MAKING – by SO-IL and Barcode

The discussions around ‘Making’ suggest that it is not so obvious what makes our future prosperous. Both teams agree that the future of making will be less ‘material’ in character. But what exactly will be made, and how the future of work is organized, are themes that generated much discussion in the Glimpses teams.

Rotterdam based Barcode Architects is convinced that the future of working and the future of learning are intertwined, and that national excellence is to be cultivated. Its glimpse shows what they define as ‘the tip of the iceberg’, a center of excellence that pulls the best and the brightest from the dozen or so other Dutch ‘centers of excellence’. The team proposes a huge circular depression in the Haarlemmermeerpolder next to Amsterdam’s international airport. This creates a focal point for national excellence and an organizer for international exchange. A red carpet connects the center to the Schiphol departure lounge, providing an escape for scientists and new knowledge.

So-IL emphasizes the future scarcity of precious metals and other hi-tech resources. Its glimpse takes recycling to the next level and suggests that the area around Bush Terminal becomes a market place for the exchange of valuable re-use materials. Robots sort through the rubble on barges in front of the terminal, and a ‘farmers market style’ precious materials market provides the innovation producers of Bush Terminal with the resources needed to solidify their inventions.

Both glimpses emphasize the production of software and orgware. What is actually produced is not ‘stuff’ but software, apps and ideas. That leaves the question open where and how the physical production of the future will take place. Is China becoming the industrial production heartland of the world? Or does Africa have the future? SO-IL assumes that more and more of the tools and gadgets will be locally re-used, so that less physical products will be required. Barcode proposes the tip of the iceberg for the Netherlands. And the team is convinced that the tip of the iceberg is about knowledge. Where the actual production takes place is not the concern of their glimpse.

During the symposium 'Planning the future of Amsterdam & New York' at ARCAM (July 5) we will discuss the theme of “MAKING” further. Henk Ovink, the Director for National Spatial Planning at Netherland Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment, will address the theme and reflect on the glimpses by SO-IL and Barcode. Caro van der Venne of Barcode Architects will be there to discuss the theme. Florian Idenburg of SO-IL will not be present. Luc Vrolijks will stand in. Florian will lecture at ARCAM later this month, on July 22nd.

See for more information and subscription: ARCAM

Luc Vrolijks

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