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The city and the country: it's all fun and games until...

For the first time in history, over half the world’s population lives in urban areas. Opportunities offered by cities appeal and attract people. The Dutch countryside, however, is rapidly developing as well. More than ever has it become a place of residence and employment. It accommodates both the urban excess and evolution according to its own logic. The urban denizens find leisure on the countryside while countrymen shift their focus from production to service-related industries. Will these changes leave room for the essential production of our food? Will this occur even more intensively on the countryside or do we have to find room in our cities?

The city and the country are closely related and cannot be considered separately. The Cloud Collective explores this intertwining in a playful way. A landscape of threads invites visitors to a strategic game with a serious subtext. Two teams play a spatial land grab with over five kilometers of rope. A network grows increasingly denser in a weeks long game.

In its own abstract manner this game demonstrates the impacts of (neo-)liberal urbanism. Favorable locations attract more thread as points are easy to obtain here. Density thus creates more density. More remote locations generate different structures. In between new patterns arise that are no longer solely urban or rural: this is home to the hybrids.

This project also serves as an experiment in collective design. Most architectural offices still rely on outdated hierarchical models of organization. In order to fully engage the potential of our horizontally organized collective we continue to look for collaborations that function without active management.

“The Cloud” is a well-known online phenomenon. We do examine the structure of networks capable of producing wikipedia and the like where each adds according to interest and knowledge. These simple and relatively effortless contributions amount to a substantial achievement. Presented as a game with few limitations, even children cooperate joyfully. This teaches us valuable lessons about control and latitude.