"The Anthropocene is not just a scientific and observational concept. It resonates with a warning: the fact that we are powerful enough to manipulate the earth is not something to be proud of. The moral subtext is that we are also responsible for the consequences of our intervention: for environmental problems, for the extinction of species, for the Russian roulette of climate change."
The Independent School for the City is proud to have two of Hollands most original thinkers and makers as teachers of a unique two week studio from 9 - 20 March 2020. The exhibition designer Herman Kossmann and the ecologist and landscape architect Dirk Sijmons have joined forces with the School and mapped out an expedition to discover the ultimate consequences of our attitude to the Anthropocene – the geological era marking the dominant human impact on the Earth systems.
A matrix of four basic attitudes towards the Anthropocene and in confronting the causes and effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, land use change et cetera will help us bring the effects of our actions close to home, literally and painfully. As always, the Independent School for the City will take the dirty old fossil fueled port town of Rotterdam as its point of departure, but only to travel to the far-flung corners of the globe brought to Rotterdam by the participants in the studio. Rotterdam will be mirrored with your home town or region and vice versa. From the abstract levels of dealing with the climate in terms of policy, economy or science, we will dive right down to the level of everyday life in the city, in your own neighborhood, in your own street. If you are a denialist, expecting that the current upheavals are part of a geological cycle unaffected by humans, then how will you work, live and travel in the future, relieved of all restrictions and feelings of guilt or responsibility? What will your street look like? If your attitude is one of Deep Ecology and you feel that man should take steps back and realize he’s only a small cog in a living web of a myriad of species then how would you spend your days and your life. But what if you are a techno-optimist, expecting solutions from technology that would allow us to keep on developing, growing and innovating, without endangering our future, how would daily life be redesigned? And what if you would accept that our only way to survive and come to terms with the damage we have already done, is a radical deprogramming after a millennium of a fundamentalist belief in growth? How would we live then?
Regular tickets are available for 500 euro. Student tickets are available for 300 euro. Please send us an email including your education registration certificates to apply for a student ticket.
We will take you on a journey along four philosophical viewpoints that one can have of this age of mankind. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, during which we will embrace each perspective to the fullest and think through what it will actually mean for our daily life. Don’t be afraid: you will change position every once in a while during the two weeks! Each day will have a lecture by someone who makes us see the world completely different again, ultimately challenging you to take your own position towards the world we live in and get to know the complexities the Age of Mankind is going to confront us with. There will be close encounters with philosophers, transition experts, movie directors and environmental scientists. Each day will also include debates amongst each other and several hours of concentrated work on your individual or group project. There will be vegan, artificial meat or 3D printed food at lunchtime according to the theme of the day. The studio will end with a presentation of the Museum of Fossil Expressionism, compiled and designed by the participants.
The studio will be about using your knowledge and imagination to improve, layer and enrich your worldview, to understand your own country and your own position vis a vis the new normal of the Anthropocene (e.g. climate change) and how we as humans need or want to act. You will get the chance to work with various thinkers on the forefront of thinking about climate change.
It will not only be the goal to gain insights personally, but also about being able to communicate them to each other in text, images, installations, film or otherwise. The studio is open to anyone interested, it is not necessary to be a professional designer, photographer or image-maker as we will preferably use low tech techniques. The focus is on gaining personal insights rather than making a public exhibition. Sign up here
Dirk Sijmons is a landscape architect trained as an urbanist in 1990 he was one of the founders of H+N+S Landscape Architects. He received numerous awards and was appointed first State Landscape Architect of the Netherlands (2004-2008). He held the chair of Environmental Design (2008-2011) and that of Landscape Architecture (2011-2015) at the TU-Delft. Dirk Sijmons was the curator of IABR--2014 themed Urban-by-Nature. At the World Design summit 2017 in Montreal he was awarded the IFLA sir Geoffrey Jellicoe award.
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.
Monday 09 March 202010:00 – 13:00 Welcome and general introduction13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break (own occasion)14:00 – 18:00 Short assignment
Tuesday 10 March 202010:00 – 13:00 Presentation and discussion13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break (own occasion)14:00 – 17:00 Teamwork17:00 – 18:00 Lecture by Dirk Sijmons
Wednesday 11 March 202010:00 – 18:00 Expedition: the Anthropocene in Rotterdam
Thursday 12 March 202014:00 – 17:00 Teamwork17:00 – 18:00 Lecture by an environmental scientist 18:00 – 19:00 Dinner break (own occasion)19:00 – 21:00 Film and presentation.
Friday 13 March 202010:00 – 13:00 Collective assignment13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break (own occasion)14:00 – 16:00 Collective assignment16:00 – 18:00 Presentation and discussion of findings of the week
Monday 16 March 2020 - Denialism10:00 – 11:00 Introduction on Denialism by Dirk Sijmons/Herman Kossmann11:00 – 12:30 Lecture by a philosopher12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break Denialist style14:00 – 17:00 Teamwork / tutoring17:00 – 18:00 Presentation outcomes of the day
Tuesday 17 March 2020 – Eco Modernism10:00 – 11:00 Introduction on Eco Modernism11:00 – 12:30 Lecture by a cultural anthropologist12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break Eco Modernist style14:00 – 17:00 Teamwork / tutoring17:00 – 18:00 Presentation outcomes of the day
Wednesday 18 March 2020 – Post Humanism10:00 – 11:00 Introduction on Post Humanism 11:00 – 12:30 Lecture by a nature philosopher12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break Post Humanist style14:00 – 17:00 Teamwork / tutoring17:00 – 18:00 Presentation outcomes of the day
Thursday 19 March 2020 – Anthropocentrism 2.010:00 – 11:00 Introduction on Anthropocentrism 2.011:00 – 12:30 Lecture by an ecologist12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break Lunch break Anthropocentrist 2.0 style14:00 – 17:00 Teamwork / tutoring17:00 – 18:00 Presentation outcomes of the day
Friday 20 March 202010:00 – 13:00 Collective work13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break14:00 – 16:00 Collective work16:00 – 18:00 Final presentation and discussion