Graduate students working on the city

Fieldacademy links regular education to current urban assignments. The aim is to prepare students for the professional practice as well as possible, while at the same time renewing, accelerating and improving processes of neighbourhood development. In the past semester this has again yielded surprising graduation projects with realistic and often directly applicable results.

Graduate students working on the city 

Addressing the current societal changes the graduation projects deal with important themes, such as housing and healthcare and redefining vacant healthcare accommodations and churches. In all these assignments extensive research is conducted on the relationship with the neighbourhood and the meaning for the user. From this new programs are created that connect the neighbourhood to the city or even on an international level. An overview of the most recent graduation projects can be found further on in this article.

In the meantime new students from, inter alia, the TU Delft, University of Utrecht and the Polytechnic School of Rotterdam have started with a variety of projects. Once again a group of architecture students is going to be reviewing new possibilities for improvement of the existing housing stock, but this time in the Eilandenbuurt (or Island-district) of the neighbourhood Carnisse. This group will be accompanied by students from social geography.

In addition the newly started Fieldacademy students are looking for possible graduation projects concerning the theme of vacancy and redefinition within the context of transition housing and healthcare.

Collaborations on current assignments are most welcome and Fieldacademy is always open for suggestions.


Overview of graduation projects


Lisanne van der Linden (EUR)

For her master thesis public administration, Lisanne analyzed the redevelopment of the RET remise. This research was based on the question to which extent the policy goals as set in the National Program Rotterdam South were being met in this specific project. Furthermore an accurate process analysis was developed. The Foundation Trade Company Sluisjesdijk, developer of the building, is applying the recommendations of the analysis with the focus on optimizing the development process.


Fabian van Aerschot en Milou Joosten (TUDelft)

In collaboration with owner Woonbron, Fabian and Milou looked at the possibilities for the redevelopment of housing accommodation the Kreek. Where Milou concentrated on the new forms of housing for seniors, Fabian connected the themes youth-unemployment, energy-poverty and vacancy with each other. He developed the concept of the “neighbourhood energy building”, where youngsters are educated in insulating and improving the durability of the existing housing stock, and where start-ups of related companies can be facilitated. Fabian has recently introduced his graduation work as a case during a workshop that he led and which was attended by employees of Stedin/Youlz, theme decentralization of the energy supply. Follow-up activities will be taking place soon.


Anne Schaap (TU-Delft)
Anne Schaap developed a social-physical intervention on Katendrecht, through the development of a development of a Circusschool. The school has an important community function for the children in the neighbourhood and perfectly fits within the target objectives of the Pillar Talent Development of the NPRZ, with connection to the Children Zones. Based on the developed knowledge Anne has recently been asked to assist in a research into the development of a new kind of ‘broad school’ in Oud Crooswijk.


Lars van den Hoeve

As a bachelor student planology at the University of Utrecht, Lars has been doing research on the question how historic values can influence the redevelopment of the neighbourhood Oud Charlois. He developed an integral analysis method and combined this with the Fieldacademy Livingfields analysis. To this end he contacted the Charlois’ inhabitants by conducting a large number of workshops on well-known location in the neighbourhood, such as the community building and the Nieuwe Nachtegaal.


Gerdien van der Graaff

Gerdien researched how existing post-war church buildings could be given new meaning in the context of neighbourhood regeneration. She made an inventory of the entire Rotterdam stock, focussing on the possibilities for adaptation; how can religious functions and other amenities be combined with each other?  The Goede Herder church in the neighbourhood Schiebroek formed the actual design case. Various parties in the neighbourhood, among which healthcare providers and welfare organizations, have shown interest in further evaluating the possibilities together with Gerdien.


The monumental Justus van Effenblok in Spangen formed the scene for the craft-exercise of Dave, Karina, Simone and Lysander (TU Delft). Working from the vacant bathhouse in the complex they crafted an extensive neighbourhood analysis. In the bathhouse, that was made available by Housing corporation Woonstad, the students received inhabitants and entrepreneurs from the neighbourhood.


Atlas vogelbuurt

For a graduation project in the Vogelbuurt (district of Carnisse) a group of students from the department of RMIT, TU Delft (renovation, modification, intervention and transformation) took up residence in a vacant dwelling in the neighbourhood Carnisse. The dwelling, that was made available by Woonbron, was used as living room for the community, where inhabitants could visit and talk about the day to day life in the neighbourhood during so-called ‘consultation hours’. The students will apply the gathered knowledge in their design for redevelopment of the privately owned housing stock in Carnisse. The end-results are expected in June, during the course of September a conference will be held with policy makers and acting parties concerning the outcomes.