The Design as politics team is very proud to announce our 2014/2015 TU Delft Master graduation Studio: New Utopias on the Ruins of the Welfare State.
During this studio, we will try to find the utopian thinking that comes up when old orders collapse. We are living in an age where nation states seem to become weaker and weaker, under the influence of privatisation, localism but also of globalisation and supra-national politics like that of the European Union. Countries seem to be both falling apart in small fragments as well as being dissolved into huge global networks.
Architecture and Urbanism have for a long time been dependent on the nation state. We cannot imagine doing without a strong government and huge public investments for developing housing projects and public buildings, or for designing huge and even utopian visions for new cities and regions. Architecture and planning are starting to lose their traditional role and authority to represent the nation.
But is this a bad thing? Can we imagine a world without the state? Can we imagine architecture and planning without public authority? Can we imagine a purely community based design? Now that we see the structures and certainties of the twentieth century crumbling around us, the new ideas are coming from small, autonomous even anarchistic communities and initiatives. Here we find the imagination of new societies: on the ruins of the welfare state.
Utopian thinking and design happens when you imagine what to do when forced to start all over again. With this studio we ask students to imagine their ideal small community, as a radical alternative to the large systems that we are living in but that cannot function much longer. After painting their ideal utopian community, the students are asked to develop plausible ways of realizing them. All scales are allowed, all ideologies are allowed, all levels of realism are allowed, as long they are consistent, imaginative and relevant to the problems our cities and regions are facing right now.
New Utopias on the Ruins of the Welfare State, will offer an intense Msc3 and Msc4 studio, that offers great freedom in defining and developing your own idea, but also collective workshops and lectures by specialists in the fields of architecture, planning, philosophy, art and politics.
How to apply?
If you are an architecture or an urbanism student at Delft University of Technology, willing and able to dedicate yourself to a studio that is at once rigorous and experimental, freethinking and super-pragmatic, individualist yet with a strong team spirit, then send us an email describing your utopian community and your motivation to join this studio (max. 1,5 A4 / 600 words), and include some examples of your previous writings and designs before May 7th 2014.