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[Cut for Purpose]

The Cut for Purpose project, 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.

Cut for Purpose installed - and yet uncut


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.

Changing floorplan during the 9 weeks probing period


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. (Cut explorer guide - pdf - 2.5Mb)

“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. The office space is available until the 22nd of April, and is accessible seven days a week from 9 to 17h.”
(Ernest van der Kwast, writer, Antenne Rotterdam, March 18, 2006)

DJ space and filmset (Wendelien van Oldenborgh)

Space for a sound installation (Edwin van der Heide)

Cut for Purpose facing Richard Serras' Waxing Arcs

Video room with seats