Building a fence, greening a wall at Banierstraat

 

Recently lost images showed up of the building of a new fence and the greening of a wall last autumn at our location Banierstraat.
The green wall on the blank side of our building was made in cooperation with our friends from The Natural City and their 7Seasons project for enhancing biodiversity in the area.
The fence was our contribution to the renewal of the Schout Heijnrichplein (the square next to our property).  The local municipality provided some budget, so we could do more than just a fence.
A much needed storage for the garden activities on the square was added, as well as an extra wide door which can open our garden to the square. It has already been used several times during BBQ’s and other parties, the High Tea Table of Daan den Houter (artist working at Banierstraat) being the main feature at these gatherings.

Daan, our birdwhisperer

Daan1

Daan, one of the artists working at Banierstraat, has an almost eerie way with birds. He seems to attract them despite his hairstyle or manner.
Above you see him with a young bird that came landing on his T-shirt (is it a wren (winterkoninkje) or a trush (lijster)?? Does anybody know?
Below he has a beautyfull robin (roodborstje) on his arm, that came flying in, and was in no hurry at all to leave.

09_roodborstje

Signing Bloklandstraat contract

left to right: Mark van de Velden, Erik Jutten, Piet Vollaard
left to right: Mark van de Velden, Erik Jutten, Piet Vollaard

It’s Official! Last thursday Mark van de velde (Havensteder), Erik Jutten en Piet Vollaard (SidM) signed the contract for a three year (with a possible extension) period of free, experimental exploration of Bloklandstraat 190.
This is our fourth building and we are now confident enough to say: keep ‘m coming!

Fieldtrip 01 – Ecokathedral and Land Art

Last wednesday the combined teams of Stad in de Maak / City in the Making and de Natuurlijke Stad / The Natural City went on a field trip to Heerenveen and the Flevopolders.
In Heerenveen we visited the work of ‘Wild Gardener’ Louis le Roy; the one kilometer long strip of participatory nature-culture fusion at Kennedylaan, Heerenveen and the famous Ecokathedral in Mildam, which is planned to last at least until the year 3000 (“to begin with”, as a member of the Time Foundation explained).

In the Flevopolders, reclaimed from the sea, we visited the Waterloopbos, a deserted laboratory where waterworks of harbours, dams an sluices where being tested on scale models and where since nature has taken over. After that we went to Robert Morris Observatorium, one of the first pieces of Land Art in the Netherlands, or the world for that matter, and the Sanctuarium by herman de vries, a former Zero/Nul member who has enclosed a piece of land in order to let nature develop free from humen interaction. After 10 years it is already a wild piece of forest.

Inbetween we did some stopovers at historical sites and some architecture. And as a start of a new Social Media trend, and a reference to our collective way of working and thinking, we decided to not make selfies, but group photo’s (Groupies) instead.

some links if you want to know more:

Our co-travellers and collegues of De Natuurlijke Stad / The Natural City
www.natuurlijkestad.nl and their Facebook Page (like it!)

more info on ecokathedral:
http://ecokathedraal.nl/, mostly images
and http://www.stichtingtijd.nl/ on the many activities of De stichting Tijd / Time Foundation that spreads the ecokathedral philosophy.

More info on Land Art in the Flevopolders:
http://www.depaviljoens.nl/page/53333/nl
and http://www.ookflevoland.nl/en/on-expedition/culture/land-art
and the Waterloopbos

Binnenkort in beheer: Bloklandstraat 190

Binnenkort (vanaf 1 september) beheert Stad in de Maak voor drie jaar het pand Bloklandstraat 190 in Rotterdam-Noord. De begane grond zal zoals gebruikelijk een vrije, commons-achtige invulling krijgen. De eerste maanden zullen studenten van de Willem de Kooning academie ter plaatse onderzoek doen naar gebruiksmogelijkheden van deze ruimte.
De bovenverdiepingen worden verhuurd. Extra feature van deze locatie: een prachtige collectieve binnentuin die door de buurtbewoners wordt beheerd.

Stand van zaken 02 / State of Affairs 02

August 2015: Things we have been doing since last state of affairs update in october.

Business you can’t wait for

Article that Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen wrote for “Beyond Social”, magazine of Willem de Koning Academy, Rotterdam investigating social art and design, the first issue “Redesigning Business”, February 2015.

Workshop Redesigning Business at Stad in de Maak, November 2014
Workshop Redesigning Business at Stad in de Maak, November 2014

The field around “design” has recently shown a peculiar shift. In a short time, a multitude of designers – covering the total range of the design area, so it seems – have dedicated themselves to socially relevant problems. Currently, designers and artists are exploring barren areas in the neighborhood, architects are busy activating urban communities in buildings for the time being given up by real estate, spatial designers are again trying to ‘match’ social cohesion to urban districts or to tackle the bankruptcy of spatial planning with “process change”, while numerous product developers promise to improve the world with pop-up stores. It’s not that these pioneering design activities have never been undertaken before, but it seems counterintuitive to witness the emergence of such a “soft” approach, precisely in times of economic austerity, “rationalization” and disappearing culture funding. Or not?

The post-2008 era has caused an avalanche of changes in the work of designers. This has left a considerable group -temporarily or permanently- with an evaporated or seemingly redundant conventional practice. In architecture or product design temporarily (decreasing demand), but in spatial design it is probably irreversible, because of the dismantling of entire planning institutions. In recent years, a range of designers thus has seen themselves ending up in a strange position. In order to survive, part of this group has employed its “creative talent” in a flexible way, to tap into new markets. For example, in cases where the ramifications of radical changes of a failing market or government would lead to too explosive situations in certain urban areas, resembling the risk of Detroit-like conditions. Or in cases where corporations threatened to nail down houses due to insufficient maintenance budgets. Or in entirely renovated shopping areas, now desolated because new retailers were not in for a risky start in times of crisis.

Stretching some efforts, designers are here still able to rescue things nicely – and at a comparatively friendly investment budget. In Rotterdam, the Zwaanshals has been pulled out of the doldrums through the concept of a “food, fashion and design district” and the energy of many design pioneers. This focus is of course not infinite; either because the market revives (we can do our old tricks again, though chances are not considered very likely) or because the things once rescued with creative patchwork may require a more systematic solution and this kind of talent is no longer the approach requested.

Eventually, the design field will need to reinvent itself considerably. It is therefore more complicated for the starters and even for upcoming designers. How can they prepare for their future field of practice – a reality that is much more grim than the brochures from academies and universities and design glossies would like us to believe. And how do we seduce them not to leave the design discipline behind as a risky minefield and search for a more sustainable and resistant practice?

While educational institutions have been able to restrict the prospect of a “withered” career landscape by massively focusing on those design areas that some years back were considered less serious “peripheries” of the design field (temporary use of open spaces and buildings, for example) – and now increasingly as its core -, the need for redefining the profession has become evident. The rise of ‘design thinking’ and the ‘social design’ departments of various academies reveal what is at stake: other ways of designing, and for different purposes. This does not only concern the profession, but also the way we work, as a design community. Even a lifestyle designer is nowadays expected to express a “nearly activist attitude in a changing world full of challenges”. Because the earlier answer to how and through which means we could earn our existence currently seems barely relevant for future designers. The fact that students and teachers now focus on the role of “creative disciplines in the development of new business models” (as in the WdKA symposium and master classes ‘Redesigning Business’, November 2014) is not only relevant, but also urgent for those upcoming “creative entrepreneurs”.

It is however, far from easy to distill concrete results from these initiatives. It is therefore important to surpass the hip but often rather naive or not particularly robust business plans, and to realize that precisely the ability to bring such proposals to reality is at the core of what makes or breaks all the plans in question. If you yourself won’t even to stand for it, then it seems very appropriate to expect this from others. Exactly this attitude of “taking a stand” is beginning to sign off as an important parameter for attributing new meaning and momentum to creative disciplines. Not only devise plans, but also put them into effect. And if needed, take this stand for a few years, because you find it important. Then the plan suddenly needs to have been thoroughly worked out, and you need to believe in it and be convinced of its importance. In that case, it usually transcends the scope of an individual designer: you have to take a stand as a group, or preferably, as a community.

Also for our selves (no longer young promising talents anymore) this begins to manifest itself. In a group of moderately obstinate designers and cultural practitioners, we have started to address the things we find important, one by one. Such as the lack of space and programs for an idiosyncratic “maker culture.” While in the city around us the opportunities to encounter intriguing, pioneering culture are fading away or embody a stopgap padding to vacancy, we want to create space to destine and develop our future together with large group of creators. Not temporary, but lasting. To achieve this, we go back –or rather, forward – to the cooperative form of entrepreneurship. For such forms of cooperation have been the basis of unruly, emancipating and innovative initiatives, in times when groups formed who – out of dissatisfaction with the state of things- took the future into their own hands and initiated projects that could not be pulled off by someone alone. But at the same time we are too stubborn to let us be told by someone (i.e. management); we will manage ourselves, amongst ourselves. An attempt to do so could emerge from a recent bid on a large but neglected movie house in Rotterdam. The aim is to add a cultural initiative to the city, driven and programmed by makers: from design to theater, from debate to film, and more. Cooperative, of course.

Redesigning business (or actually redesigning practice) is in this case not so much the result of ingenious creative talent, or a smart business sense, but of attitude. It is about a “business” that we face together, of which we bear the risk together. Its profit in the first place is to see a culture and city that we want to see around us. But also a model that is economically sustainable enough to eventually support independence.

We believe that upcoming designers (those promising young ones) could also get to work from this perspective. Work together, be realistic about your survival strategy, and get started with things you – not just alone, but with more – no longer wish to wait for. Because that energy from your “creative power” alone, well, that will wear out again soon as well. Rather do things that you believe in, or join unruly ideas you want to be a part of – that will be your profit.

Link: Beyond Social Magazine, issue 1: Redesigning Business

 

Contract Banierstraat 62 getekend

Signing the Banierstraat contract: Mark van de Velde (Havensteder) right and Erik Jutten (SidM) left

Op 10 december 2014 is de ingebruiknemingsovereenkomst tussen Havensteder en Stad in de Maak met betrekking tot het pand Banierstraat 62 getekend. Daarmee heeft Stad in de Maak (na twee panden aan de Pieter de Raadtstraat) een derde pand voor 10 jaar in gebruik om alternatief te ontwikkelen.
Voorlopig zijn de twee verdiepingen in gebruik als atelier en wordt de begane grond, inclusief de tuin ontwikkeld als open huiskamer voor de buurt en overige gebruikers.
Er is een samenwerking met het stadsecologische buurtproject 7Seasons om samen een ecologische groene wand aan het Schout Heyrichplein in te richten.

Student Visit 02

studentvisitsweden_nov2014_sm
On Tuesday November 25 a group of Swedish Masterstudents from Umeå School of Architecture with their tutor Josep Garriga visited De Stokerij.
This is the second international student visit. It seems people can find us in Sweden and England, but where are all those Dutch architecture students?