What to do in corona-times with… Anja Groten

In these times of #stayhome, we want to introduce you to people on the wharf. We’ve asked them for a portion of Monday’s motivation and what’s on their minds now that so many of us are confined to our homes. This week: Anja Groten.


Anja Groten (1983) is an independent designer, researcher and co-founder of the collective Hackers & Designers. Hackers & Designers is a non-profit workshop initiative developing with an emphasis on technology, design and art, and cross-disciplinary exchange. Since 2019 Anja heads the design department at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam.  

Hi Anja! Can you tell me more about your relation to the NDSM-wharf?

Hackers & Designers moved to the NDSM in February 2020. Our studio is situated in the Kunststad in studio 127. We have been very much enjoying the new location and the community we are now embedded in. It’s a pity that it becomes difficult now to meet in person. Actual encounters (for instance in workshop situations) are really important for what we do.

A pity indeed that you’re being hindered to do that! Do you have any tips that will make working from home a bit easier? 

Focussing has become increasingly challenging. Where I am usually listening to music during work, I am now ahem… listening to nature sounds ;-). It calms me down somehow!


Nothing beats the sound of waves breaking and the ticking of the rain! Do you also listen to podcasts from time to time?

Inspired by the isolation I am listening to Ear Hustle a podcast about the daily realities of life inside prison and from the outside post-incarceration. In addition, I really recommend Good Point with Jeremy Bailey and Raphael Rozendahl. Lastly, I like to listen to ‘Lila Podcast’, a German feminist podcast.

Such good tips! Is there any artwork that gives you some consolation?

I just received a silk screen print, an illustration in the mail of one of my recently discovered but favourite comic artists Anna Haifisch.  It about solace. (Buy her stuff! It’s amazing). Hilarious, grim, and sad all at the same time.



Any tips on keeping ourselves sane during isolation?

I made myself a loom on my wall… Weaving a carpet keeps me sane inside. Weed cookies are also a good one to keep you enjoy home. Lonely lunch raves..

Anything we shouldn’t do?

Stop with home improvements. Stop policing people that go outside. Don’t sell your data and make yourself reliant on corporate proprietary platforms and forcing other people to do so.

Imagine waking up tomorrow morning to the news that the coronavirus has magically disappeared, what would be the first thing you would want to do?

Do some hugging and go swimming!

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