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

Who Builds Your Architecture?

While looking at work in relation to architecture at this year’s theme of the Design as Politics graduation studio, we of course came across the fuss again about Zaha Hadid’s Quatar World Cup Stadium. Even more interesting is that the debate that arose around this project, triggered Laura Diamond Dixit, Tiffany Rattray, and Lindsey Lee to focus their contribution to the Istanbul Design Biennale on migratory paths of workers as well as working processes in design and construction. In 2014 many people disagreed with the comments of star-architect Zaha Hadid on the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar. It was… Read More

Upcoming Public lectures

We have two amazing public lectures coming up next week as part of our graduation studio Lets Work! – Industry, Architecture and the City. The first is on Monday 29 September, by Design as Politics professor’ Wouter Vanstiphout about the theme of this year’s graduation studio and what this means for Architecture and Urban Design. Albert Kahn’s daylight factory, Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, the precariat, robotization, off- and onshoring, the share economy. It’s all part of this brand new Design as Politics lecture! So join us on Monday 28 Sept. at 08:45 in Room B at the TU Delft Faculty… Read More

Hoog Catharijne’s Concrete Rigidity

Last month Design as Politics, together with Failed Architecture and the University of Amsterdam, organized a workshop and debate on the redevelopment of Utrecht’s central station area, and the adjacent Hoog Catharijne business and shopping centre. The workshop and debate focused on the financing models behind large-scale real estate projects and the historical roles and responsibilities of architects and planners in designing these. Our aim was to discuss Hoog Catharijne’s original and current redevelopment plans with experts, students and local stakeholders as part of the Design as Politics graduation studio ‘Follow the Money’. Jan Loerakker and Tim Verlaan of Failed… Read More

Debate – The Concrete Obduracy of Hoog Catharijne

With Failed Architecture, we’re organizing a workshop on Hoog Catharijne, the iconic late 1960s business and shopping center in Utrecht, focusing on the financial models behind large real estate projects. You’re cordially invited to join the wrap-up, with student presentations and a debate about the role/responsibility of the architect. Panelists: Nanne de Ru, Wouter Vanstiphout and Tim Verlaan. The construction history of the privately initiated redevelopment scheme Hoog Catharijne, located in Utrecht’s inner city, is a classic example of how public and private actors attempted to work together in the field of urban planning during the post-war era. Ever since… Read More

Wouter Vanstiphout to comment on (De) Rotterdam

De Rotterdam by OMA. Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode Architectural Historian and Design as politics professor Wouter Vanstiphout was invited by Blueprint Magazine to comment on (De) Rotterdam — the city and the building — currently gracing the cover of their current issue (number 331). Wouter’s eloquent lament for a city that once vibrated with an untamed, gritty energy, is published here in full. In 1991 I moved to Rotterdam. At that time it still felt like an ideological choice to voluntarily attach yourself to this scar of a city, rather than self-deporting to the reservation for tourists and students that was Amsterdam…. Read More

Excursion Madrid

As part of our Follow the Money graduation studio, we asked our students to organise an excursion to Madrid and its surrounding area. To the (brief) disappointment of some, we told them we would not go there to see the capital’s great architecture and its vibrant city life (of course we couldn’t leave without experiencing some of it), but that we would mainly spend our time at the outskirts looking at the effects of the Spanish property bubble and explore the (sometimes) harsh consequences of political games and real estate speculation on the built environment. We selected Madrid as the… Read More

The Rotterdamse Rekenkamer

Last month we took our ‘Follow the Money’ students to the Rotterdamse rekenkamer for a lesson on finical issues related to municipal land development and the consequences of the current economic crisis on municipal policies. Researcher Evelien van Rij and director Paul Hofstra received us at their office for an introductory lecture about their work, followed by a hands-on workshop with the students. The Rekenkamer (court of audit) is an independent institution, which conducts research into the efficiency, effectiveness, legality and transparency of policies issued by the municipal administration. Their scope is not limited only to the effects of direct… Read More

Workshop by Jelte Boeijenga

‘Follow the Money’ Students working on the assignment. For the first workshop of this year’s graduation studio ‘Follow the Money’ we invited Jelte Boeijenga; researcher/advisor on spatial planning and urbanism, with a strong focus on the aspect of finance in city making. Jelte started the workshop with an eye-opening lecture based on his research ‘Money and the City’ – sketching the sometimes alarming financial situation of the 25 largest Dutch municipalities. As a consequence of the current financial and economic crisis the national government is taking harsh austerity measures, while following a policy of decentralisation. This means that more and… Read More

Lecture: Follow the Money

Click to see the lecture Last Monday, Wouter Vanstiphout gave a lecture at the TU Delft architecture faculty as part of the master education in urbanism. Just as our current graduation studio, the lecture was titled ‘Follow the Money,’ and was focused on the complex correlation between economy and architecture or urban planning. Wouter started his lecture with an explanation of the current financial crisis and its effects on architecture. From foreclosures in Las Vegas, through ghost towns in Spain and China, to the risky politics of ground development in the Netherlands, he ended his lecture with a more positive… Read More