Success Paradox / Amsterdam Zuidas / 8–9 May 2018

SHIFT is a nomadic 24-hour design school , moving independently and situationally around a program and a theme.

For each new edition SHIFT invites a progressive practitioner as a tutor to develop a 24-hour scenario for one or more participants.

The enactment of design around the human body is a core theme.

During those 24 hours, design performance, research, collaboration, experiment, feedback loops and trial-and-error playfully take place.

SHIFT creates a dynamic network through online registrations of editions.


In 1953 Elly Lamaker founded the fashion design department in a Nissen hut alongside the Rhine, on the exact spot where the ArtEZ Rietveld building now stands. The discovery of this image, the ArtEZ University of the Arts Fashion Design department avant la lettre housed in prefab huts , fascinates as a timely record of a ‘zero-point’. For how would we in 2018, with a handful of students and temporary accommodation, give shape to a new speculative (fashion) design department? A department that anticipates the future and explores untouched areas. With that Nissen hut from 1953 as zero-point, we want to make a tiger's leap, looking back while moving forward and create a testing environment to explore future scenarios. Our immense fascination lies within the following step: what might emerge from this?

We began our quest with various conversations. We ourselves are alumni of generation 2007 and have since been active in our field for a full 10 years. These 10 years represent development, assessment and professionalisation, as well as doubt and the constant search for new implementations of our own practice. Like many in our field we see creativity being smothered by a zeitgeist that leans heavily on effectiveness, measurability, appearance, feasibility and haste, resulting in a great need for time, for space to fail and to question our experiences. Creativity is not a linear process in which question and answer run in one straight line. The need for personal development is equal for teachers and students. We envision action-play research as feeding the individual as well as the process itself. Investigation in the form of future scenarios in which experimental exploration and visualisation takes place; speculative, utopian and sometimes radical.

The first steps and the development of this project SHIFT has been done by speaking, listening and brainstorming with the nomadic SHIFTcommunity. The people that we consider to be the (future) database and value (currency) of this project. A big thank you to this growing community, and everyone who will join us in the future!

Lenn Cox & JP Scheen