On Sunday, June 20, 1943, on Belle Isle, an island in the Detroit River an argument between a white and a black man turned into a fist fight and finally erupted into a full blown riot. Thirty hours later, 25 black and 9 white people had been killed. In order to prevent such violence from happening again, a study into cause and preventive factors was conducted by Earl Brown of the Public Affairs Committee, a non profit educational organization. Here a pictogram from his book ‘Why Race Riots? : Lessons from Detroit’ on how to lessen racial tension. 23 years… Read More

Starting November 15th: Blame The Architect, a lecture series by Wouter Vanstiphout on the relationship between riots and the urban environment. In six one-hour lectures, addressing four different incidents of large-scale rioting in as many cities, an attempt will be made to dissect the complicated mix of social, economical and urban factors that all play a role in the buildup towards riots. See the poster below for dates and locations, and elsewhere on this website for a more extensive introduction on the topic.

Community Power missing in Chinese New Towns. The Law of unforeseen planning. Cities of Zion in the American West. Next month the International New Town Institute, in collaboration with the Han Lammers research chair (University of Amsterdam) and the chair of Design as Politics (Delft University of Technology – that would be us), is organizing a two-day conference around the notion of the New Town as a(n ultimate) political tool. Aptly named ‘New Towns & Politics‘, the conference will feature a number of established international speakers who will reflect on the global phenomenon that is the New Town and local… Read More

“You are about to witness the very exciting story of a city, and its people.” Two documentaries (and one conservative stand-up comedian) that shed different lights on the phenomenon that is Detroit. Requiem for Detroit boldly goes where British Broadcasters have gone many times before, summarizing the city’s history in just over an hour of documentarian greatness. The BBC does what the BBC does best – even most youtubers seem to approve. However, one Australian urges everyone to watch this in the comments: Twitter-republican and Fox News-columnist Steven Crowder blames 30 years of leftist policies, overinvolvement by the government and worker unions for… Read More

In the first half of the 1980’s a number of British suburbs were the scene of a series of uprisings. Fueled by a dissatisfaction among mainly immigrant residents, and oftentimes ignited by incidents of (allegedly) racist abuse by the police, the riots (the inquiry into the 1985 riot in Broadwater Farm, Tottenham, avoids the term and speaks of ‘disturbances’) signaled the end of an era of social modernist experimentation that led to the construction of a large number of housing estates all around the country. Not very surprisingly, the estates were also heavily criticized in less violent ways during that… Read More

You too can have your own state or nation! A Micronation that could appear in the Lonely Planet Guide. According to the Montevideo Convention (1933) the criteria for statehood is: The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Any entity that meets these criteria can be regarded as a sovereign state under international law. The Principality of Sealand, next to the south-east coast of the UK, claims to be a independent sovereign state. Constructed… Read More

Omdat visualisaties geweldig zijn hier een grafisch-geografische representatie van het politieke klimaat in Nederland. Afgezet tegen de landelijke uitkomsten (en gebaseerd op het systeem van de  stemwijzer) is per gemeente bekeken hoe zeer het lokale kiesgedrag afwijkt van het landelijk gemiddelde – meer uitleg over het gehanteerde systeem is wellicht handig. Eerste conclusies? Inwoners van de grote steden zijn te vinden aan de links-progressieve kant van het spectrum, Etten-Leur is voor verkiezingsuitslagen wat Haarlem is voor dialecten , en Urk had misschien wel een eiland moeten blijven.

Yesterday, Wouter Vanstiphout was interviewed by VPRO’s radio program ‘De Avonden’. Main topic was his role as a professor at the Delft University of Technology – and that of the chair of Design and Politics as a whole. For those who missed the broadcast, the episode of ‘De Avonden’ (also starring a Jewish-Russian dancer and the developer of the iHobo) can be found here. Dutch only – unfortunately.

From the era of VHS-tapes and terrible house music: one hour of Bijlmer-criticism in handy documentary format. Starring Pi de Bruijn, Wouter Vanstiphout, Ashok Bhalotra and others, the initial utopianism and following social disappointment that is the Bijlmer are being dissected – multi-culturalism, social segregation and how to deal with unwanted side-effects of backfiring utopianism are main topics of discussion. As relevant as it ever was it seems..

Reminder: the INTI Call for Papers deadline is coming up in two weeks: time to get over your writer’s block and spend some time holding a pen – or a laptop, if you’re one of those fancier types. More info here.