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2011 Netherlands


Instructor:  David Eugin Moon
Location: Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Ruigoord, Dordrecht, and Arnhem
Dates Abroad: Spring 2011

On October 30th, 2010, the Dutch tradition of squatting ended abruptly when the two houses of Parliament banned the activity after decades of the common practice in the Netherlands. The measure was met with considerable opposition, through a widespread public backlash that involved highly charged protests and rioting to save this unique form of self-organizing, autonomous, and semi-transient habitation. As these ad hoc residences, businesses, and institutions are vacated in accordance with the new law, two conditions arise. The first is the displacement of former inhabitants and organizations who will need to relocate and restructure, adapting to the evolving circumstances. The second condition is the vacancy of a large range of tenant spaces, varying in typologies, form, and scale.

The opportunity arises for the rethinking of traditional arrangements in habitation in which alternative strategies are employed to address these emerging issues. While potentials in temporary low cost agreements and subsidized stays serve as a starting point in the legal reuse of these spaces, alternative forms of informal habitation or the unconventional adaptation of traditional building programs can continue to be explored. The investigation will not only serve as a response to the unique circumstances in Dutch cities, but holds relevance to wider contexts and provide insights into other productive approaches. 

The course will introduce students to the cultural, social, economic, and political background of squatting in the Netherlands via expeditions and research in Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Ruigoord, Dordrecht, and Arnhem. The collected information and observations will be examined in a collaborative workshop, where strategies for alternatives will be explored. The course will engage members of the locale, in postulating and positing solutions and strategies. Students will also have the opportunity to visit significant architectural works and practices throughout the course.


Visit the post-squat blog for more information.

See the course proposal (PDF 45KB)

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