Cut for Purpose, developed in a collaboration with the Stadsredactie (The City Editorial Board) of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, examines how urban dynamics can find their way to the museum space. To imagine anew the potentials and role of a particular museum space, a temporary inversion of its 660m2 has been made.

From February 18 until April 23, 2006, a grid of more than man-sized cardboard panels has filled this entire part of the Museum. Within this structure, during a course of nine weeks, spaces have been purpose-cut to house a/o an office space for a writer, residency space for an art collective, a workshop for a product designers, a video room, a sound room, a meeting space, a garden, a film set…

The activities have established a series of spatial interactions based on a set of guidelines for the creation of spaces given to the participants – as well as a challenge of the relations between curators, participating artists and the different audiences.


Cut For Purpose is an exploration made through a spatial structure and a transformative process set within it. The structure installed is a device; a testing tool on a 1:1 scale, that invites a line of activities to respond spatially and programmatically. It is a volume, comprised of a grid of 2000 cardboard sheets (283 x 120 x 1.5 cm), covering 1100m3. MDF ‘combs’, have been specially designed to keep honeycomb cardboard apart on 15 centimeters intervals.


Without having a spatial layout made in advance, the excavation of the space by the activities taking place within it is set-off by a few simple spatial guidelines. Each week, a volume of cardboard available for cutting is released and divided amongst the activities that are in immediate need of (extra) space; no reservation for a specific location can be made before an activity takes place; the structure is subject to time zones that allow for a specific duration for an activity; the material cut out transforms into interior elements – temporary seats, chairs, podia. Guidelines are there to be tested and adjusted.

“Offered for rent immediately, a small, furnished office space in the Street Gallery of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Because of arrest of the previous tenant a unique space in the installation Cut for Purpose is released. […] Deafness is a pre. In the Street Gallery ongoing sawing is taking place. Non-the-less, even if you hear well, you are invited to react. The technical department of the museum has a large collection of Kema approved headphones at disposal.”

(Ernest van der Kwast, writer, Antenne Rotterdam, March 18, 2006)

  • [team ] structure and process: Ana Džokić, Marc Neelen and Mario Campanella; program: Stadsredactie – Annemartine van Kesteren, Patricia Pulles and Bregje van Woensel.
  • [participants] Susanne Kriemann, Ernest van der Kwast, Edwin van der Heide, Cucosa (Robert Rosenau, Tonio de Roover, Joris Rockx, Arjen van Krieken, Dwight Marica, Evelien de Jong, Richard Trifunovic), Fruitport (Christien Meinderstma, Joris Laarman, De Makers Van… [Judith de Graauw, Joep Verhoeven, Jeroen Verhoeven], Sietse Kalkwijk), Wendelien van Oldenborgh , Robbert de Vrieze, S.R. Kucharski, Strange Attractors (Catelijne van Middelkoop, Ryan Pescatore Frisk), Bartolomeo Pietromarchi (Fondazione Olivetti), LLink 747 Live (John Buijsman, Mieke van der Linden, Rivka de Jonge), Francesco Jodice…
  • [background ] Cut For Purpose is the first project of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningens’ Stadsredactie (City Editorial Board).
  • [timeline ] october 2005 – january 2006 (concept and design), 18 february – 23 april 2006 (realisation).
  • [exhibitions / publicity ] ‘De Architect’ magazine, Netheralnds (april 2006), 4th Liverpool Biennial, conference ‘City Breaks?’ (october 2006), VIDEOARCH, Trento (november 2006), book ‘Space Craft: fleeting architecture and hideouts’, editors R. Klanten, L. Feireiss, published by Gestalten, Berlin, Germany (2007), ‘Hatch: The New Architectural Generation’, editor K. Long, published by Laurence King Publishing, London, UK (2008), exhibited at the 11th Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italian Pavilion, supported by the Netherlands Architecture Fund/HGIS, (september – november 2008), Wound Magazine, London, UK (Spring 2009).