Docklands is an ongoing research, documenting the transition of former harbor areas in different cities of Amsterdam, New York and London.

Focusing on the high demand for living near the water the project tries to get a grip on shifting social demographics, waterfront development and similarities within these cities. 

Amsterdam, New York and Londen were once among the great harbors of the world, where many ships were built. This industrial labor required vast open spaces and created jobs and a community of dockworkers in nearby residences. After an era of globalization and growth, these docklands were relocated elsewhere and the areas fell into decay. 

The 1980's marked a transition starting point, where the city councils started to 
re-appropriate these areas as potential housing projects for the high demands for living in the city. 

In the case of appropriating the city and finding new uses for the neglected warehouses and open undetermined spaces, other communities already found their residence here. It is these communities, the uncontrolled appropriation and use of urban space that the project is focusing on. 

The research and continuation of the project is tracked on this page. Working in different cities simultaneously will influence each chapter of the project during the process, and therefor the work is not yet final/definite. New elements and photographs will be added to this page to keep you informed. 

Funding for the project comes directly from sales of the products that are developed along the progress. 

The work made in New York has taken shape into a newspaper-zine, about one element of the transition there. You can order this zine online, and/or purchase a print of the work. The revenue is directly used for the continuation of the project, thank you for your support.

In case you'd like to stay updated or have any questions please use the form below or send a direct email





The series about Amsterdam is currently being produced. There will be a
publication about this chapter in 2018, you can follow the updates here. 






After the railroad station lost its purpose the Dok was rented out to a group of individuals, who collectively appropriated the buildings and found a use for the spaces as ateliers or housing. After a few years, around 45 people were residing here, working and living on the Dok. In 1999 the Westerdok was demolished and all former residents were relocated elsewhere.

Growing up here gave insight in the forces and lack of [...] for the people residing somewhere, if they don't have the capital to buy a seat at the table. Plans to keep this historical building as a part of the new residential housing project were ignored, meetings turned into empty promises. 


Amsterdam saw its creative appeal and potential under treat during the end of the nineties due to an economic boom in real-estate. This resulted in a shrinkage of the amount of affordable space for social and creative entrepreneurs. The project started in Amsterdam, where former docklands still function as creative playgrounds for the city dwellers and entrepreneurs whom have appropriated the unused open space and historical buildings. A concept of using space that is heavily threatened and lost to project developers' housing hunt.  

The project is looking at former docklands and the use of space by the communities that reside in these areas. Ownership of the city and the legacy of squatting for an added cultural value are being questioned, as well as the concept of temporary use.  

Westerdok, 2015 

A historical context by one of the former residents, who lived on the Westerdok when it was a former railroad station. From memory, she points out what, and whom you would have seen if you'd sailed past this dock in the 1990's. 


The NDSM was seen worldwide as a highly successful and progressive company in the shipping world. The NDSM was one of the largest and most modern shipbuilding yards in the world.

A company that has invented many innovations, which are still being used in shipbuilding and ship repair. But in the 1970s, the NDSM was in trouble due to the oil crisis, political games, competition: in 1984 she closed her doors.

Nowadays, the NDSM is home to artists and temporary users whom travel from city to city. It attracts a diverse group of interested people, and the area was acclaimed one of the most popular in the world by the New York Times. 

The area is currently up for sale and hotels and multinationals are residing here, amidst the chaotic and random structure of the area. 







The area of Red Hook is a small part of Brooklyn, as the map shows. The typical grid for the street plan results in a large amount of intersections. 


In New York, the project questions the function of public space within the residential area of Red Hook, taking into account the community in Red Hook of which half of the roughly 10.000 residents live in subsidized housing Projects (Red Hook Houses).

streetcorner is the location which lies adjacent to an intersection of two roads. Such locations are important in terms of local planning and commerce, usually being the locations of street signs and lamp posts, as well as being a prime spot to locate a business due to visibility and accessibility from traffic going along either of the adjacent streets. One source suggests that this is so for a facility combining two purposes, like an automotive showroom that provides repair services as well: "For all these types of buildings, property on a street corner is most desirable as separate entrances are most easily provided for."

Due to this visibility, street-corners are the choice location for activities ranging from panhandling to prostitution to protests to petition signature drives, hence the term "street-corner politics". This makes street-corners a good location to observe human activity, for purposes of learning what environmental structures best fit that activity. Sidewalks at street corners tend to be rounded, rather than coming to a point, for ease of traffic making turns at the intersection.

A street corner can serve as a social meeting place. Street corner life is normally founded in low-income areas all around the world in urbanized structures.



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text by Marijn Ferier


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