Supermaker by Lars Spuybroek for Platform21

The incubator Platform21 has closed on a successful note. Over the past three and a half years, we have searched for a new cultural format for a design centre in an interactive process of learning by doing. We received the best responses to projects that were set up out of an open-source mentality and placed the process of making at centre stage. Turning our attention to everyday themes such as repairing, folding and hacking also proved to be a successful way of working in a cross-disciplinary manner and mobilising a broad public. In total, we initiated sixteen different projects and organised 53 club nights, shows and workshops. Three projects are still active internationally.
Our efforts have been well worthwhile – our experiences and those of our many participants and audience members have been incorporated into a new concept called Supermaker.
Supermaker will be a laboratory centred around the revaluation of making, the pleasure of making, and the spectacle of making. We will stage co-creation projects, workshops and worklabs as well as exhibitions, lectures and debates. Like Platform21, Supermaker will have a themed programme of activities in which everyday topics will be addressed in a mobilising, inspiring way to help us understand our changing world and make it a better place. Curiosity will be rewarded, and a critical attitude will be welcome.
We will develop Supermaker’s programming with a variety of partners. They will strengthen specific parts of Supermaker with their expertise and relationships. A partner strategy based on a shared vision and mentality. Several businesses and cultural and knowledge institutions have already expressed their wish to join Supermaker as partners.
So far, so good. There’s no shortage of enthusiasm. All we need is a new home and startup funding.
Architect Lars Spuybroek of NOX has already designed us a pavilion, Supermaker_Dock. It encompasses 800 square metres of space, 600 of which will be occupied by the central construction. The design is based on the legendary architect Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, a concept in which the building’s use is inseparable from its construction.
This 'Building=Making' principle is also applied in the Supermaker_Dock. In our design centre, the design and production ('making') process will be as important as its result, and it will therefore never stand still. The latter will also be true of the building.
The central glasshouse is surrounded by expressive ‘pods’ that have wheels and can be moved with a small tractor. Their use can be adapted through connecting them to each other or connecting them to the central building element in a different way. Thus, a studio can be transformed into an exhibition space, a kitchen into a shop, and so on. We consider this to be the perfect translation of co-creation and growth into the language of architecture.
In December, we will find out whether we can proceed immediately with setting up Supermaker. In the meantime, the Platform21 team continues to work together, organising projects abroad and compiling a book.