LECTURE AND DEBATE BY MICHELLE PROVOOST, ALFREDO BRILLEMBOURG AND HUBERT KLUMPNER

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The chair of Design as Politics and Utrecht Manifest present Social Design of Cities – The International New Town Institute vs. the Urban Think Thank. The event starts with two presentations: one by INTI director Michelle Provoost and one by the UTT directors Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner. We conclude the evening with a conversation with a.o. Pieter Hooimeijer, professor of Social Geography at the University of Utrecht. The event takes place on the 1st of April from 17:30 – 21:30 at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. The evening is moderated by Design as Politics professor Wouter Vanstiphout. Sounds good? Click here to register!

The International New Town Institute and the Urban Think Tank: two practices, both constantly traveling the world from their European base stations. The first consists of historians, curators and researchers, the second of architects and planners. The INTI works in New Towns in all five continents, new towns that are being built or are in transition, and aims to improve their social and spatial qualities by starting projects in which local and international architects, researchers, activists, administrators and the local population collaborate. Urban Think Tank works all over the world, developing architectural solutions together with local groups, resulting in real interventions, often in unplanned, informal settlements in the developing world.

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Both INTI and UTT believe that despite their obvious differences, the far flung places in which they work have something in common in their needs, but also have local knowledge that they can share.

Michelle Provoost, director of INTI and partner of Crimson Architectural Historians, and Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner directors of Urban Think Tank, and professors of Architecture and Urban Design at the ETH Zürich are social designers in that they are primarily interested in the social outcome of their spatial interventions. Their presentations will show two distinct but connected attitudes to the challenges posed by working globally with local actors.

What is universal and what is locally specific in their work? What do the planned New Towns and the unplanned informal settlements have to learn from each other? Where does the work of the organizer become that of a designer and vice versa? How do you measure success when your goal is incremental social change?

Program April 1st:
17:30 h door open, reception with sandwiches and drinks
18:30 – 20:30 h presentation and debate
20:30 h drinks

Location: Oost Serre – TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture
Click here to register For more information www.utrechtmanifest.nl

New Design as Politics Electives start in April!

Spring ElectivesWe are very happy to announce that coming April we will again start two Design as Politics elective courses: The Political Philosophy Seminar (ARDP130) and the lecture series: The New Town – From Welfare City to Neoliberal Utopia (AR0023).

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The political philosophy seminar is a series of interactive seminars* aimed at solidifying the reasons why designs are created. The emphasis is put on political philosophy theories through design issues. During the seminars, the students develop their own well-argued position at a philosophical level, and get a basic training in rhetoric, where they learn to make arguments persuasive, attractive and convincing. This is done by means of lectures, readings and small exercises in various fields: aesthetics, politics, economy, ethics and value theory among others.

Poster web

The second course is organized in collaboration with the International New Town Institute and contains of 9 public lectures on the planning and (re)design of New Towns all over the world and their social, cultural, political and economic context. Together with (guest) lecturers from different disciplines, we will follow the evolution of New Towns from the first experiments in the pre-war period with utopian and communal living, explore how it was discovered by national governments as ways to promote their political agendas, and later on became a symbol of modernization and progress in the post-war period. Finally we look at contemporary New Town planning, which has largely been privatized and became a tool for investors, developers and multinational corporations to create huge profits, thereby abandoning the original public goals of New Town Planning. Amongst the speakers are: Michelle Provoost, Wouter Vanstiphout, Vincent Nadin, Maurits de Hoog, Pieter Hooimeijer and Martijn de Waal. Click here for more information and the most up-to-date schedule.

* The Political Philosophy Seminar is not publicly accessible due to the nature of this course, but The New Town Lecture series is open to everyone!

A Clockwork Jerusalem: architecture, politics, riots and the belief in a better world

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A week from now Wouter Vanstiphout will talk at the British School in Rome, on Via Gramsci (!) about the relationship between architecture, creativity and politics.

In his lecture, Wouter will discuss how architecture and town planning have for centuries been used to create the infrastructure and the institutional icons for nation states. It has been deployed as a tool to force people into certain behavioral modes and it has been instrumental in creating the visions of future cities and landscapes, that are needed to mobilize massive amounts of state and corporate power. Architecture however struggles with this responsibility. Often it denies it, refuses to be confronted with it or has simply lost the ability to deal with it. Nowhere does this become so strongly apparent in the debate as to whether architecture can somehow be blamed for the social unrest, the civic frustration and sometimes violent anger that we have witnessed over the past decades in cities that are going through massive urban transformation projects. reaffirming the political dimension of architecture, and asking, demanding, that is takes responsibility for its political role.

The lecture takes place on Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 18.00hrs in the The British School at Rome. It is organised in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the support of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, Cochemé Charitable Trust, John S. Cohen Foundation, Wilkinson Eyre.

Who will take the responsibility for public values in the built environment with changing public private relationships?


Public Values

The Design as Politics research group, in collaboration with the TU Delft chair of ‘Public Commissioning’  organise a joint debate on Friday 13 February, about the challenges attached to safeguarding the public good in a changing world.

You are cordially invited to join this debate session, which will take place in the Berlage Zalen – Faculty of Architecture – TU Delft. Amongst the speakers are Tom Avermate, Marleen Hermans, Allard Jolles, Petra Rutten, Karin van Dreven, Harry Kruiter, Patrick Healy and  Wouter Vanstiphout.

Admittance is free, but due to constrained capacity of the venue, registration is obligatory. For registration please send an email to: opdrachtgeverschap-BK [at] TUDelft.nl. More information can be found on http://tinyurl.com/publicvalues or contact Marta Relats  or Els Leclercq

Spatial Planning Seminar in collaboration with Design as Politics

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Design as Politics’  PhD candidates Azadeh Mashayekhi and Nurul Azlan will present an update on their research on Tuesday 27 January during the SpatialPlanning Seminar. The seminar takes place from 12:30 to 13:30 in room 00-WEST-670 of the Architecture Faculty. We hope to see you there!

Azadeh Mashayekhi
Dreaming of American City: Iranian consumer project of modernity   
All through twentieth century Iranian cities have undergone processes of modernization in successive political regimes that have left their traces in the physical and social form of the city.  In her research Azadeh uses particular national development plans in Iran during the Cold War to launch a central argument about how Tehran’s urban form and social structure shaped within a range of different kinds of interactions and connections with different kinds of places and policies.  This study presents a framework to analyse the transformation of the changing socio-spatial form of Tehran focusing on the post WWII until the Islamic Revolution (1946-1979). Ultimately the aim is to excavate the ways in which number of urban plans and interventions supported by specific visions produced particular kind of city while at the same time produce particular form of urban society.

Nurul Azlan  
Seditious Spaces: Dissent in Postcolonial Kuala Lumpur 
Nurul’s presentation dissects the impact of post colonial legal legacies on the spaces of dissent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur was founded as a mining town during the British colonial period, and due to its economic success, the British had moved their administrative centre to Kuala Lumpur due to their ‘flag follows trade’ colonial policy. Apart from the urban spaces, the British had also left a suit of laws and regulations as part of their colonial legacy. These legacies have provided both the spaces for dissent and the tools to shut them. This presentation is a reflection of the fieldwork that was conducted late last year, when the Sedition Act was wielded with abandon.

Video: Bookpresentation Are We The World?

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Last Tuesday we presented our book ‘Are we the World? – Randstad Holland, São Paulo, Istanbul & Rotterdam’ in Pakhuis de Zwijger. We look back at a great evening with a well-recieved lecture by Design as Politics’ professor Wouter Vanstiphout followed by two statements by essay authors Marta Relats and Roberto Rocco. The evening was concluded with a interesting debate with
Carolien Gehrels, Markus Appenzeller, Henk Ovink and Wouter Vanstiphout. For everyone who couldn’t be there: the whole event has been recorded! Check it out here

Stadmakerscongres 2014

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A Couple of weeks ago, our Design as Politics students took part in the 2014 Stadsmakerscongres (City Makers Congress), organized by the Rotterdam Architecture Foundation. The event was concentrated around the central theme of ‘connectivity’ – a crucial issue in an age in which ‘city making’ is not only done by formal and institutional actors, but more and more also by entrepreneurs, activist and citizens. The Stadmakerscongres 2014 brought these parties and their practices together, investigated its potential and explored how it already works in Rotterdam.

Our students took part in the Tours & Stories program, which explored the interaction and connectivity within four specific areas in Rotterdam: the central district area, the Laurens quarter, the Merwe4Haven and the Katendrecht peninsula. Based on the provided information in combination with their findings during the tour, the students were asked to extrapolate this line of thinking and visualise what this area could become in the future by formulating a feed forward. The aim was to develop a plan for the area, which goes ‘beyond master planning’, in which certain aspects are fixed, while others are still unclear. We asked the students to think about how to deal with this uncertainty as a designer and how to visualise this in a way that is open and inviting for unforeseen initiatives, but is clear about the core values, framework and structure.

The work of our students is now published on the website of the Stadsmakerscongres.