independent school for the city

The Imperfect City

Public event (in Dutch) with Violette Schönberger and Jeroen van Dam around Violette Schönberger's book "Paradijs van Imperfectie" (Paradise of Imperfection). Tuesday 11 June 2024, 19:00 - 20:30

Picture Violette by Michel Marang. Picture Jeroen by @nukeproofsuit

The perfect city is the imperfect city?

In her essay collection "Paradijs van Imperfectie" (Paradise of Imperfection), Violette Schönberger provides insight into professional ideas about the city on the basis of personal experiences. She makes a plea for "gentle" urban development: by this she does not mean soft, raked cities, but an interaction with the city that not only strives for the perfection of the urban development calculation models, but embraces the city in its entirety: also urban fringes, unpolished stories, diffuse places and backstages.

But while Violette sits safely at her screen typing about the imperfect city, urban planner and undercover photographer Jeroen van Dam sets out to really experience that imperfect city. As an Urban Explorer, he ventures into those fringes and 'behind the scenes' of the city, such as roofs, metro tunnels and abandoned buildings, where no one else goes, and takes dazzling photos there. Jeroen is also fascinated by cities at night, when the streets seem 'empty', but the city's hardware is still running.

Together, Violette and Jeroen wonder what the fascination with the imperfect city means for their practice as designers. Would you have liked to design what you photograph? Decay, open ends and frayed edges are among the most special places in the city, but can you actually design them?

Or…. is the pursuit of imperfection actually a form of decadence?


18:30 - 19:00 Doors open
19:00 - 19:10 Welcome by Mike Emmerik
19:10 - 19:30 Presentation by Violette Schönberger
19:30 - 19:50 Presentation by Jeroen van Dam
19:50 - 20:30 Conversation and Q&A
20:30 - 21:30 Drinks

Pictures by Jeroen van Dam

About Jeroen van Dam
Jeroen van Dam is an urban designer, architect and photographer based in Rotterdam. As a photographer, he focuses on capturinghidden or unknown parts of the city through urban exploration. These often spectacular locations combined with an agressive editing style, create intense scenes that question our relationship with the city as tiny, insignificant inhabitants. Thus questioning all he has learned as a professional urban planner.