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

Corporatiedirecteuren en geld, veel geld….

Gister avond was Wouter Vanstiphout te zien in ons favoriete tv programma ‘de slag om Nederland’. In dit programma onderzoeken Roland Duong, Teun van de Keuken en Andrea van Pol of de Nederlandse burger nog iets te zeggen heeft over zijn land. Deze eerste aflevering van het nieuwe seizoen had het thema ‘De Corporatiedirecteur’ en ging over het cowboygedrag van corporatiedirecteuren, hun ambities en hun salarissen. Tientallen woningbouwcorporaties dreigen om te vallen omdat hun directeuren, vaak met de beste bedoelingen, veel te veel risico’s namen. Hoe konden ze zo massaal uit de bocht vliegen? Bekijk de aflevering hierboven.

Invitation – The Banality of Good

Wouter Vanstiphout’s office ‘Crimson Architectural Historians’ has been invited to present its research work at the 13th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia. Their exhibition is titled ‘The Banality of Good: Six decades of New Towns, Architects, Money and Politics’. Central question in the exhibition is: can the design of New Towns again be a subject of collective pride to architects and not of professional shame like it seems to be now? ‘Banality’ is unavoidable when building for the life of millions. But instead of the banality of the icon, the banality of wealth or… Read More

Euro Vegas

You know what they say ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. Well, not if it’s up to Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands. The 78-year-old billionaire and casino tycoon is planning to export a bit of Vegas to Spain. Actually, quite a bit. The complete  project -dubbed Euro Vegas- should finally contain 12 hotels, 6 casinos, 9 theaters and 3 golf courses. Total estimated costs: 21 Billion dollars. The construction is planned in three phases, spread over 9 years. Each of the phases would see 4 resorts and 2 casinos being built, with each resort costing between €1.9 and… Read More

Machines For Living

A few days ago we received a facebook message from the London based theater maker David Ralfe, telling us that the Blame the Architect lecture series served as the basis for their newest show ‘Machines For Living’ The play is about two architects -who fell in love over their mutual adoration of concrete- that move into the tower block they have designed. Although the design tried to encourage kinship and social harmony, the building slowly degenerates and they get the blame (sounds familiar). Trough dark humor and smart performance techniques Machines for Living explores the legacy of Britain’s tower blocks. In… Read More

Wouter Vanstiphout on David Harvey’s Rebel Cities

Yesterday, the Dutch newspaper NRC published Wouter Vanstiphout’s Book review on David Harvey’s Rebel Cities – From The Right to The City to The Urban Revolution. In his book, Harvey brings occupy demonstrations against the financial sector in New York, London and Amsterdam in connection with the bloody struggle for democracy in Tunesië, Libya and Egypte and the recent riots in Paris and London. But is he right when he sees all urban uprisings as an attack on predatory capitalism? Read the full text here (pdf, in dutch only). Source: www.nrc.nl

Court order prevents BBC from broadcasting film about riots

Yesterday, a court order prevented the BBC from broadcasting a movie about the experiences of rioters during last summer’s UK riots, just hours before it was scheduled. The film was a dramatisation based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder. In the days after the riots the media erupted with politicians and commentators discussing what had happened and why, but nobody was hearing from the people directly involved in the disorder to find out what they had to say about their behaviour. Why had they acted like they did?… Read More

The Red Road experiment

  On the 10th of June, a controlled explosion brought down the first of Glasgow’s Red Road housing estate. The demolition of this 25-storey epic structure marked the beginning of the end of Britain’s most controversial housing development. Another modernist experiment that turned from utopia into dystopia: the British Pruitt-Igoe. Designed by architect Sam Bunton, the estate was completed in 1969 as part of extensive urban regeneration plans to fight the cities housing shortage. Initially, the plans were quite modest, but as the city embraced high-rise living as a quick and cheap solution, the project turned into something of an… Read More

Wouter Vanstiphout and IABR @ GRAZEN#11

The Dutch art and culture website, grazen.nl made a video report about the 5th IABR: Making city. The movie contains interviews with  Wouter Vanstiphout, Joachim Declerck (IABR) and Elma van Boxel & Kristian Koreman (ZUS) about the state and future of urban planning. It also shows nice footage of our exhibition in the Hofbogen, the main exhibition in the NAI and the Test Site in het Schieblock. Still haven’t seen our exhibition? Pass by the Mini Mall (former station Hofplein) between 12:00 and 17:00hrs. We are open from Wednesday until Saturday, but be quick: the exhibition will only run for… Read More

Civil Disobedient for more Public Space

Last Sunday, residents of Brussels took the street. This time not to protest against capitalism, budget cuts or privacy issues, but to demand more public space, room for pedestrians and bicycle lanes. With a picnic on one of the central avenues, they blocked car traffic for a couple of hours. The initiative came from philosopher Philippe Van Parijs (professor at the university of Louvain-la-Neuve and Oxford), who was frustrated by the poor quality of public space and the dominance of car traffic in the city center.  Inspired by a sit-down protest hold in the early 1970 to ban cars from… Read More