Alamar Travel Guide E-Publication

In the spring of 2016, Design as Politics and The International New Town Institute took a group of TU Delft Master students to Cuba in order to explore Alamar, a new town just east of Havana. Based on our research and on-site experiences, we have developed a travel guide for this mostly undiscovered New Town. Alamar is one of those New Towns which look remarkably familiar at first glance. An abundance of standardized walk-up flats, modernist social housing off 5-6 storeys of a similar kind that Western European New Towns excelled in during the 50s and 60s. Organized in neighborhood… Read More

Graduation Studio 2017/2018 – A city of Comings and Goings – Part II

How can we design buildings, cities and landscapes that make the best of our restless, migratory, lives? We are very happy to announce that we will continue our research into the spatial dimensions of migration with a new edition of the graduation studio: A City of Comings and Goings – Designing for migration and mobility. This studio starts in September 2017 and is open for students of the Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture tracks at Delft University of Technology. Interested students can apply until April 23th! Migration and mobility define how we use our cities and landscapes. Climate change, conflicts… Read More

AirportCity or #FortEU: Workshop with FailedArchitecture

In December we asked Michiel van Iersel, Rene Boer and Mark Minkjan of the research collective Failed architecture to organize a workshop for our graduation students taking part in the studio  ‘A City of Comings and Goings’. They came with the idea to focus this workshop on the border landscape of Schiphol Airport, the main hub for migration to and from The Netherlands. Together with the Rotterdam Harbor, Schiphol is one of the ‘mainports’ of the Netherlands. Since its origins, exactly one hundred years ago, the airport has become one of the leading aviation hubs in the world. Almost operating… Read More

WE CARE A LOT! – Final report

In the autumn of 2016 we conducted a research and design project commissioned by the Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands (Rijksbouwmeester) as part of his program ‘Oog voor de buurt’. The topic was aging and healthcare in Dutch neighborhoods. Together with students of the architecture master track, two Design as Politics Alumni and the International New Town Institute, we took a closer look at two specific cases: elderly home Humanitas in Deventer and the assisted living facility ‘Buiten Zorg’ in Zuid-Scharwoude – a village in the province of North-Holland. This led to two reports, one for each area, in… Read More

Another 4 years!

We are very proud to inform you that the chair of Design as Politics will continue for another four years! This was announced yesterday at the presentation of the new action-agenda on spatial design, titled Working together on the power of design (Samen werken aan ontwerpkracht) by the Dutch national government. As a consequence we’ll continue to spam you with our opinions, research projects, lectures, design studio’s, workshops, exhibitions and articles until at least the end of 2020. Whether you like it or not. Minister Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and the Environment (IenM) and Minister Bussemaker of Education, Culture… Read More

Workshop: Democratic integration in Feijenoord, Rotterdam

As part of the graduation studio ‘A City of Comings and Goings – Designing for Migration and Mobility’ a workshop was organized by Design as Politics PhD candidates Nurul Azlan and Els Leclercq about political and democratic integration of inhabitants with a migrant background in the neighbourhood Feijenoord in Rotterdam-South. Just as in many European countries, the influx of refugees in the Netherlands is a prominent issue in the social-political debate. Opponents often refer to the failed integration of migrants who came to the country in the ‘60’s, of mostly Moroccan and Turkish origin. The long-term impact of inhabitants with… Read More

The 500-mile City

The rise of globalisation, the development of internet and the culture of connectivity, increased mobility, and above all, the growth of the global city have radically changed the way we think about migration, citizenship and the nation state. Today, these global cities and nation states are transforming in very different ways. While the nation state is declining – not the concept, but the reality – the global city is expanding.  During the past decade, scientists have compared the data of Facebook users’ place of birth with their current residential address, in order to reveal the top 10 cities that have… 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

Progress Presentations Graduation Studio Let’s Work

By now our graduation studio Let’s Work! is already up and running for more than half a year. The midterm review is behind us, and coming Thursday we will have another progress presentation in the faculty of Architecture in room C. Mayor decisions about program, location and composition have been made by the students. The presentations will be open for the public, so you are very welcome to join! Check out what our students are up to by clicking in the links below: Gintare Norkunaite –  Second Life of the Atomgrad Martin Dennemark – Foundation for Transportation Zuzanna Mielczarek – Towards a post-carbon Silesia… Read More