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 which we made recommendations and proposed design interventions for a better integration of healthcare in those neighborhoods – responding to the current and upcoming changes in the Dutch healthcare system which is aimed at living at home as long as possible. We also organized a symposium around this topic. Wanna know more? You can now find both reports on our issuu account here and here (in Dutch only)
Category Archives: Education
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 in decay, the neighborhood is isolated from Havana’s city center itself and suffers from a lack of identity and a monotonous cityscape.
After researching the existing challenges and opportunities of the area together with students of the CUJAE university, the student groups presented short and long term visions for necessary improvements, using the area’s local economy and culture, it’s famous tradition in urban agriculture and the potential for (beach)tourism as transformational tools. The results were among others presented to the Dutch Ambassador at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Havana.
Back in Delft the students will further develop their design proposals. Also a travel guide for Alamar will be made as part of INTI’s New town travel guide series. Both the design proposals as well as the travel guide will be presented on June 24th, during a final event at the TU Delft. Professor Jorge Peña Díaz of the CUJAE university in Havana will be present during this event as s visiting critic. During the same week he will talk about urban agriculture in Alamar during the International New Town Day on June 30th.
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 – from rows of cubicles to ultra-flexible and cosy hang-outs.
In his books ‘The Third Industrial Revolution’ (2011) and ‘The Zero Marginal Cost Society’ (2014) social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin imagines the transition driven by new information technologies from a capitalist market economy to what he calls the ‘collaborative commons’. Rifkin describes internet technology and sustainable energy as merging to create ‘a third industrial revolution’. Lateral power is transforming energy, the economy and the world. Rifkin’s books are praised for helping shape the debate on technology displacement, corporate downsizing, outsourcing, global labour mobility, and the future of jobs. The Third Industrial Revolution has been on the New York Times Best Seller List and is translated into 19 languages.
While the change of job policies and the digitalisation of manufacturing is explained in the books, not so much is written about the spatial implications for buildings and cities regarding this ‘third industrial revolution’. These changes, however, will have a large impact on jobs for architects and urban planners – on the way they shape buildings, cities work places and thus societies.
Therefore, in the workshop of Failed Architecture, students started to imagine and discuss different scenarios for the future of a concrete project location, the Vijzelbank. Will the boundaries between work and leisure become blurred in the future – due to decreasing working hours in the Netherlands? Can we start creating new forms of living and working in a shared space? Can we think of a new type of workspace in which facilities such as administration, catering and specialist production are centralized and shared by various organizations and demands? Check it out!
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
Ludo Groen – Consumption & Production in Vrin
Wyn Llord Jones – Housing as a means of renewal in the Rhondda
Frederico Riches – Urban Factory
Matiss Groskaufmanis – Life That Works
We are very excited to announce our new 2016/2017 graduation studio: A City of Comings and Goings – Designing for migration and mobility. This studio starts in September 2016 and is open for students of the Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture tracks at TU Delft. Interested? Send us your motivation before April 18th!
Migration and mobility define how we use our cities and landscapes. Climate change, conflicts and a globalised economy keep us constantly on the move, whether we are rich ex-pats, hard working labour migrants, young international students or refugees. In this studio we are looking for new perspectives, new solutions, new utopias or new research into this topic. How can we design buildings, cities and landscapes that make the best of our restless lives, that profit from the constant exchange of people, that can withstand the pressures of a growing and shrinking, ever changing population?
This studio is framed within the approach of Design as Politics; critical, bold, and design based research, linked to a specific theme but open for your own projects and you own interpretation. We will organize lectures, workshops, and a field excursion to feed you with new ideas and inspiration for your project, while at the same time challenge you to take your own position.
Are you ready to become a Design as Politics Graduate, willing and able to dedicate yourself to a studio that is at once rigorous and experimental, freethinking and super-pragmatic, individualist yet with a strong team spirit? Then apply for this studio! Send us an email (email@example.com) explaining your motivation to join his studio (max 1,5 A4 / 600 words) and some examples of your previous writings and design. Deadline: April 18th 2016. Only limited places available.
This studio organized with the support of Crimson Architectural Historians, the International New Town Institute and a great number of organisations and institutions that see migration and mobility as one of the defining factors for urbanization in the near future. The results will contribute to a large public event in 2018.
Throughout the coming months Design as Politics is hosting a series of seminars around ‘the spatial dimensions of migration’ at the Berlage – Center for advanced studies in Architecture and Urban Design. At the first seminar, we looked at migration, the trajectories and in-between-stations of the students themselves, who came from all around the world to study at the Berlage. During the next sessions we will continue exploring the different facets of migration, seen through the eyes of various groups of people: from the refugees trying to find a better future for their kids, to the exchange student that decided to spend 6 months abroad, or the seasonal worker who travels back and forth between countries in search for employment and fair wages. They will all be coverd during the coming months as as part of a larger program around this issue. More about that will follow soon!
After the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015, a photograph of the young and diverse audience at the concert of the ‘Eagles of Death Metal’ was published in the French newspaper Libération. Underneath the photo was written in large letters: Génération Bataclan.
It turned out that the victims of the Paris attacks did not only consist of students who have seen the world in exchange programs or foreign tourists enjoying themselves in Parisian concert venues and trendy bars. Most of the victims just were French citizens, some of whom had emigrated from Chile as children; others had parents who came to France from Algeria or Congo in 1970s. The ‘Génération Bataclan’ represents an urban class that is extremely mobile, with networks of relations that spread across the whole world and that can be quickly mobilised for work or a place to stay. The Bataclan generation can be seen as a global generation existing out of ‘citizens of the world’, characterised by post-Coldwar mobility.
It is precisely this ‘Génération Bataclan’ that is inspiring the Chair of Design as Politics, together with Crimson Architectural Historians and the International New Town Institute, to consider migration as a fundamental phenomenon in present-day Europe. In their essay ‘A City of Comings and Goings’ Wouter Vanstiphout and Michelle Provoost argue that by isolating the refuge crisis as a temporary situation, we are ignoring the fact that migration has become a part of life.
It is an interesting idea that the students at the Berlage Institute also belong to this ‘Génération Bataclan’ and are part of a group characterized by moving; by coming and going. In the first seminar students made a diagram or visualization of their own trajectories and ‘in-between-stations’ in life. Where do they come from? Where did they live in the past years and how did they come to Delft?
It turned out that for some of the students the administrative procedures upon arrival were not as welcoming as for others. Some are already thinking about their next destination in life, while others are dreaming to go back to their country of origin. And all of them are conscious of the fact that belonging is an active process.