independent school for the city


The Independent School for the City is a sanctuary, a learning community, open to everyone who is involved with the city. Participants of the school are already qualified and/or have a track record in one of the relevant disciplines.

The Independent School for the City is a school for ‘urbanism’. It is not a design course: it includes sociology, economics, history, anthropology, as well as urban planning and architecture; everything that helps to understand and improve the city.

The Independent School for the City does not have a fixed curriculum that one has to follow from A to Z, but offers a flexible framework of activities, which is adapted and tuned to current events every year.

The Independent School for the City is also a public architecture centre; a place where architecture is celebrated, showcased and discussed. Where one can talk about the city with other ‘urbanists’. A place to gather and celebrate the eternal modernity of Rotterdam in the raw industrial atmosphere of our building designed by Maaskant.

The Independent School, with its Maaskant Members, has founded a society with the most influential architectural firms that take the importance of Rotterdam as an architectural city to heart.

The Independent School for the City is independent and autonomous and from that position can be more critical, experiment more, and reach a different audience than the established institutions and accredited schools.

With its conferences, debates, workshops and educational programme, the Independent School for the City has – within a year and a half – become an indispensable meeting place in the heart of Rotterdam, a place where there is always something to learn and discover. The School has thus acquired a place within the ecosystem of architecture institutions in Rotterdam, as can be seen in our activity overview on the website.

The Independent School for The City wants to be just as complex, useful and stubborn as the city in which it originated. The Independent School does not defend professional, commercial or political interests and does not do city marketing. Ultimately, the Independent School provides a platform to face the challenges of the city with an open mind, without window dressing.


Want to know more about our thoughts, and why this school exists? Check out our statement “Let’s not always be nice” as read by our Dean Team members Michelle Provoost and Wouter Vanstiphout at  our school party on 24 June 2022