Planning for Protest

If you are planning to visit the Lisbon Architecture Triennale this autumn, make sure you don’t miss the exhibition Planning for Protest – exploring both the social and the architectural definitions of protest by taking a closer look at how public spaces shape both the physical and psychological backdrop of these public events. Organised by Ben Allen, James Bae, Ricardo Gomes, Shannon Harvey and Adam Michaels, 12 architectural offices in 12 cities across the globe have examined the role of architecture in shaping, defining, or limiting the flow of protest within their respective cities. Each contributor rendered eight drawings exploring… Read More

Wouter Vanstiphout at the 9th World in Denmark conference

Wouter Vanstiphout will be a keynote speaker at the ‘9th World in Denmark conference – HERE COMES THE SUN…’, coming Friday 21/06 at the Copenhagen University. The 9th World in Denmark conference sets out to explore possible futures of the post-war city’s open spaces as an essential constituent element of urban development for the welfare state as experienced in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. However, the ideological foundations of the welfare state – in terms of conceptions of democracy, health and equality – are ever changing. From the 1920s onwards, open spaces became the goal and the means of a… Read More

Erdoğan’s Crash Course in Direct Democracy

Turkey, rising star of Europe and democratic model of the Islamic Middle East, has been in the news in recent years for its steady economic growth. Now the world is watching thousands of its citizens’ humorous and friendly protests from Taksim-Istanbul and other Turkish cities. Seventy percent of these people do not support any political movement and 67 percent are under 30*. The so-called ‘Y’ generation is asking for the right to direct democracy. The conflict seems likely to last longer, as the old system’s gadgets – the police, parliament, and political parties – will need time to learn open… Read More


Can we benefit from failure? Can dystopia be productive? Is there a future for architecture criticism? These and other questions will be asked during the event ‘Failed Architecture#10: Beyond Failure’ on Thursday 13 June, in Trouw/De Verdieping, Amsterdam. The event is organized by the research platform Failed Architecture who have been exploring the dark sides of architecture and urbanism, from long neglected industrial ruins and abandoned new towns to Britain’s riot-torn neighbourhoods and the corporate takeover in sell-out-cities. For Thursday they invited speakers as Ole Bouman, Matthias Böttger and Darryl Chen to explore a wide range of perspectives on the possible successes… Read More

De Bouwbubbel van Rotterdam

Crisis or no crisis, Rotterdam continues to construct new buildings. In front of the central station, foundations are being laid for a 120m high mixed-use tower, just behind it looms the almost finished colorful complex ‘The Calypso’, a bit further down town, a giant market hall will be constructed, and ‘The Rotterdam’ -the country’s largest building- has recently reached his highest point. Many citizens are proud of these new developments: they make Rotterdam a contemporary city, full of architectural masterpieces. But how come large real estate projects are still being constructed in Rotterdam, while they are suspended or canceled in… Read More

Symposium de Energieke Stad

On Tuesday the 26th of March 2013, Wouter Vanstiphout was one of the guest speakers at the symposium named: “The energetic city”, organized by the Dutch “creative industries fund.” During his talk, Wouter argued for a strict division between the government’s responsibilities and that of the market, concerning urban development and investments in real estate. Wouter’s text and the video recordings can be found below, or click here to download the text in pdf (unfortunately all in Dutch only). skip to 01:08:30 for Wouter Vanstiphout’s talk De scheiding van Markt en Overheid In Rotterdam woedt al een paar maanden een… Read More

Video Recording Venice Takeaway Debate – The Working Village

Click on image to watch video. Wouter Vanstiphout was at the AA, London last week, to participate in the live think thank ‘The Working Village’, exploring Darryl Chen’s concept of a radical entrepreneurial village. Chen argues that audacious urban planning could spur entrepreneur-led economic growth. Against a backdrop of failing high streets and dying neighbourhoods, this debate asked whether there is a radical way of putting planning in the service of the economy. Could the Localism Act be a mechanism to spark growth? How radical can or should we be in rethinking how we draw plans for our cities? Speakers:… Read More

Venice Takeaway Debate – The Working Village

On the 14th of March, Wouter Vanstiphout will join a live think-tank at the Architectural Association, London as part of the Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture. The event – which will be chaired by Darryl Chen of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today – draws together experts from the fields of urbanism, planning, branding and development economics to explore the making of The Working Village, a radical entrepreneurial village on the outskirts of London. The background for this debate is the idea of Chen’s research project on the New [Socialist] Village, that featured at the British Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Architecture… Read More

De slag om Rotterdam

Wouter Vanstiphout was a guest in yesterday’s episode of the Dutch TV program ‘De slag om Nederland‘. He talked about the rising vacancy in Rotterdam, while Alderman -and former director of a real estate agency- Hamit Karakus fills the city’s skyline with prestigious shiny towers by famous starchitects. After the broadcast, an interesting discussion arose on blogs and twitter. Read some reactions here or here. Or decide for yourself and watch the show (all in Dutch only)

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

While London is working hard to live up to their –once promised– Olympic legacy, and IOC chief Jacques Rogge is debating whether the London Games were the best ever or just totally awesome, Putin is building his own Olympic dream in the Russian city of Sochi. Sochi is a -by Stalin established- resort city along the Black Sea which grew rapidly during Valdimir Putin’s term in office. Although temperatures rarely dip below 12C, the city was selected to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. For Putin, an opportunity to showcase Russia’s ability to organize major events and boost its international image,… Read More