The Independent School for the City organizes various public events, addressing topics that responds to current relevant issues in urbanisation, and offers a platform to other organisation dealing with the city. The events are accessible to all 'urban' professionals in Rotterdam and beyond.
We will kick off the new year with an awesome School Party! Join us to celebrate a new decade and to toast on the one-year anniversary of the Independent School for the City! For the occasion, we have invited the London based architect and designer Sam Jacob for a talk about his work, after which we’ll take away the chairs and turn our lecture room into a dance floor with disco balls and smoke machines. There will be cocktails at our tiki bar, tunes by Steve Balearics and much more! So, put on your dancing shoes and join us on the 24th of January. We’ll start at 20.00 and continue until late. Make sure to be there! More info will follow soon.
Prior to our School Party, we will host a two-day workshop by Sam Jacob on “Reconstructive Pottery”. Sam has been showing his work in this field in art galleries over the past few years and is now willing to share his secrets. Using fragments of artefacts of an unknown origin, clay, plaster and paint are used to reconstruct them to their original form, original in the sense that you make it up yourself. Working with your hands and eyes, making them dirty in equal amount, you can create narratives about the city you live in, its past and its secrets. Reconstructive pottery has no theoretical framework, nor does it aspire to solve the world’s problems. It is in fact a form of meditation, a way to contemplate the mysteries of the urban world around us.
On the 5th of March, we'll organize a double book presentation and discussion, around two books dealing with planning and architecture during the Cold War period. One by Łukasz Stanek titled 'Architecture in Global Socialism. Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War' and the other by Crimson titled 'New Towns on the Cold War Frontier - Book in progress.' After a presentation of both books, the authors will by joined by Reiner de Graaf (OMA) and Eva Pfannes (Ooze Architects) to reflect on their research and talk about the political background of working as a western architect in Africa and Asia then and now.
During the Cold War, architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist Eastern Europe were feverishly working in West Africa and the Middle East, motivated by political interests and economic rationales. At the same time, in the same hotly contested newly independent countries, planners and architects from the West, fuelled by American aid programs and charities, were building entire New Towns.
Both were responding to challenges of nation building, modernisation, development, and rapid urbanisation, while nudging the new leaders to accept their values and pay their fees.Planners and architects from both sides of the Iron Curtain have left an enduring mark on the urban landscapes of the postcolonial world. A mark that is increasingly difficult to unravel and read, but huge and important nonetheless.
Prepared by the Cold War, the internationalization of networks within the architecture and engineering world has become even more ubiquitous. The models and technologies however, often bear a striking similarity to those used in the postcolonial Cold War period. Also, many of the design and planning models, abandoned in the West, continue being implemented and advanced in the Global South.
Two decade-long research projects have been looking into this period and its aftermath, one from the east, the other from the west, resulting in two publications. They will be presented in a single event at the Independent School for the City Rotterdam (the Netherlands).
16:30 Doors Open17:00 Welcome and introduction17:15 Round one: Presentation of both books18:00 Round two: A conversation with the authors18:30 Round three: Short statements by Reinier de Graaf and Eva Pfannes and a conversation with the authors19:00 End
Tickets are available for 5 euro
Łukasz Stanek, Architecture in Global Socialism. Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War, Princeton University Press, 2020
Crimson (ed.), New Towns on the Cold War Frontier, Book in progress, Rotterdam 2020
22 November 2019American planning association Benelux Meetup
3 October 2019New Territorial Narratives - about photography as a research tool. With Urban Reports, Theo Baart and the Nederlands Fotomuseum.
26 September 2019Post 65: Verkenning naar erfgoed uit 1965–1990
11 July 2019Bookpresentation: City of Comings and Goings
6 June 2019Expert Meeting 'Wie betaald de stad' with Vers Beton
31 May 2019Workshop Rotterdamse Dakendagen
11 April 2019‘Dutch Designs for a Cycling Country’, Presentation of results organised by Board of Government Advisors
10 April 2019Expert meeting with Ben Judah
9 April 2019Platform Wederopbouw, focus group reconstruction of the Rotterdam Central District area.
7 March 2019Archiprix Rotterdam Meeting and presentation on M4H, Nieuw Matheness
14 February 2019Groeikernenkring with the International New Town Institute
26 January 2019Workshop ‘Pouring Concrete Planters’ by Maria Lisogorskaya (Assemble) & Tomas Dirrix
16 November 2018TU Delft Minor ‘House for the future’ presentation of results
15 November2018International New Town Day 2018, ‘New Town Boom Town’
19 October 2018 Opening event Independent School for the City.