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Scroll to explore Studio Rotterdam

Studio Rotterdam aims to articulate new perspectives on contemporary issues and future challenges in Rotterdam. Design and designers, preferably local, will play a key role in this. 

By asking designers to combine their particular analytical and problem-solving skills with their power of imagination, Het Nieuwe Instituut hopes to achieve two things. Firstly, to show a broad public how important designers are in making our daily lives run smoothly or making them more attractive and easier. Secondly, to challenge designers to work on questions they may not often have to consider. Over the last few years Het Nieuwe Instituut has invited (landscape) architects, artists, game developers, makers, innovators, fashion designers, philosophers and economists to work on a range of projects including a skatepark, a city park, facade decoration, a masterclass and a serious game. 

Skating and the city


In 2000, a skate park opened along the central reservation of Rotterdam’s Westblaak boulevard. It was the Netherlands’ largest and most up-to-date. More than 13 years later, though, it’s overdue for a revamp. Initiatives by the city have run aground, and The New Institute has been commissioned to supervise the process of devising a new design that will meet with broad public support. 

Open Source Fashion Manifesto

12/02/2016 - 08/05/2016

Designers Martijn van Strien and Vera de Pont are still searching for ways to renew the fashion system. For the Temporary Fashion Museum, they wrote a manifesto on the future of the fashion industry, which, according to them, must focus more on sustainability and the application of new technology. They call on consumers in particular to become actively involved in this area

Rotterdam Innovation Market

04/06/2015 - 23/08/2015

Not all innovative ideas come out of Silicon Valley and Tokyo. Dozens of innovative products and services are also developed every year in Rotterdam and the surrounding region. The Rotterdam Innovation Market presents seven very different innovations recently developed in the Rotterdam region. The innovations come from those sectors in which Rotterdam excels, such as Port and Logistics, Cleantech, and Architecture & Industrial Design.


'Hacked' Masterclass

27/11/2015 - 03/12/2015

Second year fashion students from the Willem de Kooning Academy followed a week-long masterclass given by Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum. The aim was to produce a collection based on the principle of ‘hacking’ i.e. customising clothing. During the workshop existing items of clothing were ‘reconstructed’, ‘adjusted’ or improved to become new garments.


Play: Museumpark


Het Nieuwe Instituut developed the idea of Playful Park: a serious game taking Rotterdam’s much-discussed Museumpark as its subject. The aim of the game was to get the different parties to collectively arrive at new ideas for the future design and use of the park. On 24 October 2015 Het Nieuwe Instituut organised a gaming workshop to try to formulate over several rounds a number of practicable guidelines: Game Rules for Museumpark.


Happy Industry

12/09/2014 - 14/09/2014

Happy Industry is a temporary settlement in the Museumpark, with a raw casting shed with a primitive workshop at the center. The festival celebrates the rough industry in an era of computer-controlled production and will thus return to the origin of making. Casting, melting, forging: the artists Peter Rogiers, Rossella Biscotti, Frederik Molenschot, Atelier Van Lieshout and others will experiment for three days with production processes.

Tracking Traces - The Museum Park as a link


The future of the Museumpark is in a state of flux. To grasp the subject, Het Nieuwe Instituut gave two teams of designers, artists, urban designers and storytellers a commission entitled Tracking Traces, asking them to come up with a new vision for this Rotterdam park. How could 'traces' of the park and those of surrounding cultural and medical institutes engage with one another in better ways?

Het Nieuwe Instituut’s commitment and its capacity to provide professionals with time and money to work on these ideas, is possible thanks to the contribution made by the Municipality of Rotterdam through its Arts Plan.