About the Programme
The Independent School for the City offers an educational programme for postgraduate students from all over the world with a background in urban studies such as Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, Architectural History, Sociology, Anthropology, Political and Cultural Studies, Arts and Media.
The programme is unaccredited and therefore not constrained by the formalities of academia or disciplinary boundaries. Participants and teachers form one team in which the advanced and less experienced will inform each other and contribute to the research. Research that is not necessarily solution-oriented or focused on final designs, and may not come to design as such, but will lead to a text, a film, an exhibition or an action. The approach will be open-minded but critical, inclusive but discerning, flexible but precise. This offers the participants and their international teachers the full intellectual freedom to research the city in the broadest sense.
We offer a full, one-year programme for those who want to go all the way and a compact three-month programme for everyone who has less time to spend.
The one-year programme will run from September 2019 to June 2020. Through a series of workshops and collective assignments, the participants are confronted with the expertise and varied approaches of a broad range of masters, while simultaneously developing their own project. The programme consists of three Educational Blocks. The first block is titled “Pack”. It is based in Rotterdam and contains a series of masterclasses and workshops that are aimed at learning various research skills from a variety of disciplines such as (historical) research, spatial and visual analysis, urban design, sociology, photography, film etc. During the second block, “Travel”, the students will spread around the world to visit one of the School’s international partners, with whom they further develop their research in the social-spatial context of the specific location they are at. The final and third block, “Unpack”, will bring the students back to Rotterdam, where they will process their findings in order to show and communicate their work to the world.
The full programme is based on a three-day school week, with two days of collective teaching, mentoring and workshops plus one day of working individually. The rest of the week you can work either at an office or on your individual work. The participation fee for the 2019/2020 education programme is €10,000 (no VAT payable).
The compact programme will run from September to November 2019 and consists of 12 densely packed weeks that fit within the 90 days of a tourist visa to the Netherlands. The programme is focused on improving and expanding your skills through workshops and clinics on observation and analysis of urban phenomena such as climate change and migration. You will take part in the same activities of those participating in the full programme, while at the same time develop your own project to elaborate and deepen your personal ideas and fascination. The first three weeks are dedicated to an introduction, lectures and expeditions in and around the city of Rotterdam. You will learn how to look at the city from various perspectives and explore the invisible and the physical realities of the urban landscape. Simultaneously you shape your ideas and develop a plan for your personal project. During the following weeks you will further develop your skills through a series of collective workshops on the transformation and historical layers of the city, the use of the city, and the future of the city. All of this leads to the development of concrete output that will be presented during your last week in the School.
The compact programme is based on a five-day school week, with two days of collective activities, workshops and lectures plus three-days of working on an individual project. The participation fee for the 2019/2020 compact programme is €4,000 (no VAT payable).
A high proficiency of English is essential, as well as experience in your field and an involvement with the urban topics. The assessment of your application will be based predominantly on how you demonstrate these aspects.
To be eligible for the programme, you preferably hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field such as Architecture, Design, Planning, Sociology, History etc. Alternatively, we might accept you if you hold a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, or have demonstrable relevant experience and/or intellectual credentials.
The Independent School for the City is a platform for urban professionals to explore the complexity and contradictions of the global city. Social Sciences, Economy, Planning, Design, History and other "urban studies" are brought together in a trans-disciplinary community of learning. The school has deep roots and a strong presence in the city of Rotterdam and is part of a wide and diverse international network of practices and institutions. It is rooted in the practice of Crimson Historians & Urbanists and Z.U.S 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.
A scholarship is available, click "Register" to find out more.