Art Programme for De Tafelberg

Project Care and well-being

Curator: Theo Tegelaers
Coördination: Charlotte Bijl
Researcher: Laura Mudde

Location: De Tafelberg, Amsterdam

Commissioner: Spirit!


TAAK is developing a three-year art programme, commissioned by youth organization Spirit!, for the new living- and learning community De Tafelberg, which will open in 2021. Here, young adults with a history in youth care will live together with students and starters. De Tafelberg aims to support young adults on their paths to leading independent lives. While developing the art programme for De Tafelberg, we pay particular attention to living structures, activities, quality of life, and social cohesion, to create a stimulating environment and a supportive community. 

TAAK’s task is threefold. First, it includes a programme leading up to the opening, in which we investigate and imagine what a living- and learning community could look like. This exploration of the community’s potential will then give rise to several (semi)permanent works of art in the public space surrounding De Tafelberg. Finally, we will create a space for an artist in residence.

During the programme, TAAK will ask how to integrate De Tafelberg with its environment, create a community, and forge connections between existing and new local residents. 

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In the period leading up to the opening of De Tafelberg, we will take up four assignments, bringing together artists, experts by experience, young adults, students, and teacher-researchers in a research and design team to create concrete plans for De Tafelberg. TAAK will facilitate conversations between the different experts. The assignments are:

Intergenerational perspectives about the path to independence

We will assemble a group of people of different ages, consisting of regular members of the research group and temporary (older) participants, who have come into contact with youth care. During group conversations, there will be the opportunity to discuss various perspectives on themes like autonomy, cohabitation, safety, and sense of community. We will ask an artist to create a video work as a visual reflection on these conversations. 

Developing physical spaces

Artists will set to work on establishing the ‘empathic living environment’ that is recommended by policy documents. From the experiences collected during the group conversations, they distill more abstract themes that might prove valuable for the required decisions concerning the design of the physical spaces. In a nonverbal way, we also explore the relation of emotions and the body to these spaces, ultimately resulting in a performative presentation. 

Embeddedness in the neighbourhood

This assignment focuses on the embeddedness of De Tafelberg in its direct environment, the Amstel III area. During workshops, young adults are stimulated to become more aware of public space and the way they use it in relation to others. Together with an artist, the young adults work on a visual expression of their experiences by creating an artwork that will be placed in the public space. This artwork contributes to building the community of future residents of the neighbourhood. 

Organizing the future community

For this assignment, we inquire into themes of influence, participation, and decision-making. An artist will develop a structure that ensures that future inhabitants feel like co-owners of the community, while safeguarding everyone’s equal opportunity to be heard during this process.

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The campus is developed by youth organization Spirit!, in collaboration with real estate developer Fakton and Garage 2020, an independent bureau of Spirit! that develops ideas for social innovation in youth care.