On February 3rd 2011, Wouter Vanstiphout lectured at the AA School of Architecture, London, discussing and summarizing a series of talks on the relationship between the built environment and riotous behaviour he gave at the Delft University of Technology the past couple of months. For those who missed it, the lecture can be found in its entirety at the AA’s website. The AA’s program of public talks and exhibition is nothing short of outrageously interesting by the way; please be sure to check a list of upcoming events here.

Design as Politics goes UK: february 3rd, Wouter Vanstiphout will give a lecture at London’s at least somewhat legendary AA School of Architecture. Rem, Zaha and Cedric Price went there – nuff said, right? Since everybody likes violence (even jolly, well-mannered Brits supposedly) the lecture will re-visit the relationship between riots and urban planning, the subject of an earlier lecture series held at the Delft faculty of architecture. Expect (pictures of) destruction, racism, French gangster rap, radical geographics, police aggression and modernism at its worst – all PG-rated so bring your kids too! If you’re attending, make sure to visit the Broadwater… Read More

The pointless and ruthless 1942 shooting of a caring mother in Bambi being only part of a series of horrific deaths in Walt Disney films, violence has now also entered the company’s picture-perfect real estate reality: on november 24th a 58-year old resident of Disney’s master-planned fairytale Celebration was found murdered in his home, and another one shot at the police and then killed himself a few days later. The (94 per cent) white community is obviously shocked – and you can’t really blame the architecture for any misconduct this time. Right? It’s a safe bet to say the murder weapon… Read More

On Sunday, June 20, 1943, on Belle Isle, an island in the Detroit River an argument between a white and a black man turned into a fist fight and finally erupted into a full blown riot. Thirty hours later, 25 black and 9 white people had been killed. In order to prevent such violence from happening again, a study into cause and preventive factors was conducted by Earl Brown of the Public Affairs Committee, a non profit educational organization. Here a pictogram from his book ‘Why Race Riots? : Lessons from Detroit’ on how to lessen racial tension. 23 years… Read More

Starting November 15th: Blame The Architect, a lecture series by Wouter Vanstiphout on the relationship between riots and the urban environment. In six one-hour lectures, addressing four different incidents of large-scale rioting in as many cities, an attempt will be made to dissect the complicated mix of social, economical and urban factors that all play a role in the buildup towards riots. See the poster below for dates and locations, and elsewhere on this website for a more extensive introduction on the topic.

“You are about to witness the very exciting story of a city, and its people.” Two documentaries (and one conservative stand-up comedian) that shed different lights on the phenomenon that is Detroit. Requiem for Detroit boldly goes where British Broadcasters have gone many times before, summarizing the city’s history in just over an hour of documentarian greatness. The BBC does what the BBC does best – even most youtubers seem to approve. However, one Australian urges everyone to watch this in the comments: Twitter-republican and Fox News-columnist Steven Crowder blames 30 years of leftist policies, overinvolvement by the government and worker unions for… Read More

In the first half of the 1980’s a number of British suburbs were the scene of a series of uprisings. Fueled by a dissatisfaction among mainly immigrant residents, and oftentimes ignited by incidents of (allegedly) racist abuse by the police, the riots (the inquiry into the 1985 riot in Broadwater Farm, Tottenham, avoids the term and speaks of ‘disturbances’) signaled the end of an era of social modernist experimentation that led to the construction of a large number of housing estates all around the country. Not very surprisingly, the estates were also heavily criticized in less violent ways during that… Read More