The Independent School for the City is a brand new one-year international education program for post-graduate students in the field of design, planning, sociology, history etc. It has its epicenter in the heart of Rotterdam, in the development area Central District. The school is rooted in the practice of Crimson Architectural Historians and ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles) of combining a critical, activist approach to the city with effecting real change through architectural and planning projects. Blurring the line between critique and practice, research and policy and a strong belief in an incremental instead of a tabula rasa approach to city planning.
The full curriculum of the Independent School for the City will start in September 2019. It builds on the belief that strategies for the city - architectural and economic, spatial and social - should be based on real, first hand, empirical research into the city. Research that can be expressed in stories: sad and happy stories that ring true, told visually and through text. We invite sociologists, architects, historians and whoever would feel comfortable with the job description 'urbanist' to take part in a one-year course, starting at our home base at the Delftsestraat in Rotterdam, then fanning out to the corners of the globe, and returning to Rotterdam for the finishing up and presentation of the individually crafted projects. These projects can emphasize either the research, the storytelling or the strategic side of the program, depending on the ambition of the student.
The unaccredited status of the Independent School will offer the students and their international teachers the full academic freedom and flexibility to not only research the City in the broadest sense, but also design and develop strategies for it. Research methods will involve film making, journalism, history, art, graphic design, serious gaming, fieldwork, traveling, planning, finance and architecture.