Designing inclusive cities

A couple of weeks ago Hassnae Bouazza gave an inspiring lecture at Delft University of Technology as part of the Design as Politics lecture series. In her lecture she connected social issues of emancipation, Islam and feminism to architecture and urban planning, from the inside out. Recordings of the lectures can be found here, but you can now also read the full text of the lecture at frontaalnaakt. Designing inclusive cities by Hassnae Bouazza Shahira Fahmy was a young and influential Egyptian architect before choosing acting as a career. She now stars alongside Isabelle Hupert in Claire’s Camera, directed by… Read More

Bersih 4: Street Protests as a Form of City Making

Cities and architecture are not devoid of politics. Produced and governed through political processes, they often become the canvas upon which power is mapped. But this can also backfire. A square, designed to provide the setting for showing off the architectural grandeur of an institution, often becomes the very place where the populace gathers to protest directly against the powers that be. Written by design as Politics PhD Candidate Nural Azlan, originally published on amateurcities.com In the same way that power is represented through the urban form, the occupation of iconic urban spaces directly challenges the power structure by contesting… Read More

Design as Politics Lectures: What Design can do About…

Recently we started a new lecture series in Delft, raising the question what design can do about some of the mayor issues that dominate the social-political debate these days. Following the format of so-called confrontation lectures we’ll discuss urbanism and architecture in relation to Finance, Welfare, Emancipation, Safety, Democracy and Migration, together with our students and a non-architectural expert, opinion maker, journalist or politician. Each lecture starts with and introduction by Design as Politics’ Professor Wouter Vanstiphout, followed by a statement by a special guest speaker. Subsequently an architecture student or PhD candidate is asked to respond to kick off… Read More

International Social Housing Festival: Migration and mobility in cities in the West

As part of the International Social Housing Festival, Crimson Architectural Historians and the ISHF research team are collectively organizing an event about Migration and mobility in cities in the West. All over the world, cities are challenged to accommodate newcomers. This not only contributes to the current refugee crisis in Europe, but also to the preexisting urgent need for temporary accommodation for migrant workers and an increasing demand for flexible housing. Our cities are increasingly defined by the dynamics of temporary inhabitants: expats, refugees, international students, and migrant workers moving in and out. The influx of individuals to cities is expected to be… Read More

AirportCity or #FortEU: Workshop with FailedArchitecture

In December we asked Michiel van Iersel, Rene Boer and Mark Minkjan of the research collective Failed architecture to organize a workshop for our graduation students taking part in the studio  ‘A City of Comings and Goings’. They came with the idea to focus this workshop on the border landscape of Schiphol Airport, the main hub for migration to and from The Netherlands. Together with the Rotterdam Harbor, Schiphol is one of the ‘mainports’ of the Netherlands. Since its origins, exactly one hundred years ago, the airport has become one of the leading aviation hubs in the world. Almost operating… Read More

Workshop: Democratic integration in Feijenoord, Rotterdam

As part of the graduation studio ‘A City of Comings and Goings – Designing for Migration and Mobility’ a workshop was organized by Design as Politics PhD candidates Nurul Azlan and Els Leclercq about political and democratic integration of inhabitants with a migrant background in the neighbourhood Feijenoord in Rotterdam-South. Just as in many European countries, the influx of refugees in the Netherlands is a prominent issue in the social-political debate. Opponents often refer to the failed integration of migrants who came to the country in the ‘60’s, of mostly Moroccan and Turkish origin. The long-term impact of inhabitants with… Read More

Research on Design and Legislation

The past few months our chair has been intensively working on a research concerning one of the biggest legislative changes in Dutch history. All the laws concerning the (built) environment, twenty-four in total, will be merged into one overarching environmental planning law (‘de omgevingswet’). Let alone the extensive legislative consequences, this system change will undoubtably impact the way that cities are designed and planned in the Netherlands. The notion of change for Dutch planning and design has been the start of our investigation. In a series of interviews researcher Jelte Boeijenga and research-assistent Nina Bohm tried to find answers to… Read More

Symposium: We Care a Lot!

On the 15th of March we presented our research for the Chief Government Architect on elderly care and aging in Dutch neighborhoods to a group of policy makers, researchers and architects during the symposium ‘We Care a Lot.’ Here’s a report of the day ( in Dutch) by Design as Politics’ Mike Emmerik and Architecture student Hedwig van der Linden. Wat is de relatie tussen zorg en verstedelijking en de sociale functie van het verzorgingshuis als ontmoetingsplaats voor de hele buurt? Een interdisciplinair team van studenten en onderzoekers van de TU Delft, medewerkers van het International New Town Institute en… Read More

Design and the new Environment & planning Act

We recently started a brand new research project together with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Throughout the coming months we will be exploring the relationship between the new Environment & planning Act (de Omgevingswet) and architectural/urban design. This new law takes effect in 2018 and will incorporate 4700 articles, 120 general orders in council and 120 ministerial regulations into 1 planning law, 4 general orders in council and 10 ministerial regulations. The aim of this immense operation is to make the decision-making process around spatial interventions more straight forward en efficient. At the same time it responds… Read More

Nurul Azlan Reports from Kuala Lumpur

Image of Bersih 4 in Kuala Lumpur. Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini. (This text was originally published on the Global Urban Lab blog). The tension is palpable. It is the morning of August 29th, 2015, and I am peering out the window of my hotel room in central Kuala Lumpur for last minute clues. I have two shirts laid out on the bed, one checkered with yellow and dark blue, and the other is plain black. At the corner of the bed is the yellow Bersih t-shirt I bought after the ‘Your Rights and the Police’ talk I attended a few… Read More