Methods and Analysis

News

  • (SPACE ± TIME) NARRATIVE

    Seminar on narrative perception within architectural design

    Thursday March 30th, Faculty of Architecture TU Delft, Room B

    14:30 opening seminar & book presentation Writingplace - Klaske Havik

    14:50 lecture Narrative as an Educational Approach - Wim van den Bergh

    15:50 break

    16:00 lecture Learning from Stories: Narrative Imagination - Bart Keunen

    17:00 discussion 

     

    For more information about the book see Writingplace website and nai010 publishers

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  • ENTANGLED SPACES

    presentation and pop-up exhibition of the magazine "Život Umjetnosti" by Nikola Bojić, researcher at MIT Cambridge and IPU Zagreb.

    14 February 2017

    BK City, Expo - first floor

     

    Opening notes: Tom Avermaete, Chair of Methods and Analysis
    Moderator: Armina Pilav, post doc researcher at Chair of Methods and Analyisis

    Nikola decided to initiate a conversation with us by posing two questions:

    How can a built project take a book form and how can a book unfold into a new spatial setting?

    What are the social consequences and political underpinnings of a continuous entanglement between design speculation, writing and curating?


    In his lecture, Nikola will present The Sinking Gardens urban intervention built in XiXi park in Hangzhou, China (co-authored with Alan Waxman). The intervention dealt with gentrification and new social ecologies triggered by uncontrolled urbanization. The design logic emerged out of the Sinking Gardens was later used as an editorial principle for the book Excavations, and translated into a curatorial layout of the magazine Život Umjetnosti (96th issue - From Territory to Specific Site). The magazine featured 11 maps, including works of Santiago Sierra and researchers from the Harvard GSD Urban Theory Lab.

    The participants of the first event in the Transitional architectures series will be invited to engage in the discussion with the guest speaker and see the exhibition of maps and publications.

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    Nikola Bojić’s work looks into the modes of spatial production across multiple scales and thematic registers. Engaged in the political, social and technological mechanisms running behind various spatial phenomena, his works range from theoretical research, landscape and media interventions to critical design practice and experimental publications. His public art projects are built and performed in China, Algeria, United States and Croatia and exhibited internationally, most recently in Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and XXI Triennale di Milano. Nikola was co-teaching the Advanced Studio on the Production of Space at MIT School of Architecture and Planning (program in Art, Culture and Technology) and is currently a research assistant at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb and a research affiliate at MIT. Nikola is also a PhD candidate at the University of Split. He holds a Master degree in Art History and Museology from the University of Zagreb and a Master degree in Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

     

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  • Peer review sessions and debates

    On November 4th the research department of Architecture will invite you for the Peer review sessions with lectures and debates. 

    We have some candidates that address, in quite different ways, the social and spatial implications of certain urban processes: Paolo de Martino, Armina Pilav, Ana Chagas Cavalcanti and Supuck Prugsiganont. We also invited some interesting guest speakers.

    From 10:00 - 18:00

    Room will soon be announced

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  • Round Table Session

    The Tools of Architecture

    Architecture is becoming increasingly more multidisciplinary as a result of new commitments and challenges in the market. The interactions of today's architecture highlight the need to rethink and re-conceptualize all the tools the architect can adopt in order to both express his own abstract ideas as architectural projects and respond to the increasing complexity of our contemporary urban and societal condition. This round table examines the range of new tools that recently are introduced in the field, challenges their specific aims, means and ends. What does new instruments offer the field of architecture, and how does that affect the outcome of a design- and/or
    planning process?


    Maarten Gielen - Rotor
    Ekim Tan - Play the City
    Marcel Lok - ML_A


    September 23th, 2016
    15.00-18.00h
    Room K

    Organized by the chair of Methods&Analysis as part of the MSc1
    seminar AR1MET010 The Tools of Architecture

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  • Young Wolves NL

    Designers of the Future’s finale

    Young Wolves NL
    16.06.16

    The past 10 years the Wouter Mikmak Foundation has organized the prestigious ‘Designers of the Future’ lecture series at the faculty. For the concluding lecture, three ‘young wolves’ that practice in the Netherlands are invited: Job Floris (Monadnock), Marthijn Pool (Space&matter) and Gus Tielens (Korth Tielens). On the basis of their own recent work they will reflect upon on the many challenges that contemporary practice is facing. The afternoon will be moderated by Saskia van Stein of Bureau Europa.

    16.00 
    Introduction by Tom Avermaete

    16.30 
    Lectures by Marthijn Pool (space&matter), Gus Tielens (Korth Tielens) and Job Floris (Monadnock)

    17.30 
    Debate moderated by Saskia van Stein, Bureau Europa

    Location
    Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment,
    TU Delft, Julianalaan 134 – Oostserre

    Entrance free of charge

    www.designersofthefuture.nl

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  • On the affect of (new) tools on architectural projects and practices - Oct 30th, 2015

    Architecture is becoming increasingly more multidisciplinary as a result of new commitments and challenges in the market. The interactions of today's architecture highlight the need to profoundly analyze, rethink and re-conceptualize all the tools the architect can adopt in order to both express his own abstract ideas as architectural projects and respond to the increasing complexity of our contemporary urban and societal condition. This round table investigates new tools and methods introduced in everyday practice in order to analyze the potentialities, the limits and characteristics of their specific uses.

    The Round Table Session on 'The Tools of Architecture' is to take place Ocotber 30th 2015 in Room F from 14.00-17.00h. Participants this time are Peter Russell on BIM (Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and the Build Environment, TU Delft), Ronald Wall on geo-economical models (Head of Urban Competitiveness at the IHS, the International Institute of Urban Management of Erasmus University Rotterdam), and Ekim Tan (Principal of Play the City).  

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  • Factories and Philosophy

    Nina Rappaport in conversation with Hans Teerds and Marta Relats. Moderated by Victor M. Sanz

    Can the factory as a place of work programmatically reassert its relevance in the urban fabric with the advent of free trade, globalisation, and gentrification, making production more local? Can urban factories make cities more self-sufficient? And what would this new urban landscape with vertical factories look like urbanistically and architecturally?

    Architectural critic Nina Rappaport, publications director at Yale School of Architecture comes from New York City to Delft to tell us about her curatorship of the independent project and exhibition Vertical Urban Factory (see verticalurbanfactory.org), and will address these questions in her lecture.

    Hans Teerds will give his perspective from public space and Hannah Arendt, and Marta Relats will talk about factories, industry in relation to eudaimonia and human flourishing in a conversation with Nina. Víctor M. Sanz will moderate the afternoon from his expertise on factory architecture.

    Attendants are invited to join in on the discussion in an afternoon on factories, philosophy, and the urban environment.

    Factories and Philosophy
    Nina Rappaport in conversation with Hans Teerds & Marta Relats
    Moderated by Víctor M. Sanz
    Thursday November 5th, 17:00 – 19:00
    Berlage room 1

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  • Klaske Havik Architect of the Year 2014

    Jury benadrukt het belang van het narratieve in de architectuur

    In de door Architectenwerk georganiseerde 'verkiezing' is door de jury (Bernard Colenbrander (vz), Sylvia Pijnenborg en Ronald Rietveld) Klaske Havik benoemd tot Architect van het jaar 2014 in de categorie 'small'. In de categorie 'groot' werd TeamCS gekroond, het samenwerkingsverband van West8, Benthem Crouwel en vh Meyer&vanSchooten dat tezamen Rotterdam CS ontwerp. De jury roemde Havik's proefschrift, dat dit jaar in handelsversie op de markt kwam, uitgegeven door nai010 publishers, Urban Literacy, met name vanwege haar vermogen een brug te slaan tussen architectuur en literatuur. Op architectenweb staat een kort verslag van de presentatie. 

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  • Call for Abstracts: The Shopping Center, 1943-2013

    The Rise and Demise of a Ubiquitous Collective Architecture

    In the sixty years that have passed since Victor Gruen and Elsie Krummeck first published their essay ‘Shopping Center’ in Architectural Forum, much has been written about this peculiar commercial typology; commonly depicting the shopping centre as a capitalist, consumerist shopping machine, depleted of any of the social or communal rewards that Gruen and Krummeck had originally envisioned. As a result, shopping centres have rarely entered the canonical histories of architecture, while the North American dumbbell mall has become the paradigmatic pars pro toto. The conference 'The Shopping Center, 1943-2013, the Rise and Demise of a Ubiquitous Collective Architecture', which is due to June 11-12th 2015, aims for a more fine-grained, region-specific reading of the shopping centre, as well for a reassessment of its vital characteristics and crucial contributions to post-war built environments and architectural culture. The organizing committee calls for contributions to this conference, addressing four themes of investigation: From node to stich, Acculturating the Shopping Center, Building Collectives and Communities, and The Afterlife of Post-war Shopping Centers. Abstracts have to be submitted before March 1st, 2015. See for more information the website of the conference.    

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  • Hans Teerds' article 'Constructing Culture' re-published by The Architectural Review

    The article features in the newly launched Education Issue

    The Architectural Review has launched its first digital issue, with a dynamic website celebrating the best student design work and academic research in architecture. Hans Teerds' recently published Architecture and Culture article 'Constructing Culture' on Hannah Arendt, her notion of culture and what that might mean for the field of architecture is featured in this issue, and therefore is now publicly and freely accessible

    The Education Issue is a digital magazine designed to respond to phones, tablets, laptops and desktops to give readers an immersive experience with beautiful typography and dramatic full-screen images. The Education Issue is the first project of its kind from The Architectural Review. It brings together some of the best student design work from architectural schools around the world in the 2014 Global Architecture Graduate Awards as well as selected research papers from academic journals and specially commissioned essays from leading architectural teachers.

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  • Masterclass Architecture without Architects/Architects without Architecture

    A Campus in a Building - creative working spaces for the AMS

    Berlage post graduate students as well as participants from abroad joined forces during a Masterclass lead by Ben van Berkel and organized by the Berlage, the office of Ben van Berkel, UN Studio, and the Chair of Methods and Analysis. Central aim of the Masterclass was to investigate the changing role of the architect facing contemporary cultural and societal conditions, as well as developing designstrategies regarding the increasing importance of the working environment for the creative class. Students investigated 'new' businessmodels and organization models of companies and events like the BMW Guggenheim lab, Quirky, iversity, and so on. During the second phase of the Masterclass, these casestudies were confronted with the organization of a relative new 'creative' inititative in the city of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), the collaborative initiative between TU Delft, Wageningen Universtity and MIT. 

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  • Common Streetscapes Workshop on Coney Island

    Proto Public Space - A different approach

    Six students from the Faculty of Architecture and the Build Environment participated in a joint workshop in New York addressing pressing questions regarding the Coney Island environment during the first week of November. The workshop was organized by the chair of Methods&Analysis together with OTB, KU Leuven (The Streetscapes territories project) and the Pratt Instute, and generously supported by the Flandres House in New York and the General Consulate of The Netherlands in New York. Central theme of the workshop was the issue of 'proto-public-space', a term coined by the chair in order to investigate the challenging condition of everyday urban spaces, specifically those not yet christallized and temporal spaces that nevertheless are challenged by collective values. These spaces are regarded by the chair as being of upmost importance for the social networks beyond and beneath the urban environment, while these simultaneously are challenged by the pressing issues of the changing climate, the rise of the sea level and the increase potentiality of floodings. The students and staff were offered lectures by the team of Rebuild by Design, Deborah Gans (of Gans Studio and Professor of Architecture, Pratt Institute) and Christine Boyer (Professor of Architecture, Princeton University).   

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  • Tom Avermaete has become a member of GAHTC

    Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative, hosted by the MIT

    The GAHTC is a network of scholars committed to expanding the consciousness and reach of global history into the teaching of the History of Architecture, understood in the broadest sense to include the history of cities, landscapes and the other arts. The goal of this network is to transform architectural history discourse, which is dominated by a western perspective,, by reshaping its teaching and providing practical teaching materials for teaching global architectural history at the survey and introductory level. This effort does not preclude more advanced level education, but the main purpose of the Collaborative is to transform the discipline ‘from below’—to help shape the discourse of architectural history by reshaping its teaching at the survey level. Teaching materials produced by the GAHTC will emphasize transnational and transgeographical perspectives, providing alternatives to architectural and art history courses organized by nation-based or style-based categories such as ‘Italian’, ‘French’, ‘Chinese’ and ‘The Renaissance’.

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  • Tom Avermaete participates in the project Architecture of Independence between the Fronts

    Where the Modernism Project in Africa Has Made Its Mark.

    In history books on modern non-European architecture, the term “tropical modernism” is frequently applied to the architecture of Africa between the 1950s and 1970s. Based on formal criteria and with a focus on the climatic circumstances, “tropical modernism” refers to the synthesis of international-Western building styles and local building traditions. The project “Architecture of Independence between the Fronts – Where the Modernism Project in Africa Has Made Its Mark” attempts to redefine modern architecture in Africa. It ties into more recent research projects which explore the architectural development in Africa in the context of political spheres of influence and collaborations in the Cold War, or as instruments supporting national ideas of modernisation. The goal is to initiate a public debate on the complex history of building, usage and impact of five specific construction projects: a primary school in Maputo (Mozambique), the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife (Nigeria), the National Museum in Accra (Ghana), the New Town housing project in Zanzibar (Tanzania) and the Kwa-Thema township in Johannesburg (South Africa). With its focus on educational/cultural institutions and housing settlements, the project highlights five building types which particularly represent the national agendas of that era and their conception of the social welfare state.

    The project, directed by Regina Bittner and the South African architectural theorist Hannah Le Roux, will be comprised of five micro-exhibitions at selected venues, developed in collaboration with young international researchers and local institutions and organisations. Historic and archived documents, local stories and the examples of building usage will be interwoven in these presentations. Following this working and research process, the individual projects will be presented in a comprehensive exhibition at the Bauhaus Dessau.

    
Artistic directors: Hannah Le Roux (ZA), Regina Bittner

    Participants: Cordelia O. Osasona (NG), Wambete Soita (RW), Ayala Levin (IL), Ana Cristina dos Santos Tostoes (PT), Viviana D’Auria (BE), Tom Avermaete (NL)

     

    Schedule:

    Micro-exhibition in Accra (National Museum) 1 – 19 Apr. 2015
    Micro-exhibition in Ife (Obatemi Awolowo University) 26 Apr. – 10 May 2015
    Workshop in Zanzibar 17 – 24 May 2015
    School project in Maputo (primary school) 25 May – 7 Jun. 2015
    Neighbourhood project in the Kwa-Thema township (community center) 15 Jun. – 5 Jul. 201

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  • Chair of Methods and Analysis at Venice Biennale 2014

    The Balcony

    Tom Avermaete and the Chair Methods & Analysis are invited by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, the curator of the upcoming Venice Biennale 2014, to curate a gallery around the architectural element of ‘The Balcony’.

    The gallery is part of the main exhibition pavilion that is entitled Fundamentals and will focus on “architecture, not architects. After several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories – on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime.“ according to Koolhaas.

    Hence, the gallery curated by the Chair of Methods and Analysis can be found amidst others like  ‘the wall’, ‘the window’, ‘the stair’, ‘the floor’ and so on. Visitors will be able to experience the transparency of a modernist and the screened character of a vernacular balcony in the gallery.  In order to explore and exhibit the specific characteristics of the balcony three narrative lines will be presented.

    A first line focuses on the political role of the balcony. Visitors will be confronted with a world-wide geography of various balconies that have played a role as carriers of large political speeches (macro-political), but also as accommodators of everyday appropriations or small protests by inhabitants (micro-political).

    A second narrative will concentrate on balconies that are turning points in architectural culture. By means of full-size models the typical Haussmann balcony which articulated a bourgeois pubic sphere in Paris, will be combined with a modernist Bauhaus version and an Algerian balcony by Fernand Pouillon in which vernacular and modern definitions of the public sphere are coinciding.

    A third storyline will focus on the liminal role of the balcony. By means of photographs the gallery will illustrate how the balcony is a mediator between interior and exterior, between individual and collective, between private and public realms.

    On a whole, the balcony gallery is an invitation to contemporary architects to rethink the balcony as a full-fledged liminal architectural element, taking into consideration its spatial depth, cultural charge and experiential complexity.

    In addition to the gallery, the results of the research are presented in an essay by Tom Avermaete in the catalogue of the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture.    

     

    Curatorial team: Tom Avermaete, Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds, Jorge Mejia Hernandez, Willemijn Willems-Floet, Herman Prast, Mike Schäfer, Ivan Thung, Agniezska Batkiewicz, Antje Adriaens.

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Events

  • Transitional architectures

    Collective learning and cross media practices

    Join us on Friday 21 April 2017 | BK Expo - 17:00

    Thinking, Working and Writing with Yona Friedman

    Manuel, in conversation with Tom, will talk about his position regarding the history of architecture and the city, drawn from his research work and recently published book “Yona Friedman – The Dilution of Architecture” which he defines as a collective publishing project.

    This book is a result of the long collaboration between himself and Yona Friedman. During his long career, Yona Friedman, Hungarian-born architect, has crossed three continents, and his nine decades are marked with the tragic and exciting history of the 20th and 21st centuries. He regularly disappeared and reappeared in differing contexts and disciplines, for example from Palestine/Israel to Post-war France, or teaching different users in the US to design or redesign their spaces using the computer program “Flatwriter”, developed at MIT in 1973. He was always seen as an eccentric theorist and practitioner. In the seventies he began collaborative work with institutions, such as UN agencies, on complex territories: India, Africa and South America. Sociology, physics and poor technology are only some of the “new languages” that Friedman proposed and used to dilute architecture with ordinary people, and his colleagues’ architects. He has been in conversations with some of the most
    interesting architects of the 20th century, such as Georges Candilis, Bernard Rudofsky, Giancarlo De Carlo.

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  • TRANSITIONAL ARCHITECTURES

    Collective learning and cross media practices

    28th March, 2017, Lecture Room C, 17:00

    Chair of Methods and Analysis and Explore Lab invite you to participate on their second Transitional Architectures event and discuss about processes of collective learning and cross media practices.

    ILLUSIONS OF THE SPACE workshop on studio modelling as a collective learning and inter-scale making process by Willemijn Wilms Floet.

    Opening note: Armina Pilav, postdoctoral researcher at Chair of Methods and Analysis

    Moderator: Mark Pimlott, artist, architectural designer, writer and teacher

    The ‘Illusions of the space’ event proposes participatory exploration of the new methodological approach known as ‘The magic of a box’ that Willemijn is building experimentally with her students, using different scales and modelling materials - starting from the existing Delft tradition of Plan Analysis. In the process of dismantling and re-creating existing and new design projects we will look with the workshop participants for new perspectives on this approach. The idea of the workshop is that ‘illusion’ could be used as a medium for the analysis of existing projects and as a method for design development. The ‘suggestions’ brought up by an illusionistic analysis of a model in a context could sharpen, open up and even create new design ideas by means of: critical observation, employed modelling materials, collective creativity and the joy of making.

    We are interested in exploring concepts such as: diorama, eclipse, wunderkammer and trompe l’oeil.

    We invite you to bring an empty shoebox including lid/top, sketch models and drawings of a design project you are interested to explore, drawing materials, scissors, cutter and other stuff you think could be usefully for a creation of an illusion.

    The workshop will be introduced by an explanation of the Delft method of Plan Analysis since 1980s which is a mainstay of the education program at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

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    Transitional Architectures is a series of events exploring the capacity of architecture to shift between, merge and even reconfigure different media practices. Sliding from interventions in urban and natural environments to algorithmic and studio modelling, performing, curating and writing, the series probes into the methodological threads of architectural thinking. Through a series of hybrid events invited presenters and participants will engage in processes of exchange, experimentation and mutual learning. Our aim is to explore how cross media practices of different spatial contexts are able to first initiate and then leave behind an open space of re-action and co-creation.

    The series of Transitional Architectures is organized by the chairs of ‘Methods and Analysis’ and ‘Explore Lab’ of the TU Delft, in collaboration with TU Delft students and professors, but also with artists, architects and researchers with diverse practical, educational and institutional backgrounds. 

     

    We would like to invite you to join us to our upcoming events and guests:

    (More details soon)

    April 21, 2017:

    Thinking, Working and Writing with Yona Friedman

    Manuel Orazi, Adjunct Professor – School of Engineering and Architecture, University of Bologna

     

    June 15, 2017:

    Sound, Space and Place

    Nicolas Kisic Aguirre, Architect and writer, currently MIT undergraduate student

    Alexis Ierides, Former student of TUD (graduated in January 2017 at Explore Lab studio with the thesis “The Touch of Sound”).

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  • Constructing the Commons

    Two Days Conference on the Commons, March 3rd and 4th, 2016

    The Project ‘Constructing the Commons’ is organized by the Chair of Methods and Analysis of the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment of the Delft University of Technology and is initiated at the occasion of the visiting professorship of Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of the Tokyo based architectural office Atelier Bow-Wow. The project investigates the commons from a tangible perspective, an architectural point of view, first as a series of concrete architectural and urban figures and second from a procedural perspective, implying the rituals, pleasures and politics of co-operation that articulate an architectural project.

    March 3rd and 4th, 2016, a conference is organized at the Delft University of Technology addressing the histories and actualities of the commons, both as architectural figures that enables and accommodate social practices, as well as modus operandi of the architectural project. Keynote speeches are delivered by Atelier Bow-Wow, Richard Sennett, George Baird, Margaret Crawford, and Paola Viganò.

    For more information, please visit the conference-website

     

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  • CFP: Research on Display

    The Architecture Exhibition as Model for Knowledge Production - September2015

    We now recognize the architecture exhibition as a medium of its own, including its own history. It cannot therefore be treated as a neutral vehicle for the presentation of best practices, the dissemination of innovative ideas, or for the propagation of a singular architectural style or ideology. Exhibitions have a power to frame architectural discourse by exploring the larger cultural conditions that shape the discipline. In the same way as a world's fair communicates a global condition, an exhibition of architectural drawings communicates the existence of archives and their institutional memory, while a model interior of a house conveys that the private, everyday realm also belongs to the sphere of culture and its politics.

    Architecture exhibitions come in many variants, as we know. A dominant exhibition format has tended to showcase the latest developments of masterpiece architecture to a larger audience, as was the case with the now iconic Modern Architecture: International Exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1932, which launched the International Style. Other formats such as biennials stage debates on the state of architecture in relation to urgent societal or urban issues, e.g. The Greater Number at the Milan Triennale in 1968 curated by Giancarlo De Carlo.

    Last year’s Venice Biennale entitled Fundamentals, curated by Rem Koolhaas, proposed another kind of format that dominated the various presentations: the exhibition as a platform for the presentation of research. From Beatriz Colomina’s Radical Pedagogies to the Korean pavilion by Minsuk Cho of Mass Studies that won the Golden Lion, the exhibition was not simply a product of research: research itself was on display.

    For its second annual conference, The Jaap Bakema Study Centre, in collaboration with TU Delft and Het Nieuwe Instituut, wants to look closer into this relationship between research and the exhibition medium. We are interested in contributions that bring to the conference a wide variety of perspectives, both historical and theoretical in nature, and which address, but are not limited to the following subjects.


    Formats and Typologies
    Archives and Knowledge Production
    Analysis and Speculation


    Organizing Committee:

    Dirk van den Heuvel (Jaap Bakema Study Centre)
    Tom Avermaete (TU Delft)
    Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen (Yale University)
    Guus Beumer (Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam)
    Dick van Gameren (TU Delft)

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  • Modern Urban Planning. An Evaluation

    exhibition at deSingel in Antwerp, curated by Tom Avermaete

    A city that was built out of nothing fifty years ago and at the time was considered the prototype for a modern society. How does this sort of design stand the test of time? Tom Avermaete, professor in the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft, together with his students, subjected several iconic cities such as Brasilia, Casablanca and Chandigarh to thorough analysis. The result is an exhibition with a hopeful message: ‘Good architecture is capable of modernising its own fundamentals’.

    In the late 1940s, early 1950s, several prominent architects and urban planners were given the opportunity to build completely new cities out of nothing, entirely in accordance with the principles of what is now chronicled as ‘postwar modernism’. These cities were intended to go down in history as shining symbols of modern housing, ideal models of the new collectivity, prototypes for modern life.

    A reinterpretation of the ‘modern city’
    After more than five decades of human presence, a completely new image of these cities has now arisen. In addition to their quality as inspiring symbols of modernity, they have also proven to have the ability to adapt again and again to changing needs and aspirations. Developers, contractors and inhabitants have each in turn repeatedly moulded the urbanised environment to suit themselves, while the cities have always retained their modern values and qualities.

    The exhibition entitled 'Lived-In. The Modern City as a Performative Structure’ reinterprets the modern city. Modern buildings and the neighbourhoods they stand in are not put forward as perfect pictures, but as effective and adaptive infrastructures. They are able to absorb changing individual and collective use while at the same time maintaining modernist principles. The quality of architecture that enables it to transform and incorporate, modify and resist, is not an abstract notion or simply to the credit of a handful of creative inhabitants. It is the consequence of personal architectural choices in form, typology and material. But it is also the result of specific design choices in relation to the urban morphology or the character of the public space.

    What is ‘modern architecture’?
    The capacity to repeatedly deal with changing needs and aspirations questions the import of the term ‘modern architecture’. The curator, Tom Avermaete, provides a richly documented overview of several of the cities that most appeal to the imagination and how they have developed over the last fifty years. In addition to original drawings and models of such icons of modern urban planning as Chandigarh (Fondation Le Corbusier), Brasilia (House of Lucio Costa) and Casablanca (Aga Khan Foundation), the exhibition presents a series of charts that have emerged from a study carried out by TU Delft architecture students to take a close look at the evolution of these cities.

    The many photos and films in the exhibition show that contemporary photographers and film-makers are also inspired by these gems of modernist urbanism.

    By taking a new look at some of the world’s best-known and lesser-known examples of postwar modern architecture and urban planning, this exhibition offers a new view of the concept of ‘modern architecture’.

    During this exhibition you can also visit the smaller exhibition ‘Huis Guiette’ at the entrance of the VAi, an intimate portrait of the only realization by Le Corbusier in Belgium

     

    Credits
    organisers Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi), Centre of Flemish Architectural Archives (CVAa) and deSingel International Arts Campus
    curator Tom Avermaete (Chair of Method and Analysis, Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft) assisted by Antje Adriaens, Agnieszka Batkiewicz and Christian Maijstré
    exhibition design and charts BC Architects & Studies, Brussels
    in association with TU Delft , University of Technology
    with the support of the Flemish authorities

    exhibition
    Sat 26 September 2015 → Sun 10 January 2016
    open Wed → Sun | 2 → 6 pm and during evening performances
    closed on Mon, Tue and holidays
    admission: €5
    tickets on sale at the entrance to the exhibition

    opening
    Fri 25 September – preview and opening talk in the Blue Hall at 8 pm, with contributions by curator Tom Avermaete (TUDelft), architectural historian Maristella Casciato (Universiteit Bologna) and scenographer Laurens Bekemans (BC Architects). 
    free entrance
    book here for the opening and the opening talk

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  • Mediating [Infra]structures

    Shopping Centers

    Legend has it that Victor Gruen, the Viennese émigré who in the early 1940s together with his wife Elsie Krummeck introduced the concept of a shopping center in the United States, ended his life disclaiming responsibility for this invention, snarling ‘I refuse to pay alimony for those bastard developments’. This attitude supposedly sprung from a grave disenchantment with what the shopping center had (in the eyes of Gruen) by that time become: a capitalist, consumerist shopping machine, depleted of any of the social or communal rewards that he had originally envisioned.

    Since its inception in the early 1940s, much has been written about the shopping center. Particular emphasis has been placed on its ability (or rather ‘inability’) to function as a public space . While developers and managers of shopping centers usually cast them in a favorable, sunny light, architects and historians, by contrast, have been predominantly critical. Their views are based on opposing narratives; the former claiming that the shopping center is a common space, which facilitates community building, while the latter typically describing it as a space of contrived hyper-consumption and social control. Most criticism of the shopping center’s incapability to function as a common space is however based on user statistics and analyses of policies and regulations rather than on an in-depth architectural understanding.

    As a discipline, architecture has more often than not dismissed the shopping center as a valuable subject, precisely because it is perceived a ‘prison of consumerism’, which—in turn—has led to the assumption that their formal design is merely a solidification of commercial forces and therefore unworthy of examination. Shopping center research is furthermore commonly biased towards Northern America. These observations lead to the question: would a profound architectural reconsideration of the shopping center reveal spatial concepts and social patterns that open up the opportunity to function as a shared space and to engender a feeling of ‘collectivity’?

     

    June 13th, 15.00h
    Espace Louise
    Gulden-Vlieslaan/Avenue de la Toison D'or 40-42
    1050 Brussels 

    http://www.mediatinginfrastructures.org

    Mediating_shoppingcenters
  • Conference: Bakema and the Open Society

    including the book launch of Architecture and the Welfare State

    Bakema and the Open Society

    A conference organized by the Jaap Bakema Study Centre together with Het Nieuwe Instituut and TU Delft as a conclusion of the Dutch contribution to the 14th edition of the Venice Biennale.

    Including the book launches of:
    Christoph Grafe, People's Palaces (Architectura & Natura)
    Mark Swenarton, Tom Avermaete, Dirk van den Heuvel (eds.), Architecture and the Welfare State (Routledge)

    Tuesday 25 november, 9.00-17.30

    Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft, Berlage rooms
    Entrance free of charge
    Info and registration: architectuur-bk@tudelft.nl

    Programme

    9.00-12.30 Morning session

    Welcome and coffee

    - Introductions by Dick van Gameren (TU Delft) and Dirk van den Heuvel (Jaap Bakema Study Centre, TU Delft, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
    - Bakema's Idea of the Open Society Seen Through the Eyes of Foreign Critics, Rixt Hoekstra (Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main)
    - The Internationalization of Post-1963 Skopje. Van den Broek and Bakema’s Competition Entry and Its Legacies, Jasna Stefanovska (University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje)
    - Housing in the Work of Van den Broek and Bakema. Split Level, A Way of Social Design, Alejandro Perez Duarte (Universidade FUMEC, Belo Horizonte)
    - From Hoddesdon to St. Louis. The Heart of the City as Relationship, Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi (TU Delft and KTH Stockholm)
    - Architecture and Cold War. The Case of the Hauptstadt Berlin Competition, Carola Hein (TU Delft)

    12.30-13.30 Lunch break

    13.30-17.30 Afternoon session

    - The Open Society and Its Experiments, Dirk van den Heuvel (Jaap Bakema Study Centre, TU Delft, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
    - People's Palaces. Architecture, Culture and Democracy in Post-War Western Europe, Christoph Grafe (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, VAI Antwerpen)
    - From Knoxville to Bidonville: The Peripheries of European Welfare State Architecture, Tom Avermaete (TU Delft)
    - Architectural History and the Sociology of the Welfare State, Mark Swenarton (Liverpool University)
    - Plans for the Future: Research, Archives and Institutes. Discussion panel with participants and Guus Beumer (Het Nieuwe Instituut)

    17.30 Drinks

    Flyer_bakema7
  • On Show Now: The Balcony

    at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2014

    “Intruder”, “polluter”, “disturbance”; but also a “modern architectural element par-excellence”: so, the balcony has been qualified. Holding a special position within architectural discourse and practice, it has been both a prime site of aesthetic and technical experimentation, and a heavily charged articulator of the dependencies that exist between the public and private realms.

    The Chair of Architecture/Methods and Analysis of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the Delft University of Technology, has contributed to the main exhibition ‘Elements of Architecture’ of the Venice ‘Biennala Architettura 2014’ that is curated by Rem Koolhaas. The contribution investigates the element of the balcony, which, according to the curator prof. Tom Avermaete is a remarkable architectural element in-between the private and the public sphere, an element that simultaneously connects and withdraws, separates and unites individuals and the collective.

    Visitors to the gallery, designed and constructed by the chair, are confronted with the transparency of modernist and the screened character of vernacular balconies. In addition, three narrative lines are presented:

    1.

    A first line focuses on the political role of the balcony. A worldwide geography illuminates how balconies are carriers of both pivotal political speeches and actions (macro-political) and accommodators of everyday resistances of their inhabitants (micro-political). Climactic balcony scenes such as the “renunciation” speech by Eva Perón in Buenos Aires; or the first address of the liberated Mandela at the Cape Town City Hall in 1990, are combined with more everyday, but not less political actions in the same cities.

    2.

    A second narrative concentrates on balconies that have acted as focal points in architectural culture. A full-size model of a Haussmann balcony, able to articulate the bourgeois public sphere in 19th century Paris, is confronted with the modernist transparency of the Bauhaus at Dessau and an Algerian balcony by Fernand Pouillon in which vernacular and modern definitions of the public sphere coincide.

    3.

    A third storyline focuses on the liminal role of the balcony. Images from collective housing projects illustrate how the balcony is one of these places where “the world reverses itself”, by regulating the in-formality between interior and exterior, individual and collective domains and between the private and public realms, among many other tensions. Converging on these three main narratives, this gallery invites contemporary architects to rethink the balcony as a key liminal architectural element, feeding from the power of its spatial depth, its intense cultural charge and its obvious experiential complexity. 

     

    Curatorial team: Tom Avermaete with Chair of Methods and Analysis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (A+BE), TU Delft/ Delft University of Technology: Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds, Jorge Mejía Hernández, Willemijn Willems-Floet, Herman Prast, Mike Schäfer, Ivan Thung, Agniezska Batkiewicz, Antje Adriaens

    Special thanks to: Luisa Calabresa, Leonardo Zuccaro, Anna Topolnicka, Charlotte Churchill, Mania Bien, Piotr Ruszkiewicz, Sanne Dijkstra, Simone Costa, Tadeas Riha, Xander van Dijk

     

    Photo’s © Ivan Thung

    Balcony_coll
  • How architects, experts, politicians, international agencies and citizens negotiate modern planning: Casablanca Chandigarh

    Exhibition at the CCA, 26 November 2013 to 20 April 2014

    The beginning of the 1950s was a moment of global upheaval. From India to Morocco, from Guatemala to Indochina, the process of decolonization gained momentum and the Cold War began. Architects working or acting as experts in the non-Western areas of the globe could no longer plan as if sites were terrains vague and people were mute subjects. The end of colonial subjugation and the resulting self-awareness provoked new modernist attitudes and sensibilities – a true shift in thinking about the architecture of the modern city.

    The exhibition How architects, experts, politicians, international agencies and citizens negotiate modern planning: Casablanca Chandigarh presents a new history of modern urbanism based on two major experiments in the Global South that took place during this wave of decolonization. Curators Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato consider anew the relationship between local conditions and the international language of modern architecture, particularly in the context of the political and economic cooperation favoured by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and other international bodies.

    On the one hand there is Chandigarh —planned by a team consisting of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew and local architects and planners— which created a myth of the modern city designed from the ground up by modern architects. The new capital of East Punjab, Chandigarh divided by its street grid into rectangular districts (called sectors) was indeed built in a previously rural setting. However it responded to the rural Indian landscape and preserved several existing villages through its development

    On the other hand, there is the expansion of Casablanca – conceived by Michel Écochard and a team of young French and Moroccan architects. For Écochard the problem of increasing urbanization in Morocco, due to internal migration from the countryside to the cities, was a central concern. He realized however that urban development was neither a linear nor a predictable process. The result was a large regional plan for Casablanca that projected secondary urban poles, new road networks and harbour and train infrastructure as well as industrial development. The basis for this inclusive city was the 8 × 8 metre grid, accommodating in each of its fields a walled low-rise dwelling that could be adapted.

    Through commissioned photography by Yto Barrada and Takashi Homma the exhibition addresses the capacity for these plans to allow for change, adaptation and transformation. The exhibition shows nearly 400 objects, consisting of more than 150 historic photographs, models, drawings, maps, and publications comprising experts’ reports from international organizations. It also draws from the CCA’s Pierre Jeanneret Archive. 

     

    Click here for a filmed overview of the exhibition as well as an introduction to the exhibition by the curators. 

    Casablanca_chandigargh