What is Time Window?

That’s a hard question. Community-in-residence is perhaps the best description, but we understand that’s not helping either. So here’s an overview of our core activities, values and visions. On this page you’ll also find our history and some pretty pictures. Also check out our FAQ for even more in-depth information.

 Check out our Collective page to see who are our current members.

With 50 people we permanently share 1000m2 of studios, ateliers and offices: our biotope. At Time Window we try to find collective solutions for artists’ individual struggles – affordable housing is just one of them. Our Biotope is a sanctuary to develop and produce independent work.

There’s no hierarchy: nobody’s in charge here. We work collectively to keep up the space, organize events and do our daily business. Initiative and responsibility are important, but members never have to do anything alone. 

In committees and project groups we think outside of the box. We develop new methods for organizing feedback, for funding arts, for negotiating as a freelancer, for lobbying, networking & sharing knowledge. And yes, finding your place as an artist within the big city.

The Time Window time line


Time Window was initiated by Stichting Transistor. The idea: a festival made by the artists, without curators and programmers intervening. The only restriction would be a time frame for performances. All by the motto: Do it yourself, but not alone. Within committees the artists do all the organizational tasks, finding new creative ways to set up a festival, and sharing each other’s knowledge.


Through an estafette system 30 new artists for the festival are found. In October 2015 the first Time Window Festival took place at the Teilingerstraat for 3 days. Immediately after we have to leave, most of the artists from the festival become a nomadic collective looking for a space to share.


So we’re looking for an empty building: something spacious, with lots of studios and one big communal room, near the city center. Returning to the Teilingerstraat would be awesome… 

After some negotiating we are welcomed back into our beloved offices. We immediately start to renovate the studios and build our own kitchen. New members are added and we decide to organize another festival, because why not.


After the biggest renovations are done it’s time to settle in. This is the next step in an ongoing process of figuring out how to run a non-hierarchical, dynamic community, without mimicking existing structures. 

We start to organize some smaller events, like Time Wednesday, TW.Wiki and Testival. We’re also being asked to perform at others’ events. Meanwhile there’s a shift in members and we grow to 50 people. Whatever happens, we stand as a collective, negotiate together and help each other out.

2019 and beyond

Now it’s getting serious. We’re being noticed by the press and by local politics. Our name starts to pop up at unexpected places. We’re involved in talking about the development of the neighbourhood. We get funding to continue our research into new forms of collaborating and sharing. And we’re getting noticed outside of Rotterdam.

So what will the future hold? The continuation of the biotope in its current state is not so sure. But again: Time Window is more than just a space. We’re just getting started…

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