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.

14/15/19/21 & 22 April 2023 – An education studio exploring the impact of 2,5 degree temperature rise on life in the city.

The +2,5° City: Life in an Extreme Climate

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. The rising temperature will probably cause extreme weather phenomena, a substantial rising of the sea level, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, large migration streams, social upheaval and political reactions. How will our offspring live in these new unmapped circumstances, how will their cities work, how will their life feel? In this studio we will map out the predicted effects of rising temperatures 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 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.

The studio is spread over two subsequent Fridays and Saturdays, filled with lectures, excursions, and conversations, with individual research and one collective Wednesday evening. Regular participation fee: 250 euro. More info here

Thu 25 / Fri. 26/ Sat. 27 May 2023 – A speculative crafts studio with Sam Jacob

Crude Hints

In this research and crafts studio with architect and artist Sam Jacob (London, UK) we search the city now that we are on the eve of an unprecedented period of poverty, inequality and climate crisis for the past half century. We research and speculate on which artifacts will define this era hundreds of years from now. We collect fragments, shards and traces of our way of life and turn them into whole artifacts, as we imagine the archaeologists of the future would do. It is an exercise in detachment, in which we, as archaeologists, look back to the past from the future. The result is an imaginary archaeological museum, full of strange artefacts that tell the story of a particularly difficult era. Regular tickets: 200 euro. Discounted early bird rate of 175 euro available until 09 April 2023. Registration deadline 08 May 2023. More info here.

02, 03, 07, 09, 10 + 26 & 28 June – with Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam

Film & Architecture Studio 2023 – Hot in the City

The Independent School for the City and the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR) have joined forces again to organise another edition of the famous Film and Architecture Studio, supervised by architect, curator, and filmmaker Jord den Hollander. The Film and Architecture Studio has proved itself in the past years as one of the most acclaimed courses on film and architecture in the world. It offers a comprehensive way to use cinematic language as a way to explore the relationship between film, cities and architecture. It is a hands-on studio that focuses on learning and understanding the narrative of filmmaking as a research tool to better understand our urban surroundings. Participants in this course were introduced to the essential elements of filmmaking and learned how to relate these to architecture and the city. The focus of the studio will be not so much on the technical aspects of filmmaking and postproduction, but rather on film as a tool to structure your thoughts and to turn your findings into a gripping narrative. Regular tickets: 250 euro. Discounted early bird rate of 200 euro available until 09 April 2023. Register before 15 May 2023. More info here

Friday 13/20 Oct. & Thursday 02/09 NOV – A seminar on the rebuilding of destroyed cities

Fables of the Reconstruction

Rebuilding a destroyed city is not just replacing or rebuilding its infrastructure and architecture. It is about making the choice which and whose city should be rebuilt. It is a choice as much about the Idea of the city as about its form. A reconstructed city is not just a brick and mortar replacement of everything that was damaged, but also a story of the history and the future of the city. A heavily idealized and edited story, that tells of power structures and ideology. In the reconstruction of cities ruined by war or disaster, questions of identity, ethnicity, history and culture are paramount. From the reconstructed heart of the city of Rotterdam, this seminar will look at a variety of destroyed cities and how they have reinvented themselves or are in the process of doing so. Through lectures, excursions, workshops and conversations the seminar will cover a lot of ground in a short time and provoke an exchange of ideas across borders. Rotterdam will be the fitting background against which this seminar will play out. More info here

Friday 03 & Saturday 04 November –  A Research by design studio with Team Thursday

Research by Design

For this research by design workshop we have joined forces with Team Thursday – a graphic design studio from Rotterdam, that was founded by Loes van Esch and Simone Trum. They focus on the design of visual identities, books and spatial objects. They do so with a special interest for typography, a curiousness for materials and the possible performativity of an object. Looking for patterns in everything and all around them, they search for how they can transform these into designs. Next to that they regularly teach Typography at ArtEZ in Arnhem and irregularly host exhibitions and events in the front part of their studiospace, TTHQ. More info soon.

A craftivsm workshop with Beatrice Waanders, taking place on 08, 09 and 10 December 2023

Urban Wool in Times of Energy Crisis

For this Craftivism workshop we have teamed up with Beatrice Waanders who is an international renowned textiles artist, based in Rotterdam. Together with Beatrice we will explore how wool could help us stay warm in a time when energy prices are rising. Beatrice travels all around the country to find her wool amongst which from the sheepflock in Rotterdam. The Rotterdam sheepflock cultivates the green spots of the city like parcs and soundwalls along the highway in an ecological way to restore natural biodiversity. They produce about 2000 kilos wool per year but there’s no market. Beatrice aims to value this wool again into a precious artwork. Beatrice is unique in even using the colored stamps of the ram as part of the design.