Performative Spaces in Dutch Public Libraries. Stepping stones of inclusive innovation.


An inclusive and innovative society starts from bottom-up, by creating opportunities for (digital) literacy and creativity for individuals and local communities. In the later years the Dutch public library has been evolving accordingly, stepping from collection to connections, and presently towards invention, modifying its programmatic and spatial organization in order to welcome the so-called ‘performative spaces’ devoted to inventing and creating: makerspaces, Fab-Labs, music and art-performance workshops, coding. This research proposed by the Delft University of Technology and the National Library of the Netherlands will gather spatial knowledge on existing performative spaces in Dutch libraries. Better insights on the spatial and design aspects of performative spaces improve the opportunities for public libraries and users to benefit from the new offered possibilities. The research studies the way performative spaces are being presently embedded in Dutch libraries, their design, equipment, services and users interactions, and settles a shared agenda on the performative library of the future involving librarians, designers and other stakeholders. The research will be conducted through inventory and case-studies selection; in-place annotated observation; reflection and evaluation. Research findings will be disseminated through an ‘Atlas’ of performative spaces in Dutch libraries, an article in a trade journal for libraries, and a symposium annex exposition leading to an agenda for follow-up research on library innovation and performative space.


Book or monography

Professional publication

  • O. Caso, J.A. Kuijper(2018): Ruimte Maken pp. 31 - 33


Project number


Main applicant

Dr. ir. O. Caso

Affiliated with

Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculteit Bouwkunde, Afdeling Architectuur


23/10/2017 to 21/11/2018