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Roeterseiland narratives

The question underlying this research is: does the Roeterseilandcampus still function as intended after its inauguration? What can be done differently or better?

The plans for the Roeterseiland campus date from more than ten years ago. The UvA consciously chose Roeterseiland: it fitted in with its ambition to play an active role within the city and literally be a part of it. Re-use in the city centre instead of a tabula rasa on the outskirts.

Five years ago, the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences moved to the Roeterseiland campus. Two years ago, the Faculty of Law moved to the Roeterseiland. Much has changed in the field of education and facilities since the first idea was formed: the internationalisation of education, the increasing role of ICT in research, education and study, but also the fact that more and more students stay longer with their parents. These developments may feed different expectations and needs than those anticipated 10 years ago. Of course, the city has also changed in more than ten years. The composition of the population around the campus, the expectations with regard to the area, the facilities, this also has repercussions on the campus.

In order to understand and map the use of the campus as accurately as possible, we spent three months with our tiny house on location and made use of the facilities on and around the campus: from public space to study facilities, from CREA to educational areas and from library to catering and shopping facilities. The container was stationed next to the Theodore Limperg Bridge, between CREA and building J/K.

The cartopological maps that have been created on-site show the functioning of the Roeterseiland campus in all respects. All kinds of factors influenced the results: if we had carried out this research during the summer months, for example, the situation on the campus would have been different. The findings should therefore be read in this light. The choice for a qualitative study and the cooperation of the anthropology department in particular obviously leads to accents and focal points in the accumulation of knowledge, with which the insights cannot be extended one on one to (for example) the other departments. In addition, the system of access to the buildings is a factor that should be taken into account: departments make their own choice as to whether there is access for students from other departments and whether the door is open (literally) or not. Due to the more intensive cooperation with the Department of Anthropology, the threshold for us to enter this department was lower than that of other departments, if access was possible at all.

The ten maps deal with one subject each time. Sometimes very small and local, sometimes a bit wider and less tied to one particular place. All the maps together make up the atlas and give a detailed insight in how the campus functioned and has been perceived during the three months. An index helps to find a specific subject, but we recommend that you take a closer look at the maps and immerse yourself in the rich, chaotic layered reality that Roeterseiland actually is.

Hunting ground: Amsterdam (NL)
Hunting period: 2019-2020
Client: UvA Amsterdam

Example map out of the UvA Roeterseiland Atlas
Article from newspaper Het Parool, Dec. 30th, 2019.