Studio René Boer

René Boer (1986, he/him) works as a critic, curator and organizer in and beyond the fields of architecture, art, design and heritage. He is based between Amsterdam and Cairo and is a driving force behind the Failed Architecture platform. In recent years he developed a wide array of exhibitions, public programmes and research projects, often with a focus on spatial justice, urban imaginations and queer tactics. His current projects include Contemporary Commoning, an experimental exploration of the relation between art and (urban) commons; Terraforming Indonesia, a programme investigating and reimaginging large-scale land reclamations in collaboration with the ruangruapa collective; and Smooth City, a forthcoming publication on the obsession with perfection in cities worldwide.

selected projects
Architecture of Appropriation
Contemporary Commoning
Failed Architecture
Grounded Urban Practices
Post-Fossil City
Reimagining Cairo
Smooth City
Terraforming Indonesia
The Right to Build
Useful Life

#Wallen2020: a counter-manifesto

This counter-manifesto sheds a new light on Amsterdam's Red Light District, and seeks to change the prevailing discourse about a neighborhood that is supposedly 'out of control'. It is an urgent call against reckless interventions by local authorities and for safeguarding its unique qualities.

"Divergent, close-knit communities are permanently based in the area. Sex workers, artists, student fraternities, Coptic entrepreneurs, religious groups, a large Chinese and queer community. Large crowds fill the area from the late afternoon onwards, enhancing a – for Amsterdam unusual – feeling of sensory intensity, limitless expectation, needless friction and positive disorientation."

"The Amsterdam Red Light District is a unique part of the city. Appreciate the unique qualities, strengthen them where necessary, and, above all, let it be what it is and what it wants to be. Stop the alarmism. Stop the bourgeois, revanchist moralism that seeks to draw the last bit of unpolished urban space into the rest of the city."

Published on in March 2020, days before the start of the corona lockdown.