The Spinoza Imaginaries Lab & Café is a place for and by students and partners in Amsterdam-Zuidoost. It was born out of a need for liveliness and to get to know and participate in the activities of the neighbourhood and World of Food.
The Spinoza Imaginaries Lab & Café is a starting point for developing a wider infrastructure that allows us not only to come together on the Spinoza Campus for a coffee or a beer, but also to enhance knowledge development, knowledge dissemination and co-creation.

How do we work?

The Spinoza Imaginaries Lab and Café is at the center of our efforts to bring Amsterdam-Zuidoost closer to students and other residents and visitors. From our experimental lab setting, we engage in mapping and test new ways to promote the visibility of places and networks in the neighbourhood that are still relatively unknown on campus. We also provide a space for people to simply come together over a beer or coffee, to socialize or study.

To activate interaction and knowledge exchange, we organize ‘’Expert Talks’’, which are given by students, researchers and an extensive network of partners. We also map routes and surroundings using screens, models and digital maps. Our lab hosts a scale model of Amsterdam-Zuidoost, onto which we project walking and cycling routes. This makes the connections between the campus and the surrounding area more visible.

The first round of our programming follows five lines: Encyclopedia Makers, Made @ Spinoza Campus, Students & Partners, Routes Light & Movement and Filmmakers.

Routes Light & Movement

We have learned that knowing one’s way around is very important to understanding places, showing your surroundings to others and having fun. Peace, gezelligheid and security are important for students, residents and visitors. Our cycle routes depart from the Spinoza Imaginaries Lab & Café and are designed to suit different interests and moods.


We hope to work together not only with the residents of the Spinoza Campus and all kinds of students, but also with partners such as the Zuidoost TV.

Besides the importance of capturing places on paper, as we want to do through the Encyclopedia makers, it is also very important to capture places by means of audiovisual material.

encyclopedia makers

Presence and representation in literature play a major role in the visible meaning of places. With this in mind, we are compiling a collection of written material with ideas that have been written and co-developed in the Bijlmer and Zuidoost in recent decades. The encyclopedia is managed by a group of curators who are behind much of the knowledge of the neighbourhood.


The Spinoza Imaginaries Lab and Café provides a place for people to come together to share expertise. Students and residents of the Spinoza Campus have expressed interest in making music and playing for audiences and we therefore took over an old piano from the Wibauthaus at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam for them to play. Art students have been commissioned to bring the spirit of the neighbourhood to life through drawings and paintings in the lab.

The World of Food itself provides inspiration, bringing cuisines together creatively with the location in the former Develstein parking garage combining references to the past with new energies.

mapping activities

In the lab, we map routes and surroundings using screens, models, and digital maps. For example, we created a scale model of Amsterdam Zuidoost and we want to use it in combination with walking and cycling routes that can be projected onto it. In this way, we can make the connections between the campus and the surrounding area more visible.

The Spinoza Imaginaries Lab has collaborated with the so-called “Bijlmer translators”. These are (tour) guides, experts, artists, and entrepreneurs, most of them residing in the Bijlmer. They were already showing the value of the Bijlmer at times when only a few did, and they will continue to do so a part of our programme.