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

Architecture and Urbanism After the Nation State

Last Monday, Design as Politics’ professor Wouter Vanstiphout gave his third lecture for students following the Urbanism Masters track. After discussing Money in the first quarter, and Democracy during the second, he now confronted the students with the topic of decentralization. Starting from the basic principles of the nation state and the rise and fall of Dutch planning, he discussed the idea of a federal Europe, the concept of charter cities and even autarkic, anarchist and Tolstoyan communities. Wanna know more? Check out the lecture recordings here

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

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

Lecture Monday 18 Nov. 10:45-12:30 Room B

Click on Image to see the lecture. On monday 18 November, Wouter Vanstiphout gave the second lecture in a series of three for students at Delft University of Technology. The recordings of the lecture titled  ‘We the People – Design, Democracy and the City’ can be seen here. After our Money lecture last September, we will now take you on a journey along architecture projects in order to explore their democratic value. From large iconic projects as a representation of democracy, like the Houses of Parliament in London, or the National Mall in Washington DC to small-scale, “big society-like” participation… 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

Residential Francisco Hernando, Seseña, Spain

Last week we kicked-off our new graduation studio ‘Follow the money – Finance, Architecture and the City.’ In order to illustrate the complex entanglement between money and architecture, we showed our students a selection of case studies, amongst which the case of Residential Francisco Hernando in Seseña, a municipality in the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha, just 40 km south of Madrid. Until the late ninety nineties, the area of Seseña was mainly used by its residents for coaxing grain and corn out of the dry earth. However, in the midst of the Spanish real estate boom, when the first… Read More

Workshop Almere Poort-Oost

In March 2013, we took our students to the new town of Almere, for a 5-day workshop, organized in collaboration with the International New Town Institute and the municipality of Almere. The workshop was focused on a study to the spatial possibilities of two areas, located in the new city district Almere Poort, namely Cascade Park East and Middenkant. The students developed a first idea for the development of these location, while exploring new possible urban models that respond to the current Dutch housing situation. Eventually they presented the results to representatives of the planning and development department of the… Read More