Experimentadesign Amsterdam

Sunday Adventure Club
Groenburgwal 44
Open: 21 Sept - 2 Nov
Wed-Sun 11am to 6 pm

Welcome to our clubhouse!

The exposition the Sunday Adventure Club clubhouse shows the inspiring world of enthusiastic urban pioneers.

The first urban pioneers

In the 1970’s, Liz Christie started guerrilla gardening on a vacant lot in New York City. It marked the beginning of a worldwide network of guerrilla gardeners. After the wall came down a complete city quarter in Berlin was redeveloped by pioneering citizens who ventured to make the most of temporarily available space in their city – from BMX lovers building their own tracks to a swimming pool in the Spree River. Carving out a place for themselves in the ever-denser urban landscape, these citizens reclaim public space as their domain. Adopting sites that were neglected or abandoned by city planners, they convert no man’s land into everyman’s land. Anything that works, stays; everything that doesn’t, disappears again.

Pioneering the in-between

Because of the constantly increasing real estate prices there’s hardly any room left for free play. Therefore today’s pioneers have expanded their arena. Beyond abandoned and neglected places, they find their playing field by sharing space in time. Using new media and wireless communication technologies, emerging just-in-time communities create spontaneous activities in the city’s ‘in-betweens’: When it’s not raining, the park becomes a studio for the yoga club, and a parking lot is transformed into a guerrilla drive-in cinema.

DIY communities & crowdmapping

Today’s pioneers use online tools to associate themselves in often temporary, informal clubs. These networked communities share online manuals and DIY instructions: anything from making your own flower seed bomb to a step–by-step guide to using the city as a ‘parkour’.
They develop the entire city as a public playing field. Skaters, treasure hunters, fishermen, and bird spotters build passionate communities and publicly share their experience of the cityscape they know so well. By plotting their favourite places on online maps, they share their hitherto hidden worlds with others. The Sunday Adventure Club started mapping the world of urban pioneers in Amsterdam. The result can be found on the other side of this exhibition guide.

Online pioneers

Some pioneers never leave the virtual world. Their public playing field is the world of online computer gaming. Modifying existing multiplayer games, they uncover hidden grey areas in the original structures and set up alternative activities: gamers are producing their own films; they perform Jackass stunts in ‘Grand Theft Auto’; and they use the world of ‘Second Life’ as setting for hilarious chain reactions, emulating the famous art video ‘Der Lauf der Dinge’ by Fischli and Weiss.

Crowdsourcing city design

The explosive spread of information and manuals via internet has led to a blurring of the traditional distinctions between professionals and amateurs. More and more people generate content, solve problems, even do corporate R&D. Amateurs operating as programmers or developers of public space have a keen knowledge of the local potential. They are passionate, engaged with their social environment, slightly non-conformist and always proud of what they do. They freely move between set rules and boundaries. Couldn’t it be possible to crowdsource part of the developments in public space by making better use of the energy and ideas of all these pioneers? The urban pioneers demonstrate the value of bottom up design for public space, of a world in which anybody can become a director!