Jeanne van Heeswijk

A Public Practice
Academy of Architecture 2010-11

The Academy of Architecture couples its AIR programme with existing educational modules, such as the lecture series Capita Selecta and the Winter Workshop, which sees a one-week working collaboration between three design disciplines: architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture. The group includes international guest students. The central focus is on interdisciplinary cooperation and on confrontation with other art practices. The acquisition of artistic skills and the demand for them is of huge importance in this context. For this reason, the Academy of Architecture consistently makes the explicit choice of inviting distinct artistic personalities to disrupt the educational enterprise.

Jeanne van Heeswijk’s projects always have three phases: research, reflection and realisation.

She invited students from the Academy of Architecture to become involved in each of three of her public projects in one of these phases.

During the Winter Workshop entitled A Stroll in the AIR, Jeanne van Heeswijk and the students embarked on a performative study near Rotterdam in the fragmented and cluttered Deltapoort recreational area. The students ‘captured’ the area by bike, forcing new connections in order to research the creation of a new urban landscape that encourages functional, recreational and alternative uses. They studied the potential of the bike as a tool for accessing the area in context of sustainability, health and the environment. This lead to the creation of a toolkit that is an initial impetus for a new urban culture and that served as the basis for a project to be developed in the area over the two years after.

Van Heeswijk’s Freehouse research project Radicalizing the Local was the departure point for six Capita Selecta lectures that will be incorporated into a publication.

In summer 2011 several students participated in Van Heeswijk’s 2UP 2DOWN, a site-specific project in the impoverished working-class district of Anfield in Liverpool that is being made in collaboration with Liverpool Biennial 2012 and Sheffield University.

About Jeanne van Heeswijk
Jeanne van Heeswijk is a visual artist who creates contexts for interaction in public spaces. Her projects are characterised by a high level of social involvement. Through her work, Van Heeswijk seeks to stimulate and develop cultural production and create new public spaces or remodel existing ones. To achieve this she often works closely with artists, designers, architects, software developers, governments and citizens. She regularly lectures on topics such as urban renewal, participation and cultural production. Van Heeswijk was educated at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, and the Tilburg Academy of Fine Arts. Her projects include Dwaallicht, a narrative monument for a working-class neighbourhood, on display at Rotterdam Historical Museum; Face Your World, an interactive design lab for youngsters, Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum; and Subway to the Outside a TV series with interventions, Artists Space, New York. Van Heeswijk lives and works in Rotterdam. Her work has appeared at the biennials in Bushan, Taipei, Shanghai, Venice and elsewhere.