All students

Norms and Bodies: Exploring the Architectural Body

Norms and Bodies: Exploring the Architectural Body

Veerle Alkemade

Bodies and their surroundings are continuously changing and inseparably intertwined, making it impossible to explore the two independently. This means that our bodies do not simply end at our skin, unlike architectural notions such as the Modulor by Le Corbusier suggest. As professor Hélène Frichot puts it: “there is some sort of a thinking feeling body and there is an atmospheric sack of something that surrounds this body”.

Architecture can be regarded as a mediator between bodies and their surroundings and as a practice which strives to empower the bodies who interact with it. However, if we note that our bodies are dynamic and thus not so easily defined (if definable at all), how do we design?

Basing architectural designs on diagrams such as those made by Ernst Neufert, standardises and simplifies the complex relations that bodies and surroundings can have, and results in normative and repressive situations. How do we make sure that architecture doesn’t restrain or limit, but actually empowers bodies to act in their surroundings?

This research attempts to discover ways of designing which take into account the dynamic qualities of bodies and their surroundings, as an alternative to a normative design approach.

Unbias intervention policies on former detached-wards psychiatric hospitals

Unbias intervention policies on former detached-wards psychiatric hospitals

Andrea Fusaro

The great reformation of the mental healthcare system in Europe left behind a great number of architectural relics. Being built straddling between the XIX and the XX century in the outskirts of their cities, the detached-wards psychiatric hospitals got swallowed up by the urban fabric after post-World War 2 the economic growth, and are now enclosed cities in the cities. Of course the social, cultural and historical legacy of these places together with their out-of-scale size don’t help in any intervention scenario. Four decades were not enough to give a new life to the many complexes, and the few realized projects show that the current approach can’t be in any way effective nor sustainable.

Starting with an investigation on how these complexes could endure the many crises of their long lifespan, this project wants to determine from an unbiased perspective a new common practice of intervention for these forgotten realities. The outcomes will be used pioneeringly as a direct input to determine a new managerial, social and architectural program, that will then feed the design of an exemplary case study used as a showcase for this unexplored approach.

Stage Conflict

Stage Conflict

Xaveer

Stage Conflict aims to explore architecture related to multi-focal conflict between the individual and the collective. Instead of avoiding conflict, this thesis acknowledge its inevitable existence and seeks an architecture that both accommodates and provokes conflict.

In the first part of the essay, I theorize the beauty of conflict, its inherent dimension in social relations, its loss during last decades and its necessity for our coexistence in current society. Thereafter I discuss three main political stages in ancient Greece, the agora, the pnyx and the theater, which gives us an architectural and spatial perspective on the origins of democracy and on the productivity of conflict, both single-focal and multi-focal, both formal and informal, both ordered and disordered, and both total and fragmented.

The second part includes a comparison of a wide range of architectural projects that are characterized by the opposites of these characteristics. This comparison offers us an in depth insight how architecture can, by proliferation, stage conflict productively by acknowledging and celebrating a multiplicity of norms, values and differences among individuals.

A population in rehab

A population in rehab

Maurits van Ardenne

We are unable to anticipate a threat coming from within our developed societies. The ongoing technological progress is slowly paralysing our population.

The speed of modern-day life affects our mental health. Our brains are no longer able to cope with the overexposure we receive on a daily basis from our built environment. And since technological progress increases exponentially, the quantity of urban stressors will only intensify more. We will experience an increase of mental fatigue while being on our daily routine. Eventually, our impairment on mental health will affect our physical health by weakening our resistance.

The documentary ‘A Swedish Theory of Love’ shows how more and more people withdraw from society and isolate themselves. Depressions (about 30% of the population), burn-outs and non-involvement seem to become a new social norm. We clearly need to adapt our living environment to avoid further mental paralysis of our population.

The Frame: Abstraction, Prediction, Structure

The Frame: Abstraction, Prediction, Structure

Pu Hsien Henry Chan

The frame is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as a structure that surrounds a certain object — immediately referring to practical matters such as the window-frame, the door-frame, the picture-frame. It should also be considered that the frame is the subject of a certain action: framing. What does it mean to frame an object? When deploying the frame, it is implied that there is an understanding of the existence of the object within its perimeter: its conditions are framed.

However, the power of the frame might reside in its intrinsic connotations with structure — or giving structure to. The frame is not merely a way of confirming the conditions of an object, whether a past or a present condition. What if we suggest that the frame can also be utilised to incentivise, to initiate, to structure, and to create a predictive condition?

The research will focus on the conceptualisation of the frame, making enquiries primarily into philosophical and political frameworks. In the process, we might ask the question, how does the frame function beyond its rhetorical aspect? How does the frame have physicality that is relevant to the architectural and urban scale? How does the frame historically relate to the Fordist mode of production and its implications in the urban fabric? Who is the actor when deploying the frame? This research will lay the foundation for a design proposal in which the frame as a conceptual model will be utilised to (re)structure urban life and development.

Subversion of Expectation

Subversion of Expectation

Yara Valente

My fascination stems from the feeling that we live in a society where everything is rushed. And that we, in this constant rush, forget to stand still of a moment and appreciate what there is, what you see, or question what you are doing. I believe that by doing this we are missing out on opportunities. Because exactly by stepping out of this rush for a moment, you can better see it’s values. Or by standing still and questioning it you can find new possibilities, new perspectives.

I want to explore how I can make architecture that helps you to have this moment where you stand still, sharpen your vision and see these opportunities.
There are various ways of doing this: provocation; adding humor or irony; using something completely different than you are used to; playing and letting rules go; many more. But if I would have to categorise them, they would all fall under the – subversion of expectation-.

My research question therefore is:
How can architecture subvert your expectation?

A city of all

A city of all

Juul Heuvelmans

One of the biggest challenges cities are facing in the twenty-first century is migration. Every year there is an exponential growth in the number of migrants. In 2017, there were 257.71 million migrants of which 67.75 million were people of concern, these are people who were forced to leave their homes for any imaginable reason and did not move voluntarily in search for a better future. The fact that two third of these people are welcomed in poor countries is something wealthy countries should be ashamed off and becomes even worse when looking at the way these people are welcomed. Cities proved to be unprepared to absorb a large and diverse group of people and refugees are put away in camps built with military principles. As a result of this exclusion citizens in the city are unprepared as well. The question for future cities is how they can play part in absorbing such a diversity. How can we design for such numbers of different people? and how can these people start to understand these cities? Following these big questions the research question arising from my fascination is: What is the role of the porous city in the assimilation of refugees?

how to generate the personalized dwelling

how to generate the personalized dwelling

Yannick Macken

Streamlinedness and efficiency of the post-industrial construction industry have on one hand led to greater availability of mass-housing, but have also dictated repetition and standardization. Architects have made attempts, with varying success, to design housing that offers greater variety with similar means. Current trends towards on-demand solutions and developments in computation present an opportunity to introduce the computer to the design process of housing. I am curious whether with the use of parametric software, and with an understanding of rule-based design methods such as shape grammar, new housing solutions can be generated which offer ultimate personalization while respecting economic realities.

PROTOTYPE THE FUTURE

PROTOTYPE THE FUTURE

Dafne Sara Swank

– From cave to skyscraper to ??

My fascination lays in the future and everything related to it. Architecture has the potential to produce a meaningful and hyper inclusive network of relationships, that provokes and inspires to bring more than just a pretty picture. New processes that change the way we see and think about space and architecture are emerging. Of these, I am specifically fascinated by the process of form-finding, where we can merge structure, movement, time and human experience in order to generate future architecture.

Our Cities have developed in the last centuries into hybrids of various urban models. Many cities grew as a result of trade via water, hence why the majority of the 35 global mega-cities with over 10.000.000 inhabitants are located near a lake, river, ocean.

With rising water levels and the looming end-of-the-world predictions – from global warming to post peak oil energy crises and uncontrolled worldwide urbanization, architects should radically rethink the way we live. The lead to the question; How can we reconsider social and spatial prepossession, on sea or sky, for a self-sustaining water/sky-born community/city?

Respect nature

Respect nature

People seem to slowly take over the world of nature, while we can actually collaborate with it. With my research I would like to inspire people to live in homes where nature is preserved. Nature then functions just as an addition to the house. A tree house is in my view a recognisable example to experiment with, because it can evoke enthusiasm among many people. By using a recognisable example, I hope that more people start to think about new forms of living that are better and more profitable for nature.

Designing homes for people with autism

Designing homes for people with autism

Laura van Beek

For people with autism, special schools and surroundings are developed to enhance their progress and skills. However, housing design for this focus group remains underdeveloped. For people with autism, finding a proper home is difficult. Most houses are built for people without disabilities. Subsequently, minor alterations are made to adapt these houses for living with a mental disorder. This often results in linoleum floors and sterile-like surroundings; this is the most practical option and makes the house suitable for a lot of different (dis)abilities. Most of the time, they are coached by special tutors who can challenge them and stimulate their progress. This research will focus on designing a home environment where they can keep developing themselves. By trying to remove negative incentives and adding positive ones, an attempt will be made to create a home which is specifically focused on the autistic. A house which might enable to do with less coaching from people. A house which gives more independency to its resident. A house that challenges. A house that gives rest. A house which is a proper home for the autistic.

Architecture and Oil

Architecture and Oil

Sanne Beckers

For every four barrels we use, we only discover one (Rob Hopkins, 2009). Oil becomes more scarce, but architecture and oil are still connected in many ways. From transport to materials, architecture and the urban environment need to adapt for the coming post-oil world. One of the aspect we have to look to is the heritage of oil such as oil refineries, petrol stations and oil drilling rigs which will be left behind. How can we reuse these structures in the post-oil world. Maybe this sounds like something to worry about in the far future, however the oil-refinery of Dunkirk already closed down.

A structure which is we can find every on the world and is roughly similar are the oil tanks on the many refineries and other industries. That’s why I want to research the oil tanks. How to redesign oil tanks into dwellings in a post oil world? Via research by design I will look into the many aspects and hurdles I will bump into while redesigning the oil tanks.

Vernacular Architecture in Burkina Faso

Vernacular Architecture in Burkina Faso

Robyne Somé

West Afrika is quickly expanding its economy and population, leaving us with interesting architectural and urban challenges. Many of the sustainable problems we face in the West have been solved through traditional and simple architecture in countries such as Burkina Faso. Analyzing and learning their spatial practices is my ultimate fascination.

Of course, my fascination also lies in the fact that I am from Burkina Faso, making it easier to have an authentic, yet refreshing view on topics such as the extremely diverse and rich culture, the spatial planning and the politics in this post-colonial country.

Living organisms in architecture

Kamila Waszkowiak

In my work, I would like to go beyond the biomimicry and try to ask not only how to imitate nature, but rather how to incorporate it into architecture; to design responsive, low-energy and low-maintenance building by using plants, bacteria, mycelium or fish. I would like to explore the possibility of using plants as a construction, producing bio-materials on-site or providing balanced environmental circulation within the building. What is more, my design aim is to introduce bio-incrementality – taking the time needed for growing required elements as an important factor, providing usability of the construction during every stage of growth.

Ephemerality Architecture

Ephemerality Architecture

Claartje L'Herminez

In our fast developing modern society I, as an architecture student, experience an increasing human resistance against the inevitable processes of change, imperfection, impermanence, incompleteness and transience. It is difficult to understand what the essence is for our happiness. Within this research project I would like to reflect on this by exploring the philosophical and architectural dilemmas between eternity and transience and perseverance and ephemerality. The project aims to describe architectural concepts and develop tools based on different philosophical and architectural movements in which perishability and ephemerality play a key role. It will aim to provide a better understanding of the relationship between these concepts and their role in modern architecture. I hope to identify an approach how architects could possibly contribute to a better acceptance of these human core values.

Waiting: Rhythmic Bodies and Spaces

Waiting: Rhythmic Bodies and Spaces

Hai Xie

We strive now more than ever for a life of productivity in defined events and spaces, on the other side of which waiting is implicated as a waste, something to be diminished by any means. Still we constantly wait. In waiting, and towards waiting, bodies are repeatedly captured and reproduced by contemporary architecture. The tension between bodily rhythms in waiting, and spatial rhythms generates a theatrical force shaping architectural experience and public life. However, as designers who structures places where bodies perform, we do not understand waiting enough, for we do not consider such mundane activity (if one would call it as such) important to investigate.

The thesis looks into the bodily experience in waiting through the concept of rhythm and ritornello. Waiting is seen as a time when the social time fails to be captured by mathematical time, when bodily rhythms intertwine, disturb intensively with spatial rhythms. By studying certain affects experienced in bodies in relation to architecture, the project investigates how layered performative territorization can be empowered in waiting, through affects.

 

Keywords: waiting; body; rhythm; ritornello; territory; subjectivity; interiority

Post-Labour Architecture

Post-Labour Architecture

Justin Frank

Living in an ever accelerating world, my fascination is how technology will impact our lives in more and more ways in the future. We are on the cusp of a new age, with AI ubiquitous and a society unrecognisable from today’s. How will architecture respond when most of society no longer have jobs? How will cities react when they are no longer necessary to create wealth and people can live anywhere? How will society behave when the current structures disappear? Architecture and urbanism must start addressing these problems now, as the future will be here faster than we think.

Expanding universes on shrinking footprints

Dominik Philipp Bernátek

While cities densify, and fill up with building mass, it is of great importance to pay high attention to good quality public space. People should feel at home not only inside, but also outside the building – in the city itself. My graduation is about dwelling architecture in relation to public space, because there the ‘clash’ between public and private is most apparent and a core issue.

The research project deals with transitions between public space and adjacent private space of dwelling. The research question is ‘What are architectural tools that create a transition between public and private space?’ My research started with a form of plan analysis, from which I extracted some elements. Continuing my research through designing, I created for each tool a gradient. I ordered my results in categories influencing levels of privacy for my final toolbox. My method is closely related to ACRREx (Abstracting, Categorizing, Reflecting, Reformulating and Expanding).

The design project will deal with dwelling architecture and public space in the theme: expanding universes on shrinking footprints.

THE SILENT LAKE: A COMMUNITY BASED ALTERNATIVE FOR EXPLORING RURAL DYNAMICS

THE SILENT LAKE: A COMMUNITY BASED ALTERNATIVE FOR EXPLORING RURAL DYNAMICS

Kevin Jan Mazanek

For a long time, experts have focused their attention mainly towards the city and the urban development. As a consequence of largely concentrating on urban areas, the rural space has been left aside in the contemporary discourse even though the societal and technological changes in “rural areas” have been highly dynamic considering recent history. As Rem Koolhaas stated: “The countryside is an amalgamation of tendencies that are outside our overview and outside our awareness. Our current obsession with only the city is highly irresponsible because one cannot understand the city without understanding the countryside.”

Alongside the fast development of cities, digitalization, the threats of an unstable political as well as economic situation and a wish for a simpler life, more and more citizens are migrating towards rural areas. These modern nomads tend to organize themselves in communities occupying the countryside while still being connected to the “city”.

In order to study the implications and potentials of such rural communities, we will collaborate with a group of young adults and their families that initiated a similar project at the “Silent Lake” in Poland situated in the Kaszub forest north-west from Warsaw. The core of the ideas cultivated at the Silent Lake is the exploration of a “new lifestyle” that bridges the knowledge gained through operating in the globalised world with a conscient return to the countryside on a journey to rediscover traditional values and skills related to a more sustainable way of living (experimenting with “new-old” ways of thinking, living and building) and share this knowledge with each other. During our study, we will collaborate with the community at the Silent Lake in order to explore the further development of the “Silent Settlement” within a participatory design project.

Spectacle in the Hinterlands

Spectacle in the Hinterlands

Jazmin Charalambous

London is well-known for its “iconic” buildings, however it is common that little attention is given to the places hidden in the shadows of these icons. Further out from the centre, in the suburbs of northwest London – dubbed ‘Metro-Land’ by the Metropolitan Railway in 1915 – is the site of Wembley Stadium, which overshadows much of its neighbouring towns. I am interested in analysing the interstices between the extraordinary and the everyday in these hinterlands, and how it is possible to bring a sense of the spectacular and its virtues into the daily life of the people occupying these often unseen and unheard-of parts of London.

This interest can be investigated by understanding the qualities of modern theatre, which attempts to create the biggest impact through the smallest possible mediations – creating theatre that is truthful, alive and meaningful by imposing constraints. The surface of space becomes the mode of exploration in an attempt to understand how surfaces are the commons that allow people the necessary silence and excitement to harness the relationships made in public and private life, and which render the invisible visible.

Keywords: Spectacle, Everyday, Surface, Theatre, Materiality, Territory, Constraint

An architecture for the mind – lessons on the theory of Dom Hans van der Laan

An architecture for the mind – lessons on the theory of Dom Hans van der Laan

Joppe Douma

I think everyone knows the experience of climbing a sand dune to find the impressive view of an immense beach and measureless sea. It’s almost too much to take in. For a moment you lose yourself.
These kind of experiences led the architect and monk Hans van der Laan to investigate how we search for grip in the immense space.
Based on our perceptual abilities, the human discernment, he developed a proportional system. The goal is to create an architecture that establishes order in its environment, thus making it readable.
Rather than using the metric system, as we don’t perceive a space in meters, he uses a series of measurements that relate to each other. It’s not about fixed numbers but about the relation between the different parts which together compose a harmonious space.
In our current society full of impulses it’s good to grasp back on a way to create architecture which offers rest, peace and order, which is understandable and makes us feel at ease.

By describing, testing and showing the implications in models of the important aspects of the theory, I hope to offer an understandable insight of the application of the theory. In this way it can become a design manual on the use of proportion, colour and material.

Architecture beyond human narcissism

Architecture beyond human narcissism

Sjoerd Rasing

What can or should architecture offer in a ‘world’ beyond human solipsism?
-Dealing with Anthropocentric crises in the framework of Hannah Arendt-

“The world is that what we, as human beings, construct in order to make life possible on earth”. Hannah Arendt writes in ‘The Human Condition’, “The conditions that we make are used to create a buffer or shield against the conditions that we inherit, our self-made conditions mediate between ourselves and the pre-existing conditions that we operate under”. The Modern Western city has developed over the past decades of great wealth into controlled utopia’s of well-being and humane comfort. This has come with a price. We are confronted with climatic and ecological crises in the reality of the anthropocene, and seem to be unable to adapt to, are frightened by the fact that the unknown wild has always remained as close to the surface as blood under skin.
According to the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, “The Paris Climate Accord illustrates the inability to imagine a different world, while it’s full of technocratic solutions”. Koolhaas writes “The citizens the smart city claims to serve are treated like infants”. …”Why do smart cities only offer improvement? Where is the possibility of transgression?”

The world should be a stage for political action, Arendt wrote. Serving the small scale conversation, here and now. This does not mean two brand new cozy chairs opposite to each other. It needs a notion of melancholia. Find hope and expose beauty in the permanent presence of our deficiency.

Understanding the commonly overlooked spaces and details of the city 

Understanding the commonly overlooked spaces and details of the city 

Esmeralda Bierma

In the contemporary city productivity and efficiency became dominating factors of our everyday life. In these routinized and accelerated moments we all create our own image of the city and filter out the things which we consider important. My fascination is about these spaces and details of the city that are commonly overlooked or taken for granted but nevertheless conceal information crucial to develop an understanding of the city and the human. In order to understand the potential and possibilities of these overlooked details, unexpected moments and unplanned spaces we should make room for the first hand perspective of the subject moving through the city and allowing slowness and uncertainty. Through a narrative approach these fragmented parts of the city can become a continuity again and will allow us to revalue the importance of these unexpected and unplanned in-betweens.

Our Mutual Home

Our Mutual Home

Benjamin Summers

This project aims to study the specific formal and spatial language of successful collaborative housing with particular emphasis on dense urban typologies in Stockholm, London, Zurich and Antwerp. Despite the importance of the sociological and financial aspects, the focus will be on the architectural elements.

Framed as a method of forming resilient communities through architectural implementation, cohousing has become an area of renewed interest in mainstream critique in part due to the perceived failures of welfare capitalism and increasing levels of loneliness in cities. In a contemporary social situation where working long hours is the norm, and of the remaining free time more than half can be taken up by domestic duties, the question of how we can live together in a scenario where domestic labour is shared by all and thus reduced to a minimum appears to be of utmost importance.

As well as this key enquiry, it is asserted that within this way of living the traditional relationship between served and servant spaces is further broken down, if not inverted. It remains to be seen whether this shift necessarily precludes the existence of domestic elegance à la sprezzatura, or instead replaces it with a more grounded sense of refinement.

La Petite Ceinture: reanimating the urban fringe

La Petite Ceinture: reanimating the urban fringe

Coen van Bergeijk

Just inside the city of Paris lays a derelict train track, hidden and forgotten, called “La Petite Ceinture”, the little belt. This belt of abandonment forms a ring through the outer arrondissements and connects these utterly different worlds through a place of continuity. It forms a connection between the shabby areas of the 19th arrondissement with the fancy old ladies in the 16th and mingles the posh families of the 14th with the hipsters in the 20th.

It was built in the 1850’s, but finally stopped functioning as a public transport in the 30’s with the emerging of the metro and by the 1990’s it was abandoned for good. Its tracks traverse the city on high bridges and within deep trenches, through green islands and dark tunnels. Now some of its former stations found new destinations, while others are left to insubordination and the forces of nature. The tracks and tunnels now form a welcome hub of lawlessness, drawing in graffiti artists, vagabonds, urban explorers and mischievous kids, eager to escape the control of the city.

On an urban level I try to connect the neighbourhoods once more, using the former stations as points of transition. Later, I zoom in on two recently abandoned stations and the small part of the tracks in between, reimagining them as a public walkway, whilst maintaining the values of decay. This way I can restore not only the physical ring, but reanimate the immaterial presence of “la Petite Ceinture” in the minds of the Parisians.

AZC 2.0: a new Dutch asylum centre

AZC 2.0: a new Dutch asylum centre

Thomas Cowling

Currently there are estimated to be around 65 million displaced people in the world. Economic or political turmoil, climate change and war have forced millions to leave their homes and migrate to a place that offers them a better future. Some have ended up in The Netherlands and have entered the process of seeking asylum and permanent residence.

The liminal spaces they inhabit in that time are far removed from public life and are based on an outdated system of enclosure and control: often hampering the desire to integrate into, and offer a meaningful contribution to Dutch society. Through understanding these environments and the people in them, I aim to come up with a better environment for these new-arrivals to integrate into their new surroundings. A new type of asylum centre for the 21st century, one that offers the asylum seeker more of a chance at societal inclusion.

Redeveloping agricultural heritage in central Italy

Redeveloping agricultural heritage in central Italy

André van Deursen

Central Italy is famous for its iconic hillside agricultural landscape. This view of hills with scattered farmhouses is unfortunately in trouble. Since the latest agricultural tradition of the ‘mezzadria’ was left from the 1970’s on, a large agricultural building stock became vacant and started to decay. Some buildings were saved by redesigning them into holiday housing but many are not that lucky. Tuscany is a very successful region in redeveloping the agricultural estates in new cooperatives and the remaining buildings are easily transformed into holiday houses, agriturismi and Bed&Breakfasts. Regions like Umbria however, are staying at the lower end of these developments.

In this project I take the situation at the Principality of Parrano in Umbria as casestudy. The agricultural tradition in this region goes back to the Etruscans that arrived here around 800 BC. Centuries long, the agricultural practice here was based on the mezzadria sharecropping contracts but since the second half of the twentieth century the production came to a halt caused by the illegalization of the mezzadria in 1982.

My intention is to develop a new strategy for this agricultural estate in Parrano to make it functional and profitable again, based on the longstanding local agricultural tradition and cultural heritage of the buildings and landscape. Hereby the aim is to make the local agricultural economy self-sufficient and independent of tourism, which will be considered as secondary income.The introduction of new farming-types like solar- and ICT farming will be implemented to evolve the Principality of Parrano towards a sustainable future.

The project will be developed further into a new architectural design for one of the vacant buildings: Podere Bovorosso. Heritage will be the starting point from which the aim is to design and develop a profitable and sustainable future for this specific farm.

The Entering Process

The Entering Process

Anaïs Sarvary

When visiting a building one moment is particularly important: the entrance.

It is the moment that gives the first impression of the building and therefore influences the experience of the visitor. Religious architecture on this aspect is specifically relevant as the visitor is meant to be changed when accessing the central space and detached from the outside. However in other architectural types of building similar effects are achieved by a strong architectural entering process. Memorials, museums, swimming pools, tribunals, operas etc. all aim at creating an interiority separated from the outside.  But how does the entering process in these buildings conditions the visitor’s experience?

When analysing and exploring buildings we are often focused on the architecture of the central space. However we forget that main spaces are always preceded by different spatial experiences. Understanding how this entering process work will enable to better perceive why some spaces affect us more than others. And it will allow adapting better the notion of entrance to the effect wanted when designing a building.

THE ART OF MEMORY: POST-WAR SARAJEVO

THE ART OF MEMORY: POST-WAR SARAJEVO

Ravenna Westerhout

How does the war influence the Bosnian society of today?

Case study: Mt. Trebevic

From April 1992, the inhabitants of Sarajevo lived for three years, ten months, three weeks and three days under the threat of snipers, mortars and bombs. During this longest attack in modern European history, 13,952 people were killed, including 5434 civilians. The war itself claimed about 100 thousand lives and forced 2.2 million people to flee their homes.

Conflicts leave places wounded. The scars of war are still visible on the streets of Sarajevo. War is over, but the city is still under siege, under a cultural, economical and psychological siege. The energy to rebuild a true future seems to have disappeared. Everything has become stained with guilt. New monuments have been erected as tokens of exclusion and there is a climate of distrust – but why? To truly understand this, I am going to research the source of the problems: the war.

How to come to terms with the past? How to commemorate? The past plays an important role in the collective memory, but also forms the basis from which the soul of a new city is constructed. How can an inclusive architecture be created that can be used as a restoring tool to unite people, to create a common ground, a new identity?

Case study: Mount Trebevic used to be a powerful symbol of Sarajevo, but its symbolism as a sacred place has evolved since the 1984 Winter Olympics, the siege from 1992-1995, the delineation of a new national border in 1995. An abandoned, neglected space is what the mountain is today.

 

 

Projective Realms . Mess is More !

Projective Realms . Mess is More !

Deepanshu Arneja

The architectural discipline  has always maintained a safe distance from the ‘informal’ settlements by positioning itself as objective outsiders. However, in the case of India’s capital city of Delhi with 73% of its population living in these settlements, the discipline has been forced to re-position itself. Forming outside the claims of regulation and planning, the sheer existence of these settlements challenges the city’s aspiration to become a ‘world city’. Resultant, is a love-hate dynamic where a high-modernist design propaganda seeks to evict the urban poor’s position in the city to a ‘safe’ distance where they are out of sight but in the appropriate range to aid the city function.

I base my study in ‘Savda Ghevra’, Delhi’s first resettlement colony developed 24 miles outside the city core to re-house slum dwellers evicted from inner city areas. Envisioned as a transition camp, it is home to more than 20,000 inhabitants for a period within which they are expected to rise the economical ladder until they are deemed fit to claim a position in the city. The design of the ‘camp’, involved a process of ‘formalizing’ the informal and invited disciplinarian aid, which by the virtue of ‘always being outside the system’ was exceedingly limited in the understanding and translational of the emergent qualities of a user-generated informal dwelling. With rigid dwelling typologies, unregulated open/shared space structure and an incoherent application of ‘incrementality’, Savda Ghevra is an architectural mess.

This thesis attempts an iteration to existing approaches by offering income-based alternatives to typology creation and usage, while providing a participatory tool to create and curate open spaces in Indian informal settlements as a way forward.

Design of integration

Design of integration

Amela Rasidkadic

The Netherlands, like most Western European countries, has dealt with over 94.000 refugee asylum applications since 2014 (CBS, 2017). This large number has demanded a quick reaction for emergency shelter. The field of architecture has responded to this situation with different shelter proposals and projects.
Although providing enough shelter is still an ongoing process, the question that has to be considered now is: what to do next? Almost 90% of the asylum seekers gets a legal status, which allows them to get their own home and become part of the Dutch society. At this transition moment these new legal status holders are vulnerable, they have to find their place in society. Research states that this is best done by participation and interaction with local inhabitants, but in practice it does not always go as smoothly as people hope. Often this group struggles with feeling at home, finding a job, learning the language and there is almost no interaction with local inhabitants.
This makes me think about how to create a broader network for post-arrival migrants, how to contribute to a more collective experience for them and local inhabitants and mainly explore my position as an architect in such a situation.

TRACING EVENTS: THE INFLUENCES OF EVENTS IN THE CITY

TRACING EVENTS: THE INFLUENCES OF EVENTS IN THE CITY

Lukas Kropp

Events in a city can have different influences on their architectural framework. An event can happen, then disappear or it can leave traces, leaving reminders of the event, influencing the city long after the event has gone. How do events interpret their architectural framework, how do they affect it and what traces do they leave? This research will focus on events in the city Kassel (DE) and the quinquennial event ‘documenta’. Through drawing, photographs and mapping, this research will explore the traces of past events and their influence of the future of the city. The ‘documenta’ will be seen as a contemporary institution that is currently leaving its traces in Kassel every five years. This research aims to define the appropriation of the architectural framework by events and the traces that they leave behind and how these traces could mean something for the inhabitants.

Città Fabbrica

Città Fabbrica

Mariapaola Michelotto

The monastic life can be used as a metaphor to explain the control exerted by the industrial system on the nowadays society. The aim of both is to establish a specific sequence of actions able to give shape to a specific mode of life, based on the laws of efficiency, industriousness and productivity. This sequence of actions becomes therefore the tool to shape architectural space.  Or in other words, the city becomes the tool for the creation of an absolute mode of life. It is my belief that the unfolding of these tools could provide us with a different interpretation of our current economic system, allowing us to reimagine alternative ways of working and living.

To carry on my research I decided to take the city of Togliatti (RU) as a study case. Togliatti was built in the 1960s as a mono-town: an agglomerate of housing and facilities that was meant to serve the industrial complex of the Avtovaz, car manufacturer. In this context, the city acted in the same way of a monastery in imposing specific habits to its inhabitants, in order to make the production process more efficient and increase the accumulation of capital.

My intention is that of unveiling what is the regola established by the production system, and how does it manifest itself in the architectural realm of the city, influencing flows of people and objects.

How do fashion designers design?

How do fashion designers design?

Geertje Bakens

A research on the design process in fashion, reflected on architecture.

Architectural theory has illuminated the inherently connected relationship between fashion and architecture. Both disciplines shelter the body, react to spatial volume, rely on a process, and take a work of creativity from its two-dimensional concept into a three-dimensional reality. But the end result does not come out of the blue. It is the design process that leads to a building or fashion collection. And even though designing is just one verb, it actually is a chaotic sequence of activities; a complex, personal, creative and open-ended skill as described by Van Dooren et al. (2014). Is the framework of generic design elements that is developed for explicating the design process helpful to compare the design approaches in fashion with the architectural design process? The results of interviewing three fashion designers show similarities, differences and unique design tools and opportunities used in fashion. These can then be reflected on the architectural design process, and approaches of applying fashion tools in architecture can be considered.

The revaluation of nature through architecture: Learning from the Norwegian way of living

The revaluation of nature through architecture: Learning from the Norwegian way of living

Wilma Hiemstra

In an ongoing movement of urbanization in especially the Netherlands, life seems to mostly happen in planned environments while the untouched part of the world sometimes seems to be disconnected from people’s lives. By looking at a country like Norway where space and culture support combined living in natural landscapes and the city, as quite an extreme contrast, the relation between landscape, architecture, and lifestyle can be explored. Through interviews/conversations with young Norwegians residing both in Oslo (urban environment) and in their cabin (getaway architecture: focussed on landscape experience/lifestyle), making a timeline of their daily activities, and asking them to visualize their favourite place, the different sensory experiences that are created in both places and its influences can be analysed. Moreover, a plan analysis of both dwellings will be done as informative aspect of the research. Together this will answer the question in a literary and visual way, where the essence of valuing a landscape by living in it will be leading. This will function as a starting point for the design, where the lessons learned will be applied to the different situation of the Netherlands, resulting in a revaluation of its cultured landscape as the ultimate goal.

How can the interplay between architecture, landscape, and lifestyle in the form of ‘getaway architecture’ stimulate a (personal) (re)valuation of a landscape?

Designing homes for ‘the conscious’

Designing homes for ‘the conscious’

Danique van de Sanden

‘’The good intentions and creativity of citizens and their willingness to make a difference is one of the most underutilized resources we have today’’, says Global Ecovillage Network Europe (GEN). Bottom-up initiatives like ecovillages and the recently emerged Dutch ‘Tiny House Movement’ are sustainable projects organised and shaped by people who adopted a sustainable lifestyle and with that contribute to the reduction of climate change. It appears that similar people can’t find a suitable living environment in the current housing stock that fully meet their needs. While, in a world where nowadays climate change is a big problem, we should encourage this group of people to get most out of their willingness by giving them the right conditions in the built environment. As architects, we can learn from the way residents of tiny-houses and eco-villages organise and shape their sustainable environment and use this knowledge in the design of future dwellings.

The Consumerist Typology in a Socialist Country: investigating Croatia’s modern project

The Consumerist Typology in a Socialist Country: investigating Croatia’s modern project

Christian Maijstré

In general, shopping centers are somewhat underexposed academically speaking. With the turbulence of the transition period in the area only barely over, investigations on previous and recent developments in Croatian society are of importance as to learn how to move further from now.

As Yugoslavia tried and develop a different kind of socialism, self-government and openness to the West created a unique position in which a capitalist typology such as the shopping center could exist. By conducting a typological research of the shopping centers –Robna Kuca and Trgovacki Centar, a narrative on how the modern project developed in the Socialist Republic of Croatia can form.

Parallel to this narrative is of course CIAM and its subsequent fall. Contact between CIAM, Team 10 and Yugoslav (Croatian) architects did occur, and hints at the socialist tendencies of some of the architects of the West. Investigating the relation of Gruen’s shopping centers to CIAM and Team 10, and subsequently the relation to the Yugoslav context might give insights on how modernism was expressed in Yugoslavia/Croatia keeping of course in mind parallels might not always indicate dependence. To see how these related or developed independently can open up a conversation of how the modern project developed in Yugoslavia.

The question arises: how did the consumerist typology of the shopping center develop in the previously socialist Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Croatia and how did (or didn’t) it survive the transition to a neoliberal economy?

Centralities in the suburban: an alternative to the shopping mall

Centralities in the suburban: an alternative to the shopping mall

Virginia Santilli

In the last decades, architects and urbanists observed carefully the effect of globalization on the city, but the effect on the countryside has been neglected. The suburban shopping mall became the main attractor, both commercially and socially. For the new generations that normalized the dichotomy of common space and the need to buy, this world interior of capital became the new centrality of the diffuse city. While the old town squares are empty and the local commercial activities are perishing, it appears clear that in these areas the public administration failed. Nevertheless, it is currently raising a third voice in between public and private that could change the actual state of things. What happens if cooperatives of local commercial actors work with architects and urban planners to intervene on leftover spaces and buildings to give birth to an alternative centrality?

Living apart together

Living apart together

Nienke Borgman

Space in major cities around the world is getting increasingly scarce and therefore expensive. This is especially a problem for people between the ages of 20 to 35. This age group is what we call the ‘generation Y’. Coincidence is that this generation actually wants to share more in order to waste less (look at Airbnb, Uber, Greenwheels etc.). So what if we apply this same theory to space? Can we waste less space by sharing more? Can we supply sufficient housing for the group that needs it most by creating exactly what they want; less waste (of space) by sharing more? I think we can.