Instructables Restaurant header image 4

The I.R. as social and economic innovator

February 15th, 2011 by arne

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A restaurant is a good place to start if you want to connect people to content. As a matter of fact this is one of the reasons for starting the Instructables Restaurant. In the Afrikaanderwijk the the restaurant now functions as a strongly networked social space, with global content connected to input from diverse local initiatives and people living and working in Rotterdam. To create such a place in such a short time only was possible because of the more than generous support by Vestia housing corporation and people that have been working and living in this area over the last years. Rair was clever to program their exhibition during Art Rotterdam where director Fons Hof generously invited us to speak during the press conference to promote both exhibition and the restaurant.

Here’s an overview of some of the other events and the partners and people involved.

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Rair is a cooperation of 5 leading artist’s initiatives in Rotterdam: Duende, foundation B.a.d. Het Wilde Weten, Kaus Australis and Kunst & Complex. They invited the Instructables Restaurant to provide a center and meeting place to their exhibition of 25 artists who visited Rotterdam as artist in residence over the past 10 years. More then 200 people attended the opening and enjoyed the wonderful soups, snacks and sandwiches prepared at the restaurant. Thank you Wijkkeuken, thank you Flavours op Zuid, thank you Stichting Welzijn Surinamers Feijenoord.

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Pim Dumans of Vestia and Rinet, chef at Laurens Woonzorg, side by side preparing the delicious Surinam soup Bravoe.

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Saturday the guys from Tostitreffer overtook the restaurant and brought their crowd of young creatives to have a Tosti di Pizza orgy and listen to some homegrown Rotterdam punk As the World Burns and singer songwriter Mieke van Veen. Good combo.

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The Instructables Restaurant has grown into a breeding ground for entepreneurial instinct. People can make and sell their products, as long as they make the instructions and recipes available. If you make soup as good as Leen & Hasan’s Turkish Lentil Soup, money is sure to find its way into your pocket. They’ve slowly ventured into other business opportunities as well, like Vanilla Sugar Pancakes for the kids and a soup delivery service for people in the neighborhood. It’s safe to say that without them the restaurant wouldn’t be half as good. Creatief Beheer pointed us towards them. Thank you Evelien van der Niet and Rini Bimans!

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Kus&Sloop opened 5 temporary but comfortable hotel rooms in the neighborhood in homes that are on the list to be renovated. This way instead of representing empty space they function as engines for urban transformation (I spend a very comfortable night there for only 35 Euro!). For the instructables Restaurant they added a pillow fight instructable and cleverly connected it, and thus us, to the upcoming world championships pillow fighting this April. Can’t wait.

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For Pal Maas and De Buurtsuper, Wouter Roeterink added the playful instructable Firelight, made from pizza boxes from Zafer’s Place down the street. Nice! Also thank you Dennis Lohuis of YD+I.

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Lex Pott suggested to us to use the oldest trick in the book to create beautiful furniture, the oldest trick being to get a bunch of old chairs and Paint Everything White. Good idea but soooo much work. That’s why we were very happy that Piet and a group of students of the Albeda College helped us  to get the job done. Jos Kuppens will design a chair together with students of the Alberda College and Wijkschool Zuid which will be produced in the school and the Instructables Restaurant. The Wijkschool leaves the traditional idea of a school behind and works with the context in which its students live, connecting them to local businesses, playground, sports clubs, and other institutions for job experience, integration, and as a helpful hand in many of the things that need to be done

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On Sunday over 50 people showed up for an artist talk that was organized by the different artist in residencies participating in Rair, with some beautiful work created in Rotterdam over the past 10 years.

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Guests start to integrate personal initiatives. Melting marshmellows on a rather big stove (generously lend to us by the Wijkkeuken).

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Laurens Woonzorg in Rotterdam Feijenoord is home to many Hindustan Surinam elderly. They are very specific about their food which is why they have their own cooks preparing wonderful dishes for them each day. One of these cooks is Rinet  (left) who added the amazing Surinam soup Bravoe to the menu as well as the unmissable Bara, and prepared both for the opening. Also big thank you to Swami Ramsaran for going shopping with us.

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Jos Kuppens designed and executed a table that now functions as the center piece of the restaurant. It combines 4 old tables taken from various second hand shops and connects these using underlayment. After which everything is painted white of course. We named it The Vestia;-)

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Over the past years Freehouse, initiated by the artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, has been one of the most important and forward social and economic innovators in Afrikaanderwijk. Through their network we connected to fashion designer Dennis van Dorem (Monofashion) who added a simple to make apron to the Instructables collection (handy for the kitchen) and Pepavana designed a cap for the sunny days that are surely just around the corner. Also a big thank you to Annet van Otterloo.

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Monday 80 students of the Willem De Kooning Academy visited the restaurant for a lecture by Arne Hendriks (moi) about the restaurant as a point where the digital and the analogue connect and create new realities.

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A restaurant needs something sweet. Luckily Bo of local traiteur Lekker op Zuid knows a thing or two about great cakes. Using just simple ingredients like Petit Beurre, pudding and milk she created the Zagreb Zebra, already one of our favorites.

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The instructables Restaurant will also be opened 18, 19 and 20 Feb.

Location Hillelaan 29, Rotterdam, Metrostop Rijnhaven. Open 12 to 6 (so it’s lunch rather then dinner).

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