Monthly Archives: March 2012

New Building Design Column

Now online! Wouter Vanstiphout’s newest Building Design column on how the reactions to Mohamed Merah’s killing spree show the demonisation of the ghetto. How everybody needs ‘good’ neighbours. And how Toulousains gave up on their modernist suburb Le Mirail. You need a username to read it, just register, it’s for free!

Info meeting new DasP graduation studio

We are happy to announce our new graduation studio ‘ We The People: Democracy, Architecture and the City’. Starting Fall 2012.  The question: who are you designing for? For the developer? For the Government? Or for the people?

All over the world there are movements for more democracy, and for the right to choose (and build!) your own environment. At the same time architects and planners are making themselves dependent on multinational corporations and undemocratic governments.

In this graduation studio we want you to look for ways in which design can give people the power over their environment.  Does that happen through participation? Through anarchist self-determination? Through representative democracy or through gaming and social media? We don’t know. Its up to you. You are free to choose your location and your program.

The studio will offer a rigorous series of workshops and seminars on design tools, participation, activism, political science and how to set up a political campaign. Interested? Come to our info meetings on the 23rd and 24th during lunch. Room: To be announced

Subscription to the Graduation Studio is open to both urbanists and architects and is in collaboration with Explorelab.  Your studio teachers are Wouter Vanstiphout, Ekim Tan and Marta Relats.

Ill Manors

“I genuinely want to change things. This is just the first step. Let me make my point first and raise the issue, if anybody wants to talk to me about how I think we can change these things I’m ready.”

With this statement the British rapper Plan B released his latest track ill manors, persuading the audience that this is not about commerce. This is the real thing! For the guardian reason to honor it with the title ‘greatest British protest song in years’. For lovers of political music -like us- almost to good to be true.

The track, basted on Peter Fox’s Alles Neu, reflects the raging unease around the London riots of last summer, life on a council estate, the closure of community centers and the adverse impact of the 2012 Olympics on London’s poor. It has much in common with Public Enemy or the Clash. Music that addresses a riot and sound like a riot. How Plan B said: The song needs to get under people’s skin. Just like those horrible pictures we see on cigarette packets that are designed to shock us into being aware of our actions.”

The song is part of a bigger project. An album and film, both called Ill Manors, are set to follow, along with plans for social activism. Oi!

Blame the Architect Assignment

Dear students from the Blame the Architect lecture series,

The submission deadline for your riot video has expired on the 15th of March. We look very much forward to enjoy your creations!  Below you find a list of student numbers from which we received a movie. Not on the list? Send an email to Marta Relats. We will grade you around the 30th of April.

Received video’s + grade:
1210696     7,5
1285343       7
1302693       9
1387324    6,5
1509934       6
1353063       7
1362178        8
1516981     7,5
4120590       6
4125622       6 

Exhibition by Malkit Shoshan

Who thinks about the Israeli Palestinian conflict does not directly pictures a zoo and two white donkeys dyed with stripes to look like zebras. Our PHD candidate Malkit Shoshan did, resulting in the exhibition ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism which is currently exposed in the NAiM / Bureau Europa. Her award-winning book ‘The Atlas of Conflict’ about the processes and mechanisms behind the shaping of Israel-Palestine during the past 100 years forms the base of this new project.

The exhibition starts with page 437 of the book and unfolds in a fascinating exploration of ideas, snapshots and associations that can be devised after seeing a white donkey, tied with a rope and covered with beige tape. A white donkey transformed into a zebra, to meet the desire for normality in Gaza. In this case, the possession of a zoo as space for urban recreation.

‘ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism’, is part of a research project to the relation between war and architecture that contains an archive, two books and an installation which is a mix between a house, a cage a UN-shelter and a zoo.

The exhibition runs until May 20th in NAiM / Bureau Europa in Maastricht. To get the whole experience we recommend you to go in the weekend. There will be real donkeys.

The Special Economic Block

Now Online! Wouter Vanstiphout’s presentation on the Special Economic Block  during the Droog Design ‘WIJkonomie’ conference in the Netherlands Architecture Institute. You can read the text on our discourse page, but a video of the presentation by Wouter and the other speakers can be seen here. Also cool: the final discussion about self-hate and the criminalization of the poor. Sit back and watch!

Column by Wouter Vanstiphout on BD online

Check it out! Wouter Vanstiphout’s new column for Building Design ‘Just give them a glimpse of something’. He questions at what point architects stop responding to context by addressing the avant-garde underground identity of Diller Scofidio & Renfro. The office – famous for their high line park- presented their project Open House for Levittown (NYC) at a symposium on neighbourhood economy organised by Droog Design in Rotterdam. You’ll need a username to read it, just register, it’s for free!