UPDATE! Graduation Studio: Meet Your Maker – Industry, Architecture and the City

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We are very happy to announce the studio brief for our 2015/2016 graduation studio: Meet Your Maker – Industry, Architecture and the City!

Meet Your Maker: How an Industrial Renaissance can bring back business

The upcoming Design as Politics graduation studio is centered around the manufacturing industry; in other words, the making of things.

After the devastating effects of the crisis in financial economics, focus is gradually shifting back to the real economy, an economy of production. Western industrialized countries have seen increased offshoring over the last twenty years, but this tide is turning. Re-shoring, or bringing back production from low labour cost countries, is increasing in numbers. Combined with the retrofitting and embedding of existing industry, this is becoming one of the key programs of the future city.

This studio reflects on the political consequences of this emerging trend, both globally and locally. It examines questions related to the comeback of manufacturing, future work models, industrial paternalism, industrial and scientific parks, and factory architecture. It explores new models for work, renewed craftsmanship, and the factory of the future, and helps define the role of manufacturing in society.

What have been the consequences of offshoring for western cities and towns? What will the consequences of re-shoring be for western cities and towns? How will this development be integrated in our cities? And what are the consequences for workers in developing countries where goods are now being produced?

The studio includes lectures, workshops, and a field excursion to Barcelona; to explore its highly industrialized metropolitan hinterland and to talk first hand with industrialists, policy makers, and designers involved with the manufacturing industry. What do re-shoring, factory design, and renewed craftsmanship mean to them? The results will be presented there to stakeholders both local and from the Catalan government. The studio is framed within the approach of Design as Politics; critical, bold, and design based research.

Ready to be a Design as Politics master graduate? send us an email telling us what you would like to design in the context of the return of manufacturing. Include your motivation to join this studio (max. 1,5 A4 / 600 words), and some examples of your previous writings and designs. NEW DEADLINE: 6th May 2015.

Design as Politics MSc2 Studio! We Care a Lot!

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Great news! We have an amazing new studio starting in September 2015, and lasting untill January. It’s a MSc2 studio within the Architecture Master, focusing on the transformation of Dutch neighborhoods through the overhaul of the Healthcare system. In this studio we will be working for the Office of the Chief government Architect of the Netherlands (Atelier Rjjksbouwmeester), with the International New Town Institute, and three fantastic architectural practices, on real locations, with real clients, and real results. Students can sign up from early May. We’ll keep you posted with updates. Click here for more info

NEW! Graduation Studio: Meet Your Maker – Industry, Architecture and the City

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We are very happy to announce our 2015/2016 graduation studio: Meet Your Maker – Industry, Architecture and the City!

With this studio we offer an intense Msc3 and Msc4 program, that gives you great freedom in defining and developing your own idea, but also collective workshops and lectures by specialists in the fields of architecture, planning, philosophy, art and politics.

So! are an MSC2 architecture or urbanism student at Delft University of Technology, willing and able to dedicate yourself to a graduation studio that is at once rigorous and experimental, freethinking and super-pragmatic, individualist yet with a strong team spirit, then send us an email describing your vision on what the return of manufacturing means for design. Also include your motivation to join this studio (max. 1,5 A4 / 600 words), and some examples of your previous writings and designs. Deadline: 6th May 2015.

Stay tuned for more info and for the studio brief!


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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.

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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?

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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