A Couple of weeks ago, our Design as Politics students took part in the 2014 Stadsmakerscongres (City Makers Congress), organized by the Rotterdam Architecture Foundation. The event was concentrated around the central theme of ‘connectivity’ – a crucial issue in an age in which ‘city making’ is not only done by formal and institutional actors, but more and more also by entrepreneurs, activist and citizens. The Stadmakerscongres 2014 brought these parties and their practices together, investigated its potential and explored how it already works in Rotterdam.
Our students took part in the Tours & Stories program, which explored the interaction and connectivity within four specific areas in Rotterdam: the central district area, the Laurens quarter, the Merwe4Haven and the Katendrecht peninsula. Based on the provided information in combination with their findings during the tour, the students were asked to extrapolate this line of thinking and visualise what this area could become in the future by formulating a feed forward. The aim was to develop a plan for the area, which goes ‘beyond master planning’, in which certain aspects are fixed, while others are still unclear. We asked the students to think about how to deal with this uncertainty as a designer and how to visualise this in a way that is open and inviting for unforeseen initiatives, but is clear about the core values, framework and structure.
The work of our students is now published on the website of the Stadsmakerscongres.