In the Placemaking course, students work with local parties to improve the UvA’s campuses and surrounding areas together. Students immerse themselves fully in the local area. They then design interventions based on the insights they've acquired. In addition to generating support, involving local parties usually ensures that the intervention is followed up. Last but not least, students pass on the lessons learned to the local community and new student teams.
Anna's Garden & Ruin is a distinctive piece of 'wild nature' in the middle of the Science Park. It is a 'garden', where food is grown using the permaculture principle, and a 'rough area' where wild nature is allowed to run its course and is maintained. It is an island of tranquillity in the sometimes busy Science Park existence. How can you make the rules around the garden clear but keep visitors relaxed? Placemaking students set to work on this issue, developing playful but clear information signs in co-creation with the target group.
In January 2023, the Bike Kitchen opened on Roeterseiland: a place where students can fix their bikes for free, independently, or with help. In this way, they learn in a low-threshold way, sustainable use of their bikes. This place depends on a community to sustain it. A team of Placemaking students helped design the place and gained insights by organising an event where the Bike Kitchen was considered together with interested parties. The commotion involved gave the community a kickstart.
De Brakke Grond is a theatre in the centre of Amsterdam that focuses on Flemish art, ranging from performing arts to visual arts and music. This centre would like to attract more students but had little time or money to do so. Placemaking students, based on interviews with other students, developed a 'surprise ticket'. You buy a ticket on a specific date and time but do not yet know where you are going. Like a "blind date" with the theatre.