Explore Lab 21



Dion Lachman

As a VWO student in Suriname I made the decision to study at the TU Delft in the Netherlands with the ambition of improving my home country of Suriname. I chose architecture, because of my fascination with the built environment. My ambition is to improve architecture in Suriname. This is the reason why I’m fascinated by Tropical Architecture. I’m interested in architectural methods that can avoid imported unnecessary materials and technology to improve the sustainability in Suriname.

“Building in the Tropics means a confrontation in terms of construction and function with extreme climatic conditions”, Wolfgang Lauber. (Lauber, 2005)

In moderate climatic zones the builder and architect combats cold and damp by using insulated external walls and sophisticated heating systems. By contrast, the architect in the Tropics must battle against heat, solar radiation, heavy rainfalls and high air humidity. To make these building comfortable without mechanical cooling systems, climate responsive design can contribute. These cooling systems use six time as much energy as space heating.(Lauber, 2005)

“Climate is clearly one of the prime factors in culture, and therefore built form. It is the mainspring for all the sensual qualities that add up to a vital tropical architecture”, Tan Hock Beng. (Hock Beng, 1994)

I’m researching Climate Responsive Design for Suriname and will use this to design a Sustainable Social Housing Project in Lelydorp, the capital of district Wanica in Suriname.

Void Capital: The Architecture of Perpetual Modernity

Void Capital: The Architecture of Perpetual Modernity

iason stathatos

VOID CAPITAL proposes a new model of densification for the Western Metropolis.

VOID CAPITAL is a process which intervenes in the unbuilt to generate architecture for the city.

VOID CAPITAL understands the fundamentals’ role in architecture’s long-term struggle  to house novel desires.

VOID CAPITAL questions the existing gradients of ownership amongst workspace, domestic and public spheres in the emerging pedestrian-friendly urban core.

VOID CAPITAL  challenges muséification, banal urban removal, the invention of new forms per se, periphery’s social isolation, the commodification of leisure.

VOID CAPITAL claims that the accommodation of the swifting capitalist program to the built infrastructure is a process in which the void holds an essential role.

Craftsmanship and Architecture: a study in the revitalization and relevance of craft in a post-modern society

Craftsmanship and Architecture: a study in the revitalization and relevance of craft in a post-modern society

Aukje Schukken

Looking around, it seems to be everywhere: craft jeans, craft coffee, craft beer, craft furniture, craft bicycles, craft markets, craft festivals, craft-you-name-it. Craft and craftsmanship are making a comeback. Since the onset of the Modern Era and the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, craftsmanship has functioned as pillar concept opposite industrialism or mass-manufacture. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, products were either crafted – high quality and expensive – or mass-manufactured – low quality and cheap. As manufacturing techniques evolved, machines became quite capable of making beautiful, high quality objects and Design with a capital D replaces craftsmanship in the quality v quantity debate. The Designer, or Starchitect in the case of architecture, becomes an untouchable king of production, able to dictate his designs to the market. In the past decade or so, however, the reign of the Designer is waning. More and more, the market (read: users) dictates the product and product design becomes an ongoing, participatory process. Have we finally entered a Post-Industrial Era? Perhaps. Or perhaps the revival of craftsmanship “names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.” (Sennett, 2008). Craftsmanship, which was moved to the sidelines, comes back into the ring, albeit redefined and not necessarily to fight. Craftsmanship doesn’t have to mean ‘hand-made’, since through the impact of digital technology, industry is now able to produce high-quality and custom-made ‘crafted’ products – this is no longer a paradox (Cardoso, 2008).

What this means is that the term ‘craftsmanship’ is being redefined. It is more than a production-based concept, perhaps even a collective process. As Richard Sennett argues in The Craftsman,  craftsmanship is a basic human impulse. With that comes pride in ones work, a sense of purpose, a distinction that has more to do with the motivation that informed the production than the production itself (2008). Part of that is also the thoroughness and integrity that define a product, it’s ability to stand the test of time not only through its durability but also its aesthetic beauty.

As a near-architect, the question that interests me is, what is craft architecture, and how do we get more of it?

Co-creation in Housing Design

Co-creation in Housing Design

Hanneke Stenfert

In the last decades, attention has become increasingly focused on encouraging the involvement of residents in the creation and regeneration processes of neighbourhoods, streets and buildings. In this context, notions of co-creation have been growing.

Key to the co-creative development of housing is that (future) residents become co-creators of their living environment and thereby partners in the design process. This partnership with residents, however, presents a new set of conditions that challenges the architect’s practice. The aim of my graduation project, therefore, is to explore the co-creative design process and the architect’s practice in these processes, both by research and design.

With my research project, I am investigating the concept of co-creation, the co-creative design process and the relationship between architects and residents in these processes. In my design project I am developing a co-housing project in a former school building in the city of Rotterdam, based on co-creative workshops with a group of residents.

Interested in the project? feel free to contact me.


Evolving School

Evolving School

Hans Vlaskamp

Vague title, I know. Still have to get it out of vagueness. But to give an idea of what’s happening;

You all know how the digital sphere is taking over our lives. Some people can’t seem get their eyes of their phones. In schools it is the same. That’s why most schools forbid mobile devices. Which is a shame, because there are tremendous opportunities with that technology. So the kids, without their regular dose of sensory input, are in the back of the class bored out of their mind. Nothing new there.
John asked me if I considered that school was not supposed to be fun, but a place to learn that doing things you don’t like is part of life. So I considered it, and concluded that I don’t agree. Schools should be fun! Kids should learn at an early age that learning can be fun.

With all that said, I’m setting out to design a high-school that will change the way our kids will learn. Blended learning will not only change the classroom, but also create more time for social gatherings. Exciting times.

Nb. This text is more a filling of empty space than a good representation of my research direction.