Yes! Another lecture! And more tips on how to waste time on the youtubes! This week: the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot in London. Extra interesting because of the recent London riots – about which much, much more very soon. For now, lots of grainy VHS-format fun below. The first half of the 80’s were somewhat of a riotous period in the UK: the Broadwater Farm incidents were part of a larger series of uprisings. See for instance John Akomfrah’s Handsworth Songs (part 1,2,3,4), documenting racial tensions leading up to a series of riots in Handsworth, Birmingham (Wouter Vanstiphout’s favourite reggae band… Read More

Has the hunger for freedom and democracy of the late seventies and eighties in Barcelona abdicated in favor of the omnipresent unquestionable western neoliberal city model? Or are the catalan urban planners still feisty? Rebels or private lobbyists? What is the Barcelona Model? Was it over after the ’92 Olympics that “put the city on the map” or is it still operative today? Was it an instant-success short term formula or does it have more layering, deeper fingers on the the shaping of the city? For better or for worse? Josep Maria Montaner (alert: in order to understand Spanish wikipedia articles… Read More

This post accompanies part two of the Blame the Architect lecture series. This week we’ll discuss the 1967 Race Riots in Detroit; extra material for those who are interested or otherwise unoccupied can be found below. Firstly, please watch this before you do anything else Detroit-related: it’s made by Julien Temple and it’s an absolutely brilliant (8.0 says IMDB)  portrait of present-day Detroit. Yes, that’s a dodgy looking Russian website we refer you to, but unfortunately the documentary is pretty hard to find (or buy, for that matter). For those who like their documentaries sponsored by a shoe brand and featuring… Read More

The coming months, we will be posting links to movies, writings and/or obscure websites that are (at least vaguely) related to that week’s Blame the Architect lecture subject (see post below for the program) – a lecture appendix so to speak. Since this week’s lecture is a general introduction to the theme of the series and the course assignment, here is some stuff on riots in general (part one and two). As for the assignment: enrolled students are asked to make a short, YouTube-uploadable video documenting their own fictional riot. Time to dive into the world of amateur directors, gonzo journalism… Read More

Starting tomorrow, the Blame the Architect lecture series will be held again at the faculty of architecture in Delft. The lectures are open to all, so please do attend! See our youtube channel for last year’s lectures – but, as with concerts of your favourite band, nothing beats having been there in person of course. It is encouraged to attend all lectures in full riot gear.

London has had an interesting music scene for the past three million years – but what better time to check up on current affairs in underground music land than right after the city has been partially burnt down by rioters? Thank God for the Guardian. Do read the comments, as well.

With the police studying grainy CCTV riot footage, it seems the violence that swept London and a number of other UK cities the past days has finally quieted down. Thank God. Time for reflection, careful analysis of causes and events – and perhaps a tiny bit of finger-pointing. Wouter Vanstiphout has joined the discussion using the medium of the magazine: bdonline.co.uk has published an article by him, and the current issue of Australian Design Review features  and interview by Rory Hyde. Grim stuff, mostly. For those who don’t like reading (or Vanstiphout) that much, the Telegraph keeps track of the aftermath of… Read More

Pretty self-explanatory, right? Starting around january 2012 (precise dates and locations to be confirmed), the Blame the Architect lecture series – more info here – will be held again at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. Enrollment for the series (a 3 ECTS Msc2 course open to students from all master tracks) has started yesterday and closes may 27th. 6 lectures, 3 ECTS, 1 video assignment, lots of violence, lots of in-depth riot analysis. Electives have never been as much fun. We promise. Like last year, all lectures will be open for all – you too are hereby cordially invited to… Read More

Design As Politics goes Youtube: as of now, we have our own channel/tube! Since everyone has one nowadays (I mean, even MIT has one, and so does North Korea), we decided to jump the bandwagon – a couple of years late perhaps but whatever. We can’t wait to subscribe, favourite, rate, comment, dislike, share, and video-reply all that is out there, so keep posted for updates on things to come. The first two lectures of the Blame the Architect series have already been uploaded  – other parts will follow asap. Although the video’s look like they have been shot by drunk… Read More

On February 3rd 2011, Wouter Vanstiphout lectured at the AA School of Architecture, London, discussing and summarizing a series of talks on the relationship between the built environment and riotous behaviour he gave at the Delft University of Technology the past couple of months. For those who missed it, the lecture can be found in its entirety at the AA’s website. The AA’s program of public talks and exhibition is nothing short of outrageously interesting by the way; please be sure to check a list of upcoming events here.