We’d prefer to finally see all Urbanistas in real life, again, but until that is possible we aim to stay in touch and engage in meaningful conversation in an online format. That’s why last week we had our very first digital Expo!
Lidewij Tummers, owner of Tussen Ruimte, and María Novas, owner of Impossible Wherever, both researchers, presented their promising and necessary project Cherchez la femme! The idea was conceived as a continuation of the Green Widow project: a rescue mission to save and collect the archives and efforts of multiple generations of female activists. Simultaneously helping the diversification of the National Archive as well as connecting architects of different generations. With the work and efforts of female architects being collected and documented comes the next question: how to share this important information with the public?
In architecture, like in all professions, we can find many hidden women, waiting to be discovered. Cherchez la femme! is a treasure hunt and its goal is to find these women and bring attention to their work that has often been obscured or forgotten throughout time. The project intends to use the concept of geocaching to help us uncover these little known parts of our built environment. An active urban game to “make visible the practice, stories, and history of women architects in the Netherlands”.
In the first phase, the “detectives” Lidewij and María will conduct the research and build knowledge dossiers on a number of female architects. In the second phase, the urban game will be developed using this data. And finally, the game will be launched and the public can go on an adventure to discover the city's hidden treasures.
When the time comes, us Urbanistas are invited to test the game and help it become a reality! For now we had a lively discussion about the potential of the project and the many possibilities. We brainstormed about the uses of the game and how it could get people to keep playing, discovering and maybe even contributing. We also discussed possible partnerships with the Rotterdam Tourist Information, Universities, or others organisations.
As for the research phase: any knowledge on the topic is welcome, and if you think you could contribute in a valuable way, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lidewij and María, or Urbanistas RDAM. The focus is on the legacy of Dutch female architects and their work in and around Rotterdam, but this might be just the start and can always grow broader, of course.
Have any additional thoughts or ideas? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!
You can view Lidewij and María’s presentation by clicking here.
And then spend some time browsing these other projects that were discussed during the Expo: