Utrecht Manifest No. 4: A Working Landscape

Utrecht Manifest No. 4: A Working Landscape

Creative Director: Studio Makkink & Bey
Curators: Sophie Krier, Ester van de Wiel, Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters
Year: 2012

Utrecht Manifest NO. 4: A Working Landscape
Utrecht Manifest is a biennial for social design held in the Dutch city of Utrecht. On May 2012 it opened under the title A Working Landscape under artistic direction of Jurgen Bey and co-curated by Studio Makkink & Bey, Ester van de Wiel, Sophie Krier and Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters. The biennial for social design is is a ‘design-research project in progress’ focusing on a specific district in Utrecht with the aim to bring design processes and users closer together. The disciplines of design and architecture are in the heart of the biennial to play a guiding role in the programming of the event.

Utrecht Manifest was inserted into a neighborhood to investigate the main theme of A Working Landscape through four main projects that were headed by the co-curators. The central theme for the 4th edition of Utrecht Manifest was the potential of ‘the work landscape’ as a development model for our inner cities. In many urban areas, including the chosen area in Utrecht, industry vanishes from the urban fabric to make space for a new apartment buildings. Simultaneously, our employment market and the nature of our work, changes dramatically. These shifts have profound effects on the social structures within our communities.

But how does a city develop a framework which anticipates this new environment? How do we create an urban landscape; a landscape which is alive, knowledgeable and productive? A Working Landscape operated as an active development model in which curators programmed exhibitions, debates, a help desk, workshops and field projects to We explored the industriousness of the Rotsoord district along four lines: The EDIBLE Landscape, The NETWORKED Landscape, HELP DESK Rotsoord and The BROADER Landscape.

A taste of Rotsoord’s potential for food production was explored in Edible Landscape, by Ester van de Wiel. The Networked Landscape, by Sophie Krier, examined cross-pollinations of knowledge and skills. Clever and innovative ways of production were exhibited by Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters in the exhibition Helpdesk Rotsoord in the headquarters and workspace of A Working Landscape. Visit the virtual tour to get an impression of Utrecht Manifest, from Rotsoord beer and pesto, parades, lectures, car blessings and Drive- thru-debates, collaborations between designers, local experts, residents and businesses.


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