Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design

If you happen to be in New York between now and March 25th, make sure you check out the MoMA exhibition: 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design The political potential of architecture was one of the founding credos of the avant-garde in the early 20th century. Yet today it is commonly believed that this potential has been overwhelmed by economic realities and by the sense that architecture, by its very nature, is symbiotic with existing power structures. Such a perception, however, is belied both by the rise of a… 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.

DasP Summer Stories: ‘Prora’ in Rügen, Germany

In addition to the standard vacation destinations with palm trees, white beaches and romantic cities, there are some amazing alternatives where only few people go. DasP will take you this summer on a journey around the world to abandoned, dilapidated and forgotten places with a great story. This time: Hitler’s vacation camp ‘Prora’ on the island of Rügen, Germany. Back in 1936, at the height of his power, Hitler started building a massive beach resort with 10,000 sea-view rooms to provide a vacation getaway for German workers and spread propaganda about the superiority of German culture and the Nazi regime…. Read More

Rotterdam Organorama

De wandschildering van Rotterdam, die te zien was tijdens onze IABR tentoonstelling in de Mini Mall, is gepubliceerd in de meest recente uitgave (3/2012 ) van S+RO. Dit is de begeleidende tekst: ‘Deze stad wil men helpen, maar dan liefst om zeep,’ zong Raymond van het Groenewoud over het Brussel van de jaren zeventig.’ Het lijkt nu te gelden voor Rotterdam. Hoofdstad van de architectuur, de wereldhaven, Nederlands enige metropool. Ooit platgebombardeerd en vanuit het niets weder opgebouwd, werd deze stad een symbool van de macht van bestuurder en ontwerper Een symbool waarin die twee als allerlaatsten nog steeds geloven…. 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

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

Vrijdagmiddagkaffee: Wouter Vanstiphout en Mark Ritsema

Deze vrijdag zal Wouter Vanstiphout optreden als gastprogrammeur voor het ‘vrijdagmiddagkaffee‘, dat iedere week in het Schieblock wordt gehouden. Het thema voor komende vrijdag is (hoe kan het ook anders) Design as Politics en zal ingaan op de dreigende teloorgang van Rotterdam en al het moois en nieuws dat uit een stad in crisis kan voortkomen. Onder het genot van een drankje zal worden terug gekeken op het Rotterdam van de jaren 80, waarin de toenmalige crisis een incubator bleek te zijn voor een unieke stadscultuur. Dit zal geplaatst worden in het perspectief van de (nabije)toekomst waarin de economie stil… 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

Geopolitics by Leopold Kohr

There seems to be only one cause behind all forms of social misery: bigness. At least, that’s what the Austrian philosopher –and convinced anarchist- Leopold Kohr (1909-1994) believed after witnessing the Spanish Civil war and fleeing Austria after the Nazi takeover in 1938. In his book ‘The breakdown of Nations’ (1957), he argued that geographical size not only influences how countries see themselves, but more important: how they interact. As Kohr saw it, the problem with Europe’s geopolitical situation was the fact that its states were not equal in size, allowing the ‘big ones’ to dominate the rest, ‘the dose… Read More