We at Design as Politics love New Towns – urbanism rarely gets more visibly political than when governments start planning entirely new cities. Also, operating in the DMZ between policy and design ourselves, we like interdisciplinarity very much. If you combine these two, you get a new INTI lecture series which will be held in the spring 2012 semester at both the University of Amsterdam and the TU Delft. I you’re a student of either university – or another one for that matter – and you got some (read: 10) ECTS to tackle next semester, do enroll asap: the program… Read More

Yes! Another lecture! And more tips on how to waste time on the youtubes! This week: the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot in London. Extra interesting because of the recent London riots – about which much, much more very soon. For now, lots of grainy VHS-format fun below. The first half of the 80’s were somewhat of a riotous period in the UK: the Broadwater Farm incidents were part of a larger series of uprisings. See for instance John Akomfrah’s Handsworth Songs (part 1,2,3,4), documenting racial tensions leading up to a series of riots in Handsworth, Birmingham (Wouter Vanstiphout’s favourite reggae band… Read More

Has the hunger for freedom and democracy of the late seventies and eighties in Barcelona abdicated in favor of the omnipresent unquestionable western neoliberal city model? Or are the catalan urban planners still feisty? Rebels or private lobbyists? What is the Barcelona Model? Was it over after the ’92 Olympics that “put the city on the map” or is it still operative today? Was it an instant-success short term formula or does it have more layering, deeper fingers on the the shaping of the city? For better or for worse? Josep Maria Montaner (alert: in order to understand Spanish wikipedia articles… Read More

„Architecten willen heel graag de samenleving vormgeven. Dat had ik ook.” Fascinerend: Fleur Agema (hier 24 uur opgesloten in een ruimte met Wilfried de Jong), kamerlid voor de PVV en secondant van Geert Wilders, genoot een architectonische opleiding. Op de Academie van Bouwkunst te Amsterdam. Ze werkte een tijdje bij een ontwerpbureau (waar lijkt onduidelijk, en wij doen uiteraard niet aan speculatie), maar een zenuwaandoening dwong haar een carrièrestap te maken: de ontwerpster werd politica. Mevrouw Agema studeerde af met een ontwerp voor een gevangenis (pas op: Joop.nl, dus wellicht niet geheel ongekleurd). Een gevangenis met een zeer precies georkestreerd leer- en… Read More

This post accompanies part two of the Blame the Architect lecture series. This week we’ll discuss the 1967 Race Riots in Detroit; extra material for those who are interested or otherwise unoccupied can be found below. Firstly, please watch this before you do anything else Detroit-related: it’s made by Julien Temple and it’s an absolutely brilliant (8.0 says IMDB)  portrait of present-day Detroit. Yes, that’s a dodgy looking Russian website we refer you to, but unfortunately the documentary is pretty hard to find (or buy, for that matter). For those who like their documentaries sponsored by a shoe brand and featuring… Read More

The coming months, we will be posting links to movies, writings and/or obscure websites that are (at least vaguely) related to that week’s Blame the Architect lecture subject (see post below for the program) – a lecture appendix so to speak. Since this week’s lecture is a general introduction to the theme of the series and the course assignment, here is some stuff on riots in general (part one and two). As for the assignment: enrolled students are asked to make a short, YouTube-uploadable video documenting their own fictional riot. Time to dive into the world of amateur directors, gonzo journalism… Read More

Starting tomorrow, the Blame the Architect lecture series will be held again at the faculty of architecture in Delft. The lectures are open to all, so please do attend! See our youtube channel for last year’s lectures – but, as with concerts of your favourite band, nothing beats having been there in person of course. It is encouraged to attend all lectures in full riot gear.

For those who are in London this Friday, like to get up early and enjoy discussing urban violence, the NLA is hosting the perfect breakfast talk. Wouter Vanstiphout will be there giving an introductory lecture. Attendance is free – but you do need to register.

Let’s do some more reflective reading! The Evening Standard had Kieran Long interview professor Wouter Vanstiphout – in a rather comprehensible fashion. What now for the regeneration of London? Ellis Woodman and The Guardian’s Dave Hill have a go at Vanstiphout’s article on bdonline.co.uk (which has a whole section devoted to the riots on its front page). While not adding much to the debate in terms of word count, Hill does put things in a more ‘British’ framework –  sparking a more than decent  24-reply discussion (definitely for internet standards); the obligatory call for riot police with bayonets is in there somewhere too…. Read More

London has had an interesting music scene for the past three million years – but what better time to check up on current affairs in underground music land than right after the city has been partially burnt down by rioters? Thank God for the Guardian. Do read the comments, as well.