Taken by Supriya Pava

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Life of a New Yorker Goes to Holland: Day 4

Tuesday, March 18th brought the 4th day of our exciting adventure in Rotterdam where we enjoyed a brief tour of South Rotterdam, visited the Creative Factory and returned to RDM Campus for some one on one interaction between the students. On our walking tour we immediately noticed the drastic contrast between the old and new architecture in the South side of the city. Despite the overwhelming development displayed in the new construction our tour guide informed us that the city did in fact want to retain the older construction.
Old vs New architecture in South Rotterdam

Upon completion of our walking tour we arrived at the Creative Factory, a large and impressive work space that is known for nurturing the creative industry in Rotterdam. The factory is open to companies, partners, and students who benefit from the extensive and largely collaborative environment.

Once an old silo (large storage container for inventory), the almost 100 year old building is another prime example of urban redevelopment. Our first speaker for the evening let us know that the area was once considered dangerous and undesirable but with the Creative Industry being very famous in the industrial environment and bringing notoriety, the area is now known for it's positive contributions to the community. Having the Creative Factory in such an area promotes inspiration to the young creative professionals in Rotterdam who can network and build relationships all while completing new and innovative projects.

The extensive factory sports various size office spaces and conference rooms for rent to qualifying creative minds. Only after an interview and viewing of the space can someone get a spot in the building to design as they please. The Creative Factory also caters to the youth in the community by reserving special units for Rotterdam University students to work on innovative projects.

Unique top floor office space in the Creative Factory 
During the weekends the Creative Factory hosts one of Rotterdam's more popular night clubs. I was in awe at the many different ways that unused spaces can be redesigned to be effective and productive both culturally and economically.


After lunch our group once again boarded the convenient Aqua Liner ferry that took us to RDM Campus where we would engage in a one on one group discussion with the students of Rotterdam University.

The students of Pratt Institute represented NYC excellently and were professional and informative with their impressive presentations! Then everyone (including the Rotterdam students) split into groups to discuss individually and construct their own sustainability flow charts. After brainstorming how the challenges and potential ways sustainability could be achieved in each respective communities the groups came together and presented what they had come up with.

Watching the large group of young people engaged and hearing everyone's collective input just showed the success of such a program. We were the future community leaders, architects, urban planners, and engineers. This experience prepared us for the real work of making a positive impact and contributing to our communities. We ended our night with a full meal and conversation in the RDM dining hall. The international exchange taking place that evening was a unique kind of kinship and what connected us all was the pride and determination to protect and support our homes.
Our Rotterdam Adventure Group Picture

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