Designing inclusive cities

A couple of weeks ago Hassnae Bouazza gave an inspiring lecture at Delft University of Technology as part of the Design as Politics lecture series. In her lecture she connected social issues of emancipation, Islam and feminism to architecture and urban planning, from the inside out. Recordings of the lectures can be found here, but you can now also read the full text of the lecture at frontaalnaakt. Designing inclusive cities by Hassnae Bouazza Shahira Fahmy was a young and influential Egyptian architect before choosing acting as a career. She now stars alongside Isabelle Hupert in Claire’s Camera, directed by… Read More

De Rol van Ontwerp: Placebo, Therapie of Kwakzalverij?

In June 2016, the International conference ‘Building the future of Health’ took place in Groningen, discussing game changing concepts for healthy Ageing and the built environment. Design as Politics’ Wouter Vanstiphout was asked by the conference organization in collaboration with the Board of Government Advisors, to write a piece about the relation between architecture, urbanization and healthcare. A short version of the text was already published in Dutch magazine ‘de Blauwe Kamer’, but now it’s here for you all to read (if you understand Dutch). Edited by Cassandra Wilkins.

Research on Design and Legislation

The past few months our chair has been intensively working on a research concerning one of the biggest legislative changes in Dutch history. All the laws concerning the (built) environment, twenty-four in total, will be merged into one overarching environmental planning law (‘de omgevingswet’). Let alone the extensive legislative consequences, this system change will undoubtably impact the way that cities are designed and planned in the Netherlands. The notion of change for Dutch planning and design has been the start of our investigation. In a series of interviews researcher Jelte Boeijenga and research-assistent Nina Bohm tried to find answers to… Read More

Exploring Cuban New Town Alamar

Together with the International New Town Institute, we recently took a group of TU Delft Master students to Cuba in order to explore Alamar, a new town just east of Havana. This youngest and most adventurous addition to the city of Havana is a large urban area consisting of mainly prefab apartment blocks with 90.000 inhabitants. Built in the 1970s by microbrigades, Alamar was part of the embodiment of the Revolution itself: a large-scale housing complex for Castro’s workers. Several decades later, this revolutionary dream has shown not to be resistant against the ravages of time: Alamar’s apartment blocks are… Read More

A Workshop in Amsterdam’s Vijzelbank Building

  Ultra-flexible and cosy workspaces in a AirBNB office – is this the future? As part of the Design as Politics graduation studio ‘Let’s Work!’, a workshop was organized by Failed Architecture about the future perspectives on work and what this could mean for the Vijzelbank, a building at the crossing of the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht in Amsterdam’s city centre. Due to changing political attitudes, economic conditions and social and cultural preferences, the way we look at ‘work’ in the urban environment has transformed. In the past decades the Vijzelbank building has seen diverging manifestations of working in the city… Read More

Symposium: We Care a Lot!

On the 15th of March we presented our research for the Chief Government Architect on elderly care and aging in Dutch neighborhoods to a group of policy makers, researchers and architects during the symposium ‘We Care a Lot.’ Here’s a report of the day ( in Dutch) by Design as Politics’ Mike Emmerik and Architecture student Hedwig van der Linden. Wat is de relatie tussen zorg en verstedelijking en de sociale functie van het verzorgingshuis als ontmoetingsplaats voor de hele buurt? Een interdisciplinair team van studenten en onderzoekers van de TU Delft, medewerkers van het International New Town Institute en… Read More

Nurul Azlan Reports from Kuala Lumpur

Image of Bersih 4 in Kuala Lumpur. Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini. (This text was originally published on the Global Urban Lab blog). The tension is palpable. It is the morning of August 29th, 2015, and I am peering out the window of my hotel room in central Kuala Lumpur for last minute clues. I have two shirts laid out on the bed, one checkered with yellow and dark blue, and the other is plain black. At the corner of the bed is the yellow Bersih t-shirt I bought after the ‘Your Rights and the Police’ talk I attended a few… Read More

Lets Work! Da Lang Fever 2.0

In the Fall of 2015 the Design as Politics graduation Studio ‘Lets Work!’ visited the Chinese City of Shenzhen on a factfinding excursion. Part of our visit was focused on Da Lang  – a migrant neighborhood in the north of the city. The International New Town Institute, who is working in Da Lang for many years, helped us to set up an amazing program. In order to  thank them for their great efforts, we made this poster as an virtual addition to INTI’s contribution to the Shenzhen Biennale titled: Da Lang Fever 2.0, which is focused on the transformation of… Read More

A Different Approach To Migration: Riace

While many European countries, cities and villages are discussing how to solve the ‘migrant crisis’, the rural village of Riace in the South of Italy has found its own way to turn the influx of immigrants and refugees to revive their shrinking village. We at Design as Politics wonder what other places in Europe can learn from the approach in Riace? Why are migrants for example not located in areas where work is available? Can we deal with the refugee crisis not only as an isolated problem, but also as a far more widespread phenomenon? And can we think of… Read More

Public Lecture by Jorge Peña Díaz

On Tuesday 2 June, Jorge Peña Díaz (architect and professor on Urban Design at the CUJAE University of Havana Cuba) will give a lecture about the recent past and near future of the fascinating city of Havana, the capital of Cuba, entitled: Havana 2015 – Paths and patterns of urban development. The lecture addresses the current patterns of urban development in Havana, using the results of the project Atlas Urbano de La Habana (Urban Atlas of Havana). This project consisted of the mapping of Havana as a research tool in order to understand both the specificities of the current urban… Read More