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 to studio's of one or multiple weeks and an intensive 3 month programme on contemporary Urbanism. Below we'll give you and overview of our upcoming activities.
03-07 AUG 2020 with Failed Architecture
Cities are increasingly becoming smooth, scripted and completed urban landscapes, apparently freed from any kind of imperfection, abnormality or friction. The rise of the ‘smooth city’ is a major shift in the development of the city, and is closely related to similar processes of ‘smoothening’ in other domains, such as fashion or consumer technologies. For this one-week summerschool, the Independent School for the City has teamed up with René Boer and Mark Minkjan of Failed architecture to collectively research contemporary urban smoothness and explore what the consolidation of the ‘smooth city’ means for the conflictive, non-normative and subversive side of the 21st century polis? Does the ‘smooth city’ threaten the vitality of public domain, and even the democratic character of our cities? More info here
13 AUG - 25 SEPT 2020 with Bart Gorter and Ernst van der Hoeven
From the beginning of civilization,weaving has played a cultural and artistic role in societies worldwide. Also the economic and scientific influence of the design and technology of looms has been significant: more than two centuries ago, the first punch cards were used on looms, which can rightfully be seen as the prerunners of the computer and formed the basis for the industrial revolution. This course offers the participants an exploration into the three-dimensional meaning of weaving on a huge, traditional Finnish weaving loom. It is a communal journey for which the Independent School for the City has teamed up with visual artists Bart Gorter and Ernst van der Hoeven, to understand the principles of weaving and to discover it as a metaphor for urban planning, for architecture and urbanism, for the computer, for the landscape and many more things. The course will result in one large monumental rug, collectively woven by the participants. Participants will extend the rug by weaving in duo’s. More info here
30 SEPT - 03 OKT 2020 with the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam
After a successful first edition, we have joined forces again with the AFFR to organize the Film and Architecture Studio supervised by curator and filmmaker Jord den Hollander. The Film and Architecture Studio offers a comprehensive way to use cinematic language in architecture and urban design. It is a hands-on studio that focuses on learning and understanding the narrative of filmmaking as a way to explore the built environment. Participants in this course are introduced to the essential elements of filmmaking and learn how to relate these to architecture and the city. The focus of the studio is not so much on the technical aspects of filmmaking and postproduction, but rather on film as a way to structure your thoughts and to turn your findings into a gripping story. More info here
16, 19-29 OCT 2020 with Urban-Think Tank
In this studio we will explore new development strategies for collective affordable housing in Rotterdam together with architect Alfredo Brillembourg and experience designer Tessa Steenkamp of Urban Think Tank. After an introduction to Rotterdam’s housing market, its contemporary challenges and its affordable housing legacy, and conversations with various stakeholders involved, we will collectively develop a speculative housing proposal for a mixed-use community of about 80 households and additional facilities on a given location in the city. Each person will bring in his own requirements and (financial) capacities and contribute to the collective sum of wishes and limitations. The course will result in a project proposal: a prototype for a collective building including a spatial sketch, a financial model and ideas for the social life and interaction of the collective. The presentation will include an illustrated ‘letter to the mayor’ as a collective manifesto to explain what is needed to truly realize affordable housing in Rotterdam. More info here
19 - 27 NOV 2020 Research by Photography with Neeltje ten Westenend
Superdiverse cities like Rotterdam bring with them a next stage in the integration process, where ethnicity no longer is the most important let alone the sole factor with which people define themselves. Instead of the old dividing lines superdiversity seems to create new connections. Not only do ethnicities get mixed, communities also start being based on other factors like religion, profession, sexual orientation or neighborhood. Together with artist and designer Neeltje ten Westenend we will use photography as a research tool to map and explore superdiversity and how this is manifest in Rotterdam’s Nieuwe Binnenweg. We’ll be looking for places we can enter, getting involved with key players in the area and learning from locals to explore the Nieuwe Binnenweg. Meeting people. Finding ideas on how to capture them in their own surroundings. By means of collecting and editing our photos in sequences, we will eventually create a series of leporellos (foldable booklets) to present our findings on the Nieuwe Binnenweg in a concluding exhibition. Photographic skills or special equipment are not required, a visual imagination and an explorative mind however are key. Register Now!
01 FEB - 23 APR 2021 Three-Month intensive programme on contemporary urbanism
This intensive 12-week course in contemporary urbanism takes the modern city as its subject and Rotterdam as its testing ground. It will explore the urban dynamics by bringing together different disciplines from historical research to artistic expression and urban strategies, using Rotterdam as a pars-pro-toto for cities all over the world. We will dive into the inescapable contradictions and complexities of the contemporary city. Looking beyond the present-day popularity of Rotterdam, we aim to see the city as she really is and as we can imagine her becoming. We will explore the city from all sides. Not just the shiny ones, but also the darker parts that make her more than a small town. That make her a city that is old and dirty, young and beautiful at the same time. We will use research, stories and strategies. We will use all possible means contemporary urbanism provides and act! Participants in the programme will be offered weekly lectures and excursions, a series of workshops focusing on specific disciplines and methods, tutoring by a diverse team of specialists, designers and researchers. Participating in the programme gives you the chance to work together in a community of learning and the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and further develop your own critical approach toward your surroundings. Apply before 11 October. More info here