Wouter Vanstiphout at the 9th World in Denmark conference


Wouter Vanstiphout will be a keynote speaker at the ‘9th World in Denmark conference – HERE COMES THE SUN…’, coming Friday 21/06 at the Copenhagen University.

The 9th World in Denmark conference sets out to explore possible futures of the post-war city’s open spaces as an essential constituent element of urban development for the welfare state as experienced in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. However, the ideological foundations of the welfare state – in terms of conceptions of democracy, health and equality – are ever changing.

From the 1920s onwards, open spaces became the goal and the means of a dream on a sunlit, healthy city inhabited by open-air mankind. Despite the radical 1945-shift in attitude towards nature from being an ideal to something unreliable – provoked by the war experiences – the dreams of a collective society associated with the open spaces were partly realized in the post-war massive urban expansions; in their infrastructural networks, institutions, suburban housing complexes and residential neighbourhoods including all their open spaces. They also mirrored the social democratic ideal of the society as a provider of universal, recreational goods in bringing together planning, architecture and social policy.

Today, our belief in universal common goods is replaced by a discussion of the possible future relationships between the society and the individual and the possibilities and probabilities for negotiation of various traditions, needs and resources available. The conference invites designers and planners of open space to recapture and perhaps reinvent the idea of ‘the collective’ … to think of how this good can be reflected in the open spaces that we share. How can we imagine their function, use and designation, their ethics and aesthetics? What are our architectural and theoretical visions for the development of future collective open spaces in the post war city?