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Cahier 1: Values for Survival

Cahier 1 sets the scene of the state of affairs in Amsterdam. Scientists and policymakers, selected contributors to the 17th Architecture Biennale and other designers wrote in the first five chapters about the urgent social and climate practices as well as identifying dilemmas, concepts and solutions for the era to come: the need to re-connect personal, collective and urban planning practices; the need to develop methodologies for productive landscapes in cities; the need to train to be fit in anticipation of the climate crisis; the potential to use data in new ways; the need to share research between disciplines and share knowledge; the potential of the doughnut model for the circular economy on city level.

Chapter 0: Introduction

Caroline Nevejan

Values for Survival explores thinking and design with which we can live and survive the current times of uncertainty and not-knowing. The results of this research, which include science, policy and design, will be published in Cahiers. In these note- or logbooks results and reflections are documented in time to be an inspiration for the future.

Chapter 1: Polyphonic Cities

Caroline Nevejan

Social and ecological urban developments in Europe are increasingly seen in relation to one another. The mapping of these developments takes place at various levels, from personal lives to international politics.

Chapter 2: Multispecies Urbanism

Caroline Nevejan

As there are increasing signs that the Earth is depleting and the climate is changing, the relationship between humans and environment is being challenged. Unprecedented forms of care and management are necessary now that it is clear that unexpected threats can arise in a short period of time, and climate-adaptive concepts for urban planning and management are therefore under development.

Chapter 3: Multiplicity of Other

Caroline Nevejan

The way people deal with ‘being different’ means that difference is almost unconsciously made invisible, especially when there is power inequality. From different perspectives, we examine how a critical and emancipation-focused paradigm for design, research, and policy can emerge from a ‘difference’ that generates energy, abundance, and success.

Chapter 4: Sharing Research

Caroline Nevejan

Cities have become complex systems in which each element interacts with many others. Research in cities requires an integrated and interdisciplinary approach – sharing and collaboration between different fields of knowledge can partly determine the quality of life in the city.

Chapter 5: Circular City

Caroline Nevejan

Locally and globally, socially and ecologically, physically and virtually, in materials and in data – a circular economy needs many perspectives to be successful. Amsterdam is a pioneer in strategically translating the concept of circularity into practical methods, tools, and projects in the city.

Cahier 2: The Venice Exploratorium

Cahier 2 offers insight in a series of experiments that aimed to affect the physical reality in cities while the experiments were highly dependent on online communication in the first place. Next to experiments in Lisbon, Amsterdam and in a European network for research in cities , the City Science Initiative, the main focus of the experiments was on Venice. Here we worked together with We are here Venice, an NGO for evidence-based policymaking for the living city of Venice.

Ten small multi-disciplinary research teams in worked together on challenges that Amsterdam and Venice share: climate, water, tourism, social and ecological justice in and around the city. Aiming to give voice to the people present in Venice and to other and more-than-human beings that reside in Venice as well, artistic and scientific research experiments were conducted. As a result specific areas in the Venice lagoon were highlighted, methodologies were developed and new concepts were introduced. The rhythm in the reciprocity of creative exchanges in those teams, made trust flourish and inspired rigorous work. Every team created its own designed pages which together make Cahier 2, a publication that is colourful and wild in ideas.

Chapter 6: Architectures of Trust – Introduction

Caroline Nevejan, Jane da Mosto and Huda AbiFarès

This Cahier 2 is a distillation of a series of experiments that are part of the complimentary research programme of the Dutch contribution to the 17th Architecture Biennale carried out during the Covid-19 lock-down, when travelling and physical proximity were severely limited. The Biennale organization had postponed the exhibition, and all events associated with it were cancelled. In this totally unforeseen and dramatic situation, new questions arose around the nature of collaboration itself.


Can intuition and experience be shared between people who do not know each other and cannot meet?

Chapter 7: Arsenals of Globalization

Jerzy Gawronski, Francesco Tiboni, Willem van Zoetendaal and Gilberto Penzo

Tools, still in use in Venice and found in archaeological excavations in Amsterdam, are presented as a catalogue in which the visual technical Venetian expertise is juxtaposed by the Dutch scientific presentation of the same tools of 300 years ago. Discovering the convergence in maritime tools at such a basic level of detail exposes previously unrecognisable areas of common ground in these two European deltas and unveils the significance of craft for understanding history.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Arsenals of Globalization project group.

Chapter 8: Vanishing Homelands

Hasna Hena Mamataz, George Kurian and Marco Moretto

Venetians and the Bangladesh diaspora in Venice are connected by the threat of sea level rise. The Bangladesh fled from their home country as a consequence of climate change, to a country with a similar thread of rising waters. Without sharing one language, the team engages with Venetian Bangladeshi climate refugees and with Venetian families who are experiencing the increased destruction of floods through generations.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Vanishing Homelands project group.

Chapter 9: Tides of Tourism

Pinar Sefkatli, Scott W. Cunningham, Carolyn Smith, Julia Ubeda and Bettina Niendorf

Studying tourism in Venice, Amsterdam and Glasgow, a new, more organic approach to the development of policies for tourism is developed during a unique moment in time when there is very little tourism because of the Covid-19 lockdown. Spatial, temporal and demographic analyses are executed in relation to one another to enhance or to weaken tides of tourism in certain areas, at certain times, for certain groups.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Tides of Tourism project group.

Chapter 10: Talking Sands – Fisheye

Lada Hrsak, Harm van der Geest, Camilla Bertolini and Simone Spiga

Underwater ecological challenges are made more visible by a new aesthetic, mapping the complexity of factors that influence the life of Vongole in the Venice Lagoon. Vongole are the little shells that grow in the Laguna and that are crucial for the Venetian Pasta di Vongole. The team includes social, economical, geological and biological data, and applies artistic graphic skills for rendering the complex changing reality more understandable.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Talking Sands - Fisheye project group.

Chapter 11: What do we need?

Zola Can

Because of Covid-19 all meetings with residents for input in the new Spatial Vision, which aligns the initiatives for new buildings, urban landscape and infrastructure for the coming years, were cancelled. Then the municipality asked seven cultural smart catalysts to invent various ways to catch stories in all 7 boroughs of Amsterdam during lockdown. The seven story catchers ask residents and entrepreneurs ‘What do you need in the future to come?’

Read the biographies of the seven Story Catchers, the collected stories about the future of Amsterdam and the openresearch collection about the Environmental Vision of the City of Amsterdam.

Chapter 12: Protest or not to Protest

Erica Overmeer, Ivan Martinez, Wouter Pocornie and Eleonora Sovrani

We are here Venice’s continuing campaign to anchor the debate about the future for cruise ships and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations during the weeks of the Exploratorium, fuelled discussions on protest and art. Sharing experiences and reflecting upon these, a bold statement is formulated and a beautiful collection of questions is gathered that every individual is confronted with, once you decide to be engaged.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Protest or not to Protest project group.

Chapter 13: Space of Other

Afaina de Jong and Giovanni Lourenço

The patterns of the Space of Other resonate with the performers’ childhood memories of the vibrant borough Fin do Mundo in Lisbon. His long-time partner in performance travels to the borough where he guides her through his memories by phone searching for elements of recognition in a place that has been demolished more or less completely over time. It appears that the power of shared imagination is able to revitalize memories of a place that is destroyed.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Space of Other project group.

Chapter 14: Unfolding Arch of Forging Fantasy

Richard Niessen

A trail of possible meetings, a tragedy, inspiring books, websites, a WhatsApp conversation that led to the Comedia del’arte, missed scenario’s and plots, a scanned, sold out book full of fans, inspire a new perspective on communication in times of climate crisis. Created in a dialogue with text and images, as we did for centuries, a plea for playfulness and fantasy emerges.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Unfolding Arch of Forging Fantasy project group.

Chapter 15: Forbidden Garden

Jani van Kampen, Jesse van der Ploeg, Tymon Hogenelst, Matteo Vianello, Janja Šušnjar, Vida Rucli and Elena Rucli

Is it possible to design a garden for ‘forbidden plants’ in abandoned Hortus Botanicus of Venice? When it becomes clear that it is not possible to enter the premises, the focus on the wall surrounding the Hortus Botanicus unveils an extraordinarily history. Even though all libraries are closed during Covid-19 lockdown, diverse historical sources inspire the fine drawing that represents the depth of thinking that has been put into the space and its situation.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Forbidden Garden project group.

Chapter 16: Radical Observation

So Young Han, Debra Solomon and Jane da Mosto

Inspired by the work of the Food Forest in Amsterdam Zuidoost, a new community has gathered on the Green Triangle in Venice. Guided by the Amsterdam experience, local community organizers include residents in learning about green spaces in a city, on how one can become a group to take care of such a space. This experience is an occasion to start exploring a new methodology for engaging people in relation to the revitalization specific areas.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Radical Observation project group.

Chapter 17: Zoöp

Jane da Mosto, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Patricia Ribault, Samuel Bianchini, Sophie Krier, Paulina Grebenstein and Robin Hoske

Zoöp is a formal collaboration between human and non-human actors in a specific place, which aims to acquire even a legal status as convivial configuration between human and non-human actors. Conversations about experiments in a Berlin communal space, the Paris Zone Sensible, an Amsterdam house garden and the salt marshes in Venice, trigger a lot of new thinking and reaffirm existing ideas on approaches for protecting human with more-than-human configurations.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Zoöp project group.

Chapter 18: Sant'Erasmo 2038

Christopher Roth, Sonja Junkers, Matteo Stocco, Roberta Jurcic, Marta Fernandez and Eleonora Sovrani

Different researchers and filmmakers decide to explore the reality of Sant’Erasmo, a large island in the Venetian lagoon inhabited mainly by market gardeners with very few tourists. Finding creative ways to communicate through streaming camera’s, they travel together and meet in 2038, while not being in the same place in the summer of 2020. Artichokes, a playground and robot fish seem to dominate the scene.

During the last months, all members of the team have been working on different future scenarios for Sant' Erasmo, and have shared them with each other along with text, drawings and all kinds of references. Lately, we realized that it was not possible for us to agree to one single scenario, and we needed to find a way to co-exist in stories. The result is a speculative science-fiction performance as a series of recorded, non-edited trips to Sant Erasmo in search of connections between the stories.

Listen to the accompanying interview with the participants of the Sant Erasmo 2038 project group.

Chapter 19: Scripts of the Lagoon

Huda AbiFarès, Mohamed Gaber, Marta Picciulin, Michel Banabila and Fantina Madricardo

Can the lagoon have voice to protect itself? Is it possible to imagine a script of the lagoon? Two marine scientists have identified the particular sounds of over 100 types of fish. With the sound of the fish the composer makes a composition. The composition generates a virtual underwater world. The sounds and movements can be the basis for a new imaginary script. A very powerful emotional stimulation arises from a dimension of lagoon life that is otherwise unknown.

Watch the accompanying video presentation of Scripts of the Lagoon.

Listen to the accompanying digital album of Scripts of the Lagoon.

Chapter 20: City Science

Caroline Nevejan

In the last few years many cities have positioned a small group to connect research in the universities to policy needs. After three conferences and five online thematic workshops during the lockdown, the cities conclude that City Science needs to be recognized as its own paradigm in which academic and scientific research is complimented with design practices on different levels for bridging research to policy making.

Read the complete 'City Science for Urban Challenges' report.

Cahier 3: Tuning to Rhythm

Cahier 3 is all about Rhythm. From rhythm of breath and heartbeat, to the rhythm of recurring seasons and growing plants, to rhythm in music and dance to; rhythm appears to be something that connects people with one another and with nature. When we face major challenges in the world, we can hold on to rhythm. Rhythm makes us resilient, because it is always there. We can fall back on it when we need to. And when we tune to rhythm afresh, it is possible to imagine again.

So, when we integrate social and ecological dynamics (explored in Cahier 1 and 2), rhythm is a force that connects different spheres. Rhythm relates to the magic of direct aesthetic experience. Rhythm holds the network together and defines what happens next. Musicians, crafts people, dancers, surfers, biologists or psychologists have in depth knowledge about rhythm without even formulating it.

For this third Cahier, Caroline Nevejan (Chief Science Officer and principle investigator of Values for Survival) together with designer Huda AbiFarès, asked various researchers with different backgrounds to write a story about rhythm as they notice this dynamic in their field of expertise. They were asked to tell the story for children of about 11 years old. Every author’s story was then given to an experienced visual artist to illustrate and tell the story visually as well. As result the Cahier 3 offers a special and beautiful insight in the force of rhythm. Tuning to rhythm emerges as the Value for Survival we need.

All chapters in this Cahier start with a painting by Simon Gawronski.

Chapter 21: Connecting Spheres

Story by: Caroline Nevejan; Images by: Helen Vreedeveld


Chapter 22: Everything & Nothing

Story by: Juan Carlos Golio; Images by: Francis Sling


Chapter 23: Nature's Rhythms

Story by: Sirishkumar Manji; Images by: Max Kisman


Chapter 24: Tuning Together

Story by: Debra Solomon; Images by: Gijs Frieling


Chapter 25: Rhythm in Fights

Story by: Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard; Images by: Cyprian Koscielniak


Chapter 26: Magic

Vibrations story & images by: Innavisions Riddles; Story and images by: Rein Jansma


Chapter 27: Weaving Networks

Story by: Lipika Bansal; Images by: Hitankshu Bhatt


Chapter 28: Rhythm & Algorithm

Story by: Alessandro Bozzon; Images by: Richard Vijgen; Based on real traffic data from: City of Amsterdam


Chapter 29: Circles in Five

Story by: Angelo Vermeulen; Images by: Arise Wan & Heeyoun Kim; SEADS (Space Ecologies Art & Design)


Chapter 30: Surfing the Waves

Story by: Ivo Lima Carmo; Images by: Barrack Rima


Chapter 31: Whirling Little Girl

Story by: Kaouthar Darmoni; Images by: Wissam Shawkat


Chapter 32: Being in Sync

Story by: Satinder Gill; Images by: Naji El Mir


Chapter 33: To Tune or Not to Tune

Story by: Caroline Nevejan; Images by: Huda Abifarès


Guus Beumer, artistiek directeur Het Nieuwe Instituut
Francien van Westrenen, Hoofd Agentschap, Het Nieuwe Instituut
Afaina de Jong, architect en onderzoeker; Debra Solomon, kunstenaar en onderzoeker
Richard Niessen
Laura Pappa, Robert Milne
Juan Arturo García
Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer City of Amsterdam; Huda AbiFarès, grafisch ontwerp en co-editor
Mike Emmerik, Simone Rots, Independent School for the City
Lada Hršak, Bureau LADA; Chiara Dorbolò en Daphne Bakker, Failed Architecture; Tymon Hogenelst en Jesse van der Ploeg, Studio Wild