A City of Comings and Goings

Throughout the coming months Design as Politics is hosting a series of seminars around ‘the spatial dimensions of migration’ at the Berlage – Center for advanced studies in Architecture and Urban Design. At the first seminar, we looked at migration, the trajectories and in-between-stations of the students themselves, who came from all around the world to study at the Berlage. During the next sessions we will continue exploring the different facets of migration, seen through the eyes of various groups of people: from the refugees trying to find a better future for their kids, to the exchange student that decided… Read More

Design and the new Environment & planning Act

We recently started a brand new research project together with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Throughout the coming months we will be exploring the relationship between the new Environment & planning Act (de Omgevingswet) and architectural/urban design. This new law takes effect in 2018 and will incorporate 4700 articles, 120 general orders in council and 120 ministerial regulations into 1 planning law, 4 general orders in council and 10 ministerial regulations. The aim of this immense operation is to make the decision-making process around spatial interventions more straight forward en efficient. At the same time it responds… Read More

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

A City of Comings and Goings – E-Publication

Click on image to open publication We’ve got a brand new Design as Politics E-publication for you! A City of Comings and Goings – about the spatial implications of migration. In this publication, originally written for the Dutch urban design magazine De Blauwe Kamer, Wouter Vanstiphout and Michelle Provoost discuss that the way we deal with the current refugee crisis and the locations on which we house those that seek refuge, reveals a wider problem concerning the flexibility and absorption capacity of our cities. They argue that by isolating the refugee crisis we deny the fact that migration has become… Read More

Lets Work! Da Lang Fever 2.0

In the Fall of 2015 the Design as Politics graduation Studio ‘Lets Work!’ visited the Chinese City of Shenzhen on a factfinding excursion. Part of our visit was focused on Da Lang  – a migrant neighborhood in the north of the city. The International New Town Institute, who is working in Da Lang for many years, helped us to set up an amazing program. In order to  thank them for their great efforts, we made this poster as an virtual addition to INTI’s contribution to the Shenzhen Biennale titled: Da Lang Fever 2.0, which is focused on the transformation of… Read More

A debate about the future of Rotterdam

Design as Politics professor Wouter Vanstiphout will join the debate ‘Roterdam, the neverending story’ on Thursday (21 Jan) at 20.00. Together with Zihni Özdil he will respond to an essay by Paul van der Laar, Eeva Liukku and Jacques Börger about the future of Rotterdam. “Rotterdam is a cold, unfriendly, ugly and sombre city.” This is what inhabitants told social psychologist Rob Wentholt about Rotterdam in 1968. Wentholt researched the reconstruction of the city after the Second World War and the perception of inhabitants about the city centre. He interviewed people from different neighbourhoods and presented his work in the… Read More

A Different Approach To Migration: Riace

While many European countries, cities and villages are discussing how to solve the ‘migrant crisis’, the rural village of Riace in the South of Italy has found its own way to turn the influx of immigrants and refugees to revive their shrinking village. We at Design as Politics wonder what other places in Europe can learn from the approach in Riace? Why are migrants for example not located in areas where work is available? Can we deal with the refugee crisis not only as an isolated problem, but also as a far more widespread phenomenon? And can we think of… Read More

New Towns Elective Course 2016: Havana Open City

We are very happy to announce that our New Towns elective course in collaboration with the International New Towns Institute will start again in April 2016!  In this special edition, we’ll be focusing on Havana, the capital of Cuba. Enrollment for this course starts next Monday, 23 November. Havana is a city at the cusp of enormous change; the communist government is gradually opening up its economic system, while the United States are relaxing their boycott. This means that one of the most beautiful historic cities, with one of the most spectacular positions around a deepwater bay on the Caribbean,… Read More

Real Architectural Solutions For Health Care In Dutch Neighbourhoods

Humanitas, a nursing home in Deventer, the Netherlands, accepts local students to live in their home for free, under one condition: the group of students must spent 30 hours each month with (some of) the 160 senior residents. The project aims to create positive social interactions, beneficial to all inhabitants of Humanitas, both students and elderly. By doing this, Humanitas intends to improve the liveability and ‘community feeling’ of the residents of the nursing home and neighbourhood. According to Humanitas managing director, Gea Sijpkes, ‘students bring the outside world in’. Today, a trend of decentralizing healthcare can be recognized. Budget… Read More

Who Builds Your Architecture?

While looking at work in relation to architecture at this year’s theme of the Design as Politics graduation studio, we of course came across the fuss again about Zaha Hadid’s Quatar World Cup Stadium. Even more interesting is that the debate that arose around this project, triggered Laura Diamond Dixit, Tiffany Rattray, and Lindsey Lee to focus their contribution to the Istanbul Design Biennale on migratory paths of workers as well as working processes in design and construction. In 2014 many people disagreed with the comments of star-architect Zaha Hadid on the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar. It was… Read More