Time Out Amsterdam’s 2020 Vision Forum

For its January issue, the Amsterdam branch of the international city chronicle Time Out invited five of the city’s prominent design-minded companies – architectural firm Benthem Crouwel, advertising agency KesselsKramer, arts and leisure consulting firm LAgroup, interior and architectural design company Concrete, and Non-fiction – to present their images of the city of the future: Amsterdam in 2020 (here’s ours).

To broaden the discussion and promote lively debate on the future of the city, Time Out Amsterdam and Non-fiction will be co-hosting a live panel discussion with the participants in the project on Thursday, 28 January. At this “2020 Vision Forum”, designers from each project will talk about how they envision the city’s future, and then Time Out Amsterdam editor Nina Siegal will moderate a discussion between the participating groups and the public.

With contributions from 36 of our dearest friends and heroes, including Ben Cerveny, Nalden, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Saskia Sassen and Winy Maas, our co-created vison of Amsterdam in 2020 appeared in the new year’s edition of Time Out magazine Amsterdam. Read more about our ‘Twitteropolis’ and download it here.

We hope to see you tomorrow in De Verdieping.


WHEN: Thursday 28 January. Doors open at 19.30. Programme starts at 20.15
WHERE: De Verdieping at Trouw Amsterdam, Wibautstraat 131 (463 7788/trouwamsterdam.nl)
ENTRY: €5 payable at the door. Email us to reserve a spot rsvp@timeoutamsterdam.nl, or just show up (and join on Facebook)

By Juha — Posted January 27, 2010 — 5,981 Comments

Contribution to Time Out magazine out now

With contributions from 36 of our dearest friends and heroes, including Ben Cerveny, Nalden, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Saskia Sassen and Winy Maas, our co-created vison of Amsterdam in 2020 appeared in the new year’s edition of Time Out magazine Amsterdam. Download it here.

— Read more ›

By Michiel — Posted January 3, 2010 — 9,870 Comments

Non-fiction in 2009 (and we’ve only just begun..)

It has been an exciting first year (in beta) for us at Non-fiction, with projects ranging from social media strategies for the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and Tropenmuseum Junior, via new concepts for an illustrious canal house ánd an ancient castle to a range of workshops in a.o. Ljubljana and Zürich. Together with our friends at TrouwAmsterdam we opened the temporary project space ‘De Verdieping‘, hosting a wide range of cultural and social events. The year ended with a cover story in Time Out magazine, giving our co-created vision of Amsterdam in 2020. The start of the next decade promises to be even more innovative, collaborative and challenging..

So what happened in 2009?

At the beginning of the year we worked with the renowned Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, the Concerthall of the 21st Century, helping the organization with their public strategy, new media development and visual identity.

In the months leading up to the summer we organized Aura: an exhibition and a series of events in the historic premises of Castrum Peregrini Foundation, where in WWII young German Jews survived in hiding.

Since March we are responsible for the artistic direction and strategic development of a cultural project space, De Verdieping, in the basement of the Berlin-style club and restaurant TrouwAmsterdam, resulting in a series of lively public discussions, art and architecture exhibitions, experimental performances and film nights in collaboration with half the city (and soon the world).

Around the summer working with the Tropenmuseum Junior (TMJ) in Amsterdam to devise a social strategy for their new exhibition ‘Qi of China‘ and an online game that enables children in the age of 6 – 13 to experience a number of key cultural values in Chinese culture.

Halfway through the year Non-fiction relocated its office from the Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum) to the former laboratory of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, right in the cultural heart of Amsterdam overlooking Museumplein (Museumsquare).

in July 2009 Non-fiction’s Juha van ‘t Zelfde co-founded VURB, together with Ben Cerveny, design strategist and data visualization theorist and in collaboration with James Burke (RoomwareNarb). VURB is a European framework for policy and design research concerning urban computational systems.

Next spring and summer we will be organizing several projects at Duivenvoorde Castle, a stately museum-mansion and unique parkland (see below) near the city of The Hague. We received a request from the organization to make a contribution to their yearlong celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2010.

In the past four years, we have been organizing experimental music events at Bimhuis, Melkweg, De Verdieping and TrouwAmsterdam. These nights are organized under our electronic music label Viral Radio, which has a regular show on Dutch public network VPRO‘s 3voor12.

In december we visited lovely Ljubljana to give a presentation and a series of workshops for the Access to Contemporary Art Conservation conference, organized by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage in collaboration with Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and kindly hosted by the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana.

Non-fiction’s Juha participated an intimate workshop in Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in his role as editor of Soundmuseum. ‘Audio Art on the Radio’ was organized by the Institute for Contemporary Arts Research of the Zurich University of the Arts, and focused on the question how open, interactive and democratic radio should be?

Recently the Amsterdam branch of the international city periodical Time Out invited us to come up with a vision of the city in the year 2020, so we decided to provide them with a collaborative urban visions by collecting dozens of thought-provoking Twitter-style messages from our friends and heroes from around the world.  The magazine has just hit the stores, so check it out or contact us if you wish to receive a copy!

Wow, that’s a lot..

And we even forgot to tell you about Curating the City, our night long interview series with museum professionals and artists about ‘the museum in the city and the city as museum’ during the annual Museumnight (n8), and about our latest publications and our friends, new and old, and about the birth of Michiel’s daughter and Juha’s hobbies.

And what are our plans for 2010?

Now the ‘noughties’ make way for a brand new decade, Non-fiction is gearing up for yet another year of recession-defying activities and  intelligent pragmatism. We will continu our exploration of the pro’s and con’s of co-creation, social media, urban interventions, guerilla gardening, data visualization, public accessibility, augmented reality, ubiquitous museums and other innovative ideas that will fundamentally change our lives.

And we will jumpstart the new year with presentations and proposals for such diverse organizations as the local municipality, SNS REAAL Foundation, Binger Filmlab, the Zuidas, PICNIC, ICN, Paradiso, Duivenvoorde and ING. And we are happy to receive more inquiries and invitations, since we can always outsource some of our activities to our man in India.

We will keep you updated on our website and on Facebook and Twitter (and here and here), but please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are looking for a stimulating conversation, a good laugh or a place to meet kindred spirits.

Please join us for the opening of the new year in De Verdieping with a special sound performance by our dear friend and multi-instrumentalist Machinefabriek on Wednesday 6 January at 8 pm. And later that month, on Thursday 28 January at 8 pm we are hosting the ’2020 vision’ event at De Verdieping in collaboration with Time Out Amsterdam, showcasing different perspectives on the future of Amsterdam by KesselsKramer, LAgroup, Concrete, Benthem Crouwel and… Non-fiction.

Drive and shoot straight on New Year’s Eve!


By Michiel — Posted December 31, 2009 — 9,076 Comments

twitteropolis is becoming

twitteropolis is becoming

A kaleidoscopic view of Amsterdam in 2020 entirely based on Twitter messages from the future. A key inspiration for this presentation has been our recent investigations with Ben Cerveny and VURB into the digital sphere of the city, where information becomes weather and infrastructure is in the cloud (see also Ben’s talk on the City as an Interaction Platform at PICNIC ’09).

In the end there was room for only 36 contributions (the limits of paper). Thank you all for participating. This is only phase 1. There will be a phase 2 soon, and it will take place in De Verdieping in 2010. The Time Out Future City special will be in store in the last days of this month.

By Juha — Posted December 2, 2009 — 4,026 Comments

The city is everybody


We are in the last day of our Time Out Amsterdam Future City tweet aggregation, and have been enthused by the imaginative, witty and sometimes harsh messages from the future. Artist Aaron Koblin hopped off the 5 minute electro-magnet train from Utrecht, transcontinental VURB founder Ben Cerveny printed 30 bikes and discovered that the floating polder Almere III had been altered by the residents (again), and ubicompuman Adam Greenfield is upset he needs to pay 100k to get into Europe.

The answers to our question “What are you doing in Amsterdam in 2020?” are coming from all sides of the planet, from Winy Maas and Friedrich Von Borries to Radna Rumping and Nalden. You are still welcome to join us in building our collaborative Twitteropolis. But hurry, our deadline is Monday morning. So according to you, what is happening in Amsterdam in 2020?

By Juha — Posted November 29, 2009 — 50 Comments

Time Out Future City Special: A collaborative vision of Amsterdam in 2020

Peter Cook, Plug-in City Study – Overhead view, 1964 (Archigram)

Peter Cook, 'Plug-in City' Study – Overhead view, 1964 (Archigram)

In little more than a month we will be millennial teenagers. The nameless decade of the ‘noughties’ will have passed, and the ‘tens’ will give us renewed inspiration and wonder for yet another future. The Amsterdam branch of the international city periodical Time Out has invited architects, designers and thinkers to envision Amsterdam at the end of the next decade in their Future City special in January. A group of five agencies have been invited, amongst them renowned architects Benthem Crouwel and superstar advertisement agency KesselsKramer. We are very honored and exicited that Non-fiction is one of these five.

If you are a follower of our activities (if you are, thank you!; if you are not, welcome!) you will know by now that we like to do things collaboratively. This is what we have been doing at De Verdieping and Castrum Peregrini in the past year, and this is what we will do at Kasteel Duivenvoorde a.o. in the coming year. For the article on Amsterdam in 2020, we would like to continue on this path and invite you to contribute. Non-fiction’s entry to the Future City special should be how cities themselves will be in the future: networked and participatory.


'The Cloud', proposal by Carlo Ratti et al. for the London 2012 Olympic Games

How does it work?
Well, thinking about Amsterdam in 2020 in 2009, we would like to keep it 2009. We would like to ask you to put your vision of the future of Amsterdam into 140 characters. One tweet. That is all. You can post it on Twitter (we are looking for keywords ‘future’ ‘Amsterdam’ ’2020′), or just place a comment in the thread below. The deadline will be 27 November, since we have to hand in the final design by 1 December.

It is our ambition to use all of the contributions for the magazine, but the last time Michiel put something on Twitter it got picked up by Richard Florida, so we are taking precautions this time. Maybe someone can come up with some kind of engine to visualise all entries that we can show in the exhibition (yes, there will be an exhibition too, we forget to tell you). In the end, it depends on the amount of entries and the final design how many fit in the printed article.

That is it. Simple as that. We hope you will join us in this effort to think about the future of Amsterdam. We look forward to your contributions, and we thank you in advance for your support.

By Juha — Posted November 16, 2009 — 3,034 Comments

CDR – create, bounce, burn.

CDR was picked up by Time Out Amsterdam

The August edition of CDR was picked up by Time Out Amsterdam

Create, bounce, and burn. This is the vernacular of a new generation of beat makers around the world. They use software with swanky names as Logic, Reason or Live to contribute to the ever growing architecture of rhythmculture. Forming scenes in Glasgow, Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam, and in many other outskirts, they are the dark metabolism of nightlife and music culture of today. With social networks reaching semantic cruising altitudes, the exchange rate of music is getting more spectacular by the day. Virally communicating and freely sharing through Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, iChat and (even) MySpace, a faceless herd of avatars and monikers roam the digital present in search of a beat.

With CDR, Viral Radio and Beat Dimensions have joined London’s Burntprogress in creating a common ground for these producers to present their music. CDR, which takes place in De Verdieping in the ‘Berlinesque’ Wibaustraat in Amsterdam, acts as a hub and social hive for musicians, music professionals and the general public to exchange new beats. The process is basic: people bring their music on a CDR, hand it in to the DJs of the night, who will play them over the weighty club soundsystem. Each artist name and track title will be projected on the wall. The night will be opened by interviews with the visiting artists from the following Viral Radio night upstairs at TrouwAmsterdam. Entrance for musicians with a CDR is free; 5 euros is charged for other visitors. As a bonus everyone can stay for Viral Radio later on.

The third edition of CDR is about to start tonight at 8.30 PM at De Verdieping. We look forward to seeing you there.

By Juha — Posted September 4, 2009 — 6,598 Comments