The Independent School for the City regularly features various exhibitions that are either the result of a research project, a design studio, a masterclass, or a stand-alone expo that is compiled or made by (architecture) professionals. In this way the School wants to offer a stage to colleagues from the professional field who are looking for an opportunity to present a personal or professional fascination to a larger audience.
Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your plans.
Ideal city of our postviral future
Like many institutions all around the world, the school had to temporary close its doors in the beginning of March 2020. With al our friends and family being in lockdown at home, we sent out a request to everyone who has attended our events or participated in one of our courses, studio’s, workshops, spring- or summer schools and everyone else who feels some connection to the school. We asked them to send us a photographic image of an urban corona effect, with a little caption telling us where and what it is and why they would like to keep it around for the time being.
Out of the pictures and texts that came in, we sewed an online quilt that depicts the Ideal City of our Postviral Future. The result can be seen here
Can a city ever escape its past? That is the question asked in this exhibition, showing the results of our Fossil Rotterdam Studio which took place from 25 – 29 November 2019 at the Independent School for the City.
In the city of Rotterdam, as in many cities in the west, the transition to a green economy fuelled by renewable energy sources, is advertised everywhere. At the same time Rotterdam is still the main hub for the import of coal, oil and natural gas of northern Europe. Its economy is mostly dependent on the import, export and refinement of fossil fuel. An industrial port city like Rotterdam has invested so much in the infrastructure of fossil fuel and its economy is so dependent on it, that a swift transition would make the city collapse, and also bring down large parts of the Dutch and even European economy with it.
With this studio, we wanted to make something that is invisible from the official imagery of the city visible again. We wanted to confront the city with its own reality, perhaps with its own impending demise, in order to force a debate. Under supervision of photographer Ruben Dario Kleimeer and Crimson Historians and Urbanists, the participants have documented and visualized the landscape of fossil energy and economy in the Rotterdam area. The main results are presented on 7 panels, each showing the work of one of the participants. Seen together, they present a honest portrait of a side of our western European economy that, even if it is being obscured from view, still dominates the way we live and breathe.
Participants: Yinxi Lu, Stefano Pendini, Giuseppe Pepe, Reuben Ross, Urszula Sędziak, Femke Sleegers, Fiona Steinert
A City of Comings and Goings - Crimson Historians & Urbanists
The exhibition “A City of Comings and Goings”, originally part of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, has returned to Rotterdam and was on show at the Independent School for the City. The exhibition focuses on how the dynamics of migration affect European cities. The confrontation with the recent surge of asylum seekers (but also expats, EU-workers etc.) shows the basic lack of spatial flexibility in European cities to absorb new groups. From the spaces and buildings that have been designed or appropriated for migration, Crimson has distilled a panoramic view of The City Of Comings and Goings. The City of Comings and Goings is not a Utopia, nor is it a Masterplan. It is all of our Western European cities at once, together adapting to migration. (on show from July - October 2019)
One Year, 365 Cities - An anthology of ten minute towns by Peter Barber
One year 365 cities is Peter's attempt to design a city a day for a year. The idea arose from Lewis Mumford’s assertion (which 80 years on, pretty much still holds true) that modernism has “failed to produce even a rough draft for a decent neighbourhood.” And from a pub remark made by Ben Stringer, who said that you ought to be able to design a city in ten minutes. The cities, towns and villages that are on show, are mud, wood, paper, bungaroosh, brick, cardboard and unspecified. They are farming collective, courtyard mini city, city of walls, estuary fishing villages. On hills, along cliffs, hunkered down in valleys, perched on plains, stretched or centralised.
Some subterranean, others balanced on spindly stilts. Arranged as grids – stretched square and triangular, as flows or labyrinths; on snickets, mews and twittens. Some are seen through half closed eyes, others more like cut crystal, a simple biro line or floating in a charcoal mist. There are cities which are quite distinct and separate. Others merge and morph – revealing patterns, sets, repeated themes and progressions. Some were sketched in a moment, others took a bit of a hold – Peter wanted to know more about them and ten minutes ran to ten days and herein lies his problem and an admission. A handful of the projects (more perhaps) were done outside the allotted year. In a way they all were since they are the product of 30 years of visiting, reading about, thinking about and imagining cities so half a lifetime, 365 cities - not quite the same ring? (on show from May 2019 - July 2019)
A collection of Dog Poo Bags collected from cities all over Europe, by landscape architect Peter Veenstra (Lola Landscape, Rotterdam). They are distributed free of charge in parks and on streets for citizens to use to keep the streets and parks clean. This relatively recent addition to the accessories of modern urban living evoke many associations. For example, the loneliness of urban denizens taking solace in their pets. Or the delegation of keeping the city clean to the citizens themselves. The way they are imprinted with graphics and the way the modern citizen is spoken to in a bureaucratic or a playfully humorous manner. There are also examples in which a manual format is used. Interestingly, the Dog Poo Bag is distributed in a limited number of countries, and then mainly in the densely inhabited, touristic inner cities. In some countries, like The Netherlands, dog owners are obligated to carry their own poo bags while outside and can be asked by law enforcement officers to present them. Something in the Dutch mentality is not conducive to the voluntary cleaning up of one’s shit. The Dog Poo Bag in other words is a Rorschach test for a culture’s attitude to civic responsibilities in public space. (On show from October 2018 - February 2019)
A selection of pictures of interiors in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, “probably the only city in the world where the political ideology that produced the original urban plan is still intact”, according to the photographer and architectural critic for The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright. They were taken during an architectural field trip to North Korea in 2015 in which Wainwright set out to document the result of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s obsession with architecture as a means to create the image of a perfect society. The combination of massive monumental ornamentation and pastel colours, creates an urban decor that is both childlike and terrifying, equally saccharine and macabre. North Korea’s founder and his son are said to have found their inspiration in the colour schemes of Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen. (On show from October 2018 - February 2019)
500 Mile City / Global Housing Studio
In the 2018 spring semester, two design studios at Delft University of Technology: the Global Housing Studio and Design as Politics simultaneously ran a research and design studio dealing with urbanization in the southern urban coastal area of the greater Accra region, in and around the New Town of Tema. An intensive workshop was scheduled in order to conduct site research and gain better understanding of the local context. The exhibition presents the housing designs, urban plans and strategic proposals by the students in models and renderings. (On Show from October 2018 - February 2019)