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Although van Heeswijk described the membership as a self-organized network (van Heeswijk 19 May 2010 interview) she retained final control of the operations and membership (Maasland 2008: 5). She defined her research as including the responsibility for fund raising of the members’ remuneration (6,000 euros or 1,200 euros per month of residency) and the operational costs, including the mortgage. Intending to avoid the risks of the project or practitioners being subsumed into the interests of urban developers, institutional value adding or social engineering (Johnson 2009: 251) van Heeswijk rejected state support including the City of Amsterdam and the IJburg Projectburo, and cultural funding that demanded predetermined outcomes.3
The Blue House research projects identified gaps in planning, offered alternatives entrepreneurial and social activities, and replaced market exchanges or non-existent state services in response to desires expressed by IJburg residents. However, in mirroring the high-imagination-enabling and do-it-yourself attitudes valued in creative industries or the citizen initiatives encouraged by levels of Dutch government, these research outcomes and cultural productions risked being instrumentalized by local authorities. While The Blue House responded to gaps in the urban plan of IJburg and improved the quality of local life, it also drew significant media attention and was useful to city authorities and businesses in attracting interest. Igor Roovers, Director of Projectburo IJburg, engaged with The Blue House throughout its five-year duration, attending multiple activities including the municipal Alderman’s Consultation Hour’ (2007). He concluded that The Blue House created a civic space (Roovers 2007: 7) and suggested he would employ ideas it generated to create more organic and responsive city planning in the second phase of IJburg, and possibly other future projects (Roovers 21 May 2010 interview). By default The Blue House also contributed to delivering the Netherland’s policy of involving young people and immigrants in cultural expression (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science 2006: 12).