Advertising & Beyond


Jesse van Maanen
Practice Commercial Practices
Project New Frontiers
Major Advertising & Beyond
Year Fourth Year

Nominee: Drempelprijs Commercial Practices 2020

How the human body posture can accommodate future overpopulation in today’s spaces. An experimental research project to experience how life will be when we need to create space for each other. Done by 20 participants who changed their living posture from a standing to a sitting or even laying down position.

People. As explorers of unlivable land, we see planet earth fully littered with our species. A population that has grown three times as fast in the last 200 years. And predictively we all will be entering the 22nd century with 12 billion people. Each country in the world believes proper living space is for everyone. But how can we live up to that when space becomes scarce?

With 8 billion people we are now going through difficult times where sufficient housing is already a daily challenge. Imagine a society with 12 billion people. Now I hear you thinking: then build extra homes! Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
Because cities can no longer easily expand due to nitrogen policies. Therefore we need to ask ourselves: What if people change their living posture so contemporary rooms can be doubled or tripled to accommodate the overpopulation in the future?

Gekkenhuis, translated into English

Experiment Gekkenhuis

For one week I changed my living posture. I myself created an alternative ceiling made from construction sail, slats and a rope. This allowed me to change the height of my ceiling so I was forced to live in a different posture. That’s how I lived in a sitting, kneeling, curved, squatted and laying down position.

Project Gekkenhuis

Followed by 20 participants all over the country and abroad. These people changed their living posture as well. I asked them to record everything. After the session, we had a chat about the experiences.

I observed the 40 hours of footage and selected fragments which eventually were made into a short movie. In this movie you see the sessions of the participants, living in another position. You hear the ideas and thoughts of the participants from the interview after their session.

Het Gekkenhuis

This all is presented in an installation called ‘Gekkenhuis’. Gekkenhuis indicates a busy and chaotic state of being. Presented the whole project in the physical space of a speculative scenario: living in an overpopulated society.
Gekkenhuis divides contemporary spaces into levels. A series of systematic blocks made by Douglas and lacquered underlayment.

In this installation, you can experience future living yourself. You will get to know the underlying thoughts. Room to talk about the future and today’s causes. The short movie will be projected on one of the walls. This movie can only be seen when you’re inside the installation.

Gekkenhuis - Space for Thoughts

A social platform, call it a blog, to share all the ideas and thoughts of living in an overcrowded future. To stimulate the possibilities of the creative mind and architecture. Hereby Gekkenhuis visualises the way of living in the overpopulated future.