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Coverphoto: streetscan from Galileistraat by team A2. Booklet design: Emma Raben Texts by: Michelle Provoost, Wouter Vanstiphout, Mike Emmerik, Mirjam Niemeyer Vladyslav Tyminskyi, Francesco D’Alessio, Emma Raben and the participants.


INDEX Introduction About the Spring School 6 Theme of the Spring School 9 Migration in Rotterdam 10 Borders are for Crossing 13

An Integrated Approach to Urban Development Strategies


The site: Oud and Nieuw Mathenesse


Overview of the week 20 Visual scans 40 Projects 60 Group A. Tricklands II 62

Group B. We Are The Makers


Group C. Area X 66 Group D. Free Corridor 70 Group E. Radio Marconi 72 People involved 74


COURSE DIRECTORS Michelle Provoost Mike Emmerik Mirjam Niemeyer Vladyslav Tyminskyi

INVOLVED MASTERS Arnold Reijndorp Crimson Historians and Urbanists De Dependance (Thijs Barendse & Sereh Mandias) Edith Gruson Gerard Hadders Grisha Zotov Herman Kossmann Jord den Hollander  Miodrag Kuč  Theo Hauben Valentyna Zotova ZUS (Kristian Koreman & Elma van Boxtel) 

LOCATION Independent School for the City Delftsestraat 33 III 3013 AE Rotterdam The Netherlands +31 010 2827724




Liubov Shkurenko

Zeynep Yavuz

Johannes Bernsteiner

Nina Riewe

Hani Salih

Mariana Lankhorst Marinho

Milka Dokuzova

Mariana Bucat

Meredith Blake

Hannah Beard

Christine Botha

Mariia Gryshchenko



Justyna Kościńska

Hugo Lopez

Marieke Spits

Eleonora Sovrani

Artem Batukaev

Prisca Arosio

Marina Kyriakou

Karen Lambert

Maloe Brinkman

Dasha Pyrogova

Alexandra Totoianu

Tanja Elstgees

TEAM C Tautvydas Urbelis Sabrina Ryan Mandana Cont Simon Salvador Natalia Pirogova Katrien Ligt


INTRODUCTION WHAT IS THE SPRING SCHOOL The Spring School 'Borders are for Crossing' is an 8-day urban studies programme that took place from 18 to 25 of March 2019 at the Independent School for the City in Rotterdam. The programme, organized conjointly by the Independent School for the City (Netherlands) and CANactions (Ukraine/the Netherlands), focused on exploring how the intra-European transfer of people, ideas, goods and finances affects spatial, social, economic and political conditions in a western city. Thus an international group of 30 participants, mentored by a multidisciplinary team of tutors and lecturers, researched manifestations of migration and developed stories, strategies and actions for a designated urban renewal area at the outskirts of Rotterdam: Oud and Nieuw Mathenesse — one a workers neighbourhood with a strong migrant influx and the other a disused harbour area now in redevelopment.

ORGANIZERS The Spring School builds upon the expertise of various institutions in both Ukraine and the Netherlands: the Independent School for the City - based in Rotterdam and rooted in the practices of Crimson Historians & Urbanists and ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles) - combines a critical, activist approach to the city with effecting real change through architectural and planning projects, whilst CANactions School runs interdisciplinary research-and-design programmes investigating and reflecting on the western (EU) and eastern (CEE) urban planning and architecture practice in the context of the local and global challenges that cities are facing nowadays.


Participants in the Spring School were introduced to the methodology of both institutions in order to gain a better understanding of the city's invisible realities and underlying dynamics. To objective was to learn how to reveal them and to interact with them in order to develop inclusive and sustainable urban strategies. Participants were also visited by a number of masters of looking and making: there was Jord den Hollander the film director, Herman Kossmann and Edith Gruson the exhibition designers, Gerard Hadders the graphic designer, Miodrag KuÄ? the interdisciplinary artist and urban theorist, Arnold Reijndorp the urban sociologist, and many more. Every Master gave the participants a different perspective and new insights to come up with a compelling strategy, story or action to reach the goal. More detailed info about the masters (names, pictures, short biography)

WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS Prospective students from a broad range of backgrounds were encouraged to apply – not only Architecture and Urban Planning, but also Sociology, Philosophy, Economics, Art History, Filmmaking etc. Out of more than 50 applications from all over the world, 30 participants were chosen by the School, and they were distributed into 6 mixed groups. Working in interdisciplinary and international teams allowed for a meaningful professional and cultural exchange between the Spring School participants.



THEME OF THE SPRING SCHOOL In this year’s Spring School, ‘Borders are for Crossing’, we looked at how a city, fragmented into disconnected zones and communities, can be reconnected with the entire world. Planning's biggest challenge in the 21st century will be to radically address such fragmentation of the city. No longer with master planning or new system theories, but by using the immense wealth of what is already there and to recompose it into a new whole: a city both here and 'there', both big and small, rich and poor, northern and southern, western and eastern: a City of Comings and Goings. We wanted to give back meaning to the term 'Radical Urbanism', i.e.: to explicitly go against conventional wisdom and dominant trends in urban design and policy making, to hack at the roots of contemporary urban development that is fragmenting our cities and to make them whole again, whole in themselves and whole with the world. Thus we immersed ourselves in the city and used all our senses to understand it in all its complexities and contradictions, its elites and its underdogs. We used the dirty realities of the city as the raw material out of which we will compose our Ideal New City: one that sticks together, one that has learned to love its own complexity, one that is not afraid of its contradictions and does not let itself be torn apart by bureaucracy, class or infrastructure.


MIGRATION IN ROTTERDAM As one of the largest harbours in the world and the largest in Europe, Rotterdam is a prototypical City of Comings and Goings. This is reflected not only in a present population with over 170 nationalities, but also in the morphology of the city with harbour areas, quays and docks, railways and dikes being characteristic features. Nowadays many of these industrial complexes are being or will be transformed, due to the harbour moving to the West. In their temporary state, many of these complexes work as an exciting and experimental proto-urban environment. In the centre, Rotterdam wants to profile itself more and more as a city for expats and aims to compete with The Hague and Amsterdam. The city is investing to attract international start-ups and technological companies. However, amenities that would make the city attractive for expats such as suitable housing and international education are lagging behind. Simultaneously the city has seen an increase of people from new member states that have joined the European Union between 2004 and 2007. Over the last decade approximately 37.500 people from Central and Eastern European countries have come to work and live temporarily or permanently in or around the city of Rotterdam, mostly from Poland, Romania or Bulgaria. Naturally, their presence has had a considerable impact on the cityscape, mostly reflected in the appearance of


grocery stores and restaurants specialized in products and dishes from Central and Eastern Europe. There are, however, countless realities related to the Eastern European presence in Rotterdam which are less obvious and often unnoticed by policy makers, urban planners or designers. During this Spring School the participants explored the invisible realities related to the migration from the East and tried to uncover their traces within Rotterdam — a city which is increasingly becoming more popular, but at the same time faces challenges such as gentrification and displacement.


photo: Piet Legerstee 12

BORDERS ARE FOR CROSSING The city is full of borders. Some are physical and separate places: roads, dikes or railroads. Others are invisible and separate what people do: zoning laws and administrative boundaries. Then there are borders that are less sharply defined but very real nonetheless: between people of different incomes, cultures or with different lifestyles. All day we live with these borders, crossing them or retreating within them. For the 2019 Spring School we chose to expose the visible and invisible borders in an urban area that straddles the cities of Rotterdam and Schiedam: Oud/Nieuw Mathenesse - a workers neighbourhood with a strong migrant influx adjacent to a disused harbour area now in redevelopment. Considering the popularity of the city, it is to be expected that the area will transform within the near future. To this end, new ideas and strategies are needed. By revealing the underlying dynamics of the city we aimed to gain a better understanding of the city of Rotterdam and developed integrated urban strategies that are more inclusive and sustainable. Our challenge for the participants was to stitch the areas together after immersing in their visible and invisible realities, using all the tools available provided by disciplines ranging from filmmaking to infrastructure design. To connect both areas to each other and to achieve a more complete and more integrated migration-driven urbanism, to make a city that does not divide the different globalised economies and communities on the basis of class or political opportunity, but that keeps them together, maximising their mutual benefits and the benefits to the local communities and economy.


AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Despite a significant shift that has happened in the last decades of the XX century in both communities of urban scholars and practitioners towards recognizing the multiplicity and often unpredictable nature of ‘urban development pathways’, the way how the cities are researched and designed all over the world largely remains traditional and dependent on beliefs inherited from the modernist past. One of such still dominating convictions is a disciplinary approach to educating urban professionals. At the same time, both CANactions School and the Independent School promote understanding the city as a complex phenomenon, appreciating and being inspired by its diversity. Therefore, to be able to grasp and critically interpret the highly controversial and contingent context of Oud and Nieuw Mathenesse, at the core of the Spring School methodology was interdisciplinary exchange between the participants. People representing various professional backgrounds – architects, city planners, designers, philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, and others – obtained the opportunity to experience the interdisciplinary interaction by working in mixed groups of six. The integration of the guidelines and techniques of various disciplines allowed the Spring School participants to creatively analyze the complex


urban environment of the case study area and further develop and demonstrate the wide range of possible future development strategies stepping widening the limits of traditional disciplinary perspectives. Furthermore, the Spring School was aimed at exploring the value of intercultural exchange within the international group of participants representing 21 countries. The decision of mixing people from global North and South as well as from East and West explicitly reflects another shared value of both the Independent School for the City and CANactions School – to cross the cultural-geographical borders exploring the global phenomenon of migration. Despite the challenging nature of this experiment, the participants managed to constructively reflect on the proposed topic as well as to re-think their personal experience of living and working elsewhere as a 'migrant', 'outsider', or 'foreigner'. Such a personal attachment to the sensitive theme of the Spring School allowed all five teams to take a certain position concerning the future of both existing and forthcoming residents of Oud and Nieuw Mathenesse and act as strategic designers that are aware of potential spatial and political consequences of the proposed scenarios.






THE SITE: NIEUW AND OUD MATHENESSE OUD MATHENESSE Oud Mathenesse is an early and mid-century residential neighbourhood that has for decades been the destination of migrant workers and for other immigrants to find homes, start businesses and families and gradually integrate into the Dutch economy and society. In the past decade Oud Mathenesse has seen a strong influx and rooting down of migrants from Eastern Europe, as noticeable for the presence of many Polish and other Eastern European shops and businesses. As such, the area is a prime example of how Rotterdam is a City of Comings and Goings. The culture and economy of the area are strongly characterised by the constant exchanges between the local entrepreneurs and families and their homeland markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. Other than the commercial sector, immigrants in the area mostly work in horticulture, construction, factories, and in the hospitality industry. The neighbourhood is divided in the middle by Franselaan, the only street in the area with some shops, bars and restaurants. The southern half of Oud Mathenesse is called the ‘Landenbuurt’, which was built in the 1930s. Here are mostly apartments and houses with gardens. On the edge of this area lies Witte Dorp, a pre-war complex of small houses for workers. The Northern half of Oud Mathenesse is called the ‘Schepenbuurt’ and was built in the 1950s. There are mostly high rise flats here.


NIEUW MATHENESSE South of Oud Mathenesse, sharply separated by a wide dyke and a road, lies the second area, Nieuw Mathenesse. Originally this was a large railyard and a port known as the ‘Merwede-Vierhavens’. In 1951, the harbours were important in the fruit sector: their main focus was the distribution of fruit. The municipality wanted to make the MerwedeVierhavens a more residential area in the 1970s, but that wasn’t possible because one of the factories had left the soil contaminated. They came up with a new plan: dividing the harbour in three zones which provided office space, harbour related fruit business, and services. To make the MerwedeVierhavens more attractive for visitors, a shopping boulevard was opened on the right side of this area. While the railways have now disappeared, the port area is still partly used for warehousing and a variety of industrial activities. But the industry is on a detour. Since 2009 the municipality has been rebranding Nieuw Mathenesse as ‘M4H’, meaning that the area is being transformed into an urban, innovative and creative milieu, as part of a reconversion project. The new users of this area are going to be an international network of companies, creative classes and digital nomads - international and footloose, similarly to the inhabitants of the residential area on the other side of the dyke. A number of creative businesses have settled in M4H, for example the Atelier of Joep van Lieshout and Studio Roosegaarde. These are two renowned Dutch visual artists. The aim of M4H is become a hub for innovative and creative industries. This marks the transition from an industry based economy to a creative workspace. Another goal is to attract more restaurants and bars to make the M4H area a nice place to


dwell. The municipality of Rotterdam sees a bright and creative future for the M4H but there is not fixed plan just yet. It is believed that the full development of the area will take about 15 to 20 years. The irony - and the great spatial and economic challenge - of this juxtaposition is that both Oud and Niuew Mathenesse are examples of the City of Comings and Goings that our urban environment has become, but that they are separated by all the barriers, visible and invisible, you can imagine. Both areas might have seamless connections with the rest of Europe and beyond but are separated from each other as if by a concrete wall, guards and electronic surveillance. So we looked at this area in a radical way, with the explicit will to go against the dominant trends and to change it fundamentally, to break down the deeply ingrained barriers and make the city whole.

photo: team D2 19


EW OF EK photo: Dick Snaterse 21

DAY 1 (SUNDAY MARCH 17TH) ROTTERDAM CITY TOUR The first day of the Spring School was all about introductions. First, the participants met each other and their teams. There were five teams (team A to E) which each contained six students. After the introduction to the Independent School for the City, Wouter Vanstiphout gave a short lecture on the history of Rotterdam and its context in the Netherlands. The best way to discover the city is to see it, so after the lecture, Wouter took everyone outside for a city tour. He showed many sites that characterise Rotterdam. He included some classic as well as recent architectural highlights. The tour included amongst others the Luchtsingel by ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles), the Coolsingel, the Markthal (MVRDV), the kubus houses, the old harbour and the Lijnbaan. After the tour, the participants went to the research area for the first time: Oud- and Nieuw Mathenesse. Every team took a different way of public transport to reach the neighbourhoods. Their research started right away. How do you reach Mathenesse from the city centre? What do you notice? How is the commute there? Are there already some borders visible?


Photo's: Emma Raben 23


Photo's: Maarten Laupman After the general introductions on the first day, it was time to dig deeper into the area on the second day. Before the students took off on their bikes, there were more introductions to the Independent School for the City and CANactions School. Afterwards, there was an explanation of the assignment. The assignment of the second day was to make a scan of the area and to search for visual clues. To make sure the area was thoroughly searched, the teams of six were split into sub-teams of three to create a visual essay. The results of this assignment can be found in the next chapter. During their walks, the teams took a lot of pictures and collected more traces of evidence. One of the students even had a kapsalon (a fast food dish created in Rotterdam, consisting of a layer of fries placed into a disposable metal take-away tray, topped with shawarma meat and cheese) to emerge himself in the neighbourhood.


In the end of the afternoon, the participants returned to the School to create a database of their findings. Just before dinner, Jeroen de Bok, Senior Urbanist at the Rotterdam Municipality, gave a lecture on prevailing development trends and challenges of the city of Rotterdam. De Bok mainly focussed on the future of the M4H area and the Makers District. After a short break, the pizza delivery came and Jord Den Hollander gave a lecture on irrational continuity in film. A film is an edited reality. In a film, one can move back or forward in time or show multiple timelines. When something happens in one place, something else can happen elsewhere. This is accepted by the viewer. Jord den Hollander argues that this concept is also applicable to discovering the research area. By looking for traces and details in the street, the participants discover pieces which they will edit into their stories about the area. With full stomachs, everyone made their way back to the research area to explore Mathenesse by night. We met with police officers Mirjam and Kim. They both work as ‘neighbourhood’ police in Mathensse and know a lot about what’s going on there. They confirmed that a lot of migrant families live in the area. The officers explained how they tried to get in contact with them. Kim was even trying to learn Polish!




Photo's: Maarten Laupman

The participants showed some traces they found on the previous day. They made very interesting observations. Why is it that many inhabitants want to decorate their houses? Why do some people put a lion statue next to their front doors? With these first findings, some participants already came up with some stories. They were further developed that day with the guidance of Arnold Reijndorp, Edith Gruson, Gerard Hadders, Herman Kossmann and Jord den Hollander. The goal of this day was to create a story, a narrative around the trace the teams found most intriguing and to build - through speculation - a whole world surrounding this one trace. In the evening, there were presentations once again where the students showed their progress. 27


Photo's: Maarten Laupman

This day of the Spring School started

in the case study area and their specific

with a lecture on critical cartography by

spatial representation. KuÄ? showed a

Miodrag KuÄ?, an interdisciplinary artist

lot of examples and demonstrating the

and urban theorist with a vast experience

participants that a map can also be, for

of working in both Western and Eastern

example a cartoon. There are more ways

Europe. In contrast to the traditional

to make borders visual than a simple

mapping, applying the methodology of

line on a map. Inspired by this talk, the

critical cartography shifted the focus of

students continued working on their

participants towards understanding and


visualizing socio-political relations reflected 28


DAY 5 (THURSDAY MARCH 21ST) DEVELOPMENT OF URBAN STRATEGY PART I In the morning, Mirjam Niemeyer and Vladyslav Tyminskyi from CANations School gave a lecture on an integrated approach to strategic design proposals. The presentation was focused on the overview of the global trends that are changing the cities of both east and west as well as on the issue of their localization. In particular, based on the experience of CANactions School, the processes of transferring, adaptation and elaboration of urban strategies in the context of Ukrainian cities have been introduced to the participants. The discussion after the lecture took some interesting turns, influenced by the Dutch elections of the previous day. A right winged party gained a lot of votes, quite unexpectedly. Questions were raised how right wing politicians would see strategic design questions like these. Another interesting part of the discussion focussed on design solutions. When a solution is found to an urban (design) problem is found, it immediately has an expiration date because the problem will evolve with the solution. This is why urban geographers and planners are constantly looking for new strategies and solutions, which also means that research will always be necessary. In the afternoon and evening, the students started to work on their urban strategies under the guidance of some the masters and course directors. 30

Photo's: Maarten Laupman




Photo's: Maarten Laupman

The previous day, the students worked on their first draft for their urban strategy. On Friday, they had a discussion led by de DĂŠpendance, a platform for city culture and public debate, Theo Hauben and the course directors. After this, the participants continued to develop their strategies, focused on identifying strategic objectives, tactical measures/ interventions in accordance with the overall implementation roadmap. Afterwards, there was an intensive session to decide upon the final strategy per group. To finish this important day and celebrate the weekend a little bit, the participants explored the Rotterdam night life. 33


During the weekend, the participants focussed on production. They developed their strategies and tactics further and concentrated on the effort on identifying the most efficient tools to communicate their proposals. The participants did so with the guidance of Hermann Kossman and Edith Gruson.


Photo's: Maarten Laupman


DAY 8 (SUNDAY MARCH 24TH) PREP FOR THE FINAL EVENT Supported by the Spring School masters and experts, the teams continued producing their projects on Sunday identifying the most efficient tools to communicate the proposals.

Photo's: Maarten Laupman 36



Photo's: Maarten Laupman

After the weekend, the Independent School for the City was almost unrecognisable. The students worked very hard on their exhibitions over the weekend and it showed! Many spaces of the offices were claimed by the teams for their exhibitions. Although they worked very hard, there some final touches that needed to be done. Everyone involved helped the participants to finalize their presentations.


Around 5pm, the first visitors and guest arrived. Half an hour later, each of the groups presented their work to the audience. It was great to finally see what the students had come up with. Their results are presented in the next chapter. After a certificate ceremony, it was time for some well deserved beers.


VISUAL SCANS WHAT IS A VISUAL SCAN? A visual scan is a method created by Edith Gruson and Gerard Hadders. During the Spring School, the participants used the method to research and document the area. Each team of students was divided in two smaller groups. There were ten groups of three students each. Gruson and Hadders made ten different routes the participants would walk. Each route was a straight line from north to south across the area. During their walks, the participants were asked to documented the streets and facades in normal and panorama pictures. This way, each group made a visual database of the area. The process of trying to understand the area was visually documented with the in-between steps are clearly visible. The visual scan offered the participants a structural opportunity to think with images. It allowed for another type of narrative that offered the opportunity, by means of fictional intervention, to make reality manageable, comprehensible and meaningful. Different from the scientific or philosophical exposĂŠ, the argumentation of the visual essay strives for an open approach, independent from any preconditioned set of ideas. In the end, the students made visual scans of the area. The results are shown here.


'Reading back' the street.



image nr.

orientation (west/east)

orientation (street/facade)

B2 _POOLSESTRAAT_W_S_001 B2 _LANDENPLEIN_360 In case of panorama shot. How to build the database.

































PROJECT photo: street scan Professor Poelselaan by team A2. 60

TS 61

TEAM A TRICKLANDS II Team A began their research by looking for traces in windows: closed curtains, open curtains, how the people living in the area customise the thresholds between their private and public sphere. They endeavoured to understand the place by observing people’s everyday lives and interactions, as voyeurs. The group observed that, compared to the average Dutch neighbourhood with homes extensively leaving the curtains open for the passer-by to peek inside - residents of Oud Mathenesse seem quite reluctant to display the interior of their homes: this could be a reflection of an ample presence of nonDutch/immigrant residents, but could also mean that a general distrust exists in the neighbourhood, possibly caused by a lack of interaction between residents. The group consequently investigated where and how interaction happens in the area. Coffee shops seem nonexistent, and similarly the presence of potential spaces for interaction is very scarce. In the light of the Municipality plan for the redevelopment of the adjacent NieuwMathenesse, but not taking into account Oud-Mathenesse, the team argued that it is the isolation and lack of interaction that is making the community weak and unable to reach to the municipality. As their strategy to promote cohesion and openness in both Oud- and NieuwMathenesse, team A developed a tool, in the form of a board game, for the community to create opportunities for interaction and discuss solutions for issues within the 62

Photo's: Maarten Laupman

area. Tricklands II (named after Michaël Borremans’ painting ‘Trickland’) see 6 players (portrayed by different stakeholders: ‘community’, ‘voyeur’, ‘industry’, ‘nature’, ‘developer’, ‘municipality’) rolling dice to move around the game board, consisting of different Mathenesse locations, picking ‘action cards’ that demand the discussion of specific issues, and ‘wild cards’ that force the player to change perspective. The game is both serious and fun and allows for participatory design. It is a social tool, and its roleplaying nature creates empathy between different stakeholders, promoting clarity and possibly consensus on what is essential for different groups. 63

TEAM B WE ARE THE MAKERS If you look closely, Team B notices, that the activities existing in the neighbourhood of Oud-Mathenesse, reflect that a big number of the immigrant residents is a ‘maker’, someone who works with hands, skilfully, a master of negotiation with artistic, creative, business potential. The area, untouched from future municipality redevelopment plans, shows a state of neglect, of loneliness. In view of the adjacent area of Nieuw-Mathenesse being redeveloped into a ‘Makers District’, an exciting new place to settle for creatives and artists, Team B challenges the municipality decision of not including Oud-Mathenesse in the Makers District plan. Negotiation, which is a distinctive feature noticeable in the ways of life in Oud-Mathenesse, could be employed to induce the municipality to consider including the neglected residents in their plans. The Team proposed a political campaign as their urban strategy: ‘We Are The Makers’, as a catalyst for promoting the bettering of living condition of the area. The group argues that, if Oud-Mathenesse’s residents are included in the municipality plan, both parties could benefit from each

Photo: Maarten Laupman 64

other, taking advantage of the existing labour force of migrants from various educational backgrounds and shifting toward a mix of prodcution, trade and socio-economic functions. During the final exhibition the group showed slogans, posters and sample development policies that promote core values and worldwide views that arise from differences of culture and circumstances, encouraging business opportunities for small scale start-ups with local skilled craftsmanship through collaboration of both private and public parties from M4h. The campaign also encourages the municipality to provide affordable housing for the lower class to avoid gentrification, displacement, social exclusion and segregation, and creating opportunities to facilitate middle class families moving to Oud Mathenesse by providing day-care services, community centres and making a better use of the vacant space in the neighbourhood. The campaign aims at reducing social isolation in favour of collective cultural growth and guaranteeing that any individual, group or new arrival in the area can feel welcome, respected, supported and valued.


TEAM C AREA X Team C, was captured by traces of surveillance and deviation in Oud- and Nieuw-Mathenesse in their investigation on the sense of community in the area. The fragmented urban and social composition of the neighbourhood was conceptualised in the metaphor of ‘pixels’, a reality that makes sense in the bigger scale but conceals problematic small scale situations, reflected in the large presence of surveillance and disciplinary measures of control in the area. In the light of the M4H development plan coming inevitably into realisation and changing drastically the spatial set up of Mathenesse, potentially bringing gentrification and further cultural and social isolation, Team C see this time as an opportunity for social and spatial experiments to stimulate a new social cohesion. The group proposed a ‘temporal autonomous zone’ called Area X. Once identified the boundaries and pathways of such area, the team advocates that local residents and people from deprived backgrounds make absolute free use of the land, with no rent and no surveillance in favour of spatial trust, creativity, experimentation, transgression, pride and sense of belonging that will shape a new organic sense of community that will continue to exist socially even after the area is redeveloped physically.

“Area X is daring attempt to extend spatial imagination into unknown territories and resist increasing power of surveillance. It’s a concept that offers strategy and action, but does not predict its outcomes. Area X is for learning and emancipation, for encounters and frictions, Area X is for becoming borderless.” (from the Area X Manifesto) At the final exhibition the group set up an enigmatic installation in which black objects, representing unknown urban territories, are connected – or detached - by black threads, representing the unpredictable possibilities that a de-bureaucratised Area X will bring into existence. Set against


Photo: Maarten Laupman

a white backdrop, the black objects, including a floating upside down chair and a TV laying on the floor, play with ideas of juxtaposition, randomness, uncertainty, creativity and invite the visitor to reflect on the complex precarious nature of their experiment. Team C also put together a manifesto that can be found on the next page. 67

MANIFESTO X We understand that M4H is inevitable. New

be caught by the large scale maps and ever larger

developments will transform harbour area into

projects, undermining vital importance of small scale

something yet to be seen. However, these changes

processes. In Area X we want molecular not molar.

do not happen instantly, leaving land and buildings

Pixels are these tiny particles that forms the city, but

vacant for days, weeks, even years. We see this

never completely blends into the homogenous unity.

time an opportunity for daring social and spatial

experiments that otherwise couldn’t be possible. We

and available for everybody. However, local residents

propose creating temporal autonomous zone called

and people from deprived communities must be

Area X.

prioritized. Too long equality has been aligned with


We have marked the space for research

We advocate spaces to be free of rent


and creative developments. Having these initial

boundaries gives a sense of direction, that we

playground for the newcomers from Rotterdam and

thirst in the age of discontent. Mapping sites of

abroad. However, we are not afraid of interventions

intervention is crucial – vast spaces, buildings,

and unconventional solutions. Even frictions and

forgotten pathways – even smallest particles swirl

conflicts. One of the key features of Old Mathenesse

with dazzling potential we strive to explore.

(and whole Rotterdam) is diversity which brings

together cultures that otherwise would be

We must acknowledge that in the Area

We understand the danger of becoming

X everything temporal. As much as we aspire to

incompatible. We don’t want to foster these tensions,

provide stability and resist prevailing precarious

neither to repress or deny them.

economic and housing situation, time won’t be

on our side. On the other hand, temporality works

are outsiders. Like many of residents coming to

in favour creating social networks instead of

the neighbourhood from different countries, often

spatial ones. We urge to initiate connection to the

without knowledge of language and having not real

community, rather than to space.

connections. Here we feel connection through the

state of being disconnected.

Pixel is a metaphor and as mode of

We are not afraid to admit that we

space distribution. Pixel represent the fragmented

In order to counter the risk of becoming

urban and social composition of Mathenesse and

just an aimless spatial venture we propose making

the whole Rotterdam. Our imagination tends to

Area X an experimental area of surveillance

research. Scarred with surveillance and disciplinary devices, Mathenesse fights back by reclaiming the public spaces. Graffiti, tags, stickers and various displaced objects becomes tools of resistance. These transgressions urged us to think about different ways of becoming community, based

Stills from the film

on spatial trust instead of mass surveillance and discipline.

Reduction of surveillance and disciplinary

tactics in favour of building trust, pride and sense of belonging shaped the unique approach of the project. We want less policing and more mutual help, we want to look after each other, not to spy each other, we want to demolish the tower within the panopticon, leaving open spaces to encounter the unexpected.

Area X is daring attempt to extend spatial

imagination into unknown territories and resist increasing power of surveillance. It’s a concept that offers strategy and action, but does not predict its outcomes. Area X is for learning and emancipation, for encounters and frictions, Area X is for becoming borderless.


TEAM D FREE CORRIDOR Team D explored realms of ‘sharing’ within the Mathenesse district. The team undertook both independent research and interviews with residents and then identified a number of sharing practices existing in the neighbourhood: sharing that includes a small fee, sharing in the context of education and workshops, sharing as a recommendation/advice system, sharing goods, sharing ideas and opinions. The team, whose proposal is to facilitate – not to design – this world of sharing, envisioned that the physical and social borders that divide Oud- and Nieuw-Mathenesse need to be tackled by cutting their surface transversally, materialising in what they have named a ‘Free Corridor’: a slightly over-elevated subtle structure, blending harmonically into the surroundings, flowing from the residential area within Oud-Mathenesse towards the shoreline of the river. Free Corridor will become a permanent common property with fully integrated services, such as water, electricity, Wi-fi, drainage and, by donating it freely to the residents, it will allow for new creative opportunities, events, activities that will foster a social and cultural regeneration of the area. Team D explained that the Free Corridor is an opportunity to give the residents of Mathenesse a voice and to strengthen sharing practices within the community, with no spatial or social preconceptions but aimed at multifuncionality and continuous change. For the final exhibition, the group presented the interactive development of their strategy with a number of ideas and examples of existing and prospective sharing practices for Mathenesse’s Free Corridor and invited the visitors to contribute with sharing ideas too.


Photo's: Maarten Laupman 71

TEAM E RADIO MARCONI Team E investigated social and cultural interaction in the area of Mathenesse by cataloguing abandoned objects found in the streets: not necessarily only rubbish like empty cans, cardboard boxes, but also shoes, clothes, books and toys. The group, committed from the beginning to create a tool to draw the community together, firstly launched a lighthearted Instagram page called ‘Lost and Found at Mathenesse’, designed to promote discussion online, by posting pictures of the many curious abandoned items they found in the area. In a second stage the group turned to a study of the sounds audible in Mathenesse. Once recorded and analysed the sound activity from a number of sources in a variety of locations across the area, the group identified patterns of liveliness and dullness in the area and particularly observed the positive contribution of international radio broadcasting to the atmosphere and happiness of residents. The adjacent area of Marconi Plein, named after the inventor of the radio Guglielmo Marconi, provided Team E with the idea for a creative unconventional urban strategy, the creation of a radio station: Radio Marconi, as a tool to promote integration across the area. The team set up an online radio stations and tested it on site, receiving positive comments from the residents. During the final exhibition, they engaged in a live show with plenty of diverse exciting music from all over the world and interviews with different guests, local and external, from a variety of backgrounds, to discuss and explore possible futures together.


Photo's: Maarten Laupman 73

PEOPLE INVOLVE Schiedamseweg (photo: StevenL). 74

D 75

COURSE DIRECTORS Michelle Provoost is head of the Independent School for the City, co-founder of Crimson Historians and Urbanist, and director of the International New Town Institute. She is an architectural historian specialised in urban planning history, postwar architecture and contemporary urban


development. Michelle teaches at various universities in the Netherlands and abroad and continues to be in great demand as a public speaker. She lectures regularly throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, and has been involved in many municipal, national and private committees and juries.

Mike Emmerik is school coordinator at the Independent School for the City and partner at Crimson Historians and Urbanists. He is educated as an Urban Designer at Delft University of Technology and subsequently worked there for 5 years as a teacher and researcher at


the chair of Design as Politics. He has been involved in various research and design projects at the intersection of urbanism and policy making, and advises national and municipal governments on issues related to urbanisation and mobility. In addition, he has been involved in various international teaching and design projects in Lebanon, Ghana and Cuba.


Mirjam Niemeyer is an architect, urban designer and founding partner at Helsinki Zürich Office. She is CANactions School Advisory Board member and has curated, and mentored CANactions School educational programs since 2016. Mirjam has been a visiting professor


at the PBSA Düsseldorf and assistant professor at the Institute of Urban Design at ETH Zurich. She has tutored several workshops and published internationally. In praxis, she works as a designer, researcher & consultant in the fields of architecture, urban design and planning in an international context.

Vladyslav Tyminskyi is an architect, researcher, and consultant on strategic urban design and spatial planning. Since 2018, he is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Stuttgart, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning. Starting from 2015, Vladyslav has been a Program


Director and Co-curator of Education at CANactions School and a guest tutor in the framework of various educational programs in Eastern and Western Europe. In 2016–2017, he worked for two projects of GIZ in Ukraine as a Chief Urban Researcher and External Consultant on Urban Development


MASTERS Arnold Reijndorp studied architecture at the TU-Delft. A growing interest in the social and cultural developments in cities brought him as a lecturer in urban sociology to the Sociology department of the University of Amsterdam, trying to bridge the gap between urban practice and


academic discourse, for which attempts he was rewarded the Rotterdam-Maaskant price 2012. He acted as adinterim professor of ‘Entwerfen und Architectursoziologie’ at the TU-Berlin and held the Han Lammers chair of ‘Socio-economic and spatial developments of new urban areas’ at the University of Amsterdam. This resulted in various publications about Duthc new Towns and new approaches to public space.

Crimson Historians and Urbanists is Ewout Dorman, Mike Emmerik, Annuska Pronkhorst, Michelle Provoost, Simone Rots, Wouter Vanstiphout and Cassandra Wilkins. Since 1994, when Crimson published its first books and became part of the urban planning team for the extension


of Utrecht ’Leidse Rijn’, the office has developed a hybrid practice with a background in architectural history that focusses on the contemporary city. Crimson designs for the city, researches it, writes texts and books about it, shows it in exhibitions and works of art, teaches about it, gives advice on it and makes policies for it.


Thijs Barendse and Sereh Mandias of the Dependance work from the premise that the city of Rotterdam is intrinsically connected to global trends – from growing flows of capital, labour, goods and information to geopolitical shifts of power. In order to explain, interpret


and critically reflect on these transformations De Dépendance researches how they manifest themselves in our cities and urban regions. They do this by initiating public programs that bring new perspectives, divergent opinions, alternative solutions and (radical) imaginaries. Edith Gruson revolutionized exhibition design with her company Traast + Gruson in the nineties. Their unique approach brought subject, context and architecture together. Since the end of the 80s traast + gruson designed and co-edited more than 120 spatial


presentations and exhibitions for corporations and cultural institutions in The Netherlands as well as international. In 2012 Edith Gruson and Gerard Hadders founded ProArtsDesign. An interdisciplinary design association specialized in building integrated solutions for complex communication questions. Its mission is to integrate spatial, graphic and virtual presentations within a single concept. ProArtsDesign is active with international clients and specializes on projects in city environments best described as ‘Public Space Interfaces’.


Gerard Hadders was co-founder of the magazine and design group Hard Werken in 1978. The eighties of the 20th century was characterized by a gung-ho! attitude towards fine arts and design. From the early 1980’s on he was involved in curational work and editorial design.


A professional in almost all facets of graphic design, from the late eighties on he developed a strong interest in architecture as sign and symbol. Gerard has worked for numerous – international – art institutions, creating identities, designing in depth catalogues and exhibitions. Grisha Zotov founded Architectural Prescription in 2016. Based in Amsterdam, Architectural Prescription engages in design on both an urban and architectural scale and additionally offers computational consultation services for design professionals. The practice employs a pragmatic,


analytical design approach using advanced computational methods to develop projects and processes in which form is a function. Previously Grisha gained experience in architectural design, urban planning, construction techniques and computational design in internationally acclaimed offices BIG, OMA, de Architekten Cie and ZOTOV&CO.


Herman Kossmann graduated as an architect from Delft University of Technology. He began his career as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and carried out a number of mayor renovation projects in Rotterdam as an independent architect. In the beginning of the 90’ he


was asked to design and manage some large exhibitions, which became a new direction in his work. In 1998 he set up an interdisciplinary design office, based in Amsterdam with fellow student Mark de Jong: Kossmann.dejong. The office became an international operating design studio specialised in exhibition design and interior architecture.

After having finished his master's in architecture at the Technical University of Delft, Jord den Hollander followed a course in scenario writing at the Filmschool in London. Throughout his career he has often combined both disciplines. He has made documentaries about art and


architecture, has written and directed internationally acclaimed television series for children about art and science and is curator of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (, the world’s biggest architecture film festival, which he co-founded in 2002. In addition, he has designed a unique oeuvre that includes an architecture centre for children in Almere, a mobile kid’s library, a floating hotel and a tensegrity bicycle bridge.


Miodrag KuÄ? is an interdisciplinary artist and urban theorist trained as architect / urban planner in various cultural settings. His work explores the role of ephemeral structures in uncertain urban conditions and spatial appropriations of marginal social groups. He is founder of the studio V


ParaArtFormations which moves at the intersection of urban studies, performative-planning, artistic interventions and micro politics. Currently he works as project coordinator at ZK/U (Centre for Art and Urbanistics) Berlin, exploring new ways of knowledge production through the lens of critical urban pedagogy.

Theo Hauben is an architect and urban designer who started his career focusing on concept development in 1999. He often deals with unexplored spatial challenges that require typological innovation and originality. This experience has made him a specialist in strategic


thinking and smart acting for business related inquires and initial assessment. His professional development makes it possible to combine his knowledge of design processes with economics, marketing, research and corporate communications. Theo is business developer at Diederendirrix architects, visiting tutor at several schools and writes for different media on architecture, urbanism, construction industry and the real estate market.


Valentyna Zotova is a director at the architectural bureau “Zotov&Co” and director of the International Architectural Festival CANactions, both in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since 2014 Valentyna Zotova has also been the president of the charity foundation “CANactions” that holds the


CANactions School for Urban Studies - with offices in Kyiv (Ukraine) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

Founded in 2001, ZUS is an interdisciplinary design bureau for city and landscape, with offices in Rotterdam and New York. ZUS is currently working with an international team on a metropolitan vision for Marseille (France), a plan for the New Meadowlands in New Jersey


(US), and the design for a music venue and a cinema in Rotterdam (NL). Their unsolicited advice and activist attitude saw them win the Maaskant Prize for Young Architects and receive a nomination for Architect of the Year in 2012. They are Visiting Professors at Syracuse University School of Architecture, lead the 'Gentrification Lab NYC' and have recently published a new book, “City of Permanent Temporality – Incomplete & Unfinished”




HANI SALIH British Architect

MILKA DOKUZOVA Macedonian Architect

MEREDITH BLAKE American Architect

CHRISTINE BOTHA South African Architect




JUSTYNA KOSCINSKA Polish Sociologist

MARIEKE SPITS Dutch Architect

ARTEM BATUKAEV Russian Financial Consultant

MARINA KYRIAKOU Greek Cypriot Architect

MALOE BRINKMAN Dutch Visual Designer




SABRINA RYAN Australian Architect

MANDANA CONT Iranian Architect

SIMON SALVADOR Spanish Architect

NATALIA PIROGOVA Russian Architect

KATRIEN LIGT Dutch Graphic designer


PARTICIPANTS TEAM D ZEYNEP YAVUZ Turkish Media and Communication Specialist

NINA RIEWE German Urbanist

MARIANA LANKHORST MARINHO Dutch Geographer/Urban Planner

MARIANA BUCAT Croatian Architect

HANNAH BEARD British Landscape Architect

MARIIA GRYSHCHENKO Ukrainian Sociologist



ELEONORA SOVRANI Italian Visual Artist

PRISCA AROSIO Swiss Architect

KAREN LAMBERT South African Architect

DASHA PYROGOVA Ukrainian Sociologist

TANJA ELSTGEEST Dutch Theatre maker









Profile for CANactions

LOGBOOK Spring School "Borders are for crossing"  

The program is aimed to explore how the intra-european transfer of people, ideas, goods and finances effects spatial, social, economic and p...

LOGBOOK Spring School "Borders are for crossing"  

The program is aimed to explore how the intra-european transfer of people, ideas, goods and finances effects spatial, social, economic and p...