IABR 2016 – Atelier Rotterdam

Rotterdam, NL

Will the ‘making economy’ change the city and the region?



The Next Economy was central to the 2016 International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam. Project Atelier Rotterdam made a development perspective for the city and the region that was presented in Fenixloods II.

The Rotterdam region is still an incoherent patchwork quilt of different making environments and independent economic sectors. However, Project Atelier Rotterdam discovered that the region has a greater potential to connect different environments than other areas. This results in a making economy that supports a robust regional economy and can tap into international networks.

Under the titles High Streets Revisited, Learning City, Gro.Li.Wo., Circular Landscapes and Making Public, five ingredients were named that make the Rotterdam region more productive and that prepare for the Next Economy.

How to (re)develop a making economy for the region?

Incoherent patchwork of ‘making mileus’

Numerous large sectors facing the end of their life cycle

Develop an ecosystem for a making economy

Quadruple helix: a landscape of stakeholders & actors and their level of interest

Patches of making: an overview of typical productive environments

Use the historic highstreets to create experimental productive spaces close to home

High Streets form the backbone of productive patches that interconnect them

Allowing for production in ground-floor spaces turns a typical shopping street into a vibrant productive place

Cluster productive activities around a theme to promote exchanges and stimulate innovation

Learning City case study: Food

Learning City case study: Share, Match, Learn. Increase the likelihood of unexpected encounters

Start your business from home: which multinational did not start from a garage?

Circular Landscapes: fossil fuels face the end of their life-cycle. The port needs to become circular

Potential cross-over from the bio-based food sector can drive the renewal of the chemicals industry

Developing the North Sea into a renewable energy landscape

Recycling port for the 3D printing industry

Making Public: proudly presenting local produce

String balances in the Next Economy





IABR 2016 – Atelier Rotterdam

During the 2016 edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), the ‘next economy’ was central. De Zwarte Hond made various contributions. Daan Zandbelt led the ‘project atelier’ entitled Rotterdam: The Productive City. Jeroen de Willigen, in his capacity as city architect of Groningen, was involved in various programme components of this city’s project studio.

The central thesis of the project atelier, Rotterdam: The Productive City, was that local makers are (also) important for the transition to the next economy. New technologies make it possible to organise production and consumption chains more locally. Making the manufacturing economy visible in the city strengthens the various manufacturing networks and creates opportunities for collaboration.

The project studio launched, among other things, the concept of ‘circular landscapes’. Here the products of scattered landscapes are connected into one large-scale, circular system, in which the cycles of waste and energy are closed.

An important conclusion to be drawn from the study is that there has been too much investment in the knowledge economy over the last few years. A healthy knowledge economy cannot do without a manufacturing economy. Making things leads to concrete action and tangible progress.


IABR 2016 – Atelier Rotterdam
Rotterdam, NL
Hans Tak, Lotte Stekelenburg, De Zwarte Hond
More info