Living Tower Talk #5

De Stad als Dierentuin (The City as a Zoo)

with Thijs de Zeeuw & Atze van der Goot

23 Feb 2024

How can humans, animals and plants live together in the city and what role do art and design play in this? This time we will talk with Thijs de Zeeuw, known for designing the new lion enclosure in Artis, and urban ecologist Atze van der Goot. 


Living Tower Talks promotional banner -

Artist Arne Hendriks has been building pigeon towers of live oyster mushroom mycelium around Mediamatic for 4 years. But what do they actually mean for the city and to what extent do they contribute to our ambition to establish a nature-inclusive relationship with the environment? We ask Thijs de Zeeuw, who designed the new elephant and lion enclosures at Artis, and urban ecologist Atze van der Goot. 


22-04-2022 - Arne Hendriks kijkt in zijn duiventoren - Duiventorens - Arne Hendriks De duiventorens zijn een doorlopend experiment om te bouwen met levend myceliumafval van oesterzwammenkwekerijen. Het project onderzoekt vragen als: Kunnen we structuren bouwen om wilde duiven te huisvesten? Wat is het beste ontwerp om een toren met mycelium te bouwen? En hoe lang duurt het voordat de stenen aan elkaar groeien? Door te experimenteren met verschillende vormen en bouwstructuren zien we hoe het materiaal reageert en of we een comfortabele leefruimte voor onze Amsterdamse duiven…

The Living Tower Talk, co-curated by Arne Hendriks, is a monthly event intended to foster a collective exploration of knowledge from mycelium-waste pigeon-towers, transcending the boundaries of human and non-human realms.
The Living Tower Talk, a collaborative learning process, encourages us to explore new ways of creating and acquiring knowledge. It takes us on a journey where the destination is not predetermined but rather emerges as we engage in conversations and discoveries. Our findings are shared within a circle, accompanied by a tasty mushroom-based dish, sourced directly from the towers at Mediamatic's Biotoop. 


Friday 23th of February
18:00 - 19:00 
Full price (inc. meal) €11,00
Student, artist, Stadspas (inc. meal) €7,50



Thijs de Zeeuw - Landscape architect and nature-optimist.  Foto: Anneke Hymmen

Thijs de Zeeuw is trained as a landscape architect. He graduated at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam in 2011 on the ‘(un)conditional garden’, a garden which exhibits urban wildlife. Simultaneously he worked for H+N+S Landscape Architects where he designed on the typical Dutch landscape: dikes, polders, and nature development sites. The past eight years, Thijs designed enclosures for ARTIS, the Royal zoo of Amsterdam. Designing for ‘a client you can’t speak with’ has proved to be an ever-fascinating challenge. It has made him more and more aware of the perspective of ‘the other’.


Atze van der Goot - Spreker tijdens Living Tower Talk #5 Atze van der Goot is ecoloog bij de provincie Noord-Holland, waar hij zich veel bezighoudt met verbinden en ontsnipperen van het landschap. In zijn vrije tijd doet hij onderzoek met wildcamera’s naar de verspreiding van diersoorten in en rond Amsterdam. Zo ontdekte hij samen met zijn compagnons van @020Wildlife de eerste otter in Amsterdam op de wildcamera.

Atze van der Goot is an ecologist with the province of North Holland, where he is heavily involved in connecting and defragmenting the landscape. In his spare time, he does research with wildlife cameras on the distribution of animal species in and around Amsterdam. This is how he and his companions from @020Wildlife discovered the first otter in Amsterdam on the wildlife camera.


Arne Hendriks with tower "Gentle" - The tower is clearly showing three stages of mycelium: the oldest, brown mycelium bricks at the bottom, and the new yellow ones at the top. An unpredictable nature manifests itself as the tower is about to fall over. Mily Bogaarts

Arne Hendriks is guiding the pigeon tower project. He is an artist and researcher on human ecology, who explores the borders of specific cultural values that define our relationship with the planet. His projects include The Incredible Shrinking Man, that questions if it's possible to downsize the human species to better fit the earth and Fatberg, the building of an island made of fat. As a regular Mediamatic collaborator, he directed several projects to draw attention to our (sometimes twisted) relation with the planet and its resources, like Kool Abundance, The Starvation Experiment, and the building of a holy pigeon tower out of recycled newspapers.