Stadsklas: Spatial Conversations In Urban Chaos

Together with The Hague architecture institute Stroom we’re organizing a new edition of the Stadsklas; a different kind of fieldtrip that teaches innovative and curious individuals interested in cities and design the ins and outs of DIY urbanism. This time we are going to Hoog Catharijne, Utrecht’s infamous shopping mall dividing the old city from its train station.

In the Netherlands, most people are familiar with this place where trains, platforms, bags, sandwiches, birds, cards, tickets, tiles, bridges, escalators, newspapers, trips, journeys, lights, sounds, machines, smells, speeds, shoes, windows, camera’s, fences, doors, mice, offers, trash, chickens, spices, cans and so much more are coming together. Infinite desires fill the spaces of Hoog Catharijne. Not nicely ordered, but clashing in chaos and in conflict for the available space. And people are moving along, through and around all this. Looking, listening, running, searching, organising, talking.

De Tuinfabriek - A project by Ester van de Wiel on the roof of Hoog Catharijne.

De Tuinfabriek – A project by Ester van de Wiel on the roof of Hoog Catharijne.

There are several ways of trying to understand the complexity of this particular space. Designer Ester van de Wiel attempts this by initiating projects that involve the participation of users and residents so she can be in contact with them. Theatermaker Lotte van den Berg offers occasions where people can start conversations with each other, to exchange perspectives and perhaps leading to new understandings of the surrounding space.

Stadsklas Hoog Catharijne 2

Agoraphobia, a performance piece by Lotte van den Berg.

Ester and Lotte will be guiding us for a day through the known and unknown spaces of Hoog Catharijne, trying to understand the most famous shopping mall of the Netherlands.

Join this Stadsklas session in Utrecht on Tuesday 25 October!
Registration is capped at 15 people. The costs are €100, or €50 for students. Click here for more information on how to participate!