Japanese Worksight on Self Made Future
The Japanese magazine Worksight published their new issue on the NDSM platform of Self Made Future. It is a magazine on making ways and spaces to work in, about the perspective of re-designing the working environment which is consisting of work space and policy. The article presents the NDSM-wharf as ‘A Pioneer in the Self Made Future, Magnet for Creativity and Entrepreneurship’. How a shipyard transforms into an art city and laboratory. Autonomy and joint effort among creators, corporations and council nourish the new cultural magnet in the Amsterdam North. Here is a snapshot of the article. For the whole take a look at www.worksight.jp
‘Fusion of Past, Present and Future Creative Magnet in Amsterdam North. Budding artists moved to the disused shipyard in the Amsterdam North in the 1990s. With a support from Amsterdam City Council, now global organisations have moved to the area. In the north of Amsterdam Central Station, across the canal, further down the Royal Dutch Shell’s Technology Centre, a new cultural channel has been growing. The huge crane shows that the area was once a shipyard. Now it is a creative space where studios for artists and offices for major companies reside. In the early 20th century, the shipping industry in Amsterdam was in the midst of an economy boom. In order to expand the shipping yard, the city created 100,000m2 of land by landfill. In fact, Amsterdam itself is formed of large ponders.
“I belief this place is representing the history of Amsterdam. When the Dutch see water, we think about how to create land from it.”
says Elien van Riet, Community Innovator and Facilitator of NDSM-werf Foundation/ Co-Founder Urban Tribes. “After the shipyard closed down in 1984, the area became a hotbed of crimes and squatters”, continued Elien. “The city of Amsterdam made a very good use of the space.” The city of Amsterdam let the land to the citizens for reasonable rent. Young artists looking for cheaper space began to move to the area. Later on, the city formally began the redevelopment programme. The artists negotiated with the city council to offer them metal frames, and they renovated and readjusted the land to 20-60 blocks for their studios and workspaces. Now NDSM is a self-made city with hundreds of artists, entrepreneurs and creative businesses such as animation and graphic design with innovative culture. When the renovation project was launched, the city council left it to the users’ own devices.
Anne-Marie Hoogland, NDSM-werf Foundation Director/ Co-Founder explains.
“Holding both commercial events and creative art events has risen this area’s profile and attracted artists to stay. Creativity and commerce join forces and benefit from one another. This is possible and we can support both of them because we are taking a neutral stand.”
Their current core task is to create a communication tool to connect all parties in the area both online and
offline. Elien van Riet and Anne-Marie Hoogland have been working on a project called “Self-Made Future”. It includes open discussion to build the future of NDSM together. Currently they are holding meetings in the premises and it has been well established and very well received. People get together at the red container at 4pm on Thursdays to discuss the future of the area. It has let to the publication of Work on the Wharf, Laboratory NDSM-wharf: future vision 2014-2025. Read more via this link. Anne-Marie says,
“When the weather is fine, we meet outside. When it’s bad, we meet inside. Everyone is welcome. Not only the artists and companies based here but also people from the council, local residents, someone who is passing by… all sorts of people would pop down. Some weeks we may have 10 people and other weeks over 40 people.”
Their online community is very active and open for discussion too. All contents of the offline meetings are uploaded online and discussions would extend further. Elien says,
“Sometimes it’s easier to say things online than being face-to-face, especially emotional things. When we decided on engineering works on the crane, there were many posts from people who became worried the crane might be taken down. The online system is a good indicator of what people are feeling.”
Elien and Anne-Marie are facilitators of the community. They connect people, companies and organizations. They make suggestions, hear everyone’s opinions and lead their discussions further to realise the ideas risen. In the process, it is essential to share stories, vision for the future and all information necessary. They discuss every aspect, whether the idea is feasible, how to divide the costs, what to do, what not to do, lessons learnt from the past. The list is endless. Over the years and multiple discussions, the community has become tighter and the autonomic self-made spirit has grown. Now NDSM has become almost a tribe.’
For the whole take a look at www.worksight.jp