Els Leclercq and Marta Relats at Randstad Research Seminar Series #12

Advances in Doctoral ResearchDesign as Politics’ PhD candidates Marta Relats and Els Leclercq are presenting their research tomorrow 12 December at the Randstad Research Seminar Series #12: Advances in Doctoral Research.

Marta’s research ‘Pockets of reindustrialization in Europe: Regional planning and urban design impacts’ aims to investigate how to place the industry in the territory of western industrialised countries, in the foreground of a recovered interest in manufacture. The main hypothesis of her study is that design can contribute to two main societal goals at stake in today’s situation: one, the successful evolutionary breakthrough of the industry so that it is competitive, innovative and efficient. Two, that its placement signifies a quality increase of the whole environment it is set in, the physical and the social, henceforth political. It includes, among others, the comeback of manufacturing, reshoring, welfare paternalistic industrialist models, industrial and scientific parks, periurbanization, infrastructure and factory architecture”.

Els responds in her research ‘The perception of the user on the privatisation of urban space’ to the shift of responsibilities that were formerly regarded as seen as public, from local government to the private sector, public private partnerships or to individuals. Many examples can be seen throughout the Western world whereby maintenance is outsourced to private companies or to a group of local residents, and even cases whereby originally public spaces have turned into private hands. The gap that has been left by a retreating local government, with the emphasis on a more facilitating role rather than a leading role, is being filled with the arrival of private interests in all facets of the production of public space. This research analyses the public – private divide in three case studies in Liverpool in three different ways: from the producers, from the consumers (the users) and from the independent designer’s point of view.

The Seminar takes place on Friday 12 December from 12:30 – 14:00 in the Hugo Priemuszaal at OTB Building (Jaffalaan 9, Delft). Els Leclercq and Marta Relats are PhD candidates at the Chair of Design as Politics at the TU Delft Urbanism Department. Their promoter is Wouter Vanstiphout, and their daily supervisors are Dorina Pojani and John Heintz respectively