PICNIC Festival 2012 opened its doors a day earlier this year to feature an OFF PICNIC program open to the public. Everyone was invited to visit workshops, exhibitions, join in a cycling route through the city to get a taste of the PICNIC vibe prior to the official Festival on 17 & 18 September in Amsterdam’s Eye Film Institute. Thanks to PICNIC partners, we were able to host an exciting, mostly free, pre-Festival program in various venues around town.


Transnatural: The State of Autonomy

The State of Autonomy exhibition in Science Center NEMO explores how new technologies, innovative materials and existing resources can improve rather than harm our shared natural environment. The exhibition is part of Transnatural Festival, which combines an exhibition, music, performances and a two-day conference. The conference was held in conjunction with PICNIC Festival 2012. The exhibition runs until 7 October 2012.
Location: NEMO Science Center, Oosterdok 2



The Architecture Center ARCAM’s WeOwnTheCity exhibition opened especially to PICNIC visitors on Sunday. The pictures of citizen projects, photographed by Marten van Wijk, tied in to the PICNIC 12 theme of ‘New Ownership’, as citizens have started initiating projects to make the city theirs.
Location: ARCAM, Prins Hendrikkade 600



On the 16th of September, Studio Placemakers were present at ARCAM to give a preview on their use of PARK(ing) DAY – a worldwide event at the 21st of September. With this bottom-up event visitors of the exhibition, pedestrians that accidentally cross ARCAM or enthusiastic participants could reclaim a part of the city, a parking lot, and transform it into a small park. Those who passed by could let Studio Placemakers activate their ownership of the city!
Location: ARCAM, Prins Hendrikkade 600


CITIES the Magazine #2

On the 16th of September CITIES presented CITIES The Magazine #2, which analyses the relationship between center development and civic involvement. While urban planners and designers can position a center by aggregating several urban functions in order to optimize access to transport and services, the feeling of a "center" can be described as a shared urban experience, which is not always the outcome of a planned urban typology. This issue explores how policy makers, citizens and planners are dealing with this subject in today's urbanity.
Location: ARCAM, Prins Hendrikkade 600


PostNatural Organisms

PostNatural Organisms was an exhibition featuring 11 preserved specimens of life forms that have been intentionally altered by humans through domestication, selective breeding and genetic engineering. Rich Pell, Director of the Center for PostNatural History and speaker at PICNIC ’12, co-hosted a festive closing of the exhibition with scientist Paul van Krimpenfort.
Location: Waag Society, Nieuwmarkt 4

Temporary Museum

The Temporary Museum is located in the distinctive former Shell Tower. Current exhibitions include remarkable art and design objects that refer to the culture of ‘Sustainism’
Location: Toren Overhoeks, Overhoeks 1


(Im)possible Worlds

FIBER, the Amsterdam based audiovisual network festival, were invited by the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk) to curate an exhibition that reflects current artistic developments within their network of up-and-coming audiovisual artists and designers. It included installations by up-and-coming artists portraying new realities by combining the material, virtual and digital worlds at (Im)possibleWorlds
Location: NIMk, Keizersgracht 264


Launch KamerMaker

DUS architects officially opened the world’s largest moveable 3D printing pavilion the KamerMaker (Room Builder) during OFF-PICNIC. Alderwoman for culture and sports, Carolien Gehrels, introduced the KamerMaker during an Open Coop event in the garden of the Tolhuistuin. The location now functions as a test site for large-scale 3D plastic printing.
Location: DUS Architecten, Tolhuisweg 2


Urban Design Tours

As part of the OFF PICNIC event, Appsterdam, the MuseumApp, and Mac Bike showed participants Amsterdam's secrets in an experiential walking or biking tour of the city ecosystem, giving them a rare glimpse into what makes Amsterdam a premier creative-class city. These tours, while not your typical sight-seeing, explored how city planning and urban design have contributed to Amsterdam's technical and creative renaissance. All people had to do was bring their own smartphone and headphones and download the MuseumApp beforehand from the App Store (They used this link)  or Google Play (using Using this link). 

Tours departed at 13:30 from the front steps of the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (Public Libary, Oosterdokskade 143) just east of Amsterdam Centraal Station. Returning by 17:00.


Be Your Own Journalist

The stunning Vodafone Headquarters was the setting for the European Journalism Centre’s interactive session ‘Be Your Own Journalist’. In today’s digital age we create, aggregate, distribute, and manage content online. Through social media we can only connect with people worldwide, but also share our personal and professional experiences with the rest of the world. With our mobile phones we can take a photo, upload it instantly using free applications and share it on a map which geo-locates the setting through GPS.Today’s digital technologies expose us to massive volumes of data, allowing us to see the world through different lenses. Crowds have become one of the primary sources of information and contribute significantly to journalists' newsgathering, not to mention humanitarian response efforts and scientific research. Organised by the European Journalism Centre, these interactive sessions explored the digital revolution over the past few years by showcasing projects ranging from blogging competitions to data-driven journalism.
Location: Vodafone Firestarters, Simon Carmiggeltstraat 6

PICNIC partners with friends to offer free OFF PICNIC program