image: Thomas Lommée installing De Economaat
It all started with Open House, a one-day event that we did in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro that took place in the prototypical suburb of Levittown, New York in 2011. Homes were opened up for business exchange, with the aim of reviving the suburbs through a bottom-up service economy that would introduce more contact and density into the neighbourhood. With this successful one-day event, we created a model that could revive neighbourhoods through self-created service exchange.
With the aim of testing the model in a completely different area, we teamed up with Jan Konings and Kosmopolis Rotterdam, who had been engaging with the informal work community in Tarwewijk, a multicultural community with considerable unemployment and illiteracy in the South of Rotterdam. Since Tarwewijk has a robust network of hidden business activity—from haircutting to car repair and radio broadcasting—we wanted to bring invisible business practice into public space and celebrate Tarwewijk as a business district.
Beyond the design event
Tarwewijk has come to symbolize the toughness of the socio-economic problems in the South of Rotterdam, and has suffered from being a testing ground for outsiders. However, it turned out that so many people have been trying to propose local change—often well-intentioned but short-lived—that many residents have become cynical to outsiders’ ideas. Therefore, rather than doing a one-day design event, we decided to implement projects in collaboration with residents and local organizations committed to continuity and to organize a design presentation and symposium at Netherlands Architecture Institute, where documentation of the installations will be shown and the Special Economic Block proposal by Crimson with Maxwan will be presented to decision makers.
The presentation will also show Masterplan by Jan Konings, a representation of how Tarwewijk might look in the near future, featuring concepts by TD Architects, Doepel Strijkers and Crimson with Maxwan. The Way We Are, an animation on the future of Tarwewijk’s identity by TD Architects will be screened. Documentation of the installation of De Economaat, a social machine that maps and visualizes micro-economic activities by Thomas Lommée with Netherlands Architecture Institute will be shown. Footage of the installation of Green Machine, a production unit for agricultural compost to be sold or exchanged by children by Doepel Strijkers Architects will be screened. Reaction of locals to our plans will be revealed.
The symposium, moderated by journalist Yvonne Zonderop, will feature Ole Bouman (NAI), Charles Renfro (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Jan Konings, Robert Kloosterman (professor of Economic Geography and Planning, University of Amsterdam) and myself.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Start: 19:30h (doors opens at 19:00h)
Location: Auditorium NAI (Museumpark 25, Rotterdam)
Admission: € 5 / € 3 for students / free for Friends of the NAI
More information coming soon.
WIJkonomie Tarwewijk is organized by Droog in collaboration with Jan Konings, Kosmopolis Rotterdam and Netherlands Architecture Institute, and is supported by DOEN Foundation.