Rotterdam Fieldtrip

Feb 09, 2020

Travelled from Bern to Rotterdam with train today, while the Ciara/Sabrina storm came from the other side. Somehow the 8h in the train went over so quickly. I hardly did anything. But it’s a good state to be in. The train and my mind. Had one important intellectual moment, reading about the extended self and companion objects.

Changing for the last train in Utrecht, but the storm was quicker and fucked up some traintracks to Rotterdam. Had to find an additional route via Den Haag. Was packed but I was in good company. Essentially 12h on road, and still, not much effort needed to come up here.

Feb 10, 2020 - Commence

Started with coffee, toast and a cat. Night was windy and chilly. Slept not too good.

We walked quite a lot through the windy and cold city. We had a look at the PZI, the Piet Zwart Institute and got and introduction to the XPUB masters degree which I personally like aaa lot. It’s about experimental publishing practices - but coming from software and network studies. I definitly have to look into this, also as a possible exchange semester.

After that we had a guided tour with a focus on urban development in on part of the city, another talk about a social housing project and another talk on the history of urban development of Rotterdam.

Feb 11, 2020 - 2nd day, Walking, Mushrooms and PZI

Mushrooms got cancelled, which is a pitty. We went on the walking tour through the port area with a first stop on a floating farm. The project is quite amazing, but still a dairy farm. There is this question on the needs of the sustainability and circularity of a dairy farm, when dairy is not the most important product. Still an amazing project.

The port area was wonderful. Lots of empty space taken over by artists and social project. Weather was an asshole.

In the evening we had an exchange with the PZI MA in design. They explained us their master and we explained them ours. After that we had a workshop, part speed dating, part us taking on the role of an expert. We got asked to help them reflect on their project and the next steps. Which was a bit weird, because I asked myself, if I’m actually allowed to take on that role while still being a student myself. Was a good way to reflect on my own project tho.

Feb 12, 2020 - PZI Alumna, BlueCity and more walking

The morning started with a session with a former student of the MA Design at PZI. She now works as a design researcher in the government. Which is interessting in so far as she is inside policy making/reviewing prcesses now. She told us about her methods, which are more playful and grafical (ie putting cubes on a mapping to cast votes) and e reflected a bit on the keyterms design-thinking and human-centerdness.

We then visited BlueCity, a former aquaparc, now a circular economy hub. They work after the blue economy, which thinks in abundance. I might look at that.

The term “Blue Economy” was first used by Gunter Pauli to describe his business model to shift society from scarcity to abundance “with what is locally available“

The place was realy nice and very active. There was a spirit of entrepreneurship with love about it. They overed us a lemonade made from a christmas tree in the beginning, which I absolutely loved.

Water taxi intermission!

Then another walking tour in Rotterdam Zuid, which was super interessting but also super long. “At least, it didn’t rain.”

Feb 13, 2020 - Almost Friday (the 13th)

We had a day of workshop at the A/BZ Studio. They are entangled with the PZI and also give courses there. We had a workshop, where the PZI students had to test out prototypes of their projects and we’re again in the position of experts or outsiders.

Despite not being able to work directly on my own project, it helped a lot with reflection and how to prototype a method, test it out and reflect on it. The process here seems to lean a bit more on the doing side.


Feb 14, 2020 - Last day of fieldtrip

I’m like, tired.