WIJkonomie Tarwewijk

From hairdressing to car repair and radio broadcasting, the residential neighbourhood of Tarwewijk in the South of Rotterdam has a hidden network of homeworkers. WIJkonomie Tarwewijk visualizes and builds on existing social and economic networks in Tarwewijk, proposing new tools and strategies to strengthen the economic and social vitality of this area. By Droog in collaboration with Jan Konings, Kosmopolis Rotterdam and Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), the symposium featured design proposals and interventions by Jan Konings, TD Architects, Thomas Lommée, Crimson with Maxwan and Doepel Strijkers Architects. Designers, politicians, entrepreneurs and residents of Tarwewijk entered into discussion addressing questions like: how can local entrepreneurship strengthen both economic and social vitality of a neighbourhood? And how can design interventions and strategies be more valuable in the long term? After all, the effect of these kinds of interventions – although well-intentioned, often turns out to be short-lived.

The symposium, moderated by journalist Yvonne Zonderop, featured Ole Bouman, Charles Renfro (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), artist Jan Konings, Renny Ramakers (Droog), historian Wouter Vanstiphout (Crimson), Wim Hoogendoorn (director SoZaWe Rotterdam) and Robert Kloosterman (professor of Economic Geography and Planning, University of Amsterdam).
View the videos from the symposium here. 
Read “Sorry, but we don’t trust you architects” by Renny Ramakers here.

Wijkonomie Tarwewijk is a continuation of the project “Open House,” by Droog in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro that took place in the prototypical suburb of Levittown, New York in 2011. Homes were opened up for business exchange, with the aim of reviving the suburbs through a bottom-up service economy that would introduce more contact and density into the neighbourhood. With this successful one-day event, Droog created a model that could revive neighbourhoods through self-created service exchange.

With the aim of testing the model in a completely different area, Droog teamed up with Jan Konings and Kosmopolis Rotterdam, who had been engaging with the informal work community in Tarwewijk, a multicultural community with considerable unemployment and illiteracy in the South of Rotterdam. Whereas the project in New York emphasized the creation of a new residential entrepreneurialism, the Rotterdam project focuses on strengthening already existing economic and social activities, and loosening administrative barriers.
This event was organized by Droog in collaboration with Kosmopolis Rotterdam, Jan Konings and the Netherlands Architecture Institute and is supported by DOEN Foundation.