from the monumental former headquarters of the RDM shipyard

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I’m sitting at the cafe of the Maritime Hotel in Rotterdam with Natalia Echeverri (2008 Branner Fellow: Neoliberal Fragments).  We have just arrived for Rotterdam – Open City, the 5th annual Architecture Summer School hosted by the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design.  It is good to already be acclimated to the city and especially good to see another familiar face.  Looking forward to the opening ceremonies and excited to meet the other students and professors we’ll be working with during the course of the next two weeks.

The workshop is structured around five themes: Collective, Community, Reciprocity, Refuge, and Squat. It will be our task as designers to produce interventions at five sites in the center of Rotterdam that address these respective themes.  I am part of the Refuge group, which will be focused on the temporary withdrawl, or finding a place of retreat, within the center of the city.  Specifically, we will be looking at the high-rise dwelling and grappling with issues and degrees of public and private space.

I am also interested in the agenda of the Collective group.  This group is concerned with the lack of public space in the city and the “kind of urbanity that prevails in most Dutch New Towns.”  This group will examine a strip of Rotterdam and propose new types of collectivism.

A [FLOATING DINNER] around the city introduced us to greater environs tonight.

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