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

Design as Politics PhD Nurul Azlan in IIAS newsletter

Design as Politics’ PhD candidate Nurul Azlan wrote an interesting article in the Newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) about protest and public space in Kuala Lumpur. Read it here below: ‘Mansuh! Mansuh! Akta Hasutan!’ (Repeal! Repeal! The Sedition Act!) chanted the lawyers marching towards the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 16 October 2014. This protest, organised by the Bar Council, was one of the latest events since the 2007 Bersih rally kick-started a renewed protest culture in Malaysia. Most of these protests happened in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, even though since 1998, most government… Read More

Planning for Protest

If you are planning to visit the Lisbon Architecture Triennale this autumn, make sure you don’t miss the exhibition Planning for Protest – exploring both the social and the architectural definitions of protest by taking a closer look at how public spaces shape both the physical and psychological backdrop of these public events. Organised by Ben Allen, James Bae, Ricardo Gomes, Shannon Harvey and Adam Michaels, 12 architectural offices in 12 cities across the globe have examined the role of architecture in shaping, defining, or limiting the flow of protest within their respective cities. Each contributor rendered eight drawings exploring… 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.

Gezi Park – Istanbul

For the past few days, the citizens of Istanbul have been protesting against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park – one of the few remaining green areas in the center of Istanbul. According to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) under leadership of Erdogan, the park has to be demolished for a large shopping mall and the reconstruction of military barracks under the ‘Lost Heritage Recreation Project, which was established to reproduce the Ottoman identity in the city. Hundreds of people have gathered in the park, design by the French architect Henri Prost, which was constructed in the 1940’s after… Read More

Design as Politics Exhibition @ BK City

From May 22nd until June 13th, the Design as Politics exhibition which was developed within the framework of the 5th IABR: Making city, will be shown on various locations within the TU Delft, faculty of Architecture. Pass by if you’re around! Design as Politics Architecture is politics. Why? Because the city is politics. The city is the place where money, power, business, culture, religion and leisure come together, each fighting for primacy. The exhibition ‘Design as Politics’ shows these fights through spectacular three-dimensional images. They show how an entire district was sacrificed for a beautiful project, how bringing the Olympics to… Read More

Wouter Vanstiphout @ Strelka Talks

A few weeks ago, Wouter Vanstiphout was asked to speak for ‘Strelka Talks’ – a cool new initiative by the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, for which they invite speakers from various field for a 30 minute video talk on “critically important topics concerning contemporary cities and urban development.” Wouters gave a talk under the name “Damn the Masters’ Plan!”, based on our blame the architect lecture series where he analyses the complex correlation between certain types of urban development and the deeply rooted discontent of the citizens. Check it out! The Strelka Talks are curated by Anastassia… 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

NRC en de Soundtrack bij de Rellen

Gister (3mei) in het Cultureel Supplement ‘Kunst en politiek’ van het NRC Handelsblad en vandaag (4mei) in de NRC NEXT:  een twee pagina groot artikel van Bernard Hulsman over de tentoonstelling Design as Politics! Het stuk gaat voornamelijk in op het verhaal achter de driedimensionale collages met als centraal thema de relatie tussen popmuziek en stadsrellen.  Van de punkband The EX tijdens de Amsterdamse krakersrellen via NWA’s Fuck the Police en de LA Riots naar Ill manors en de Britse rellen van vorig jaar. Interessant voor zowel de architecten als de muziekliefhebbers onder ons (liefst beide). Check it out!

Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots

Who has seen our lectures knows that Design as Politics is -just as Reyner Banham and Charles Jencks– fascinated by Los Angeles. The movies, the glamour, its rap culture and of course the Riots. Now 20 years after the violent uprising that was triggered by the savage beating of Rodney King, filmmaker and former CNN staffer Mark Ford (known from his doc about N.W.A.) released the movie Uprising: Hip Hop & the LA Riots. The film –narrated by the one and only Snoop Dogg- revisits the riots in gripping detail and documents how hip hop forecasted –some say ignited– the worst… Read More