Fieldtrip 02 – Verbeke Foundation – Community Landtrust and Josaphat Brussel

Saturday 2nd July City in the Making went on the annual Fieldtrip to Belgium. We visited the magnificent Verbeke Foundation (great art in nature plus presentations of Theo Jansens Strandbeests and the work of Zoro Feigl), Community Landtrust projects and Josaphat commons, both in Brussel. As usual we prohibited selfies and took a few Groupies (group Photo’s)

ANA DŽOKIĆ / Politics of Space and Architecture in Belgrade

Listen to this podcast: The story of Ana Džokić ‘s (yes, one of the City in the Making founding members) journey from architecture school in Belgrade just before the Berlin Wall fell until now. She talks about the many changes Belgrade went through from the falling apart of former Yugoslavia until the ‘taking over’ of city development by Arab development moguls, with the crazy proposal for the Riverfront Development as an example. Other subjects include a critique of the Luchtsingel procedure and similar ‘bottom-up’ funding, their initiative for collective self-build housing in Belgrade and her PhD work on commons.

Use this link to the podcast.

Falling in love with Rotterdam

For the last month (and some weeks to come) Alexander Prinsen has been working and sleeping in our front-office.
Below his ‘love letter’ to Rotterdam, (OK, and somewhat to us too :-)

Alexander in his cutom-made balcony shower. Normally he showers undressed, but occasionaly he seems to like to keep his clothes on ;-)

Would it be possible to fall in love with Rotterdam? Yes you can! Her beauty unfolds when you get to know her intimately. She has magical places and people to share, who are realizing amazing projects without the talking and just the doing.

From the beginning of September City in the Making hosted me at Pieter de Raadtstraat when I was passing through Rotterdam. Erik and Piet converted the front room of their office into a living room, equipped it with a desk to work and a bed to sleep. Did I mention Erik also created a real shower on the balcony (and it has also real hot water!). Standing under the sky it was bringing back memories from South Africa and Bali. Why do we have showers inside, while outside you can stare at the stars or the morning glory instead of staring the same wall each day..?

Having the Pieter de Raadtstraat as homebase I learned about the Wasbuur and the Browery concept located in front of the workshop space below the building. Inspiring projects from designers who decided just to do it and just see where their curiosity will lead them.

For instance my top floor neighbor Guido Marsille is creating a living lab to figure out how his apartment of the future might look like. Questions like, Do we really need fridges? Can we cook with only one heater? and many more is where Guido curiosity is leading him. Luckily with the help of Guido I managed to figured how to cook with only one electric stove and indeed no fridge. It’s amazing how little we really need of the technical support we comfort our lives with, if one can figure out how to work with nature. Guido’s living lab showed me how to use all the organic waste and turn that into soil (using Bokashi). Did you know fermentation actually produces heat you might be able to use?

Piet and Erik made sure they introduced me to some inspiring architects, designers and projects in Rotterdam. It has resulted that for the book I’m writing about my journey (more see below) the chapter about architecture is now almost complete! I had so many inspiring talks confirming that Rotterdam is a magical place to be.

One must ignore the rough edges and dive into the artistic and entrepreneurial vibes of the City. You have Rotterzwam growing food and more out of coffeewaste, inspiring Fenix Food Factory and the square behind it, Rechtstrexx who is connecting farmers direcly to customers, Broodnodig who are turning breadwaste into biogas, Uit Je Eigen Stad who have a working aquaponics in the city, the architects from Rotterdam Metabolists, Ani & Hakinnen Hostel (one of the most inspiring hostels I ever seen), Worm (its program and design is amazing) and many many more.

Thank you Piet en Erik for all your good care and providing me with this unique opportunity !

Alexander Prinsen is visiting Rotterdam as part of his global sustainable research project Masters of Beautiful Achievements. He interviews Designers, Entrepreneurs and Scientists about our current and future challenges and learn how to do better. Since November 2013 he is learning from the Masters how to design and implement sustainable business models that are by its design regenerative.

His next destination is Porto in Portugal. What do you think where he should stay in Porto and he should meet?

See also Alexander’s website Masters of Beautifull Achievements

The real Rotterdam

harbour2 This is Roy’s last week in the Netherlands, he is returning to China. As a farewell present we took him across the Rotterdam harbour area to the tip of Europort: Maasvlakte2.  Finally he has seen the real Rotterdam.
As usuall we took some group photo’s.
Above us inside the artwork ‘zandwacht’ (sand watch) by Observatorium.

Pieter de Raadtstraat locatie voor een prijswinnende film ‘Poppenkast’

Poster_Poppenkast_kleinIn het weekend van 21 tot en met 23 augustus streden 52 teams om de prijzen tijdens de 48 uur filmwedstrijd van Rotterdam. Bij deze competitie krijgen filmmakers op vrijdag om 19:00 een reeks opdrachten: op zondag moeten ze aan de hand daarvan een film gemaakt hebben van maximaal 7 minuten.

Probably Pollos is een team met meerdere ervaren filmmakers. Een ervan is de hoofdrolspeler, Erik van ‘t Wout, die als twaalfjarige al furore maakte in de hitserie Q&Q en later verschillende Nederlandse series regisseerde (zoals Baantjer en Dokter Deen).


De film werd opgenomen in twee ruimtes (en het trappenhuis) van de Pieter de Raadtstraat 35 en 37: de vergaderruimte op de eerste verdieping (die voor de gelegenheid werd omgebouwd tot een therapieruimte) en de werkplaats achter de buurtwasserette (waar een atelier van een beeldend kunstenaar werd ingericht, inclusief kunstwerken). Op vrijdag schreven de schrijvers het scenario op het kantoor, op zondag werd er hard gewerkt om de edit van de film op tijd klaar te laten zijn. Tijdens dit filmopnames heeft het team een paar keer aan de bewoners en gebruikers van het pand moeten verzoeken om ‘even niet te lopen of het toilet door te trekken’, waar gelukkig iedereen heel begripvol op reageerde.

Een week later werden de prijzen uitgereikt: de film was volgens de jury (Joke Bruis, Cynthia Abma en Peter Hoogendoorn) de op-een-na beste. Ook won de film prijzen voor beste acteur, beste scenario en beste regie (en kreeg meerdere nominaties). Vooral voor Erik was dit een prachtig moment: in zijn veertigjarige carrière was dit zijn eerste prijs!

Het team van Probably Pollos wil de bewoners en gebruikers van de twee prachtige panden hartelijk bedanken voor het mogen gebruiken van de ruimtes, die er zeker aan hebben bijgedragen dat we een fijne film in elkaar hebben kunnen zetten!

Bekijk de film (6.50 min)
NB: als t op deze pagina niet te zien is:

Meer informatie over de wedstrijd:

Daan, our birdwhisperer


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.


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 and their Facebook Page (like it!)

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

More info on Land Art in the Flevopolders:
and the Waterloopbos