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The future of everyday living
EU2016 arts & design programme

Pupils of OBS Overhoeks building bridge of Future Island


As an outsider, Amsterdam-North (Dutch: Noord) is not a place I ever visited before. I only took the ferry to the other side if I would visit the Eye Film museum. For the Europe by People project I explored the area of Buiksloterham in Amsterdam Noord, a new and colourful area with a lot of different initiatives concerning circularity. Definitely interesting because soon I found out Buiksloterham developed itself as the first self-sufficient area of Europe and would be an inspiration for the future city.

Future Island

We worked on this case in a team of designers. A visit to the weekly Van der Pek market and 10 interviews further, something else showed up: the people who are living in the area don’t know anything about all the circular initiatives in the neighbourhood. It sounds a bit too complicated for them. As a group we saw a challenge in making the interesting, but complicated circular systems of Metabolic understandable, which are established at De Ceuvel – one of the first initiatives of circular Buiksloterham. Future Island arose from this. A mobile platform floating on water, that demonstrated the systems of Metabolic in a simple and almost childlike reproduction.

At the platform, made completely from reclaimed materials, you can make your own herb tea from scratch, charge your phone, chill out on a hammock and learn more about the systems we demonstrate. Future Island proves how simple D.I.Y. green instruments can be. After 8 weeks of research and hard work, the platform was opened on Saturday 18 June by the pupils of OBS Overhoeks at the celebration of De Ceuvel’s 2 years anniversary. In the morning they built a bridge from De Ceuvel to the Island, which officially opened the Future Island for the public. Afterwards the kids participated in a workshop where they learned about and explored the circular systems of Metabolic by themselves.