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February 1

Portrait 3/300: Buro Curious


Hiding in our back wing we’ve got a space filled with over 200 creative minds, all together forming a creative workspace called “Broedplaats VKG”. They’ve been here since 2007 – long before Volkshotel even existed. Over the years, things have changed, but the “Broedplaats” still plays an important role in keeping this building lively, local and creative. We talked to Buro Curious, two experience creators and creative chicks, named Ella & Swaantje. They told us about curiosity, broken elevators and twisting reality.


Can you give us a bit of an idea, what Buro Curious is all about?
“By using applied arts we create experiences for people at big congresses, events and festivals. We always try to make the visitors interact, involving them with the performance and turning them into participators instead of consumers. It’s important for us that the curiosity of the visitors is always kept alive, and that they’ll look at a subject or theme differently after having had one of our experiences.”


That sounds quite exciting!
“Yes! It’s very exciting and fun, because you always work with so many different types of people and performers. It’s fun to see how everyone reacts very differently to the same context. No matter how much you have thought it through, there will always be surprises.” 


Is there one specific experience you would really want to create?
“It would be amazing to create a full experience that challanges all senses in a really big building with an interesting history. We would use a story as an inspiration for the real life experience, by using all the spaces and making visitors do some kind of treasure hunt. Performers would be hiding in rooms telling stories and twisting the peoples look on reality. In the end no one will know what to believe. We are actually secretly working on this dream project at the moment.. So stay tuned…”


Speaking of really big buildings, how is it to have a studio in Broedplaats VKG?
“Together with a big group of students from the HKU we were actually the first allowed to move in here back in 2007. When looking back, it’s funny to see how we have grown and changed since then. So many new collaborations have started and our network has grown a lot. This building has great energy, you can feel it every time you enter, there is always some kind of life.”


“Of course it hasn’t just been work, we’ve had some crazy parties and performances before the hotel moved in. We often did performances in the elevator, but at the time they were still really old and kept breaking down. So visitors got stuck, performers had to run up and down the stairs to find us, and no one really knew what was happening. It was fun… and we got over our fear for elevators.”

Buro Curious
(Ella Gil, 1984 & Swaantje Nijkamp, 1983)
Studio 0.70 Broedplaats VKG
Broedplaats page
Both graduated from HKU, Utrecht in 2007
Most recent work:
◈ ‘Museum Quarter Parade’ – Museum Quarter – winter 2015
◈ ‘Nachtmuseum’ – Officiele Afterparty Museumnacht Amsterdam – winter 2015
◈ ‘Slotconferentie L.O.B. – MBO Diensten – winter 2015

© Portraits, studio interior images & video by: Joao MB Costa
Find more of his work on vimeo : Joao MB Costa

Interview & article by: Merel Løkke Rasmussen

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