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 of Architecture.
For the second lecture we’ve invited Economic Geographer and Urban Planner Ronald Wall – head of the Urban Competitiveness and Resilience department at the Erasmus University. Ronald will give an interesting perspective to the topic of work and urban development. He will talk about the relationship between global and local economic development, urban competitiveness and what this means for the design of our cities. The lecture takes place on Tuesday 29 September at 15:45 – 17:15, , TU Delft Faculty of Architecture, Room B
Wall is specialised in urban economic development, city network analysis and urban planning. He worked for various mayor urban planning offices like OMA, MVRDV and West 8 as well as for the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) – working on planning in China, Ghana, South Africa, South Korea and various European countries. He worked for the Berlage Institute / South Korean government on the development of a new town in South Korea and worked with Volume/AMO and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, on research concerning Middle Eastern cities and their economic networks with other cities around the world.
We have two amazing Design as Politics / International New Towns lectures scheduled tomorrow afternoon! We’ll start at 13:45 with a lecture by Design as Politics’ Wouter Vanstiphout about two late/postmodern New Towns: Milton Keynes in the UK and Cergy Pontoise in France, followed by a presentation by the architect and professor at the Technical University of Cuba, Jorge Pena at 16:00.
Jorge will not just talk about Havana as it is, but especially about the major changes it will go through and is already going through now that the country is opening up economically and politically, and the harbour will be moved from old Havana to another location, opening up huge development opportunities for this beautiful but fragile city. Jorge will be introduced by Michelle Provoost, director of the International New Town Institute – the co-organizer of this event. More info here
Hope to see you all tomorrow afternoon in room A
On Tuesday 2 June, Jorge Peña Díaz (architect and professor on Urban Design at the CUJAE University of Havana Cuba) will give a lecture about the recent past and near future of the fascinating city of Havana, the capital of Cuba, entitled: Havana 2015 – Paths and patterns of urban development. The lecture addresses the current patterns of urban development in Havana, using the results of the project Atlas Urbano de La Habana (Urban Atlas of Havana). This project consisted of the mapping of Havana as a research tool in order to understand both the specificities of the current urban situation and the milestones it has followed. This analysis allows to understand the impact of the economic and political crisis of the 90´s in the urban structure of Havana. It also shows the fabric on top of which both internal structural changes and foreign factors have been and will be operating.
The lecture also addresses the most pressing urban questions that Havana is facing at this moment, among which is the transformation of the harbour of Havana. The historic harbour, dating back to the beginning of colonial time, has functionally been replaced by another harbour, leaving the old harbour to be redeveloped. Now that Cuba is opening up to the outside world, which direction will the transformation take? Will it remain true to its heritage value and Cuban identity or follow the commercially profitable way of generic leisure harbour development?
Michelle Provoost will give an introduction to Jorge Peña’s lecture, on the links between Havana and INTI‘s students exchange program. The New Towns near Havana have an interesting background and urgent challenges to be solved. At the moment of Castro’s Revolution in 1959, the urban development of this bustling metropolis came to a grinding halt. While the city was in the midst of the transformation into a second Las Vegas or Miami, all investments were nationalised and development stopped. The only new part of the city built by the communist regime is the infamous Alamar, a Soviet-style New Town for ca. 100.000 inhabitants, which has become well known for its urban agriculture and its hip hop scene. Seen as a unattractive place to live, the crumbling Alamar is in urgent need of new ideas to connect it to the maelstrom of development that Havana will see.
Jorge Peña Díaz is an architect and professor on Urban Design at the Department for Architectural and Urban Design, Faculty of Architecture, CUJAE [Technical University Havana], Cuba. He is teaching on Planning and Heritage conservation and is also head of the Research Group for Urban Research and Action. Apart from his university work, Jorge is also a member of the Expert technical committee for research on urbanism and housing policy of the Ministry of Construction, a member of the experts advisory group for Havana´s city planning and guest Expert to the COST Urban Agriculture Europe Project, RWTH, Aachen.
We have recently started again our public lecture series ‘The New Town – From Welfare City to Neoliberal Utopia” in collaboration with the international New Town Institute. Eric Burgers – A reporter from the independent Dutch platform Gebiedsontwikkeling.nu attended the first lecture and wrote a nice piece about it:
On 21 April, Michelle Provoost (director INTI International New Town Institute) en Wouter Vanstiphout (professor Design as Politics) kicked off the lecture series at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. New town building is often associated with the post-war period, the 50’s and 60’s of the 20th century, when urban growth worldwide was often accommodated by creating new sizeable autonomous urban environments from scratch. But, as Vanstiphout points out, there are older examples of how entire urban environments are created purposefully (and top-down). As the planning structure of Washington D.C. and other capital cities clearly show, new states tend to plan and build new capitals as material symbols of state ideals. ‘Washington’s layout is the layout of US democracy.’
Governments are however not the only forces behind new town planning and development. Social movements, looking for alternatives for institutional urban planning, are responsible for some of the most innovative planning developments in the 20th century. Prime example is the garden city model by Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928). Combining the qualities of urban and rural communities he designed a new type of residential area, away from the disadvantages and drawbacks of industrial society and based on specific notions of social organisation, such as self-sufficiency. Vanstiphout: ‘From the twenties and thirties onward, the garden city model was appropriated by governments of all political creeds at home and abroad and thus became a basis for shaping the post-war welfare state.’ The idea that towns, cities and even an entire country, can be spatially, economically and socially restructured and reorganised by building up society from the household upwards, became a central notion in spatial and housing development. In the Netherlands, new towns, connected by new infrastructure – from telephone lines to motorways – and with all the functions and amenities that go with the welfare state clearly designated, were for several decades destined to help shape and epitomise modern society, populated by more or less egalitarian communities, ‘the whole functioning as a single state-driven machine.’ Continue reading
We are very happy to announce that coming April we will again start the Design as Politics elective lecture series: The New Town – From Welfare City to Neoliberal Utopia (AR0023).
This course is organized in collaboration with the International New Town Institute and contains of 9 public lectures on the planning and (re)design of New Towns all over the world and their social, cultural, political and economic context. Together with (guest) lecturers from different disciplines, we will follow the evolution of New Towns from the first experiments in the pre-war period with utopian and communal living, explore how it was discovered by national governments as ways to promote their political agendas, and later on became a symbol of modernization and progress in the post-war period. Finally we look at contemporary New Town planning, which has largely been privatized and became a tool for investors, developers and multinational corporations to create huge profits, thereby abandoning the original public goals of New Town Planning. Amongst the speakers are: Michelle Provoost, Wouter Vanstiphout, Vincent Nadin, Maurits de Hoog, Pieter Hooimeijer and Martijn de Waal. Click here for more information and the most up-to-date schedule.
A week from now Wouter Vanstiphout will talk at the British School in Rome, on Via Gramsci (!) about the relationship between architecture, creativity and politics.
In his lecture, Wouter will discuss how architecture and town planning have for centuries been used to create the infrastructure and the institutional icons for nation states. It has been deployed as a tool to force people into certain behavioral modes and it has been instrumental in creating the visions of future cities and landscapes, that are needed to mobilize massive amounts of state and corporate power. Architecture however struggles with this responsibility. Often it denies it, refuses to be confronted with it or has simply lost the ability to deal with it. Nowhere does this become so strongly apparent in the debate as to whether architecture can somehow be blamed for the social unrest, the civic frustration and sometimes violent anger that we have witnessed over the past decades in cities that are going through massive urban transformation projects. reaffirming the political dimension of architecture, and asking, demanding, that is takes responsibility for its political role.
The lecture takes place on Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 18.00hrs in the The British School at Rome. It is organised in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the support of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, Cochemé Charitable Trust, John S. Cohen Foundation, Wilkinson Eyre.
Last Tuesday we presented our book ‘Are we the World? – Randstad Holland, São Paulo, Istanbul & Rotterdam’ in Pakhuis de Zwijger. We look back at a great evening with a well-recieved lecture by Design as Politics’ professor Wouter Vanstiphout followed by two statements by essay authors Marta Relats and Roberto Rocco. The evening was concluded with a interesting debate with
Carolien Gehrels, Markus Appenzeller, Henk Ovink and Wouter Vanstiphout. For everyone who couldn’t be there: the whole event has been recorded! Check it out here