independent school for the city


The Independent School for the City is a school in, of, and for the city. It builds on the conviction that strategies for the city - architectural and economic, spatial and social - should be based on real, first hand, empirical research. The Independent School for the City offers a variety of post-graduate educational programmes ranging from shorter one-day workshops and masterclasses, one or two-week studio's to an intensive 3 month programme on contemporary Urbanism. Below we'll give you and overview of our upcoming activities.

A unique 12-week education programme on contemporary urbanism, dealing with the Anthropocene, Superdiversity and Right to the City, taking place from 01 April till 21 June 2024. Application closed

This is Tomorrow

In the spring of 2024, the Independent School for the City will organise its intensive 3-month course in contemporary urbanism that takes the modern city as its subject and Rotterdam as its testing ground. Participants in the course are confronted with the inescapable contradictions and complexities of the modern city, while focusing on topics such as social inequality and climate change. We will explore these urban dynamics by bringing together different disciplines, from historical research to artistic expression.

Studio with Loom: practice for cultural transformation, exploring how city dwellers can shape their urban surroundings.  15 April – 03 May 2024.

Right to the city

In this three-week workshop with Loom: practice for cultural transformation, we will collectively unravel and bring together examples of initiatives and collaborative practices that foster fabrics of responsibility.  Participants will be invited to research, document and create new “Looking After The City” tactics and modes of collective action for a particular place or area. From spontaneous improvisation, to queering urban space, inventing new forms of commoning or by enforcing alternative urban practices. The workshop also explores how the use of urban space for one person might clash with the needs for another, and how the idea of “the right to the city” might be transformed from an individual right to a collective responsibility and forms of urban care. How do we continue to look after the city and its (more-than-human) dwellers?

Workshop exploring the predicted effects of a 2,5°C temperature rise on the Netherlands with Dirk Sijmons and Hemann Kossman. 06 – 24 May 2024.

The +2,5 Degree City

During this thematic block, we’ll dive into the Anthropocene – the geological era marking the dominant human impact on the Earth systems. Climate scientists have predicted that if we continue at the current pace with climate measures, we will still end up on a planet that is between 2° and 3° hotter at the end of this century. In these weeks we will map out the predicted effects of a 2,5°C temperature rise on the Netherlands, on the City of Rotterdam and on a number of very specific places in the city. After exploring these effects, we will then use our collective knowledge and that of our guest speakers and scientific literature, to imagine how we can mitigate the negative effects of global climate change and what is needed to make life livable in a city that suffers its consequences. – This block is part of our 12 week programme This is Tomorrow, but also offered as a stand-alone course. More info here

Developing a built proposal dealing with the consequences of the changing climate together with the artist collective Observatorium. 25 May and 6, 28 & 29 June 2024

Changing Perspectives with Observatorium

In this four-day studio we will research the consequences of the changing climate together with the artist collective Observatorium – a studio for public art and place-making. We will look at historical examples and develop new scenarios for inhabiting an ever-warming city. One of the scenarios for an Urban Oasis will be converted into a built proposal in the middle of Rotterdam. A built proposal is a good idea constructed provisionally and temporarily on site.

Exploring Superdiversity with sociologist Linda Zuijderwijk, Crimson and photographer Florian Braakman. 27 May – 14 June 2024.


Because of the port and its connection with the rest of the globe, Rotterdam has always attracted people from all over the world. Nowadays over 170 different nationalities call the city their home. The population has become so diverse that Rotterdam has become part of a worldwide family of Majority-Minority cities – meaning that more than half of the population has a migration background. And, not just the number of nationalities has increased: as generations pass, also the diversity within the different migrant groups has become increasingly complex and as anthropologist call it: Superdiverse. In this workshop we will be working together with sociologist Linda ZuijderwijkCrimson, photographer Florian Braakman and others. You will learn and develop methods for interviewing people, to record locations and conversations, to interpret what we see and to retell it in pictures, maps and stories, with the aim to get a deeper understanding of the Superdiverse makeup of the population.