Urban Sky Lab – Designing for drones in the city



With the increasing presence of drones in the city, it’s about time for an exploration of urban scenarios. For ‘Urban Sky Lab – Designing for Drones in the City,’ designers delved into the spatial planning of airspace for the first time.

The exhibition showcases speculative designs for the integration of drones in three locations: the Western Port Area, Amsterdam Southeast, and the RAI conference center. The exhibition teaches you about the opportunities and possibilities for unmanned aviation in the urban environment.

More and more drones are in the city. Every day, thousands of drone movements are detected. In the (near?) future they will transport valuable packages, deliver medicines, and inspect bridges and quays. Even persons can be transported by air. With increasing frequency, developers and investors are asking the municipality of Amsterdam for specific guidelines on this topic with regard to buildings, but hardly any exist. As a design challenge, drones in the city are inadequately addressed.

Onbemande luchtvaart in de stedelijke omgeving

When it comes to airspace, that space is also lacking, while much remains unclear about the use of drones. A lot depends on how drones will develop technologically. Policy still mainly focuses on their being accepted and embraced by the public, legislation, and safety.

With the Urban Sky Lab, Arcam and Amsterdam Drone Lab investigate how drones can be integrated in the existing city. Architects and urban planners brainstorm ideas for the implementation of unmanned aviation in the urban environment, both spatially and socially.

This first necessitates an exploration of spatial scenarios. Where are drones permitted to fly within the city? Where do they land and park, and where do they recharge? What might a drone highway look like? Can a drone network have added value for society at the neighbourhood level?

Three designs for three locations

This year, three architectural firms began exploring these design issues. This was approached from three levels of scale: FABRICations investigated the possibilities in the Westelijk Havengebied, Studio To Create focused on Amsterdam-Zuidoost, and INBO explored the potential of the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.

Practical info

Urban Sky Lab – Designing for drones in the city
Location: Arcam, Prins Hendrikkade 600
Dates: 29 March – 30 June 2024
Opening hours
Tuesday – Sunday, 1-5 pm

Tickets Arcam (all exhibitions included)
Students: € 2.00
0-18 years: € 0.00
accompanying person of a visitor with a disability: € 0,00
Entrance with I Amsterdam City Card: €0,00

Arcam is wheelchair accessible. All floors are accessible via our lift and there is an adapted toilet on the ground floor. If required, we also offer assistance, please feel free to contact us at arcam@arcam.nl.

Exhitbion partners

FABRICations, INBO, Studio To Create, Amsterdam Drone Lab (onderdeel van gemeente Amsterdam), Tom van Arman (Tapp), Ministerie I&W, ROC van Amsterdam/Schiphol, AirHub, Droneland

Website by HOAX Amsterdam