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Greenport West-Holland is the world’s most innovative region in the field of greenhouse horticulture, with the world’s best growers of vegetables and flowers, suppliers, trading companies, breeders, consultancies, personnel services, etc. They work closely together: with each other, with local and regional authorities, with top education institutions and with international research institutes.

When it comes to greenhouse horticulture, Greenport West-Holland is one of the most important regions in the world with a concentration of state-of-the-art production, delivery, trade, distribution and processing companies, all strongly interlinked.

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Date: Sep  to Dec 2021

Duration: 4 months



Igor Ostrowski

Franziska Speer

Philipp Thier

Elke Traub
Joanna Zawada


Book author, Helen Kara defines the field of creative research methods as conceptualized as having four broad categories:

  1. Arts-based research – e.g. visual arts, performance arts, textile arts

  2. Research using technology – e.g. social media, apps, computer/video games

  3. Mixed methods research – traditionally qual+quant, but also quant+quant and qual+qual

  4. Transformative research frameworks – e.g. participatory research, feminist research, decolonising methodologies, activist research

Using CREATIVE RESEARCH METHODS together with, not at expense of traditional research methods allow to understand the case deeper, from many dimensions. Creative Research Methods allow you to interact with people in a natural way. It blurs out the gap between a researcher and interviewee and adds up where traditional methods are withholding.


Our research pointed out three types of worldviews that are present in the Broekpolder region: Visionary, Hesitators and Early adapters. This will help us to identify regenerative themes that are connected to their already existing values and concepts. As a result, it will be easier for us to design an artefact that they can relate to.

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In order to interpret our research results, we decided to use storytelling to put the results into a narrative and to identify the most impactful results. Therefore, each of us has written a story to summarise our research results. The stories can be found in Appendix 16. We decided that each of us should write their own story to let the data be processed by every team member. As a result, we can define what each of us sees as the mostimportant research results and how they impact the Broekpolder or our research work. We shared the finished stories with each other and analysed them to find common themes within the different stories. The common themes are summarised in the following mind-map.



Ah, the pure beauty of well managed, modern greenhouse. Endless circle of life repeated on your own piece of earth over and over again, for the benefit of whole society around us. 

It is truly astonishing. 

The Broekpolder region has something unique to offer for the whole Netherlands as well as a whole world – an opportunity to regenerate. Life, either of a single plant, animal or human only lasts so long, but we may choose what cause it serves. Greenhouse is an amazing place to see as a metaphor of regeneration, but it is not only plants who need it. 

The Netherlands are in an important moment of history now. Meeting the goals of 2050. Broekpolder2040 can be a leader, and example for others in change of the better future, but to do so, the region has to regenerate itself. In my mind, regeneration should start with attracting young people to the region. People who will become part of the Broekpolder and ensure the legacy of greenhouses stays alive. 

Just as greenhouse owner makes sure there are always seeds to regenerate his plants next season, Broekpolder should make sure there are people around who will carry on with their mission into the future.

Created by Joanna Zawada


Artefact Ideation process

The goal of this project is to create an artefact, an object that communicates a specific message to the people in the Broekpolder. With the help of creative research, we identified certain points of intervention where we believe we could have an impact on. The main challenge we concluded from our research is to create awareness for blind spots, aspects in the Broekpolder2040 plans that were not considered yet.



Houses, roads and greenhouses. Is that enough to consider when you want create change? 

This art piece shows a puzzle game consisting of 3 pieces and a base in the shape of the Broekpolder region. The three pieces represent the houses, roads and greenhouse companies of the area. Each piece has a unique base shape that fits into the corresponding field in the Broekpolder base. There are two more pieces that represent the young generation and nature. However, these two pieces are not part of the puzzle game as there are no corresponding cut-outs in the Broekpolder base. 

The Broekpolder2040 cooperative has big transformation plans for the Broekpolder region. They created the basic “game rules” for the transformation: The houses will be relocated to a living area and greenhouses will be clustered to create nature and traffic zones. This art piece should create awareness for the stakeholders that are not considered yet such as non-human stakeholders and the young generation living or working in the area. 

Created by Franziska Speer



The intention of this artifact is to illustrate the balance between nature and industry. It’s the Broekpolder divided by purely this factor. Looking at the pictures you might be surprised how much nature there actually is to consider.


On these pictures, everything that’s pink, represents nature, the brighter tone is water and sky while the contrasting, darker purple represents man made structures.

Created by Philippp Thier

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Each image of the cube has a title and was painted and inspired from real places and two specific themes: 'Non-human Stakeholders' and 'Nature's strength'. 

First Cube;

Topside: 'Yellowstone Wolves', this painting was inspired by the reintroduction of wolves into the Yellowstone National Park.

Left side: 'Bomb Crater Regeneration', this painting was inspired by the green areas that flourished in the west part of Germany that was devastated by WW2.

Right side: 'Voiceless Broekpolder', this painting was inspired by the lack of green areas and non-human stakeholders. The bird without a beak represents the non-human stakeholders that have no voice. The red rectangles in the Broekpolder map represent the greenhouses and the green rectangles represent the green areas.

Second Cube;

Topside: 'Desert Pupfish', this painting was inspired by the reintroduction of fish into a National Park in California.

Left side: 'Chernobyl Regeneration', this painting was inspired by the green areas that flourished in Ukraine, in the city that was devastated by the explosion of the Nuclear Power Plant.

Right side: 'Regenerative Future', this painting was inspired by the vision and the plans for Broekpolder in 2040. The bird now has a beak and that represents the hope of giving non-human stakeholders a voice. The rainbow that fully covers the Broekpolder map represent all the positive changes and dreams for the future, a complete regeneration.

Created by Elke Traub



Broekpolder2040 is a great vision meant to create spaces for living, greenhouse industry and nature. This vision is hard to achieve than it would seem. The problems and occasional lack of communication makes the plan a big harder to execute. In my eyes the space for nature is nothing more than just some space for nature. It does not feel as if the non-human biotic stakeholders were really taken to account, as if making the space for them is done just for it’s sake and without a certain goal that slightly focuses on nature. 
Aside to that, even though the chairmen and chairwomen do their best to engage with a lot of residents, the way of communicating is lacking. Not everyone is attending the occasional meeting as they think they were not notified, but in reality the e-mail received is just below other probably as important stuff. Furthermore some people felt they would like more voice in proposing plans for the future. I believe the intensions for that are already present, but to finalize it, more talking as well as listening should be done. 
Finally the residents as well as ‘outsiders’ have a some kind of worry when it comes to the execution of the plans. When houses and greenhouses have to be moved, money enters the process. The worry is where will the money come from? As people live their lives as they used to for years and generations it I hard for them to move

their beloved place, especially whenthe steps of the vision are still vague.

Created by Igor Ostrowski

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