Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Rethinking the
Market of the Future

June 5, 2009

Markt van Morgen, Freehouse, debra solomon,

Market folk, people from Rotterdam’s Afrikaanderbuurt and artists renew one of the Netherlands’ largest open-air markets, the Afrikaandermarkt. My involvement in this mega project is one of the reasons I’ve written so little in this blog the past year. So much to write about, but no time to write.

Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking Flyer by Roger Teeuwen, Debra Solomn,

I’ve been collaborating my Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking project with Jeanne van Heeswijk en Dennis Kaspori’s enormous FREEHOUSE project that has been working with local entrepreneurs and artists to develop a better, more unique, more relevant market for this neighbourhood. The focus of the FREEHOUSE project (the Market of the Future) is to infuse the market with better products and services, developed in the hood, and that actually benefit the hood, the Market of the Future. Oddly, the future officially arrives this Saturday and Sunday in Rotterdam’s Afrikaanderwijk when the Market of the Future opens.

Afrikaandermarkt flyer by Roger Teeuwen for Freehouse, Debra Solomon, and Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking

At the ‘old’ Afrikaandermarket, products come from far, far away; the produce, the fabric, the gadgets, the thingy-thingies. The past year artists, designers and local people have been working together to sketch a product line that hyper-uses and reworks the current materials flow such that folks north of the river have a reason to bike over that pretty bridge to do their Saturday (and Wednesday) shopping.

Some of the innovated products include the Suit It Yourself clothing line, developed and manufactured locally, the Lucky Mi Free Kitchen, (yay!) that breathes new life into produce by making jams, syrups, pickles sauces and other foods and snacks. Unique to the Afrikaandermark is the involvement of market folk selling products of district inhabitants . Hippiydippity young fashion designers share space with the scooter store on the corner, there is a mobile repair-anything and everything service and a camel-milksmoothie stand. Stalls will carry speicalty items for the Turkish bride and vegetables from local kitchen gardens.

New pop-up market stalls have been designed by by artists Dré Wapenaar, Jeroen Kooijmans and Hugo Carpenters. Market folk are known to be critical, and after this weekend, we’ll know if these amazing ideas are worth a repeat.

Freehouse sticker by Roger Teeuwen, Debra Solomon,

Freehouse is a project of Jean of Heeswijk and Dennis Kaspori in cooperation with Kosmopolis Rotterdam and is made possible with cooperation and support of the Dutch Arts Council (Fonds BKVB), European Fund for Regional Development of the European Commission, Pact op Zuid, Housing Corporation Vestia, CVAH and VETRA. For more information about Freehouse, the Market of the Future or image material contact Ramon Mustard (T 010-2134201 / E

To get to the Afrikaandermarkt from Rotterdam Central Station, take the metro to Rijnhaven, get out… and follow the hoards.

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debra at 23:35 | | post to


  1. Just heard an item about this on the radio. It made me curious, but now I know you are involved I’ll actually make the long trek from Rotterdam north :-)

    Comment by waa — June 6, 2009 @ 11:01

  2. Sounds really cool and exciting! May I wish you the best of luck with it all? Perhaps I’ll come and see when I’m next in Holland - although with the weakness of our Sterling this will have to be delayed awhile :(

    Comment by jim w — June 7, 2009 @ 3:36

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