Workshop biomaterials: A more-than-human shelter

This workshop is part of Met andere ogen: Landschapsfestival.

A more-than-human shelter is springing up at the Amsterdam Science Park! With The Holebearers, architect Estelle Barriol and artist/earth scientist Esmee Geerken investigate how our structures can be useful for ourselves and our fellow animals. They wonder how the desire for shelter can also lead to shared places and thus to interspecies dialogue.

They came up with a colourful installation where all kinds of inhabitants on the Science Park can stay and meet each other. The installation will consist of a hut where the returning wolf can mate, flanked by a habitat wall for kingfishers, a bench made of 'rammed earth' and a rabbit burrow where foxes can also settle. The hut also serves as a meditation and observation spot for people, where you can follow the comings and goings of the other residents without disturbing them.

The installation will be built on a nice, sheltered corner of the Science Park, next to Anna's Tuin & Ruigte and the open field with the wadi. The installation will be on display there for at least the whole summer during the landscape festival, and then slowly digest and become part of the local ecosystem. 

Workshop #2: biomaterials

To give shape to this multifarious palace, we are organising two workshops. This second one focuses on biominerals and bioplastics, introducing us to the natural material flows of rock, carbon, water and nutrients. With this knowledge we will use calcite granules (extracted from drinking water purification) and bioplastics (from local raw materials) to build the shelter's roofing. When these materials degrade over time, they contribute to the conditions for new forms of biodiversity and welcoming new life forms to the area.


13:00. - 13:30 hrs: Introduction
13:30 - 14:00 hrs: Explanation of building techniques rammed earth
14:00 - 16:30 hrs: Building more-than-human shelter at amsterdam science park yourself
16:30 - 17:00 hrs: Drinks and a snack

Ideally you should come to the workshop for 2 or 3 days, if this does not work out you are also welcome to come for 1 day. 

Clothing regulations 

Put on worker clothes and working shoes (mountain boots or steel-toed shoes). You do not need any prior knowledge.  


This event takes place on the ground floor in the Amsterdam Science Park and is wheelchair accessible.  

If you are tight on cash but would like to participate in this event, please contact tanja [@] waag [dot] org. 

This intervention was developed by artist and earth scientist Esmee Geerken as part of the Landschapsfestival.

About Esmee

Esmee Geerken is an artist and earth scientist. Her work combines these disciplines for her artistic research and design practice in which she questions the experience of our material environment. Esmee graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld academy and completed a PhD in geochemistry at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).  As a research fellow at Waag, she will research the symbiosis between animals and minerals, with the aim of creating new materials through biomineralisation.

Met andere ogen: Landschapsfestival

Met andere ogen: Landschapsfestival invites you to set your senses on the Amsterdam Science Park and discover the city as a living place, together with artists, local residents and scientists. During the landscape festival, we will build a different relationship with nature together. Workshops, installations and biodiverse interventions will shift our attention from bricks and structures to critters and soil during the summer months.

About T-Factor

This programme is part of the international project T-Factor. How can we create city initiatives in an inclusive way and for a variety of life forms, such as humans, plants, animals and microbes? Over the next two years, Waag will investigate these and more questions within T-Factor about interim initiatives at the Amsterdam Science Park. 




Café-Restaurant Polder
Science Park 201
1098 XH Amsterdam



EU official flag

This project has received funding from the European Commission under the H2020-SC5-20-2019 call under Grant Agreement number 868887.