because its big? JH: Yes its the way these… like for me its the way these plants are structured. You have these massive buildings with like thousands of tubes that sort of go everywhere and the lights. I think it looks very cool but its sort of ominous. There is obviously lots of concrete. The port itself and the port area around Antwerp is cars… sh*t loads of, sh*t loads of cars! Poorly organised cars like the ring around Antwerp is a giant mess. So if you wanna go to anywhere in Antwerp its like… because of this flow of trucks coming from the port, they all stuck on this ring around Antwerp. So around Antwerp like the ring of Antwerp just smells of old gasoline basically. DU: You really feel that the port is there! JH: Yes! Yes! Yes! Definitely. DU: Is that diﬀerent than Rotterdam? JH: I think so. I think the Antwerp port is much more present to the city. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment rather than refineries? Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? JH: Well, there is lots of petrol stations i guess but i don’t think more than anywhere else. But its definitely a visible thing. Petrol stations like places where they fix cars. Cars… i am not sure if they count as buildings but they are definitely visible objects. DU: How can you describe a gas station? JH: It is a place where you get gasoline. [Laughs] DU: How do you recognise a gas station? Can you recognise it without a logo? JH: Yes! I can probably name a couple of gas station companies but like you recognise it by the shape right. There is roof then the car inlet then this sort of set pools in the middle that you can get gas from. It has this very distinctive shape. For good reason i guess because you don’t want people to get confused when they are pumping gas. No, i would recognise a gas station by a shape not necessarily by a logo. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? What would be the challenge of the Rotterdam Port to keep itself as a top ranking port when refining, storing and transforming of oil come to a standstill? Do you have any dystopian view for the future? Or, Are you completely positive about it? JH: I am optimist at least i try to be. I am optimistic about the fact that we will use less… Ok, so there is two…in my head there is two main use cases for stuﬀ that you take out of ground. It has oil but also coal and natural gas but lets talk about oil. You use it for making plastics and you use it for heating stuﬀ. And the making plastics stuﬀ i think will continue to a large degree. Mainly because at least in my head and i hope that we are going to actually do this is we are going to avert… we are going to sort of to a degree avert peak oil because we hopefully will stop burning it. And i mean maybe communal ideal is but i hope in fifty years we won’t be burning oil anymore except for some niche reasons. I mean the point here is that we sort of have to right. There is no like we can argue about that it is gonna be diﬃcult to make this transition while we are really trying to make that transition which i am fairly hopeful about. But we have to so i mean you mentioned they were dystopian. I am not very that were gonna run out of oil. I am worried that we will not run out of oil fast enough. Because if we burn all the oil we have, we will not be f*cked because we run out of oil. We will be f*cked because we basically set the planet on fire. And i mean thats a bigger problem. So i don’t think we ever… like the way i mean people worried about peak oil in like these 70s “Oh! we are gonna run out of!” like actually run out of oil and not be able to use it anymore which should be a catastrophe. I think at some point we just gonna stop like even if we actually run out of it at some particular point, i don’t think people will notice. Because by then like hopefully we would already stop burning it for energy. And then like moving from petroleum as a hydrocarbon source for plastic to some other hydrocarbon source for plastic is a technical problem. I mean thats something the market will solve on its own. DU: So, you mean we won’t leave hydrocarbons? 74
JH: Yes, I think… like I would really hope to see the last… I mean the biggest part of this is of course cars. Like i would very much hope to see the last gas internal combustion engine car disappear in my lifetime. DU: So, from your point of view, how these transformation is going to change the built environment? If the energy network transforms according to your scenario, what would our urban landscape look like? Exactly the same? JH: Oh no! But i mean… like the biggest… i am not sure if this has to do with oil. DU: Just a little bit imagination… How would you imagine our cities in the future? I know you haven’t had long to think about this but what will happen to hectares of lands in the port area when the oil companies are going to leave? what will happen to oil refineries? You know there are many of them in the port area. JH: Obviously have to be used for something else or just be turned down. DU: Would you agree that they will also transform themselves? JH: Sure! Yes. If we are talking about fifty years in the future, there will be something else that would… they will use that room for. DU: In your opinion, they will be used for industry? What will happen to the land? JH: To the land! I assume that it will be still be industrial area. Because i mean you always need room for industrial stuﬀ. I assume we are not gonna stop producing things. Actually as a particular use case i think a lot of the… like this half fabricate factory thats close to me, i think it will still be around. In some form. Like actual refineries maybe not because i mean i don’t think there will be much demand for like burnable oil at that point. But maybe… i mean maybe we will figure out something else to do with it. I mean, it is in the ground, it is… we have the technology to get it out of there. You are gonna have a really hard time to convince me that we are gonna not find some other way to use what is essentially still a cheap and abundant resource. So i think these things will be around in a changed form with another use case like i don’t know what we are gonna use petroleum for. I mean there is always a use for long hydrocarbon chain. We will figure out something with them. I don’t think port areas will change much except not in a petroleum related way. I mean the big change that i think is going to happen which is where petroleum is sort of circumstantial to it is how people will look at cars. I mean right now a car is something that you own. Everyone has a car and there is lots of room reserved for them in cities. And i mean there obviously a large source of petroleum consumption and environmental pollution. But i think that in thirty-five years no one will really own cars anymore. I mean once these things started driving themselves which is happening already, the technology is there. There is no reason for people to actually own cars anymore because you can just order one. And then i mean a lot of people talk about this transition of like from internal combustion engines to electrical engines. This is gonna take a really long time. I think it is gonna be a lot faster than people think it is going to happen. Mainly because like if you have to convince everyone to buy an electrical car then yeah its gonna take really long time. But we only have to convince “UBER” basically. And they are already convinced. And i think, I mean this will have a massive massive impact on all sort of everything. But also on like how we deal with… because i mean we deal with, as humans as creatures in the society, we deal with petroleum mostly through intermediaries. And by intermediaries are mostly mean cars. Like if I… I mean these cars are plastic. If I didn't have a car, I would… actually I don’t have a car. I haven’t touched flammable petroleum in a very long time. You don’t come in with contact that often if you don’t have a car. DU: Do you have a zero carbon footprint? JH: No, i don’t live zero carbon because i still fly which is not good. Oh! Flight! Flight! That is a real problem. That is a big one. We cant replace kerosene. Its really hard to have a plane, you cant have a plane fly electrical. The energy density is not high enough. So there it will definitely still be around. If we talk about twenty/thirty-five years in the future, we will have electrical cars that we won’t own but we will still have planes flying on hydrocarbons, on petroleum basically, kerosene. And i do think it is gonna be a lot more expensive. Because i think at some point people will wake up to the externalities of it. And i think in general, i am not sure, baring some technological innovation i think people will fly less in the future.
INTERVIEW WITH FEDERICO FANALISTA PhD student in Biophysics, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? FF: I am Fede. I am twenty-seven. And i am doing a Ph.D in biophysics at TU Delft. And I am here in the Netherlands since one year and a half more or less. DU: Do you live and work in Delft? FF: Yes. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? FF: Well I mean… from an architectural point of view… DU: From your own point of view. FF: No, ok. But there is actually a consideration that i was found funny. Its that Here in the North, it always rain more and but there are no balconies. So there are no way to protects you. You know this is always distract s me. And then there are all these bricks. Bricks, bricks, bricks, more bricks. All these little houses made of bricks. And but its more pleasant than England for example because in England they use like this kind of pale yellow bricks that make you sick. And here is more brownish kind of warm kind of a brick. And compared to Belgium its also more ordered i would say. Its more clean. Its more poshy, especially Delft. And i go… i mean i see all these things by bicycle. There are the canal and a lot of people on bicycles. Sometimes i see like a whole families on bicycles. And yes, this is more or less my impression. So it is not exactly green but yeas its not grey as much as back home in Milan. Because there are bricks also in the street. There are bricks everywhere. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? FF: Yes. I don’t like it. DU: How many times? Have you ever lived in Rotterdam? FF: I have never lived in Rotterdam. How many times i have been there… roughly i don’t know between… i don’t know around eight times probably since i’m here. DU: Can you describe Rotterdam with two or three words? FF: Three words… Well i mean single words i don’t know. I will just describe it as a lack of… I think… What strikes me is that it doesn’t have a style at all. Yes what i really like of a place is that if they like… if you close your eyes and they put you in a place and you open your eyes, you can recognise where you are and Rotterdam is ok… apart from specific things that are typical from Rotterdam but… Lets say all the houses are kind of new and its really lack of style of an historic centre and everything. So not exactly its fault i mean its been destroyed but… DU: Where have you been in Rotterdam? FF: Mainly… i will say a bit a… i don’t know. I have been in a residential part for going to dinner to some friends place and i have been in the centre. I have been like down in the port. DU: Really. Have you been in port? FF: Yes, yes i mean because i took the… i took the boat to go to Kinderdijk. DU: Ok. How can you describe the port then? FF: I mean port not the commercial port like the just for the ferry. [Laughs] DU: Ok! FF: I think its close to the Erasmus burg. DU: The passenger terminal. FF: Yes. DU: No, but i mean the port. FF: No, not the commercial one. Maybe once… but i don’t know. DU: Can you describe the port? F: No. I mean there are a lot of containers and ships. DU: Haven’t you seen it from the boat even? FF: No… Oh! Yes, yes i did. DU: Can you please describe the port image that you have seen?
FF: Ok, I took the… took a ferry from the… well lets say from the… from the more or less Erasmus burg and i went to Kinderdijk so like going East. The impression is that its a modern profile. Its a… this huge buildings that they tried weird architectures that i don’t… I don’t know just look modern to me. I will not no i am… i don’t have like the knowledge to describe it from an architectural point of view what they are but doesn’t give you the feel to be in a place without history lets say. Thats the thing like it doesn’t… doesn’t doesn’t feel like there is a… i don’t know its not like going to ferry like in on a river in Prague or in Venice or… DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? FF: My oldest memory about oil! Well i think i have never seen like a raw petroleum. I think my oldest memory about oil like a gasoline and these kind of stuﬀ. It would probably like one i was in the backseat of the car of my dad. He open the door and… it was that… i mean i kind of like the smell of the… i think that is the first memory like the… the smell of the oil. DU: Do you have any other funny or scary memory about oil? FF: Scary? Not really. Not really. I mean you know when you are a kid you don’t know, you don’t think that this is bad or… i just liked the smell. Oh yes! Well actually a bad memory! Once we were at the gas station in Italy. They converted like to self service and my dad was one of the first time that he was trying to fill up the car. And so he completely… i mean he just put like the… lets say the… i don’t know how to call the… the injector like he didn’t put it correctly inside the car so he completely covered himself with oil. And i was afraid that he was taken fire. [Laughs] DU: This one was in a gas station? FF: He was in a gas station still. I mean I guess all my memories… and yes that is the most negative one I remember. DU: How can you describe a gas station? FF: So it is covered. DU: Covered? FF: Covered yes, like in the sense there is always a roof. DU: Ok. FF: Flat roof, light and a signal saying close or open. And a guy that doesn’t seem that he washes his hands pretty often. And yes i don’t like to… i don’t like to touch the handles like the injectors. There is super… i really feel that there is super super dirty. And there is always this smell of gasoline and you can not really smoke around there. And diesel smells stink though. And yes also another thing that i was associating in a brainstorm form i would say like a… [Laughs] When i was younger in Milan i had like a motorcycle and a… there was the machine taking the five euros so… like the five euros there is consume that the machine doesn’t take and you just stay there like one hour trying to five euros to the machine for. And its not a place where i like to be. It is always like a full… like its just… yes its something annoying in general. DU: Can you give examples of some other oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? FF: Well there has to be some i don’t know if the refinery is like a… english word. DU: Yes, the refinery. FF: I mean, I just see trucks but they are not exactly like part of the architecture. I have to say like maybe sometimes in the highway passed next to some refinery but still… DU: Have you been in a refinery or just passed through in front of it? FF: Just past through in the highway. DU: How do you feel about them? What do you think about them? FF: I don’t know. I mean its looks… It looks like a… its the same feeling when i am in the port you know i fell that is kind of a… like a [Laughs] something lets say extremely violent to… not just to the environment like… like really its just all these metal full of rust. It really just feels like a kind of i don’t know something… I don’t like it! [Laughs] I don’t know how to say. In the real sense that it gives me… there are some buildings or things that give me kind of… they are kind of romantic in a way. DU: Do you mean industrial ones? FF: Yes, but generally they just give me the impression that something went incredibly wrong. I don’t know. DU: In short, you said wild, they are rusty… What else do you think about them?
FF: Yes, I said what? No, not wild. I would say bad like a… No! No! Wild… its the opposite of wild its something very very built in a rational and systematic way. Which is really get the contrast with the wildness of what it would be like actually the landscape there without. Its… i mean its something very violent i said. DU: I am sorry. I guess you said violent. How can you describe the diﬀerences between Italy and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? Do you have any ideas? FF: No, i have no idea. DU: Don’t you have any observations? In a built environment for example… FF: Not really because here in the Netherlands, i live kind of in a bubble. I mean i live in Delft. I move around with the bicycle. I don’t have a car. I just move around only with trains. So, i really have no experience of a… i think i don’t fill up gasoil in a car or something since three years and a half now. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? If you consider the oil peak and the scarcity in the future, maybe in twenty or fifty years, how can you imagine the built environment around us, without oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? FF: I think its not an easy question to first seem what it can happen. Because first of all they… they said that oil is running out and these kind of stuﬀs but there is like a huge… i think there is still like a huge amount of unfound petroleum on earth. So i think the reservoirs are still a bit far from being empty. But also supposing that we were run out of oil. I am not sure whether green energy is they will manage to fill up the need of… DU: Are you skeptical about the alternative sources? FF: A bit. DU: Are you skeptical about whether if they are clean or eﬃcient? FF: I am skeptical about the fact that green energy sources are enough for the amount of the whole planet. I don’t say that the should keep on with the petroleum. And… i am not sure. For sure i am not saying that we should not invest on them because of course if we can get like a big piece of the requirements to the green and sustainable energies would be cool. I honestly think that probably maybe nuclear power will be in the future like the main… I mean if run out tomorrow like petroleum won’t exist i think you could just rely on… There are also gas for example. I think you can just rely on nuclear power right now. Actually it’s weird i mean when i met Chris we were actually discussing exactly about this. DU: How do you think the oil has changed our build environment up to now? FF: I don’t think the oil changes our environment. I think it’s the transport that changes our environment. I think that if oil was used just to power engines for industries or these kind of stuﬀs. I mean the impact on the environment in the sense… the environment in the sense of the quality of the air then it would be the same. Even if like actually train… actually like this i mean the industries just pollute a lot the environment but the major source of pollution comes from like the meat industry. No, but on the environment in the sense like a… what it surrounds us… like the what i see when i go to work on during my daily life i think… I think it is not oil related. I mean it’s relate in a sense that the cars are engined by the oil but its the way that we use the concept of transportation as we know it right now is influences our environment. Everything is needs to be paid. You know what i mean. Sometimes i fell… i grew up in Milan. Sometimes i fell that… Ok there was this video game. It was a roll game so you have to like… a strategy game so you have this kind of population. And there was a population that was going only a specific field and i think that sometimes we are this kind of population. We grow up only on a cement, you know. But its because we need to move ourselves and cars need like a cement on the street, to travel faster. So… i don’t think… if we move like just only by bicycle and a… and the oil industry was still there. Yes probably we still see some refineries somewhere but i mean its not that… probably we will just can go around like on without… i mean it will not influence the aspect of a city. DU: Can you please describe a refinery again? FF: Oh refinery. Ok. Yes, lot of metal. A lot of metal pipes and… I don’t know. It looks rusty to me. DU: Would you recognise a gas station without a brand logo? FF: Well i mean… i don’t know. In Italy probably but it is sad. Ok, when i was actually using the car i could have recognise it from the colours of the company in Italy. Like blue was the Moil. DU: British petroleum is green for example. FF: We don’t have that in Italy. Like a… green is Shell. No! Actually green and black was for Shell and green and green is Egypt. Not green sorry, yellow. Yellow is Egypt. Yes… Yes i don’t remember the gas stations.
INTERVIEW WITH DİCLE BAĞCI Master Student in MBE, Management in Build Environment, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? DB: I am Dicle from Turkey. And i study management in the build environment here. I am on exchange. I used to study in Istanbul Technical University, here i study in TU Delft. DU: How long have you been living in the Netherlands? DB: For two months now. DU: Do you live in Delft? DB: Yes. DU: How can you describe your trip from your home to your school? Do you travel by bike? DB: By bike yes. In my neighbourhood there are row houses, typical Dutch houses. And then i go by the station next to the canal and i arrive to the city centre which is still typical Dutch architecture. And then i pass some bridges and go to the architecture faculty. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? DB: Yes, I have been. DU: How many times? DB: Maybe four or five times. DU: Can you please describe Rotterdam with your own words? Maybe with two or three words if possible. DB: It’s modern than other Dutch cities. It’s modern. It’s like a… not words but i can say in sentences. It’s like a play field of architects. There are a lot of diﬀerent type of architecture. And its more like mobile than Delft or other smaller cities. Like it is alive and a lot of things going on. DU: Do you mean its dynamic? DB: Yes, dynamic. Yes. DU: Have you ever been in the port of Rotterdam? DB: Yes, i have. DU: Have you been exactly in the port or you passed through? DB: No, actually I just walked from the bridge. So, I haven’t really been there. DU: Do you mean the Erasmus Bridge? DB: Yes. DU: Ok. DB: So, I had just a look over… over the port. DU: Do you mean Kop van Zuid? DB: Yes! [Laughs] Yes. Yes. DU: Have you ever take a boat tour around Maas? I mean something like a Spido tour. DB: No, I haven’t. DU: Do you have any knowledge about the Rotterdam port? Can you please describe it? DB: Not really. I can just say that… I know that Rotterdam was bombed many years ago and they built the city again. So now it’s like one of the main… one of the biggest ports in Europe. And, basically it is based on oil transaction. That’s all I know about it. DU: So, You already know that the port is related with the oil business. Have you ever seen any of the buildings which is part of the industry around the port area? DB: No, I can not recognise now. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil, about petroleum? DB: Earliest memory… I think it is… Do you mean since from my childhood? DU: Yes! DB: Ok. I think it is Iraq War. DU: Oh! Really? DB: Yes, Turkey is next to Iraq. So we knew a lot about the war in Iraq and America, United states. So I think yes it is the earliest thing i remember about it.
DU: How do you remember the war? DB: I think the main reason was a… that United States wanted the oil resources in Iraq. But then when the war started, we were seeing a lot of new in television like the cities were bombing and also they had some conflicts with Turkey as I remember. I was very young but… Yes! But everyone in Turkey was talking that main reason is oil because it is very valuable in especially Middle East and in the world of course. DU: Since you are from Turkey, how can you describe the diﬀerences between Turkey and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? Do you know any refineries in Turkey or do you know any Turkish oil company? How do you experience the oil in the built environment in Turkey? DB: I know that they… some people talk about that there are resources in Turkey which are not exposed yet. Like they haven’t been dug or something. I am not sure if we have… like yes we have some refineries in Turkey. And, only I think maybe one or two Turkish companies but the rest is like more internationals. But in the Netherlands I don’t really have that much opinion about the oil trade. Yes, I just know about the port. DU: From your experience, how do you think the oil has shaped our built environment? Again, do you see any diﬀerences between the Netherlands and Turkey? I mean as an imagery… Do you see any diﬀerences? DB: I don’t know. I mean there are of course a lot of diﬀerences but I don’t know if they are oil related. Maybe we have more like a… factories or like I said refineries visible in Turkey. But in the Netherlands I don’t think I have seen anything similar. DU: Have you seen any refineries in port of Adana? DB: No, I don’t think so. DU: Have you been in port of Adana? DB: I have been there. DU: Because it is really not close to the city. DB: Yes. Yes, I saw it. It is not like… DU: Probably you passed through. DB: Yes, i passed by. But i don’t… Actually there are like a lot of ports in Adana. And the ships are… they usually locate next to where you go to swim. But i don’t think in particular i have recognised. DU: Did you swim near refineries? DB: Yes. DU: Really? DB: Yes, i mean you can see them. Yes, you can swim there it is not like the water is poisoned or… [Laughs] But yes they are visible. DU: What general public thinks about these refineries, i mean the people who go to swim there for example? Please tell me also your personal opinion on refineries in Adana? Can you please describe them? DB: The thing is, i think we have more natural gas refineries than petroleum. DU: They are hydrocarbons in the end. DB: Yes, so there are… i don’t know how to say it English but… There are a lot of people who works for this industry like in Turkey. There is a lets say small town which is only made for… DU: Workers? DB: Yes. DU: Really? What is the name of the company? DB: Yes, it is BOTAŞ. DU: Botaş? DB: Yes, it is for gas. DU: Ok. So, they have a oil and gas town in Adana. DB: It is a gas… natural gas town. But… DU: So they probably have workers housing there. DB: Yes. DU: Oh! I did not know that. Have you ever been there? DB: Yes, because my aunt was working there.
DU: Was your aunt living in this town of BOTAŞ71? DB: Yes, and it is like next to refineries. DU: What was the position of your aunt in the company? Was she an engineer? DB: No, she was a chief administrator. DU: Chief administrator… DB: Yes, she was working at the oﬃce. DU: Can you please explain a little bit more about the BOTAŞ? Is their oﬃces close by to the centre of Adana or close by to refineries? DB: No, it is lose by to the refineries. And also new to the sea and a another small port. DU: How big is BOTAŞ refinery then? They should have a very big complex there since they have a small town next to it. DB: Yes, they actually even have a school and… DU: Really? I am very surprised. DB: Yes. [Laughs] DU: Did that school found by BOTAŞ? DB: I am not really sure. I don’t know. Yes, it is a government organisation so… i don’t really know. But they also have a similar one in Batman, in Turkey which is also my mothers hometown. And, i also know that they have a… the same town like… DU: From the same company? DB: Its called Turkish Petroleum, Türkiye Petrolleri72 . So they are diﬀerent. In Adana i think it is more like natural gas but in Batman it is about petroleum. DU: The Batman refinery is a national refinery DB: Yes. DU: But, the one in Batman is a private company i guess. DB: Maybe, half public half government maybe… But yes maybe I can tell more about the one in Batman. It is maybe more related. DU: Sure, which one you know better… DB: Yes, i know the both because also in Batman refinery my uncle works there. So, they also had the same concept. They have a school, they have a swimming pool and a sports centre. DU: How many people living there approximately? DB: I don’t know. But, pretty much. Yes, maybe two thousand or three thousand people. It’s more isolated from the city, next to the refineries. DU: Are there any shopping mall also? DB: Supermarket. Yes, they have restaurants and everything. DU: Just a little oil community built up there. DB: Yes. DU: Can you please describe the built environment there a little bit more? For example, how can you describe the housing blocks in Batman? Are they look like workers housing or well designed hosing facilities? DB: Yes, i think they are well designed because the quality of the houses were way better than from the city centre. Because it is not really a developed city, Batman. But once who are working there, they are more wealthy than others. So, the houses were like a… almost similar to typical Dutch houses like two storeys with gardens and yes. I think it is also because the people who are more wealthy and educated lets say. DU: The oil town in Batman is also just next to the refinery. Right? DB: Yes.
BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) is the state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company in Turkey. The company was established in 1974 as a subsidiary of Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO). Since 1995, BOTAS is a wholly state-owned company. 72 Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO) (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) was founded in 1954 with the responsibility of being involved in hydrocarbon exploration, drilling, production, refinery and marketing activities as Turkey's national company. 71
DU: Ok. The workers housing for example in Rotterdam. They are also just next to the refineries but they have a green buﬀer zone between the refineries and the housing settlement. So this buﬀer zone is kind of detach the houses from the industry. Do you have any similar planning strategy in Batman? DB: Yes, as i remember they do. Because they are not really visible from the town like wherever you go. DU: The refineries? DB: Yes, the refineries. I remember once we were there once they said there was a fire at the refinery but like we couldn’t see it even though we thought like we are next to it. So yes, i think it was hidden. DU: How long it takes to go to refinery from the town? DB: Maybe ten minutes by car. Because everyone was going to work by car. DU: Do you have any significant memory about Batman refinery, or oil town? Do you visit your aunt from time to time in Batman? Do you have any interesting stories from your visits to Batman oil town? DB: Not really. I mean we used to spend summers there. Because, yes like i said. They had a lot of facilities there. Yes, swimming pool. Either one of them, in Adana or in Batman. But yes for me the most interesting thing was that it was very isolated so you did not really feel like you are in Batman. It was more… lets say high class city. DU: Is it posh? DB: Yes, it is kind of. Because i know that they used to hire like the best engineers in the country. Because they also had an exam like a special exam to hire people. So, yes it was like more elegant lets say. DU: Have you ever been in such a place in the Netherlands? [Laughs] DB: No, i haven’t. [Laughs] DU: How can you describe an oil refinery? From your opinion, what are the most vivid characteristics of a refinery? Maybe again with two or three words… DB: They are giant. And, they sometimes look like the water storage. And yes they are like concrete and yes sometimes they even seem scary. Because they are so huge and grey. Yes, i think thats it. DU: You mentioned the refineries and ancillary buildings. Can you give more examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Do you know any others? DB: I don’t think so. No. Yes, i don’t think I know any other. DU: I think there is one more at least that you know very well but ok. DB: Really! [Laughs] Ok. DU: How can you compare the general opinions of people about oil in Turkey and in the Netherlands? DB: In Turkey, I think the most general opinion is that everyone thinks it is very expensive than it should be. I also know that like for the fuel for example we buy the most expensive one in the world. But, I don’t really know what people think in the Netherlands. DU: How can you compare the general opinions of people who are working for the oil business with the ones who are not? DB: Well, I mean the people who work in the oil industry are more in contact with… like in governments with international clients and… I know it is more like a there stressful job to do. So yes they are usually like more keen on to details and… yes I know that they, both my aunt and my uncle, they like used to have their phones like twenty-four hours open because anytime some crises could occur. Like in Batman someone was putting the refineries on fire. I remember that. So yes they had to be very careful. DU: How was their contact with the government? Did they go to Ankara often? DB: Yes, my uncle used to go to Ankara a lot, for the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, for the people who works there.Yes I don’t know if they have any other like meeting by phone or something. But I remember he used to go there. DU: Where were your uncles oﬃce? Next to the refinery. Right? DB: Yes. DU: Do you remember the oﬃce building that he used to work in? I mean, was that oﬃce also like any other concrete oﬃce blocks that we used to see a lot. I mean the ones which is three or four storey typical public building. DB: Yes. [Laughs] DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? What would be the challenge of the Rotterdam Port to keep itself as a top ranking port when refining, storing and transforming of oil come to a standstill? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? I mean, what is your future vision? Are you positive or negative about the future in terms of alternative sources especially?
DB: Yes, I think like the oil prices are changing due to like political reasons. So it is really hard to say what is going to happen about oil because it is up to some people to decide. But I think like since we have all these climate change, problems and everything maybe if some countries take action the oil producing would be limited. And we would be preferring other resources. I think it is going to change because like we… like I said the environment is in kind of danger now because most people think that the guiltiest companies are oil companies because of the environmental pollution problems. So, yes i think it is more like an environmental issues and political issues maybe. They will… the industry is going to change. DU: Yes, policies are important. DB: Yes. DU: How can you describe a gas station? DB: Yes, for me there are the places where you can have market. [Laughs] When you are on the road. I think we have more common gas stations in Turkey than in the Netherlands. Because I haven’t seen here much but in Turkey like in everywhere you have a gas station almost. DU: How do you recognise them? DB: From the brands colours i think. Yes. DU: Can you recognise it without the brand logo? DB: Yes, because they have their typical architecture. More open area and they usually have a market inside and the columns. I think it is mostly the columns. INTERVIEW WITH DIONYSIS NIKOLOPOULOS Master Student in EEMCS, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? DN: My name is Dionysis Nikolopoulos. I am studying, I am trying to study electrical engineering at TU Delft. DU: Where are you from? How long have you been living in the Netherlands? DN: Around a year. From Greece, from Athens, from the capital. Yes, i am here for a year. DU: Where do you live in the Netherlands? DN: I am living here in Delft, inside the campus. DU: How can you describe your trip from your home to your school? Do you travel by bike? DN: Well, for me it is kind of tricky because i live ten meters from my department. [Laughs] DU: [Laughs] Then keep it short. DN: Ok campus is pretty. I see the trees. Yes, i see nice paved roads, I see some colours. If it does not rain if it is not windy, I am happy with that. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? DN: Rotterdam! Of course. DU: How many times? DN: Maybe more than ten for sure, less than twenty I think. Somewhere there… DU: How can you describe Rotterdam? DN: I feel it is like a, i don’t know, a humane city. Like it is a modern city but… Yes like a… you can live there. Yes it is kind of modern. It has modern parts like these more crazy buildings but it is liveable I think. Nice to be there. DU: What would you say if you need to describe it with three words? DN: Rotterdam? I could say, again I could say colourful. It is fun I guess. I had some fun time there. And, it seems like an international city. Multicultural lets say. DU: Have you ever been in the port of Rotterdam? DN: In port, no. Just seen it. DU: From where did you see it? DN: Yes, like when i was like close to the bridge. I was just look at the… you know this… this cranes. DU: You mean, close by the Rotterdam Bridge. DN: Yes! Yes! But i have not really seen the port. I haven’t been. DU: How can you describe the port of Rotterdam?
DN: I don’t know. I don’t know. I can not say anything about it. I have just seen it from far away. I haven’t really really been there. Do you mean the facilities on the… DU: Yes. DN: No! I haven’t seen it like… DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? DN: Earliest about… You mean petroleum right. DU: Yes petroleum. DN: I can say… yes just travelling i mean the car. Like when we were in the gas station like with my family. Yes we went to gas station to fill the tank and go to some nice place. Yes the smell maybe you notice. Distinct smell. DU: How can you describe a gas station? DN: You mean the one in the cities right? DU: Yes. DN: You mean the one in the cities right? Yes, like an indiﬀerent place like… DU: Indiﬀerent place? DN: Indiﬀerent like not something interesting of course. Yes the smell usually… The houses kind of a design you know… tanks with a… fuel tanks there. DU: Do you mean the graphic design on the tanks? DN: Yes, just… It is common everywhere. You have like the two or three machines to fill the… yes a small market there inside. Yes these big, huge… you know… the signs you know, the prices and the company. DU: For example, when you drive on the highway, how can you recognise a gas station? DN: Yes, this sign. Like the huge rectangular sign with a… DU: The landmark ? [Laughs] DN: Yes, like this stupid thing. Yes. DU: Do you have any other significant memory about oil? DN: Oil? Yes, of course. Of course like bad memories. Sure like from gas leaks or you know some… DU: Have you ever see any oil leak? DN: Not really but i have seen like some dirty… lets say… dirty sea shores. Maybe leaks from some boats. Small ones but you can see like the dirt around sea shore. Yes, usually and a lot of news, you know documentaries and stuﬀ. A lot of adverse events of course, maybe in the older times i don’t know if its here still happens. In Greece at least, where i was raised. And i was watching more television than here. DU: Can you please explain commercials on tv? What happens in these advertisements? DN: Yes, like you know like a car turning around the street. Or, “You should use our gas is the best”, “You can go fast! You can go eﬃcient.”, “Best quality!”… DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? DN: You mean except gas stations, right? DU: Yes, gas stations are some of them. DN: You asked me about the port of Rotterdam but to be honest in my place, in Greece, that was a ,close to me, close to the see, like a big kind of a Rotterdam but of course smaller, big facility of you know the “Greek modern" refineries and stuﬀ. DU: Can you please describe this refinery? DN: Yes, it was disgusting, of course. Like it was a… DU: Where is it in Athens? DN: It is like close to Piraeus to be honest. The biggest port of Greece like close to Athens, yes. DU: So, is this a Greek oil company? DN: No, no it is not a company. It is like refineries there. DU: Sorry, I meant which company runs this refinery? DN: A lot of, a lot of them. Also like multinational companies. DU: Shell for example? DN: Yes, and also some Greek ones. DU: So, you have been in port of Athens. DN: Yes, I have been there. Yes, there there… It is very common. DU: How can you describe the oil related buildings or infrastructures there? DN: You go by car around… 84
DU: Are they that much visible or… DN: A lot, a lot. From the sea in fact no. But, because when you go to vacations and stuﬀ, one of the biggest roads in Greece goes by them, so like a national road. So if you want to travel around… DU: How do you call this road? DN: It connects two big part of Greece. The south and the central part. Athens with another big part of country. And you… yes you cross it and you see it really close. And it was always disgusting, smelling bad. The scenery was not good of course. Yes there were these big refineries and stuﬀ, shipyards around you know… These things, a lot of metal as well, a lot of smell… DU: How can you describe a refinery? DN: Refinery? Visually? DU: Yes, please. I also would like to ask how do you feel, what do you think, when you see them? DN: Well, I feel like. Of course it does not feel good because… Yes, usually most of the time it is just the smell of course. That is distinguishable. DU: Do you feel it is dirty? DN: Yes, it is. What else can I say… Yes, I guess I visualise like black oil running around. DU: How can you describe the diﬀerences between Greece and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? DN: Well, I do not have a clue but I guess like because the Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports around. The process is automated. I guess… Not I guess… I am sure it is kind of safer. DU: It can be also something in term rather than the built environment? DN: I don’t know. Specifically, I can not say but I know that sales are kind of British, Dutch so it is a big thing here probably. Very huge companies have their headquarters here. I am sure of it. I know it. DU: Do you know where the headquarters of these companies? DN: Yes it was of Shell like in Den Haag. I know that some kind of headquarters in Britain as well. Yes, I know that. DU: How can you describe the headquarters in Den Haag? DN: Headquarters? To be honest, I have been in once with some Turkish friends. DU: Really? DN: Yes, in Den Haag. The Shell’s headquarters. I also have a friend who works there. Not in these kind of things but I think that was a facility in Amsterdam. But ok, I will tell you about the Den Haag. Well, so basically you go in, it doesn’t seem like a big and huge place like it is not very… you know… you don’t see. It does not catch the eye. It is like a normal building. And you know it has a security and you can not go inside without a card. It was like usually there was white collar guys. We went to like a room. Yes, like a normal company place. I can not describe more. DU: Like the headquarters of any other company. DN: Yes. What I remember like… In the lobby there were some screens that was saying like a… It was constantly updating or mentioning the some kind of accidents and stuﬀ. So, If something bad happens, I mean they should be really careful. But again I am telling you, it is not like a really inside place. It is just the headquarters like the management you know the… more the economical and finance part of Shell let’s say. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? If you consider the oil peak and the scarcity in the future, maybe in twenty or fifty years, how can you imagine the built environment around us, without oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? I mean, What is your future vision? DN: Of course, I guess that fossil fuels will end some day. Either if it is better, you know this, natural gas how you call it. I guess that people will understand but most renewable energy, you know where, wind, sun. DU: Are you hopeful about future? DN: Yes, I am. I think that is a lot of research going there. I think, especially in Europe. Of course it is like a smaller scale let’s say. Many of governments and you know behind the curtain reasons maybe still hold oil stuﬀ like Middle East, wars anyways. But, I guess that we are obliged to change this thing. DU: How do you imagine the infrastructures, buildings and gas stations in particular? In your opinion, are they going to stay or transform? DN: Gas stations… Let’s say, maybe there are kind of electricity stations you know like here in TU Delft. We have again like a not a fuel tank but maybe an electricity, let’s say, tank. Or some kind of big batteries and gonna again fill the cars let’s say energy. 85
DU: In your opinion, are they going to stay in the same network? DN: I guess not. I guess it will be degraded more to the environment in a way that yes… It doesn't sound… like mostly in Greece. It won’t be seen as something grotesque let’s say. INTERVIEW WITH MAKIS GIANNOPOULOS Master Student in EEMCS, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? MG: I am Makis. I come from Greece. I am twenty-seven and I live here for a year. DU: What is your profession? MG: I am a master student. I am doing embedded systems in TU Delft, something like electrical engineering. DU: Where do you live? MG: In Delft. DU: How can you describe your trip from your home to your school? Do you travel by bike? MG: I leave home usually to go to school by bike. When I am in the city centre I go on foot. It is just like a old buildings, quiet town, I don’t know. Yes, sometimes it is nice, sometimes it is raining. It is not nice. [Laughs] I don’t know. It is nice. It is like a nice pictures. I like this place. In terms of how beautiful the city is in pictures. DU: As an image? MG: As an image, yes. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? MG: Yes, it is a big city, very nice. I like it more. DU: How many times have you been to Rotterdam? MG: How many times… Basically during night. [Laughs] I have seen it in the dark. DU: For fun. MG: For fun, yes. DU: Can you please describe Rotterdam? MG: Like a very big city with high buildings, like a more crowded city. I don’t know, has a lot of things. It is like… Ok, I can say, I compare to Delft. Delft is a village, Rotterdam is a city. I would say. DU: Have you ever been in port? MG: No, I haven’t been there. DU: Have you ever take the boat, Spido for example? MG: Oh! No, no, no, no, no… DU: Ok, Can you please describe port of Rotterdam? MG: No, I can not. Because I haven’t seen. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil, about petroleum? MG: Like the guy that came to put oil in our tank, in our house in order for the heating to work. The first time that I remember something. Something like that. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? MG: What do you mean by built environment? DU: Our cities. MG: It is like everywhere. DU: Everywhere? MG: Yes, like half of the stuﬀ work with that. It is like, you don’t see it but you know it is everywhere. If it doesn’t exist, nothing works. I mean all of the machinery and stuﬀ. DU: You are from Greece. How can you describe the diﬀerences between Greece and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? MG: For sure it is more expensive in Greece. For sure! Basically I can not say something about oil because it is something that I don’t have in my mind anyways. DU: How do you imagine the future beyond oil? If you consider the oil peak and the scarcity in the future, maybe in twenty or fifty years, how can you imagine the built environment around us, without oil?
MG: Basically, I think there are already renewable energy and the other stuﬀ. So, I think even though it will run out at the end, there won’t be any problem. DU: You are quite positive. MG: Yes, I don’t believe that something… I don’t know. In term of working stuﬀ out… No. I don’t know. Maybe the interest will like be change from some countries to other countries that will have the… let’s say the… the new stuﬀ. DU: How do you imagine the cities beyond oil? How will cities change in the future? MG: Ok, cities will change. But I am not sure if the oil is number one candidate. DU: In your opinion, what will be the alternative energy sources in the future? MG: The renewable ones; wind, sun. I don’t know. Sun basically. For now I can not recall something else but I am sure that there are other stuﬀ as well. DU: How can you describe an oil refinery? How can you describe it with at least two or three words? MG: It’ a bit… It’s not nice. It’ a bit… like an image ok i wouldn’t like to see this kind of image everywhere. I don’t know what else to say. Ugly, yes ugly. Metallic the second. What else should I say. Circular. DU: How can you describe a gas station? How would you recognise it? MG: I wouldn’t recognise it like at first sight. But when i would see those tanks, i would recognise it like the ones that… the ones that you put gas. Yes. DU: Imagine yourself in a highway, would you recognise it? MG: By the signs basically. When i see… by the signs. Most of the times by the logo. DU: The colour? MG: The logo, the brand. Because most times there is a logo. By the sign, i say there is a gas station. I don’t know this is what i have in my mind. INTERVIEW WITH LEA LANGE Master Student in Hydraulic Engineering, TU Delft Audio Record at Oude Langendijk, Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? LL: I am Lea, Lea Lange, 25 years… I have been living in Delft now for one year, studying hydraulic engineering. Before i did civil engineering and i am just specialising in order to be able to work at the coast later, to protect it. DU: What do you mean by “protecting coast”? LL: In terms of… I mean for me specifically in terms of ecosystems. So, preserving the natural habitat that are there. But also I mean the plan B is, in case if it doesn’t work, to protect the people that are living at the coast. These are the two main, i think, the two main topics at the coast. DU: Does your plan include the ports? LL: No! No! The natural areas. Not where the ports are. More like a where people live in Scheveningen for instance here in Den Haag or other places around the coast. Not necessarily ports. DU: How can you protect the coasts? LL: It depends, I mean to protect the people that live there is mainly dikes and good prediction of weather conditions. So that in case the dikes are not going to hold or any other structure that we build to protect that you at least kind of evacuate really enough so that no one or nothing gets harmed. And to protect ecosystems it is a bit more complicated i think. I am not sure yet how it actually works in the end. Right now its just laws. DU: Do you live in Delft? LL: Yes. DU: How long have you been living in the Netherlands? LL: A little bit more than one year. It must be one year three months now. So, first year of my masters. I came here for this. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your workplace? How do you go to school? What do you see around? LL: Usually i go by bike very seldomly because the weather usually is not good enough. I go by longboard. But the route is mainly the same and i… i mean there is one main road to go to campus. So where everyone goes
with good biking lanes. usually i prefer to go to somewhere in the neighbourhood for the nicer places with some trees and nice buildings. Not a this big crappy road there is always under construction. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? LL: Yes but only maybe four or five times. Not very often. DU: How can you describe the Rotterdam? LL: It is lively and diverse at least from what i remember. Which is totally diﬀerent to Delft. This is why at least… my impressions is very… very good. I have been to the market i think two or three times. This was the main reason to go there. DU: Which one? LL: The one at Blaak. I think two times i just went there to have a look and third time i went there to buy fabrics. The other times i was just have beers. So, Witte de With in… DU: It is lively, it’s… so what else did you say? LL: Diverse. DU: Diverse and what else? LL: Mm… It feels that in the end it provides a… much more possibilities to take action. What ever if it is to go out or buy stuﬀ to participate, to decide for something that you are interested in. More facilities… at least in comparison to Delft. In my terms i think it has this big i don’t know how big but at least as big as the city that i made my bachelor in. So… Delft is pretty small. DU: Where did you finish your bachelor? LL: Hannover. In Germany. DU: Have you ever seen the port of Rotterdam? Have you ever been there? LL: I have seen it on maps, couple of maps in my courses. But when i went there the first time, it was the time that i went to i think i have been in the part with the the old port. But not the new port. The new port i only know from… DU: Which one? LL: The old port? DU: Stadhavens? LL: I don’t exactly remember. I just remember that we went in the direction and then at some point ok we reached there. And then just we said ok let’s just go back because it’s too far. DU: Don’t you know the location exactly? Ok. Can you please explain your experience? What did you see around? Can you please describe the port that you have been? Did you go there by car? LL: No. No. I went by rain with some friends and then we walked all the way. I think we left at central station. I think central station maybe not. I really don’t remember well. So we went in the direction of the port. Hm… Tall buildings for sure. I am not hundred percent sure at least on the way, there was somewhere a pavilion. I am not sure if this is the word in English. There was kind of a pavilion on the water. Or at least close to the water side. DU: Yes. Yes. Yes. Bubbles… Then you turn to the right side probably. LL: Yes. I think so. DU: Ok you went to the old industrial area. LL: Yes. DU: Ok. There is Fenix Food Factory there. There are small breweries and some food markets over there. Ok. LL: That far, we didn’t go. At least i don’t remember. DU: So, How far did you walk after you see the pavilion? LL: Not very far. No, i think i mean at that point, we might have been wanted to go but then we decided ok we have already been walking for so long. So, we had to go back at some point. DU: So, ok. When i say port i mean the area what you have seen on the map. LL: Yes… the Maasvlakte I and II and everything that is there. No i haven’t been there. So just pictures. DU: How can you describe the port? Still, you have some idea i think. LL: Well it seems to me that it’s a very important in term of the European economy, for sure, because it’s the main point for container vessels to go. and you can see this in the way they built the port. Like… all the facilities that they have to provide that big ships can come and also the new part that they built, Massvlakte II. DU: So, it is built for the big big scale. LL: So… Yes, for bigger and bigger and bigger every time. They do something. They try to get it bigger. I think right now actually there is a kind of a problem. Because the predictions were like that a… that they are bigger 88
vessels to come but in the end they didn’t come. Or, not yet. So that actually part of Maasvlakte II is not used. Even though i think they planned to use it. I am not hundred percent sure but i remember something that it didn’t work out as well as they wanted. So from the pictures i know, in the the pictures i saw, the plans it’s like any other big ports. So if you go there and look, you see all the cranes on the horizon. You see kind of industry, i mean it depends for Rotterdam, i am not hundred percent sure how much they have there. But usually… usually they have something to process like a… coal and all these bulk goods. Yes bulk stuﬀ. Also sometimes they have areas dedicated just for to store stuﬀ like a LNG… Yes LNG, liquid natural gas. Or, LPG… LPG i think. So this is usually also part of the landscape of a port. They have all these storage places for this. DU: Have you ever been in any other ports? Like in Germany for example. Hamburg? LL: Yes, Hamburg i also know only from the pictures. I couldn’t make any excursion. I have been to… There is one in France. The one that have the ferry that goes to England. I think it’s Cherbourg. Which is it might be pretty the same and also… DU: So you have been there and then went to England? LL: Yes, I went there and then from there by ferry. But it’s a very long time ago. I went there two years ago. But we just passed by. So i didn't take the ferry there. DU: Have you ever seen any petroleum refineries in any of the port areas you have been? LL: Not that i remember. Maybe back then i didn't recognise them because the focus for ports just came here when i started my studies. Because before i didn’t deal with… I hadn't didn't do anything with ports before. Here i had the course on it. So, the course… Because i have to make a layout DU: Ok. So for now the petroleum refineries look visible from your point of view. LL: For now… For now i think it would be visible. Because now i know how… what i have to look for. Before it might have just been random buildings and i couldn’t tell what is it. DU: Yes, but this is something really depends on your studies. LL: With my studies. Yes. DU: Ok. What is your earliest memory about petroleum. LL: I am not hundred percent sure if it is the earliest one. But I guess like at least something that i remember that i did when i was, i don’t know, maybe six or seven watching TV that in the one of the Looney Tunes… They always have one of them is always with there some oil on the street and one of them slips. DU: [Laughs] LL: [Laughs] Something like this. DU: Ok. What was it? The road runner? LL: Yes. Yes. Yes. DU: It was running super fast and you could not see the its feet. LL: I can not even remember the German word. So in English i don’t know for sure. DU: Ok. So… Do you have any early stories about petroleum? Funny or scary stories… LL: I think i just recently found out that the plastic is made of oil. DU: Ok. These cartoons… I think it is interesting. How could you recognise that it’s oil? What did give you the idea? The spill or the colour… LL: I guess… It was just black, just the colour and because the slip fall and i guess someone explains it or… They might use at some point the word. Or say maybe they don’t use the word in this cartoon but in an another one, at some point you become old enough to see “Oh! maybe that’s the same”. DU: So… Any other stories? LL: Not from early just recently. I think. DU: Can you please describe oil refineries with your own words? LL: How they work or what they are? DU: No, I mean how they look. How do you feel about them? What do you think? How they place in the city networks? LL: Oh! Ok. I didn’t recognise them so far in the cities. I guess if they are in the cities they are somewhere in the outskirts. Since if either been in the city centres or in the country sides… I haven’t been in touch at least not in cities with them. Also where i grew up it wasn’t… It was always about coal. Everything was about coal. So i guess it’s just never was important. Just from my perception, but i don’t have any clear image in my head. They are big. They are kind of dirty which is related to oil and how its physical properties for sure. They, at least, depends on what is produced but they need… i think they need a lot of space in terms of… it depends how many steps you have in what you want to produce in the end. I remember at least from the drawings
for… producing…. Hm… Something for the road. Some part of the road i think also based on the natural oil. And for them it was like couple of very large, very big cylindrical buildings. At least from the drawings. DU: Chimneys? LL: Yes, this kind of… Oh! Yes. Yes, the chimneys. DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment? Like refineries… Can you recognise them in the built environment? If yes, can you please describe them? LL: Anything else that is just related in anyway to oil? DU: Yes maybe, but mostly buildings. LL: Ok. Apart from refineries… I can not even think of anything else. DU: You are from Germany. How can you describe the diﬀerences between Germany and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? LL: At least in terms of the resources they have, it must be more or less the same. Because i think in none of them actually has oil. I think there are some plants to extract oil from the North Sea but since most of it is… at least in the Northern Sea most of it is natural national parks kind of. They are not allowed to. So i guess if they are diﬀerences, they are mainly in laws. So maybe in taxes, restrictions on how it is… like which form it is allowed to use it… which safety regulations have to be taken into account. Maybe also there is a diﬀerent in perception inside the… like the population in terms of… say… gasoline in Germany it is still very common. Where else in the Netherlands at least i sae it couple of times. They changed to electrical cars. So these kind of stuﬀ. Electrical motorbikes? I don’t know the proper word for it. So it might be that the Dutch perceive it different than the Germans. Or the other way around, doesn’t matter. Like in importance and if it’s beneficial or not, to use it that much. DU: I think still there is a global view, global perception about oil and oil business all around the world. LL: No, I don’t think it is like this. But i mean, just because in the Netherlands and in German it is like this… I mean this is my scope of action so far. But i think that the… elsewhere it might be diﬀerent. DU: Ok then. One last question. How do you imagine the future beyond oil? If you consider the oil peak and the scarcity in the future, maybe in twenty or fifty years, how can you imagine the built environment around us, without oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? I mean, what is your future vision? Are you positive or negative about the future in terms of alternative sources especially? LL: No, I think there are alternatives. But it’s not necessarily the case that we find alternative that we work for the rest of the world, like forever. But at least we will find something else to compensate for this and maybe it works for hundred years maybe two hundred but technologies are going to improve. So, at some point they will encounter new problems with the new technology and we will find a solution for this. Also i think that, i mean i… they could have started earlier to develop new technologies but this is never always about technologies. So, lobby is there that they want to… that they don’t want oil to be… taken away from the world kind of. So they want to produce more and more oil to make their money. So it’s also at least i just recently heard about an example that makes me optimistic in terms of alternative energy sources or alternative sources for plastic for anything like this. I think it is in Finland or Norway or in one of the Scandinavian countries. They passed a law that by in ten years or twenty years these sort of magnitudes. That they are going to not allow any more cars running on oil. Just alternative energy sources. DU: So, you are kind of optimistic. LL: I mean there is not really a choice. [Laughs] DU: How can you describe a gas station? LL: Usually they are just… or at least the ones that i stop at the ones at the highway. So usually they are just kind of lost in space because surrounding… there is no cities or something around usually. The ones that are in the city they are usually small enough that i don’t really perceive them as gasoline station and then… But these ones, usually they are appear kind of dirty to me also. I mean of course there are so many cars going by every day. I don’t even… they get dirty for sure. Expensive. [Laughs] Most of the cases. DU: Imagine yourself driving on the highway and… How would you recognise a gas station? Would you recognise it without the company logo for example? LL: Yes, Because usually they are ok i mean from this one because of the colours and i know the colours are Shell. But usually they are always the same with this flat roof and they these piles to have enough space for cars and trucks to drive there. But still to be shelter from raining and stuﬀ i guess. And always they have kind of a small shop or store that you can pay also buy sweets and food and coﬀee. Coﬀee most of the time. Go to
the toilet… So it’s kind of a… Yes, they always look like this. There are very few cases that they don’t look like this. DU: Do you have any memory in a generic gas station? LL: [Laughs] I mean the most striking one is that it’s annoying that you have to pay so much for the toilet if you go there. But in other terms… No, not really i mean you go there to get gasoline for your car so whenever you take longer trips, you go there. But nothing special. No. INTERVIEW WITH VIKTORIJA GLOBYTE Ph.D Student in Molecular Biophysics, TU Delft Audio Record in Oude Langendijk Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? VG: I am Victorija. I am third year Ph.D student in TU Delft Bionanoscience Department. I am originally from Lithuania. I am a physicist by training. DU: How long have you been living in the Netherlands? VG: For little bit over two years. Two years, two months. DU: Do you live in Delft. VG: Yes. DU: You are also working in Delft. VG: Yes, in TU Delft. I am doing my Ph.D. DU: How do you go to work everyday? VG: I cycle. DU: Can you please describe a little bit your trip from home to your workplace? What do you see around? VG: I am usually, i leave quite early just before people start going to work, hopefully. And i see a lot of construction. Then hopefully i don’t see anything else except few cyclists. Sometimes i hate the cycle traﬃc jam. I don’t see many cars because well, the way we go to university it’s not really a car road. But, yes it takes me about fifteen minutes in once i hit the actual street path to my building. I only see cyclists mostly. DU: Have you been in Rotterdam? VG: Yes. DU: How many times? VG: Oh! [Laughs] I don’t know. Quite a few times. DU: Can you please describe the city a little bit? VG: Very diﬀerent from any other Dutch city. It’s very modern. Because of the history, because it was bombed. It looks quite industrial as well because of the buildings. Actually not so many cyclists that you see regularly. In many Dutch city Amsterdam, Delft, Den Haag, Utrecht. You go to Rotterdam, you don’t see as many i think. DU: What do you mean by “industrial”? VG: Well i guess it’s a… because it is a port city so you got the… the canal and big ships passing and then all the modern buildings. And also a lot of construction always going on and that seems industrial. DU: Have you ever been in the port? VG: The actual port. No. DU: Have you ever seen it from a boat? Have you ever took the boat or ferry around the port? VG: I haven’t taken the boat. DU: Have you ever pass through next to port by car? VG: No, i have just the only the closest i have been just passing by train look the canal where the boats are going. It’s very big. Because Rotterdam Port is not actually in Rotterdam. [Laughs] So, i have seen it from a far, from train basically. DU: Ok. Can you please describe the Rotterdam port? VG: Just my impression so a lot of ships go and come. And that’s basically what i can say. Because i have never been there. DU: Have you ever been in any other port? In your hometown or…
VG: Yes, i have been Lithuanian Klaipėda. It’s much much smaller. It’s the only port city we have. It’s much smaller and the ships are smaller. And there is much less boat traﬃc. And the city is very diﬀerent from Rotterdam as well. [Laughs] DU: You have been in Klaipėda. VG: Yes. Yes. Yes. DU: Which sort of industries are running in the port area? VG: I think mostly trade because it’s a… i don’t now… But it’s mostly a trading port. We have a liquid gas terminal there. That’s always there. But also a little bit oil industry. But not so much because… of course it comes but we have a little bit of our own oil that circulates around. I think most of our oil comes from either Russia or Poland. So, comes by land. So, from Scandinavia it comes by ships but… But mostly it’s trade. DU: How do you think these oil terminals look like? Can you please describe them a little bit? VG: Oh! That’s a good question. I haven’t been there ages. Well it’s a lot of steel and iron. Also big industrial looking sort of a… I don’t know. It’s been ages since i have actually been that port. But i was younger and looked a bit scary as well it’s big… DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? VG: About petroleum! My grand dads car. He had a car that was a Moskvitch. It’s a Russian brand. It was bright orange and i remember at that time the petroleum that ran almost like ninety-two, it’s like ninety-five, ninety-eight and diesel. And at that time i remember was ninety-two so that was like my earliest memory. My grandfather have filled up his tank. DU: Were you filling the tank!? VG: No, my grandfather. I was just running around. I was like five years old, four years old. DU: Where was he filling the tank? VG: In a small town gas station doesn’t exist anymore. But… twenty years ago. DU: What were you doing in that gas station? VG: I was just running around. I was very interested “What are you doing?”. And i like the smell as well. [Laughs] “Ah! Let me see”… DU: Can you give examples of some oil related buildings in our built environment, rather than refineries and gas stations because you already talked about them? Can you recognise them in the built environment? VG: Well, i have an uncle who works at a oil company in Lithuania. So he lives by a hundred kilometres away from where he actually works because the all most of the others near the sea. So he works near the sea, lives North Lithuania. DU: Is this a national oil company? VG: It used to be but it got privatised to ((Williams)). Now belongs to Polish PKN Orlen73 . I think it’s the company who owns it. DU: Doesn’t he has a place, a house next to his workplace? VG: Well the oil company provides a house. So he stays there for three days, goes home then goes back for three days. DU: Ok. Company provides the house but i wonder if this house is a housing which has built by the company. VG: I think that it actually is own by the company. DU: Ok. Then everyone around, the neighbours for example are oil workers. VG: I am not exactly sure. But i know that it’s only him that stays in that house and it is very close to the seaside. So him and his wife always go to the seaside and can stay in that house basically. DU: So, you also go there to visit them some time. VG: Yes. Yes. Not very often but two times a year, three times. DU: What kind of housing is that? VG: It’s a… normal own house but normal house in Lithuania is= DU: =An apartment block? VG: No it is a separate house. It is not attached to anything… not like here in Delft or Netherlands the houses attached to other houses. Standalone house with a big… not relatively big i don’t know, hundred square meter. PKN Orlen (Polish: Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen) is a major Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer. The company is a significant European publicly traded firm with major operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Baltic States. 73
DU: Like American housing. VG: Yes. DU: Lots and separate blocks in the lots. VG: Yes. Yes. Yes. Something like that. It’s very common. It’s normal Lithuanian house let’s say. DU: Ok, so your uncle house has a traditional look. VG: Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s a normal house. They bought or, i think they bought i am not sure. Maybe the renting but it’s a normal house that was there before the company came. DU: Is there anything else that company provides? Like a meeting club or sports centre… VG: No. No. No. Not that i know of. No, i would know. DU: What is he doing exactly in this company? VG: So, he operates the machinery. I don’t know exactly which. I know that he is not by training. He is like a (( )) or something he supposed to work with plans and stuﬀ but… Because he lives in the city which have the oil company he switched to working with because of the money. DU: How can you describe the diﬀerences between Lithuania and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How people think about oil business in this two countries? Do you see any diﬀerences? VG: I think that people in Lithuania are like less green if if… that makes sense. Because we are bigger country by area but we have a five and a half times fewer people. So, for us oil and pollution is not really a problem. And it is a bit cheaper than here as well. But the Netherlands because you have so many people, so many cars in such a small area. People try to be green and cycling. In Lithuania very fee people cycle because there are no infrastructure and also “Why would you?” to them. And so i think people are more positive. Also by myself i notice myself when i “Come on! You don’t want another pipeline?” [Laughs] “But, you know think of the positives!” where is a… like here people are a bit more like a “Oh, No! Let’s go to green.” Lithuania is… DU: So, do you think that it’s because of it’s small? VG: I think that’s one of the main reasons. Because we don’t really have the very big issue with pollution and… Factories, we don’t have that much industry. So i think it’s a… it’s to do with the fact that it’s small. Maybe also to do with a little bit history. Soviet times when they built their cities, they bought such small yards in front of apartment blocks that cars don’t fit anymore. [Laughs] But our cities have much wider streets and everything, compared to here or UK. It is much more space for driving basically. DU: On the other hand, we will not be able to depend on abundance of cheap oil in the future because oil has already peaked. How do you imagine the future beyond oil? Do you find alternative energy sources quite challenging? Are you optimistic about future or do you have any dystopian view? VG: Well, i have a quite an optimistic view. We know there is also shale oil, its been being a (( )). They are still developing techniques to get it and then. It doesn’t gonna prolong the let’s say the life of oil. But they are developing also other, other sources and… Especially industry is very important. I am not so familiar with industry but then other for cars, there is already a lot of cars are hybrid and electric and… You know hydrogen is the future and all these things. I have a quite positive view. We can figure something out as long as we do it before the oil runs out. Because you don’t wanna wake up one morning have no oil and have nothing to replace it. DU: Can you please mention any other petroleum related buildings? We have refineries, we have gas stations but what else? What is visible for you? VG: Well, yes the gas stations, the refineries. There are the tunnels visible. Besides from that, i would say not like buildings but more like cars and like the trucks that they have the round…= DU: =The tankers VG: The tankers. Yes, the ones you see them a lot in Lithuania. And the ships. You know the… So more than… I don’t hang around industrial areas [Laughs] But, yes and… and the refineries with the burning flame because the gas comes out when you… DU: Can you please describe the oil refineries? VG: It’s a characteristic if like pipes and chimneys are small because you know if you are passing some sort of a thermal plant (( )) or something chimneys are big. But these seems like very diﬀerent. DU: Can you please describe it with three words? VG: Chimneys, pipes and either steel or either iron. I don’t know what it’s made of. Metal basically. DU: How would you describe a gas station? VG: Well, always has this roof. And then actual station where you fill your tank. There is usually like a, not a billboard 93
but like this huge light board where they show the prices. Yes, and sometimes there is also a shop. Sometimes it’s like self service. INTERVIEW WITH IOANNIS ANASTASOPOULOS Master Student in Embedded Karate Systems, TU Delft Audio Record in Oude Langendijk Delft Date of Interview: 17.10.2016 DU: Can you please introduce yourself? IA: My name is Anastasopoulos Ioannis. I live in the Netherlands for… this is my second year basically in the Netherlands. I am currently studying in TU Delft, doing my masters in embedded systems. And that’s it. Did i say i am from Greece? DU: You live in Delft. IA: Yes. DU: Can you describe your trip from home to your university? Your routine i mean. From the time you left home until the time you arrive the university. What do you see around? Can you please describe it visually? IA: Here in Delft? DU: Yes. Do you go by bike? IA: Yes, always i go by bicycle. Last year i was living basically into the university so i could walk as well. Now i live in the city centre so i take my bicycle everyday. I have to cross the bridge, then i am into the university. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam? IA: Yes. DU: How many times? IA: Many, i can’t count. More than ten let’s say. DU: How can you describe Rotterdam? IA: Rotterdam. It’s… it’s busy let’s say. I have driven around Rotterdam so i can not say it is… it is busy. But for cars streets are wide. There is order in the traﬃc. I mean it’s not chaotic. Also there are the canals. The main canal i guess. DU: Maas. IA: It’s nice to walk by. It’s developed well for both pedestrians and the traﬃc. I haven’t really used the public means of transportation of Rotterdam because most of the cities is walkable let’s say. You can walk from one place to the other. It’s not that big. Hmm… It’s a nice city. Also nice buildings, i guess modern… modern buildings. It’s a nice place. DU: Can you describe it with two or three words? What are the most vivid characteristics of Rotterdam? IA: The nightlife, the harbour… Hmm… The third… Hmm walking i guess. Walking in the rain. That’s it. DU: Ok. So you think Rotterdam is in human scale by counting it as a walkable city. IA: I think so, Yes. DU: Have you ever been in Rotterdam port? IA: Yes. DU: How many times? IA: Twice i think. DU: Where have you been? IA: Hm… In the port. I don’t know how to say… DU: Do you mean Kop van Zuid? I mean the neighbourhood around the Erasmus Bridge? IA: Yes, i think so. I have been next to Erasmusbrug as well. That part of the city. DU: So you have been in the old port. Have you ever been in the new port? Europoort, Maasvlakte II, Botlek or Pernis for example. IA: I think Europoort but i am not sure about the names. People take me there i mean. I just followed. DU: How did you go there? By car? IA: With other people they said “Ok, let’s go there”. We went there. DU: By car? IA: No. No, walking. We were in Rotterdam we just walked near Erasmusbrug. I don’t now what is there exactly.
DU: Ok. So, you don’t know where you have walked to. IA: [Laughs] Yes. DU: Have you ever take the Spido? The boat? IA: No. No. No. No. DU: How can you describe the port? IA: Busy. I mean there were many boats i guess. And it was busy and there was a also a big one. A really big one. DU: What is big? IA: I think, it was used to transport like goods. It was a huge platform. DU: For containers? IA: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, something like that. DU: What is your earliest memory about oil? IA: I guess in the gasoline station with my father used to fill the car. But also i remember once the colours of the oil spill on the street. Like on water that… that kind of… that really colourful thing that it was really attractive to me. DU: Do you have any other memory which is unforgettable for you? Something funny or scary maybe… IA: I don’t know. I mean, i… yes there was there was the memory… Ok, worst about oil. Mostly. I mean in… I was young but i remember my father talking about it. Like why this happening but i don’t know if this is relevant what you are doing right now. DU: Please. You can just tell it. IA: Yes, that’s it. I remember him talking about oil. I always remember also like the price of oil is being really significant to daily life. Although, i never got why it is happening. Hmm… That’s pretty much it. DU: Have you ever been in port of Athens? IA: Yes, Piraeus. Yes, many times. Luckily. DU: So, do you remember any oil refineries in the port? IA: Hmm… Yes. Actually the port is really dirty which i guess has to do with some… the pollution definitely comes from the boats. Floating around the port. but i don’t know if it is oil or another kind of dirt. I guess it’s… it has to do with oil though. But hmm… That place is not clean. I mean, you wont go to get into that sea. Or, you don’t want to be near it. And there is also sometimes a really strong smell in the port. DU: How can you describe the diﬀerences between Greece and the Netherlands in terms of oil business and the way they shaped the built environment? How can you compare these two countries according to their places in the oil network? IA: Basically here in the Netherlands i haven’t seen a refinery. So, i have no clue where they do this kind of work. In Greece there are, i know at least two or three places where the refineries are. And basically there is nothing else around this area. I mean in the middle of nowhere. DU: Where are they? IA: Aspropyrgos. It’s the big place. And also on the way after Aspropyrgos in the way to Corinthos. I don’t… I am not sure which is the name of the location exactly. But once you pass the (( )) Corinthos. You realise that you are next to Athens because you can get the smell of the refineries. DU: Ok. More than smell. How can you describe it visually? IA: They are big. They are huge mostly grey masses. In the night, they have many lights. Red lights mostly. There is a fire. What else… Thos huge silos. And there is also… there is order let’s say in the sense that you don’t see much many people moving… moving there. They are quiet let’s say. DU: Can you give examples of some other oil related buildings in our built environment? Can you recognise them in the built environment? I mean in the global context, out of Athens. IA: Oil wells. The machines that used to take the oil from the… from the ground. Also ship platforms used for drilling oil on the ocean. Hmm… Oil related? What do you mean by oil related? Because a lab also can be oil related. DU: Places of the business. IA: Hmm… DU: Do you have any relative or friend working for the oil business? IA: Yes, the father or my sisters boyfriend let’s say. He works for a Greek petroleum company. DU: Is this a state ownership? IA: No, it’s a private one. DU: So. Is this a Greek Company? 95
IA: Yes, it’s private i don’t know how to put it. It’s… the guy that has it. He is Greek, yes. DU: Does he go to port? I mean, where is his workplace? IA: He is working on the refineries, yes. Aspropyrgos. DU: Where does he live? IA: He lives in (( )) It’s a city next to Athens. A small city. Next to Piraeus basically. It’s like thirty, thirty-five minutes between his house and his work. He is not living in the area of refinery. DU: Do you know if the company pays for the house? IA: I think the company used to pay for some vacations. Some other cultural events like theatre plays and they would throw some parties for the children. They give some scholarships or some gift to the children of the employees. I don’t know about the housing though. I don’t think so. DU: Do they have any leisure place like near the port? For the workers like part places… Restaurants… IA: I don’t think… where they work. I think there is nothing else. It’s like an industrial area. So, i don’t think they have something like that. I don’t know if they have something in an other place in Athens. Maybe they have a camp though. That is a summer camp. I mean for children. DU: How can you describe the gas stations? IA: I hate visiting those places basically. But you can have a nice meal there, get your gasoline and keep going on your trip. DU: How can you recognise a gas station? Imagine yourself driving on a highway, you see a gas station, you decide to stop there. IA: From the label, from the colours. Also like the hangar that they have. Also the price tag. I don’t know. Yes, that’s it. That’s how we recognise it i guess. The machines also.
APPENDIX II ~ PHOTOGRAPHIC RECOGNITION TEST PHOTOS
FORMER SHELL HEADQUARTER Administration Building / Amsterdam
SHELL GEBOUW Administration Building / Rotterdam
SHELL KANTOOR Administration Building / Den Haag
HOUSING BLOCKS BUILT FOR PORT WORKERS Ancillary / Bloemhofplein, Rotterdam
HOUSING BLOCKS BUILT FOR PORT WORKERS Ancillary / Heijplaat, Rotterdam
HOUSING BLOCKS BUILT FOR PORT WORKERS Ancillary / Vreewijk, Rotterdam
ESSO REFINERIES Refineries / Botlek, Rotterdam
TANK STATIONS IN EXXON REFINERIES Refineries / Botlek, Rotterdam
GOOGLE STREET VIEW OF SHELL GAS STATION Gas Stations / Aveling, Rotterdam
GOOGLE STREET VIEW OF SHELL GAS STATION Gas Stations / Maasboulevard, Rotterdam
APPENDIX III ~ DRAWING EXAMINATION RESULTS
Petroleum, which has become so much a part of our lives today has transformed our built environment with its interconnected networks of dril...
Published on Jan 22, 2019
Petroleum, which has become so much a part of our lives today has transformed our built environment with its interconnected networks of dril...