Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Geographisches Institut

Dr. Jan van Duppen


Postal address

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Department of Geography
Geography of Gender in Human-Environment Systems
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin

Office location

Rudower Chaussee 16 

Open office hour

As per appointment

  • Curriculum Vitae

    Jan van Duppen is an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow at the GeoGender Lab - Humboldt Universität Berlin. His work stretches across cultural geography and urban studies and weaves together the themes of the commons and the multispecies city, play and work, and mobility and travel. He has experience in ethnography, photography, and participatory design processes.

    The fellowship’s research project aims to rethink the idea of the commons as multispecies worldmaking through an ethnography of community gardens and green liminal spaces in Berlin. This project proposes that micro-experiments in gardening and tree stewardship, as practices of commoning, provide a rich resource for engaging with the global challenges of urbanisation, increasing social and spatial inequality, and the climate change emergency.

    Jan holds a PhD in Geography from the Open University (UK). He has collaborated with muf architecture/art, University of Surrey, Stockholm University, Utrecht University, Centre for Architecture Utrecht – Aorta, and Casco Art Institute. He was awarded an ESRC post-doctoral fellowship titled ‘Working the Playground: Urban Gardens and Sustainable Futures?’. He also contributed to EPSRC and AHRC funded interdisciplinary research projects in the UK. He has taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Central Saint Martins, and the Open University (UK).

    Please get in touch via E-Mail, or find Jan on Twitter or Instagram.


  • Qualifications

    PhD in Geography, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (Supervisors: Prof Gillian Rose, Prof George Revill & Prof Melissa Butcher).

    MSc in Urban Geography, Utrecht University, NL.

    BSc Major Human Geography and Urban Planning, Utrecht University, NL.
    BA Minor Visual Culture, Department History of Arts, Utrecht University, NL.
    BA Minor Geography of China, The University of Hong Kong, CN.

  • Academic Positions

    Since July 2022
    Humboldt-Foundation Research Fellow, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Hosted by Prof. Dr. Sandra Jasper, GeoGender Lab at the Institute of Geography.

    2022 - 2020
    Research Fellow, The Open University, The Design Group, School of Engineering & Innovation, STEM Faculty, UK.

    ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Open University, Geography, FASS Faculty, UK.

    Visiting Research Fellow, Technische Universität Berlin, Hosted by Prof. Jörg Stollmann, Chair for Urban Design and Urbanization.

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Open University, EPSRC-funded project 'Next Generation Paper'. (WP2): Prof. George Revill & Prof. Caroline Scarles. PI: Prof. David Frohlich.

    Research Consultant, Stockholm University, 'Border Topologies: Labour migrant management through strategies of bordering - a comparative study of SE and the UK'. PI: Dr. Linn Axelsson.

    Research Consultant, The Open University, AHRC funded research project 'Listening to Climate Change', PI: Prof. George Revill.

    Researcher (Internship Placement), muf architecture/art (Katherine Clarke, Liza Fior), London, UK.

    Research Consultant, The Open University, ESRC-funded research project 'Poverty Reduction and Regional Integration', PI: Prof. Nicola Yeates.

    Researcher and Coordinator on the interdisciplinary research project 'Urban Trajectories', based at Aorta - Centre for Architecture Utrecht (Eviline Paalvast), in partnership with Utrecht University (Dr. Bas Spierrings), the Treaty of Utrecht2013 (Mira Kho), and Casco Art Institute (Binna Choi).

  • Fellowship, Grants and Awards

    Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship (2-year), ‘Commons-in-the-Making: The Precarity, Temporality & Sociality of Gardens in European Cities’. Hosted by Prof. Dr. Sandra Jasper’s Geogender Lab at the Department of Geography, Humboldt Universität Berlin.

    IAA-ESRC grant, ‘Urban Bio-Labs: Engaging Publics with Urban Heritage through Plants’. A collaboration between Oxford University (Prof. Heather Viles, Dr Katrin Wilhelm, Dr Martin Coombes, Dr Martin Michette) and the Open University (Dr Marion Ernwein and Dr Jan van Duppen), UK.

    RES Pump-Priming Funding (The Open University) for ‘NATUrE: Nature-based Approaches to Urban Environments’. Interdisciplinary group of scholars from the STEM, WELS and FASS Faculties.

    ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1-year), ‘Working the Playground: Urban Gardens and Sustainable Futures?’, FASS, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

    Combined grant for the Interdisciplinary symposium ‘Play and its Potential Publics’. Funding from the Octagon Small Grants Fund - the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London and the Strategic Research Investment Funding (SRIF), FASS, The Open University, Milton Keynes UK.

    PhD Studentship (3 year), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

    DOEN Foundation Grant, NL. ‘Urban Trajectories’ In partnership with Aorta - Centre for Architecture Utrecht, The Treaty of Utrecht 2013, Casco Art Institute, and Utrecht University.

    2nd place Herta Macht Scriptieprijs, Rijks Universiteit Groningen, award for cultural geography master theses written at Dutch universities.

    2nd prize Marc de Smidt Scriptieprijs, Master thesis competition organised by STOGO and aimed at Utrecht University Geography Master students.

  • Research (interests)

    The Commons & Multispecies Cities. Allotment, community and guerrilla gardening; urban nature; more-than-human geographies; urban trees.

    Play & Work in the Urban. Free time, voluntary work and affective labour; the ludic; playgrounds; workplaces; children and youth spaces.

    Public Space & Participatory Design. Conceptions of place and space in collaborative design processes; community engagement; sociality and living with difference in cities; public realm.

    Mobility & Travel. Cycling; infrastructure and urban fragmentation; sensory and embodied knowing of the city; ride alongs and GPS-mapping, tourism, creative walking practices.

    Digital & Visual Cultures. visual research methods (film, photography); collaborations with fine art, architecture, and design; digital ethnography.

  • Publications (selection)

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
    van Duppen, J. 2020. Seeing Patterns on the Ground: Reflections on Field-based Photography. Open Arts Journal, Winter (9), pp. 71–90. DOI: (Open access journal)

    Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Scarles, C., Frohlich, D., Revill, G., Beynon, M., van Duppen, J. 2020. Explorations on the future of the book from the Next Generation Paper project. Publishing History, 83, pp. 35-54.

    van Duppen, J. 2019. Picturing Diversions: The Work/Play of Walking on London Pavements. Roadsides, 2, 51-60. DOI: (Open access journal)

    van Duppen, J. and Spierings, B., 2013. Retracing trajectories: the embodied experience of cycling, urban sensescapes and the commute between “neighbourhood” and “city” in Utrecht, NL. Journal of Transport Geography, 30, 234–243. DOI:
    (Open access version)

    Book Chapters
    van Duppen. J. (in print) Caring for Foxes at the Allotment: Tales from a Contested Interspecies Playground. In: F. Edwards, I. N. Pettersen and L. A. Popartan, Urban Natures: Living the More-than-Human City. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

    van Duppen, J. (2021) Daydreaming of Ping-Pong Publics – The Rhythms, Sociality & Play around a Table. In: M. Christodoulidou, E. Savvides, E. Vanezis, N. Varnavas, Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances. Berlin: Archive Books, pp. 101-105. (Open access version)

    van Duppen, J. 2016. Reflections on the Cuvrybrache and Berlin’s urban development. In: N. Rollmann, Der Lange Kampf: Die ‘Cuvry’-Siedlung in Berlin. Berlin: Bunter Hund, 68-69.

    van Duppen, J. 2014. Images from a stroll. In: B. Choi, S. Demircan and B. van der Heide, eds. Group Affinity. Berlin: Bomdia Books, 86-87.

    van Duppen, J., 2011. My Way to the Library: Retracing an Urban Trajectory. In: D. Berndt, E. W. Ho, F. Lazaridou-Hatzigoa, eds. rePLACE BERLIN. Berlin: Program, 28–35.

    Reviews van Duppen, J. 2021. Book Review: The Botanical City. Urban Studies, 58(8), pp 1746-1750, DOI:
    (Open access version)

    van Duppen, J. 2021. Transplantation: A response in fragments to Claire Reddleman’s ‘Ginkgos of the British Isles’. A review written for the Arts and Humanities Research Institute at King’s College London funded project Ginkgos of the British Isles by Claire Reddleman. 1 September 2021. Available online:

    Journal Articles
    Seghers, A., Seghrouchni, Z., Duppen, J. van, and Spierings, B., 2012. Tussenruimten in de Tilburgse spoorzone [Indeterminate spaces in Tilburg’s railway zone]. AGORA, 4, 18–23. (Open access version)

    van Duppen, J. and Spierings, B., 2011. Betekenisvolle leegte in Berlijn: de Cuvrybrache [An empty space full of meaning: the Cuvrybrache]. Geografie, 28–30. (Open access version)

    van Duppen, J., 2009. De Muur: aanwezig in afwezigheid [The Wall: Present in Absence]. Geografie, (November/December), 45–47.

    Blogposts and Websites
    van Duppen, J. 2021. The post-pandemic sustainable future of community gardens in London (online workshop). Blogpost for Design@Open, 23 April 2021. Available online:

    van Duppen, J. 2020. An Extra Slice: Thinking through cakes & cities with images. Blogpost for Design@Open, 14 December 2020. Available online:

    van Duppen, J. 2020. The Challenge of Re-Opening a Community Garden – The Covid-19 Crisis and Access to and Uses of Green spaces in Cities. Blogpost for Design@Open, 25 July 2020. Available online:

    van Duppen, J. and Aorta, A., 2012. Urban Trajectories – Concept and content for website.

    van Duppen, J., muf architecture/art, J&L Gibbons. 2017 The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden: An Index of Value. Report submitted to Hackney Council in London as part of the Dalston Quarter Development Principles – Public Consultation. London: muf architecture/art, J&L Gibbons.

    van Duppen, J., 2012. “Gewoon op de fiets” - Een studie naar routes, gedrag en beleving [“Simply on the bike”- A study of trajectories, behaviour and experience]. Research Report written for Aorta - Centre for Architecture Utrecht.

    van Duppen, J, 2017. Shifting Grounds: How Urban Gardening Practices Enact the Relations between Play and Work. PhD thesis: The Open University, UK. Available online:

    van Duppen, J., 2010. The Cuvrybrache as Free Place: The diverse meanings of a wasteland in Berlin. Master Thesis: Utrecht University. Available online:

  • Film & Photography

    See also my publications in Open Arts Journal (2020) and Roadsides (2019).

    Photographer, visual editor and co-initiator of the book van Leeuwen, M., van Duppen, J., and Woudstra, I., 2021 (2nd ed.) 2012 (1st ed). Het IBB-boek: Vijftig jaar wonen in studentenflats aan de Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan [The IBB-book: Fifty years of living in studentflats at the Ina Boudierbakkerlaan]. Utrecht: Stichting de Plantage.

    Documentary photography of the collaborative art project ‘Group Affinity’ at Kunstverein München. In: B. Choi, S. Demircan and B. van der Heide, eds. Group Affinity. Berlin: Bomdia Books, 10-168.

    Contribution to group exhibition ‘Urban Photography Summer School’ Goldsmiths, University of London. London 31 August 2013.

    Van Leeuwen, M. and van Duppen, J., 2012. Gezelligheidsdier zoekt woning en huisgenoten [Student searches a room and flatmates]. AGORA, 5, 16–19. (Open access version)

    Design, concept and content for exhibition ‘Wasted? – Stories from a free place’ at the art gallery Artitude Kunstverein. Berlin, 26 and 27 June 2010.

    van Duppen, J. and van der Heijden, S., 2009. Nederlands beeld: Polder in Groot Mijdrecht Noord [A view on NL: Polder in Groot Mijdrecht Noord]. Geografie, (May), 2009.

    van Duppen, J. and van der Heijden, S., 2009. Nederlands beeld: Fietsenstalling in Utrecht [A view on NL: Bicycle parking in Utrecht]. Geografie, (April), 2009.

    van Duppen, J. and van der Heijden, S., 2009. Nederland in beeld: Markt op het Afrikaanderplein [A view on NL: The street market at Afrikaanderplein]. Geografie, (September), 2009.

  • Presentations (selection)

    Guest Lectures & Invited Talks
    ‘The Practices, Narratives, and Imaginaries of Temporalities of Urban Natures’ invited to be discussant of the presented papers at the Temporalities of Urban Natures Workshop – Hosted by Malmö University, 28 – 29 October 2022.

    ‘Foxes at a London Allotment’ invited to present at the live virtual panel ‘Encountering Urban Wildlife’ chaired by Dr Carla Benzan and Dr Robert Wallis (The Open University), hosted by Milton Keynes International Festival, 26 July 2021.

    ‘Caring for Foxes at the Allotment: Tales from a Contested Interspecies Playground’ invited to present a paper at the Geographisches Kolloquium seminar series of the Department of Geography, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, 25 May 2021.

    ‘Ambiguous Play: Re-Thinking Encounters in London Allotment, Community and Guerrilla Gardens’ paper presented at the seminar series of the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 26 November 2019.

    ‘(Un)making Boundaries: Urban Gardens as Paradoxical Spaces’ paper presented at the Chair for Urban Design and Urbanization, the Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, 19 June 2019.

    ‘Touching upon Print & Screen: How media and technology reshape tourism’ paper presented at The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management – The University of Surrey, Guildford, 4 December 2018.

    ‘Journeys Between Print & Screen and Beyond: A Travel Media Ethnography’ paper presented at the Digital World Research Centre – The University of Surrey, Guildford, 19 November 2018.

    ‘Cultivating Socialities: Encounters in Urban Gardens’, paper presented at Open Space Seminar on Urban Gardening, The Open University, Milton Keynes, 13 December 2017.

    ‘Urban Trajectories’ Lecture for the exhibition opening, which presented the research results at Aorta – Centre for Architecture Utrecht, Utrecht 21 July 2013.

    ‘Cycling Utrecht’ Presentation and Cycle Tour for ‘CityLabUtrecht – Leidsche Rijn: Re-Invention of the Western City’ organised by Festival a/d Werf. Utrecht, 20 September 2012.

    ‘Urban Trajectories - A walking discussion on mobility in a fragmented city’ A lecture-walk for PhD students as part of the ‘Intensive programme - Risk Society and Cosmopolitanism' organised by the School of Critical Theory at the Centre for Humanities, Utrecht University. Utrecht, 21 January 2012.

    ‘The Cuvrybrache as free place - The diverse meanings of a wasteland in Berlin’ Guest Lecture for urban and cultural geography bachelor students, Nijmegen University, Geography Department, Nijmegen, 4 October 2011.

    Chair & Organiser Conference/Workshop
    Chair and session organiser of ‘Session 62. The Sensing and Shaping of Time in Urban Gardens: Affect, Design, Governance, and Labour’ in collaboration with Dr Sofia Cele, at the International Sociological Association – Research Committee 21 on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development, Annual International Conference, University Antwerp, Antwerp, originally planned for 2020, rescheduled 13-16 July 2021.

    Chair and organiser of the interdisciplinary workshop ‘The post-pandemic sustainable future of community gardens in London’ in collaboration with muf architecture/art. Funded by ESRC fellowship grant ‘Working the Playground’, online, 30 April 2021.

    Chair and organiser of the interdisciplinary symposium ‘Play and its Potential Publics’, in collaboration with Freya Field-Donovan (UCL), Dr Andrew Murray (OU), and Catalina Pollak Williamson (UCL), at The Institute for Advanced Studies, UCL, London, 14 September 2019.

    Conference Papers
    ‘Playfulness and its Indeterminacy: The Porosity and Sociality of Urban Gardens in London’ paper presented at the Cultural Literacy Everywhere 2021 Symposium: Playfulness: Interdisciplinary approaches to Cultural Literacy, virtual conference, 13-14 July 2021.

    ‘In Touch En Route: Mediating (Dis)Connections, Travel, Technology and Sociality’ paper presented at Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future conference, Royal Anthropological Institute & Royal Geographical Society, virtual conference, 17 September 2020.

    “‘Getting your hands dirty’: Sticky Soil and the Playfulness of Garden Work”, paper presented at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, RGS, London, 28 – 30 August 2019.

    ‘Working the Playground: Urban Gardens as Paradoxical Spaces’ paper presented at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 31 August 2018.

    ‘Grilled Academics & Sandwiched Socialities: A Critical Review of Food Convivialities at the RGS Conference, Cardiff’ paper presented at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 31 August 2018.

    van Duppen, J., Revill, G., Scarles, C. ‘From postcards to Instagram: Re-imagining tourist landscapes’ paper presented at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 29 August 2018.

    “ ‘Improving the Image of Construction’: Walking & Diverting London” paper presented at Work Processing - A Forum for the Sharing of Live Practice, hosted at Chisenhale Dance Space and supported by TECHNE, London, 1 December 2017.

    ‘Stories of Entanglement in Urban Gardens’ paper presented at Workshop: The Micro-politics of Planting, Arts Catalyst, London, 27 October 2017.

    ‘Diversions: Being a Pedestrian in London’ presented at RC21 Conference 2017: Rethinking Global Urban Justice, University of Leeds, Leeds, 11 -13 September 2017.

    ‘Getting your hands dirty’: Field-Work and Field-Play in Urban Gardens’, presented at International Conference "Visual Ethnography: Tools, Archives and Research Methods" organised by Last Focus Visual Research Network, INHA – Sorbonne Nouvelle University. Paris, 9-10 November 2015.

    ‘Exhibiting Potatoes, Tagging Plants Online and Weeding: Urban Gardening Practices in London’, presented at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, University of Exeter, Exeter, 2 September 2015.

    ‘Scribbling Notes on the Landscape: Encountering the ludic and dramatic of urban life’, presented at the Anthropology and Photography Conference, British Museum, London, 31 May 2014.

    ‘Unfolding Spaces: stories from a wasteland in Berlin Wasteland’ Guest Speaker at the Wasteland Twinning Network Forum 2012, Berlin, 22 September 2012.

    Retracing trajectories in a fragmented city - The embodied experience of cycling in Utrecht, The Netherlands’ Paper presented at Cycling & Society Symposium 2012, University of East London, 3 September 2012.

  • Membership in Scientific Communities

    Member of the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies (GSZ), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

    Member of the RC21 – Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development

    Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society