A Clockwork Jerusalem

Design as Politics’ Professor Wouter Vanstiphout together with his office Crimson Architectural Historians and FAT Architecture, is curating the exhibition of the Britsh Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia The exhibition titled A Clockwork Jerusalem will explore how the international influences of Modernism became mixed with long standing British sensibilities. It examines how traditions of the romantic, sublime and pastoral, as well as interests in technology and science fiction were absorbed to create a specifically British form of Modernism. The exhibition focusses on the mature flowering of British Modernism; the moment it was at its most ambitious… Read More

NEW! Graduation Studio 2014/2015

The Design as politics team is very proud to announce our 2014/2015 TU Delft Master graduation Studio: New Utopias on the Ruins of the Welfare State. During this studio, we will try to find the utopian thinking that comes up when old orders collapse. We are living in an age where nation states seem to become weaker and weaker, under the influence of privatisation, localism but also of globalisation and supra-national politics like that of the European Union. Countries seem to be both falling apart in small fragments as well as being dissolved into huge global networks. Architecture and Urbanism have… Read More

The New Town- From Welfare City to Neoliberal Utopia

New Towns are Politics! That’s why, at the end of this month we will start a public lecture series organized in collaboration with the International New Town Institute carrying the title ‘The New Town– From Welfare City to Neoliberal Utopia.’ The lectures will follow a chronological story on new town planning in the 20th century, explaining how the design of New Towns was based on experiments in the pre-war period with utopian, communal living, was then discovered by national governments as ways to further their very diverse political agendas, later became a symbol of modernization and progress in the postwar… 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

Wouter Vanstiphout at Brno University

In October 2012, Wouter Vanstiphout traveled to Czech Republic to give a lecture at Brno University, as part of the lecture series ‘Contesting Space / Architecture as a Social Practice’ about architecture and city-making as an inherently political issue and architecture as a social practice. Wouter talked about New Towns and about Riots under the title ‘The Banality of Good.‘ Watch it here.

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

The Banality of Good at the Royal Institute of British Architects

Photo by Iwan Baan Last year, Wouter Vanstiphout’s office ‘Crimson Architectural Historians’ presented their research work at the Biennale di Venezia 2012 Architecture Exhibition. Their contribution titled ‘The Banality of Good: Six decades of New Towns, Architects, Money and Politics’, is now traveling and makes its first stop at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London! The official (re)launch takes place on Tuesday 26th March 2013 and forms part of the Spring Last Tuesday late night programme of events. Check out the schedule below, you’re all invited! The central question of the exhibition is: can the design of New… Read More

Workshop Almere Poort-Oost

Last week, our ‘We the people’ students moved to Almere in order to experience life in Holland’s newest New Town, and -more importantly- to participate in a real-life design workshop, organized by Design as Politics and the International New Town Institute, for the municipality of Almere. During this workshop, the students worked on an urban plan and development strategy for a new area of the city. At the same time they got a glimpse of the –sometimes harsh– reality and the politics behind city making in the current economic situation. At the end of the workshop, the students presented their work… Read More

Strand East, London

Ikea subsidiary LandProp is planning to redevelop 26 hectares of industrial wasteland in Stratford, just a stone’s throw from the 2012 Olympic site. The neighborhood dubbed “Strand East” is something of a flagship project for IKEA’s property division and should be a place “where mews-style townhouses sit comfortably alongside creative commercial space. Where beautiful public courtyards open up to piazzas. And waterways weave their way around hotels, restaurants, parks, water taxi piers and cycle paths.” This mixed-use neighborhood is built with the same middle-class target group as the familiar IKEA stores and LandPROP will be concerned with creating a strong… Read More

New Songdo: A City in a Box

  New Songdo City near Seoul in South Korea has been hailed as one of the first truly “smart” cities of the 21st century. The cutting-edge technology present in every square meter of this development is testament to the developer’s dreams of a high-tech, futuristic city. The real innovative aspect of this project, however, is the fact that the city is being sold as a package. For the first time ever, interested parties can buy a “City in a Box”, and know exactly what they are getting—down to the door handles and hinges. Every component is included in a one-time… Read More