Bnieuws 49/02 - Building ethics (2015/16)

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Bnieuws Volume 49 Edition 02 29 September 2015 Contact Room BG.Midden.140 Julianalaan 134 2628 BL Delft Editorial Board Daphne Bakker Lotte Dijkstra Jip Pijs Jane Stortelder


Refugees Welcome


Linguistic Folklore

Editorial Advice Emily Parry Contributors Rene Burri@Magnum Photos Grijze Ei Aurelien Guichard@Flickr Etringita@Flickr Tim Jonathan Jamal van Kastel Moscow Design Museum Peter Russell Cover US - Mexico Border by Mitesh Dixit see also p. 06 Editorial Advice Board Robert Nottrot Pierijn van der Putt Marcello Soeleman Ivan Thung Linda de Vos Next Deadline 12th of October 12.00 Bnieuws Volume 49 Issue 03 27 October 2015 Illustrations only in *.tif, *.eps or *.jpg format, min. 300 dpi Rectification In Bnieuws 01 p. 09 the title of Nynke Wertenbroek is missing. She was part of the klankbordgroep BK City STAY on behalf of the FSR. © All rights reserved. Although all content is treated with great care, errors may occur.


Bouwen met zout


More Than a Wall


It’s an Oil World After All


Ethiek op BK


Salsa and Sky Bars


Post Conflict Cities



What is the first thing you look for when opening a fresh edition of Bnieuws? Is it Jamal’s chuckle-inducing cartoon? The impressive graduation project with its high marks and honorable mentions, which drives you green with envy? Or the first thing that strikes your fancy? We are not one to deny you your own ritual, but if you want our suggestion, you should start with ‘Praat met Elkaar’ (‘Talk to Each Other’). Consider it a primer to ethics, but also a great source of reference when reading the rest of Bnieuws 02. This edition is devoted to the search for ethical conduct, ethical considerations and even questionable ethics within and beyond the brick walls of BK City. There is no doubt that sustainable architecture projects, which utilizes local materials and have limited environmental impact - such as Eric Geboers ‘The Salt Project’ - are ethically sound. But the lines get blurry when big capital funds real estate ventures on impoverished tropical islands: will this stimulate the local economy or exploit the locals? The students of Management in the Built Environment got a firsthand look at such developments during their study trip to Miami and Havana this past summer. As with everything, things get even trickier when you enlarge the scale. What about borders? They are meant to divide, but the teachers and students of Complex Projects Border Studio found that they actually draw people together. Their proposal reveals how the controversial US-Mexican border can be transformed into a region based on inclusion and growth. On a global scale, the impact of oil on our surroundings is so ubiquitous, we hardly even notice it. Carola Hein’s new studio wants to reveal how fossil fuels shape our space, from the oil refineries to our LEGO constructions, but through objective means. Can we discount the grief and damage caused by Big Oil just because it fuels our lives? Ethics shape the frame through which we judge our world and our conduct within it. Therefore it deserves more consideration than the occasional thematic edition of Bnieuws. We echo Stefan Kollers advice to keep talking to each other: it is the only true way to practice ethics.



Be there / URBAN & LANDSCAPE WEEK 2015 This 5th edition will be a week of inspiring lectures, interactive workshops and stimulating debates within the theme ‘Draw the Line’. Students, academics, and professionals will have the opportunity to challenge each other and to search for spatial, moral, and organizational borders and discuss the future of our profession. 12.10.15 - 16.10.15 / Ticketsale at the Polis office

Expo / RODE WELVAART Meer dan 360 objecten laten de opkomst van de consumptiecultuur in de Sovjet Unie zien. De producten zijn veelal duurzaam, robuust en geïnspireerd op het constructivisme, maar laten vooral ook zien hoe design werd ingezet als cultuurpolitiek.

(01.West.350) Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30 - 12.30 /

Kunsthal Rotterdam / 26.09.15 - 14.02.16

More information on &


Lecture / HISTORY AS BURDEN OR EXPERIENCE? This lecture on city planning in post-unification Berlin deals with the ongoing dispute over history, memory, tradition, and identity in Berlin. By looking at cases such as Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz, Palace of the Republic, and the Holocaust Monument, the ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ will be explored, but above all the relationship of the built environment to both memory and identity politics. Hans Christian Post / Room K / 09.10.15 12:45


Expo / MAGNUM CONTACT SHEETS As architecture students we see and take pictures every day, but we hardly ever stand still to consider the story behind them. This exhibition makes you do just that: the original contact sheets of world-famous press photographers are on display and show the context behind the iconic photographs.

Boek / TUSSEN TENT EN VILLA Iedereen is wel eens in een vakantiepark geweest, maar dit boek zorgt voor inzicht in het fenomeen. Naast een overzicht van bijna honderd jaar recreatieontwerp in Nederland wordt er ook een licht op de toekomst geworpen: hoe zit het bijvoorbeeld met de permanente bewoning van vakantieparken?

FOAM / 11.09.15 - 09.12.15

Mieke Dings / nai010 / Verkrijgbaar vanaf 30.09.15


Doen / IN GESPREK MET DE FSR De FSR vertegenwoordigt de bouwkundestudenten binnen de faculteit. Studenten die problemen hebben met de gang van zaken of juist nieuwe ideeën en complimenten hebben voor en over de faculteit: de FSR hoort het graag! Spreekuur op FSR kantoor (BG.Midden.140) iedere dinsdag en donderdag 12:45 - 13:30 / / meer info op

Complex Projects Border Studio

MORE THAN A WALL Words Daphne Bakker

Images Niek van der Zwaag

News of refugees crossing EU borders flood the airwaves and our news feeds and casts these areas as ones defined by a clash of European anxiety and African desperation. What if borders can be more than a wall which divides us? What if it can be a functioning region, one that can provide economic and educational possibilities to the inhabitants along the border? The Complex Projects Graduation Studio ‘Border’, lead by Mitesh Dixit, along with Kees Kaan, James Westcott & Hrvoje Šmidihen, proposes not just a new way of looking at the controversial border between the US and Mexico, but also a new way of defining the profession of the architect. Dixit sat down with us for an indepth talk.

The Border Studio, I would prefer not to call it topical, but it is. It is an unfortunate coincidence. Focusing on the physical border undermines the real ambition of the studio. 06

How did you then pick it as a starting point for the studio? Every two years, Kees Kaan and I set up a prototype studio which sets the curricula for MSc3. In the summer of 2014, I happened to meet Teddy Cruz in Singapore and he told me: “Man, you should come look at Tijuana, look at the border.” I then started doing research for two weeks and read Fernando Romero’s ‘Hyper-border’ and Michael Dear’s ‘Third Nation’, but no one had yet visually captured this region. The more I looked at it, the more I realized: “Wow, there is so much more here than just the border.” What attracted us to the area was the absence of information: we loved the complexity of the area and the seemingly vast amount of information which did NOT exist, let alone mapped in a very rigorous, and architectural way. We saw the region as an opportunity to ‘create’ language: geopolitical, economic and architectural language. It was the absence of information and the lack of precision, paradoxically combined with these supposedly ‘clear ideas / opinions’ about the Border, which lead us to this topic. When you say ‘border’ everyone has a idea or notion of ‘it’, but most people do not have a real, tangible, or empirical understanding of one. The first thing we addressed with our students was the notion of perception versus reality. It had nothing to do with borders, we were more interested in understanding the structures which create a systematic order that allows for such a border to exist. Specifically, the systematic violence as a result of the failed leadership of both the United States and Mexican governments and how unintelligent policy, planning and architecture have created this easily avoidable situation.

The Border Studio team deliberating in Texas, USA.

Doesn’t the border define what happens within this region? The region is so much more complex than the border itself: the wall is a micro aspect of this bigger region. For instance, we found a 21 mile [33 km, edit.] radius along the border that allows people to move freely on either side of the border. This 21 mile area is embedded within a Free Trade Zone and contains many of the existing maquiladoras [sweatshops, edit.] America goes deep into Mexico economically, via exploitation of labor. When we travelled, we found policed points of access, typically 21 miles north of the ‘legal’ border, which were additional ‘border’ checkpoints far from the actual border; ironically we were stopped more often and treated more aggressively at the these check points. During the field investigation, i.e. a two week, 3000 KM road trip, we discovered a region that is far more interesting and complex, than the region we visualised and mapped in our pre-trip research. We also discovered a paradox: the physical & geopolitical ideologies which are implemented to keep people apart, is actually functioning as a magnet; something that is meant to divide, actually attracts.

The border is just a generic condition. Borders are everywhere. Take the Chicago studio, which is actually more about borders than the Border studio. In Chicago, you can see these clear barriers, via streets, between neighbourhoods. If you are walking down Milwaukee Avenue, one will clearly notice that the street functions as a border. The North side of Milwaukee is affluent and yuppy while the South edge is a lower-middle class Latino neighbourhood. The street functions are a border, not in a militarised way, but something more violent: programming and consumption. Back to the real ambition: defining problems. Architects are given problems. The definition of service for architects has been reduced to a simplistic, Anglo-Saxon Capitalist notion of serving the client, i.e. market economy. I think we need to liberate ourselves from this contaminated definition of ‘service’ and instead think of our profession as a social service. Which will require and demand, architects to not just provide the needs of commercial interest, but the needs which transcend the short sighted ‘viability’ of a market economy, but are



imperative for basic and decent living. I think to do this, We, architects, have to make our own projects. For young architects, it is the only way to get your own office going: creating projects and convincing people to do it [laughs]. Haven’t architects always provided a service to a client? Sure... maybe, but I’m not really interested in what we ‘used’ to do [laughs]. Prior to Hegel everyone [philosophers] had these absolute arguments on the notion of freedom. John Stuart Mill said “society has to allow for offensiveness, but not harm”; the utilitarians claimed “freedom is what is good for the many”, and Kant had his Categorical Imperative, etc. But then Hegel said “Freedom is the thing that makes you a human being; without freedom, one cannot be a human.” That was super dope! Every generation has to define freedom for themselves. A black man in America in the 1950’s has a different notion of freedom than a landowning male during the Roman Empire. This is important for architecture as well. Each generation will have to define what is architecture for themselves; our generation needs a definition, which should be a hell of a lot more than simply doing curtain walls, developing unique selling points, and working in a large corporate firm [laughs]. We [architects] are rather good at organising data, synthesising data and making it understandable to others. To limit this skill to just buildings… is quite sad. Is that why the brief of the studio is so broad? The brief is broad, because we wanted to define it as we were developing it. The students, along with the teachers, must discover the project. We defined a region and we gave general themes, but through intense analysis, we came to a project together. Part of the Chair’s ethos is that we are all students, everyone is equally naive [laughs]. However, the teachers and I must demonstrate and demand rigour, intelligence and structure. When I was a student, I hated studios where you weren’t allowed to go

beyond the programme nor allowed to argue with a counterpoint. It is not intellectual work if you are not allowed to question the design brief or the tutors. We want to enable our students with the ability to intelligently argue their own concepts and ideas. WE MUST do this at the University. If students do not develop the confidence and skill here, it will be difficult to develop once they begin working. This is precisely why I am far more interested in developing critical thinking skills, and allowing for students to develop methods to be able to work for themselves. How do you teach them to think more critically? First, we expose you to a method, a system in which we hope teaches the student structure and rigour. Once you’ve worked within this system, one is allowed to critique it. When I was a student, I had ideas, but struggled with getting them out of my head?!? I desperately wanted instruction on how to structure a process which would enable me to define, develop and thus explore my own ideas. Often in architecture school we teach style or worse… nothing, it is rare to find tutors who can teach and help the students develop their own theory for praxis. You provide students this structure to deal with the broad subject matter. How do they then proceed? First and foremost, we did not want to directly address the border, e.g. NO WAY we would let a student propose a library on the border which allows everyone to share the same book… Because there are so many topics and so many scales, there has to be a continuity of idea. How do you find shared needs to bring people together through themes such as agriculture, water or mobility? The problem of the border is that we treat it like a border, but what if we can clearly illustrate it is actually a functioning area and that this border is an obstacle for its geopolitical and also economic possibilities. I hate Capitalism more than anyone, but I also know that to get something done now we have to argue it via Market ideologies.



Were there surprising discoveries? Yes! We used a term that Sigmund Freud coined. Freud did not want to be burdened by scientific objectivity, since he did not use proper and approved clinical methods for his studies; instead of using the word theory, he called his ideas ‘elegant suspicions’. Prior to the field research, each student was asked to develop elegant suspicions. It was amazing how many of these were later confirmed. We talked to experts and showed them the work, like Cruz and Dear, they were amazed. I was also surprised by how intelligent the work was, the rigour the students demonstrated and how committed they were to the work and each other. There were simply no egos. The Border studio had a special group that worked together as one team for an entire year. I learned a lot from their balanced and positive approach to the work. They weren’t afraid to profess ignorance, interview complete strangers, jump on the back of pick-ups with people named ‘Fat Mike’, visit dangerous areas, and most importantly… listen. I truly love them. What was the result of the team work? Last year, the goal of the studio was to work as one team to develop an Atlas for the region. We identified shared needs or infrastructure to study the region, such as the free trade zones along the border, the North / South corridors defined by NAFTA, as well as the location of maquiladoras. Luckily, Hrvoje Šmidihen found an objective way to analyse the region. The entire region is defined by five ecological corridors, thus we used this to distribute the work for the studio - each group of three students mapped the natural, ecological and social conditions of their defined ecological corridor. This was the key, as it allowed us to eliminate the geopolitical line, and simply perform an objective mapping exercise. During this process Ana Lisonek discovered the twin cities, such as El Paso and Juarez, and in detail, analysed, mapped and defined the strategic advantage for each twin-city, which allowed for the studio to develop a strategy for the cities to relate to one other.

The studio then developed a proposal of a new politically defined region between the US and Mexico, using the existing free trade zones. The policy and legislation that will support the realisation of this new political region exists. Therefore we wrote a basic constitution for the region and established a new government, entitled the United Trans-Border Federation. The TBF will have a Border Tzar [laughs], as well as legislative and judicial branches of government; each twin cities will have two senators and one mayor. After the students developed and defined the Transborder Federation, each student worked independently to develop a project within one of the defined clusters addressing the key elements. For example Sylvie Dorn’s project, a vocational school for Nogales, builds off the idea that Nogales will be the Industrial City for the region. You can see how her project relates to the urban strategy: a long clean bar, moving North & South,which is autonomous and democratic on the exterior, but with an interior corrupted by its programmatic specificity. Everyone says the proposal is ridiculous, The Trans-Border Federation, but it’s only ridiculous because we don’t believe that we can do it. In terms of policy, and technology it is 100% feasible. It is only impossible because ‘experts’ think it is impossible. It is easy to complain and say the world sucks and have a charity event to feel better, but to actually change the way we live and demand a new system, not working with the existing system, but a radically new system… this is difficult for most academics and practitioners to comprehend. I agree with Lacan, in that we find our emancipation, i.e. freedom, through our dreams, but before we can free ourselves, we have to change the way we dream. Perhaps this is the one demand of the Chair: we demand each student attempt the nearly impossible task to change the very way in which he or she dreams. The 2014 Border Studio publication - The Atlas - will be available Summer 2016. Next up for Complex Projects: a potential collaboration in Seoul to study their Border Condition.


Interview Stefan Koller

PRAAT MET ELKAAR Tekst Lotte Dijkstra

Deze Bnieuws is gewijd aan ‘Building Ethics’. Maar wat is ethiek? Hoe kunnen we ons als ontwerper ethisch verantwoord opstellen? En wat is de rol van de faculteit Bouwkunde binnen het ethisch debat? Is er ruimte voor verbetering? ‘Building Ethics’ roept zo veel vragen op. Stefan Koller beantwoordt er een paar en helpt ons het debat op gang te brengen.


Hoe ben je zelf in aanraking gekomen met ethiek? Als assistent-directeur van het Instituut van Ethiek & Technologie [red. samenwerking tussen de 3TU] ben ik natuurlijk iedere dag bezig met ethiek. Ook in mijn eigen onderzoek ga ik hier op door. Wat wel grappig is, want toen ik begon met mijn universitaire studie filosofie vond ik ethiek helemaal niet interessant. Pas tijdens mijn master kwam ik de oude klassiekers tegen. Vooral Plato en Aristoteles maakten grote indruk op mij. Door hun teksten kwam ik erachter dat ethiek vooral gaat over de dialoog aangaan met elkaar. Na mijn master heb ik bij verschillende architectenbureaus gewerkt. Daar merkte ik dat die dialoog vaak vertroebeld is. Ethiek en moraliteit worden door elkaar gehaald. Daardoor is het onduidelijk wat ethische expertise precies inhoudt binnen de bouwkunde, waardoor het dus ook niet duidelijk is wie er precies gelijk heeft. Die onduidelijkheid kan grote gevolgen hebben. Een opvallend voorbeeld is het ontwerp van het Spuiforum in Den Haag, een project dat uiteindelijk nooit is gebouwd door de heftige protesten van de bevolking. De onsystematische kritieken van het publiek zorgden er in dit geval voor dat de bouw van het project niet door ging, terwijl de architect de wedstrijd eerlijk had gewonnen met een gebouw dat voldeed aan de eisen. Kan je je voorstellen dat hetzelfde zou gebeuren met een boek dat niet voldoet aan de verwachtingen?

Gezien de vele architectuurkritieken denk ik ook niet dat er een gebrek is aan moreel besef binnen de bouwkunde. Er is eerder een gebrek aan een goed filter: welke kritieken zijn terecht? Wat is het verschil tussen ethiek en moraliteit? Moraliteit bestaat uit de bestaande overtuigingen van een individu of een groep. Ethiek is een reflectie op deze overtuigingen. Deze reflectie wordt toegepast vanuit een rationele, consistente benadering. Ethiek is dus eigenlijk een poging om bestaande moraliteit rigoureus en systematisch te beoordelen. Om dat te kunnen doen is het belangrijk om te weten wat je precies aan het beoordelen bent. Bij architectuurkritieken is het bijvoorbeeld vaak onduidelijk of het commentaar gaat over de architect, de opdrachtgever, de (toekomstige) gebruiker of het gebouw zelf. Dat is de eerste stap die je maakt: bepalen waar de kritiek precies over gaat. Daarna helpt ethiek om het probleem op te delen in kleinere problemen, waardoor het eenvoudiger wordt om een antwoord te vinden. Dergelijk onderzoek is altijd gebaseerd op een gemeenschap van academici. Ethiek is namelijk niet alleen het lezen van theorie en zeker niet het luisteren naar de preken van zelfbenoemde goeroes. Ethiek is vooral praten met elkaar. De waarheid is namelijk verdeeld: we hebben allemaal een deel van de waarheid. Dat betekent dat je nooit tot de waarheid kunt komen zonder met elkaar in discussie te gaan.

Is er binnen het huidige curriculum van de faculteit Bouwkunde ruimte voor zulke discussies? In een eerder geschreven artikel voor Bnieuws bepleitte ik al dat er voor ethiek binnen het architectuuronderwijs tijd, oprechtheid en serieuze aandacht nodig is [red. Bnieuws 07, 2012 – 2013, p. 14]. Inmiddels is de bachelor helemaal vernieuwd en zie ik dat er wel meer theorie aan bod komt, maar dit is nog verre van de nodige discussieruimte. De teksten die worden aangeboden zijn ook lang niet altijd geschikt. Bij iedere tekst, maar zeker bij artikelen over ethiek, moet je je afvragen: is dit gebaseerd op wetenschappelijk onderzoek? Is er gebruik gemaakt van geavanceerde filosofische onderzoeksmethoden? Is dit niet het geval, dan is de tekst eigenlijk een preek, geschreven vanuit de moraliteit van de auteur. Studenten moeten dan ook zeker kritisch zijn op de aangeboden stukken.

voldoende te maken hebben met ethische zaken als sociale woningbouw en duurzaam bouwen. Niemand twijfelt aan de goede bedoelingen van architecten, maar het is wel belangrijk om een onderliggend ethisch systeem te hebben om op terug te vallen. Zoals we eerder al hebben vastgesteld zijn goede bedoelingen niet hetzelfde als een eenduidig ethisch systeem voor de controle ervan. De veranderingen die reeds in gang zijn gezet komen dan ook niet vanuit de faculteit Bouwkunde, maar top down vanuit de TU Delft. De studenten zouden echter meer druk kunnen uitoefenen bottom up. Zij zijn immers de klant: je betaalt onwijs veel geld voor excellent onderwijs. Kijk daarom ook naar architectuuronderwijs op andere universiteiten. Vooraanstaande instituten als U.Penn. en ETH Zurich werken samen met professionele ethiekonderzoekers en hebben gezamenlijke onderzoeksprogramma’s. Als anderen


Welke veranderingen zijn er denk je nodig om wél ruimte te maken voor gedegen ethiekonderwijs? Er zijn veranderingen nodig op twee niveaus: op het niveau van de inhoud en op het niveau van het instituut. Op inhoudelijk niveau zijn er al wel wat veranderingen in gang gezet. Naast de nieuw aangeboden theorie in de bachelor ga ik vanaf volgende maand het nieuwe vak ‘Ethics of Real Estate and Housing’ onderwijzen. Om de inhoud te verbreden is echter tijd en serieus onderzoek nodig. Je kan niet in één keer geschikt ethiekonderwijs op poten zetten. Op de overige faculteiten van de TU Delft wordt gewerkt met ‘Ethics for Engineers’, een bundel waar tien jaar lang aan is geschaafd door onderzoekers en studenten om het lesmateriaal geschikt te maken. Deze bundel is verplichte leerstof op alle faculteiten behalve de faculteit Bouwkunde. Daar zit het tweede onderdeel van het probleem: het instituut Bouwkunde vindt zelf dat architecten al

slim genoeg zijn om samen te werken, waarom Delft dan niet? Daarom heeft Delft een open discussie nodig om het onderwijs te verbeteren. Wat kunnen we leren van de lesprogramma’s op andere universiteiten? Het probleem van Delft is dat ethiekonderwijs en -onderzoek een excellente wetenschappelijke standaard moet hebben. In dit geval moet het materiaal zijn ontwikkeld door professionele ethici op ethiekdepartementen die zijn toegepast op het vakgebied. Afhankelijk van je opleiding ben je als wetenschapper en/of architect in staat om ofwel een ethisch oordeel te begrijpen, te waarderen en toe te passen, ofwel datzelfde oordeel niet te begrijpen, waarop je het verwerpt. Wat veel mensen vergeten is dat architectuur als academisch onderzoeksgebied nog heel jong is. Relatief weinig mensen met een PhDachtergrond zijn verantwoordelijk voor het onderwijs tegenover relatief veel docenten met praktijkervaring.

Momenteel worden diegenen die de beslissende macht hebben over het curriculum vaak niet geadviseerd door mensen met een wetenschappelijke achtergrond en al helemaal niet door getrainde ethici. Daardoor kunnen er ook geen sterke criteria voor excellent ethiekonderwijs worden opgesteld. Dat is terug te zien in het feit dat de TU Delft op internationaal niveau niet eens aanwezig is in discussies over ethiek. Waar ligt dat denk je aan? Hoewel er veel verhitte en zelfs offensieve debatten binnen de faculteit plaats vinden, is er geen verweer tegenover klanten, het publiek of de bredere onderzoeksgemeenschap. Het juiste vocabulaire ontbreekt om een ontwerp op rationele wijze te verdedigen. Daardoor is het ook moeilijk of zelfs bijna onmogelijk om ook daadwerkelijk verantwoordelijkheid te nemen voor onze (ontwerp-) keuzes.


Hoe kan je er voor zorgen dat je die verantwoordelijkheid wel kan nemen? Als architect maak je sowieso risicoanalyses van mogelijke problemen. Daarbij hoort ook een vooruitblik op de mogelijke sociale impact van een opdracht. Je bent te laat als je project al twee jaar bezig is en er ‘opeens’ wordt gedemonstreerd in de buurt waar je gebouw komt te staan. Het gaat er om dat je je bewust bent van de kracht van morele kritiek en dat je hier een antwoord op hebt. Als je dit niet kan, zal je het publieke debat verliezen. Voor je PhD-onderzoek heb je een model ontwikkeld om hier mee om te gaan. Hoe zouden studenten the ‘Face Value Treatment’ toe kunnen passen? Dit model is bedoeld om te beoordelen of kritiek op gebouwen terecht en juist is. Je kan bijvoorbeeld beweren dat je gebouw een sterke sociale impact heeft, maar deze uitspraak kan zowel hoeft niet per se waar te zijn. Dit hangt af van het ontwerp. Om deze bewering te onderbouwen heb je precieze, concrete en context-gerelateerde criteria nodig. Hierbij gaat het er om dat je de morele verwachtingen buiten beschouwing trekt en dat er gericht wordt gekeken

naar individuele ontwerpcomponenten. Hoewel een model nooit toekomstvoorspellingen doet, kan je wel je eigen ontwerp testen door het te beoordelen aan de hand van deze criteria. Kan je ethiek ‘oefenen’? Je begrip voor ethiek zal groeien als je je er vaker mee bezig houdt. Het model geeft een basisbegrip van de morele werking van gebouwen. Door bestaande ontwerpen te analyseren kan je je perspectief veranderen, leren nieuwe vragen te stellen en nieuwe concepten leren toepassen. Op dezelfde manier leer je hoe een gebouw werkt op ruimtelijk of technisch gebied. Daarbij hoort ook dat je jezelf moet kennen en moet snappen waar je mee bezig bent. Je bent op de goede weg als je aan anderen precies uit kan leggen waar je mee bezig bent. Dat betekent dat het onvermijdelijk is om met elkaar te praten. Je kan jezelf beter ontwikkelen als je in een team werkt, waar je anderen beter leert begrijpen en waar je anderen helpt jou te begrijpen. Om dit te kunnen doen heb je precieze concepten en modellen nodig, waar je dus professionele ethiek voor nodig hebt. Wat is de eerste stap die we nu zouden kunnen zetten? Praat met elkaar! Start de dialoog en vind uit wat je wil. Als je beter ethiekonderwijs wil, ga dan met studenten en docenten in gesprek. Zet je principes helder op papier en ga op zoek naar krachtige ondersteuning van buitenaf om institutionele druk uit te oefenen. Publieke debatten waar het draait om de inhoud zouden al een goed begin zijn. Wees je bewust van je macht als student: volg geen studio’s waarvan je het niet eens bent met de gang van zaken. Stem met je portemonnee en laat de marktwerking z’n gang gaan. En onderschat vooral niet de kracht van een goed georganiseerde groep: als studenten zich verenigen is er een grote groep gelijkgestemden die het debat aan willen gaan.



Miami and Havana


Images BOSS

This summer a group of students went on a study trip to Miami and Havana organised by BOSS. The trip to these two contrasting but at the same time complementing cities, inspired its participants. Bnieuws spoke to Ronnie Maat and Tine Nientker about their observations. In two weeks’ time the students did not only visit a lot of commercial parties and state-owned businesses — they had a blast exploring the sites and night life of the two cities.

How did the trip to Miami and Havana come about? RM: The study trip was organised by BOSS, the study association of Management in the Built Environment. I organised this year’s trip together with four fellow students; Nick van Assendelft (treasurer), Marrit Terpstra (research), Sarah Heemskerk (programme Miami) and Corina Regales (programme Havana). The annual excursion is always arranged to be outside of the comfort zone of BOSS. We are often associated with major real estate projects, so it seemed fun to include something on the social side of the real estate range. We started organizing the trip in September and the actual trip took place in July, so it took us eight months to prepare. In preparation for the trip research was done by all participants. What were the topics of interest? RM: The goal was to deepen our knowledge about Miami and Havana. The committee together with tutors Hans Wamelink and Sake Zijlstra came up with four research themes. The first theme was ‘Miami and climate change’: what are the effects of the sea water level rising and the harsh hurricanes on the city and its built environment. Climate change is not always taken into account by real estate investors when apartment towers are being developed. Another problem of these high-end condos is that they attract a certain target group. A lot of private investors from abroad buy luxurious apartments at the expense of low-income citizens who can no longer afford to live in Miami. What happens if all your employees can no longer live in the city? TN: I conducted research on the third theme: foreign investments in Cuba. Since the sixties developments stagnated, but now new chances arise. We asked ourselves: what are the biggest challenges and obstacles for foreign investors? The Cuban government

< Top left: Havana. Top right: Miami. Bottom: Touring towards the Everglades in an American school bus



dominates the market and legislation forms a big barrier for investors. RM: The last theme was the rehabilitation of Havana. The city has a rich history and many old buildings are preserved— not because monuments are valued but due to the lack of economic resources to develop other buildings. The monumental buildings are of great value for Cuba and its tourist industry, but the real estate market is changing. How can the typical Havanan character remain with these new economic prospects? The research focused on the old harbour sites of Havana, that have lost their main function after the completion of new modern container ports. Foreign investments in Cuba seem to be limited to big resorts; are these investments ethically responsible and do local people profit from them? TN: In Cuba we visited the Canadian investor CEIBA who, in joint-ventures with Cuban companies, focusses on investment and development

in Cuban commercial and tourism real estate. They were very open about how it is to operate in Cuba. To summarize: it is not easy. Although they do not develop housing for the people, you could see it as a beginning of economic growth and a new chance for Cuba. RM: It is a Western concern whether things are ethical or not. In Cuba and especially in the eyes of young Cubans, these investments are considered a necessity. We spoke to a well-educated young man who had to work for a government organisation for two years because they funded his education. In his spare time he would make art works to sell to tourists. He would make more money from his side-job! Cuba is dependent on foreign capital to maintain its way of life. Communism draws its existence of good and freely accessible education and health care. In general young people are not patriotic or communistic. They simply want to travel and earn a

good living for themselves and their families. The investments in the tourist sector boost the local economy and hopefully will stimulate other areas of the economy as well. TN: Small businesses in tourism are emerging and gradually accepted by the government. You have bed & breakfasts or people with small restaurants at home for instance, that may serve a small amount of people. They can earn a lot more from these endeavours than from their regular jobs.

nods in approval]. The reports and research will be combined in a publication for our sponsors and participants. What was the most inspiring? RM: The Cuban way of life is much more focused on the collective and family. Although they are poor, everyone is very cheerful and willing to help you. Things are changing but I hope and believe Cubans will find a new and good balance between the social and the financial.


How was the contrast between Havana and Miami? TN: Huge! Downtown Miami is full of skyscrapers. We visited apartments built for people of our own age… Swimming pools, fitness rooms; it is crazy! The contrast with Havana could not be bigger. However, Cuban culture is quite prominent in Miami since thousands fled there after the revolution.

TN: In both Havana and Miami everyone was open and hospitable. Locals would always start conversation and were interested to find out about you as well as teaching you about their ways. I would definitely advise everyone to visit Cuba and be amazed! For more information about BOSS check

RM: I had a very romantic image of Cuba, but young people in Havana dance to the same music as in Miami. A student said to me: “Salsa is not for our generation. We dance salsa for tourists.” They prefer reggaeton or dancehall; not romantic at all. About that, the excursion must have been more than just research and visits to companies? RM: We tried to make the programme as varied as possible, with moments to relax and explore next to meetings and presentations. Every participant had to write daily reports about their findings. We wanted everyone to come up with questions and actively participate in everything. That may seem obvious, but at night a lot of things happened that could make the morning, well... not that easy [Tine laughs and




Image Heshmat Najim

Imagine for a moment that you are not a student in Delft, but a student in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. You wouldn’t be able to afford your daily cappuccino, because you would have to live on only two euros a day. Your commute to the university would not just take forever, it would be downright unhealthy since only 30% of the infrastructure is paved leading to congestion. Finding a spot to retreat from this chaos would be very difficult: less than 2% of the city consists of recreational space. These problems are not unique to Kabul, many post-conflict cities face the same challenges. Heshmat Najim and Ivan Thung, alumni of our faculty, aim to raise awareness of the important role urban planners can play within the rehabilitation process of these war-torn urban areas.


When asked about how this initiative came to be, Najim explains “After graduating from the TU Delft on a thesis about Kabul, I came into contact with IOM, the International Organization for Migration. Under the auspices of IOM, I went to Afghanistan to work as a consultant for the Ministry of Spatial Planning.” There, he also lectured on urban planning at the newly formed department of urban planning in Kabul, which he helped set up. After encountering the many issues facing the Afghan capital firsthand, Najim used his contacts at the faculty to discuss the situation in Kabul and the requirements to further develop the department of urban planning. “The people here in Delft are willing to help.” Along with Thung, and with support from prof. Vincent Nadin, they developed a symposium on post-conflict cities, with a special focus on Kabul.

“POST-CONFLICT CITIES ARE DEALING WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT AS OTHER CITIES, BUT THESE PROBLEMS ARE COMPOUNDED BY WAR.” Kabul faces a specific challenge: the department of urban planning lacks a unit for urban development. In other words, they lack local professionals within the field of urban planning. The newly graduated architects from Kabul University working at the ministry have had no training in urban development. The minister is aware of this problem and the will is there to realize training programs which focus on the problems of present day Kabul and problems which might arise in the future. “Urbanization in Afghanistan is a fairly recent phenomenon,” says Thung. “The war has also contributed to the growth of Kabul, with about 10% per year over the past decade. This creates many problems that the city has not seen before.“ The

Timeline depicting the evolution of Afghanistan from the 1950s untill present day (Hesmat Najim)

only available plan dates from the seventies, when the Soviets occupied the country. Even then the plan did not take into consideration the local context. Now it is even more outdated and fails to address the present needs. The plan projected a growth of Kabul to 2 million inhabitants in 2003. “Since 1979, when the plan was drawn up, Kabul has changed tremendously,” explains Najim. “Political regimes came and went and each of them dealt with the problems of urban development in its own way. The present projection is that Kabul will increase by 7.5 million people in 2025 who are expected to be drawn into the city from the rural areas due to better economic opportunities and the relative safety of the city. This growth entails an enormous complex of problems. One has to deal with the influx of people, but the government is lacking the capacities to regulate urban development.” Thung points out that “the status of 80% of all building activity in Kabul is informal, meaning that

these activities take place outside the scope of government supervision and control. The government has to deal with powerful actors, such as warlords controlling various sectors of the city.” Then there are also the various international organizations occupying large blocks for reasons of security. All these actors impact on urban development, but coordination is lacking. When asked what makes Kabul different from other post-conflict cities, Najim replies: “Its history.” It is the geopolitical struggle between the Soviets and America which helped shape the internal conflicts in Afghanistan. “In 1979 the Russians invaded the country, but they could only control the cities and the infrastructure. There is a large pocket on the map of Afghanistan where infrastructure is lacking. No government can reach there. The people within this area were then mobilized by the Americans to take up arms against the Russians. They were the Mujahedin, the predecessor of the Taliban. When the Americans took over they found


themselves in the same problematic situation as their predecessors: they could only control the cities.” Despite its unique history, Kabul shares similarities with other war torn cities. “Post-conflict cities are dealing with the same problems of urban development as other cities, but these problems are compounded by war,” says Thung. Informality can be found in all cities, but within Kabul, the figures are astronomical. Eighty percent of building activities are informal, making planning nearly impossible. As a result, the government has an insufficiënt tax base and has difficulties to invest in infrastructure. “Cities like Kabul and Mogadishu are a paradise for private developers because of weak government controls. There is a lot of spatial fragmentation.”

take ownership of the process of urban development,” says Najim. “We have to learn how work with all the stakeholders and bring them to the bargaining table of urban planning,” continues Thung. “There are many challenges. Basic necessities such as maps are often lacking. There are power struggles between branches of government and between municipalities and the ministry. The whole planning system has to change and an integral approach is needed. We need to learn how to make planning a tool for different perspectives.” The symposium will be the first step into uniting these perspectives. Sign up for the ‘InternatIonal Symposium on Urban Planning & Post-conflict Cities’, which will be held on


These problems are seen in many places around the world and there is an enormous interest in participating in talks about these issues. “We have invited a number of persons, from Afghanistan and from Europe, working in diverse areas such as the UN and the military.” The military plays an important role in the development of rural infrastructure in countries like Afghanistan. Thung: “Armies invest in infrastructure, such as bridges, but mainly as a way for them to gain better access to certain areas. They are just now realizing that the infrastructure they help set up can contribute to local development. Therefore, careful planning and awareness of the local context is required.” The symposium will bring these people together to share information and discuss problem-solving strategies for post-conflict cities. The symposium will also be the first step to the main goal Najim and Thung hope to achieve: the formation of a research group at TU Delft to look into the problems of war-torn urban areas such as Kabul, Beirut, and Mogadishu. “Ultimately, we hope the symposium will contribute to more intelligent planning and that governments and urban planners in these traumatized areas will

27.11.2015 at BK City. For more info, visit



GRIJZE EI Het Grijze Ei / Satirisch studentencollectief /


Design Studio Beyond Oil

IT’S AN OIL WORLD AFTER ALL Words & Images Lotte Dijkstra

If I say oil, you say…? What does oil mean to you? At first glance oil might mean fuel, being able to drive a car. Maybe you think about plastic products that are made from refined oil. But the world of oil is bigger than that. Some of the global oil companies have a bigger net worth than complete countries. The necessary networks for the mining and refining of oil have translated into physical structures and mindsets. Just think about how often you might say or hear: “Go right at the gas station.” Even our mental maps have been subjected to world of oil. That is why a new design studio is dedicated to this intricate topic. Carola Hein tells us how awareness of oil can become a design factor.


What was your initial fascination with the world of oil? How did you develop the plan for the studio? My father worked for a major oil company and I grew up with the collectables handed out by the gas stations. Later on, when studying architecture and urbanism, I came to realize that changes in the built environment were often linked to the development of oil flows, administration, and retail. That led me to start research on global landscapes of oil and to teach courses on the topic. When I worked in Philadelphia, I studied the effect that oil networks had left on that city. Coming to Delft, I was excited to continue studying that topic. We are at the heart of the ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) area, which is the second largest petrochemical hub in the world. When I was preparing the design studio for TU Delft, I chose an image for the poster that shows the huge extent of oil storage and refining in the Rotterdam port. This image, however, did not seem appealing to students, who stated that the picture lacked a humane view. These comments made it even clearer to me, how little most people are aware of the impact of oil on our built environment and our lifestyle, giving me one more reason to teach the studio.

Refineries are not something people usually see or know. Most citizens only experience them on the edge of their every-day experience. They might glimpse a refinery or storage tanks at the side of a highway, they might see a passing train or ship, or view the harbour from the air. But few people draw connection from these cut off sites to the retail and administrative structures in the city or to their own lifestyle. If you look closer to the impact that oil has on architecture and built forms, on our daily life and mental maps, you will be startled. The Netherlands are a great example: aesthetic control exercised in the Netherlands made big oil companies hire well-known architects. Esso employed the modernist Dutch architect W.M. Dudok and Shell worked with Arthur Staal, creating a specific Dutch retail landscape. The oil companies also hired local ‘starchitects’ to design their office buildings, and many of you will probably know them. The ‘Rode Olifant’ next to the Malieveld in The Hague, for example, is the old main office of Esso and still is an urban anchor point in the general public mindscape of the city. If we want to build a more sustainable world, we have to understand where we come from and why our environment looks and functions the way it does.

Top to bottom: old Shell gas station, Rode Olifant, Play Mobil gas station, Shell road map; background: Shell refinery in Pernis >

History can get us thinking about these complexities and inspire ideas for the future. What is the build-up of the design studio? The studio consists of a seminar taught by me and fieldtrips to the design location in Rotterdam led by Paul van de Laar, who is professor at Erasmus University and director of the Museum Rotterdam. The design itself can either be architectural or urban. Henri van Bennekom and Paul Stouten, respectively mentor the designs. We also have help from other faculty members. Students can choose from three Rotterdam neighbourhoods for their analysis and design. Or, they can choose a location and relevant theme of their own liking. Studying the impact of cruiseships on Venice for example can also be an option. The topics and sites are open, as long as the historical and global connections are researched and expressed.


Can you give an example of such a historical and global connection? In Philadelphia, USA, you will find the oldest still-functioning oil refinery of the world. It started out in the 1870s with the refining of lamp oil from petroleum and continued to prosper with the advent of the car. The refinery site developed into a large industrial area in the middle of the growing metropolis. By 2011, SUNOCO announced it would exit the refining business, threatening to close its struggling refineries. In the face of local resistance, and given the difficulties of finding a buyer and redeveloping the plot, the shale oil boom in the USA saved the refineries. With the result of numerous trains crossing the country to transport the crude oil through dense metropolitan area, which raises a lot of environmental and safety questions. This example shows historical and global connections on many different levels. The importance of landownership becomes clear: the real power is not so much in owning the oil fields, but in owning the infrastructure to transport and refine the oil. These

refineries are not given up easily. Moreover, the companies that own these refineries are global and have clever marketing strategies. What marketing strategies do you mean exactly? There has long been a whole range of philanthropic interventions by oil companies or their owners. The Rockefeller family, who owned Standard Oil (today ExxonMobil), gifted architecture in many parts of the world that needs to be explored in context with the other oil structures. Oil companies have also developed marketing strategies to improve their image and become part of citizen’s imagination. For example, many oil companies produced free road maps. Many of the local ones showed windmills and tulips on the cover, combining the association with the Netherlands (“We are a traditional Dutch company”) and the feeling that they are just helping us drive everywhere. With these strategies they try to be seen as considerate, responsible companies, especially because the public knows these companies can cause major problems. Think about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Once you start exploring the history of architecture, you will find numerous connections between oil and the city, notably through the lens of cars. The famous Plan Voisin by Le Corbusier, for example, was sponsored by a car manufacturer. The 1939 World’s Fair in New York further highlights this relationship. General Motors sponsored a pavilion that hosted the Futurama exhibit, showing a city of highways and skyscrapers. The design by Norman Bel Geddes was then used by Shell for the promotion of their products. Already before World War II the connection between cars, oil, and design was established. Oil companies have shaped our environment in multiple, often unexpected ways and that is what we will explore in the seminar. In recent years, we see both a memorialization of oil infrastructures through heritage site and museums, as well as through ongoing oil based construction in Dubai or Abu Dhabi,

including ‘zero energy, zero waste’-buildings. Could we actually achieve oil-free cities? When you design, you have to think about the bigger implications. Big oil companies leave their footprint around the world. They can balance their production chain as needed across several continents. Their sites can be large and have strong impact on their surroundings landscapes. The question of how to redesign former refinery sites is an important one in many areas of the world. Oil networks have much larger implications and you have to be aware of these networks and understand them. Only then will you be able to use them within a strategy or design. Understanding the history and extent of oil networks can help us to create a more sustainable future. If green networks were part of our daily life and of the form and function of our cities in the same way as oil, green energy could have a much stronger foothold within our society. A LEED [ed. USA certificate of sustainability] certified gas station is maybe not the best way to go [laughs]. How should you navigate between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides of oil? It is not so much about ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but about creating awareness of the impact of oil on our built environment and lifestyle. There are a lot of different viewpoints and implications and it is important to get a full understanding of the global impact of oil. Changes in design in the Netherlands can mean that production sites are just settled elsewhere, displacing the problem but not solving it. The studio is about taking position and showing how you deal with this global influence on even the smallest scale. Which tools do we have to find out about the influence of oil on our surroundings? With the studio we are working on an augmented reality tool, an app for your phone or tablet. We still have to collect a lot of data, but then you will be able to hold up your phone and see the historic change

within the street view. In many cities there used to be gas stations on street corners for example. Now many of these gas stations have turned back into bakeries, since the smaller gas stations are no longer viable. We can trace historic transformation and gain better understanding to develop proposals for the future. In combination with web based data we hope to create an open source collection of information on oilscapes. This will help us to really understand how these oilscapes work exactly and what we can do to encourage green flows. Does oil also influence the architecture of our cities at the small scale? Certainly! The whole idea behind the oil companies strategies is to create an image that is embedded in your mental map. This happens especially on such small-scale designs. And they can be very attractive. Dudok designed small gas stations for Esso [see picture]. Maybe that is something that can be applied on electric charging stations as well: design charging stations that are aesthetically attractive and where people like to spend time. This is what I would like for the studio: a realization of the global influence of oil, and the use of this realization in a design. Because the world of oil has a big impact on our built environment, you cannot ignore it without consequence. Visit Literature tip: ‘Artwash – Big Oil & the Arts’, by Mel Evans. This book dives into the world of oil sponsorship and the influence of oil on the world of art, showing, once again, how big the world of oil really is.



OP ZOEK Tekst Annebregje Snijders

Artifact. Schoon, wit, blanco vel papier. Schoonheid, eenvoud, koestering schrijf ik op.

Het tinnen handgevormde suikerpotje met houten greep en idem melkkannetje van mijn oma? De schets van een Hollands landschap getekend met een enkele lijn? Of beter ‘Brabants landschap’, door mijn opa geschilderd in 1946, zorgvuldig en liefdevol, olieverf op doek. Ik ben op zoek. Naar dat wat raakt, wat tijdloos is. Een sieraad dan? Mijn ring, in het eeuwjaar voor mijn verjaardag gekregen? Opgebouwd uit vier U-vormige zilveren ringen die over elkaar heen verbonden zijn met een slank gouden draadje als vijfde. De goede kijker ziet hoe zorgvuldig de laatste is gemaakt, met op het sluitstuk een subtiele verdikking: de ‘lasnaad’ als diamant. Niet functioneel, als iemand me een ferme handdruk geeft word ik gemarteld, maar prachtig. En dan vind ik de doos. Een doos met spullen die ik niet weg kan gooien, maar ook niet meer gebruik (zonde, want het meeste doet het nog!). Zie hier mijn verzameling: van Ericsson tot Apple, van telefoon tot iPhone, van 20 naar 21, de overgang tussen twee eeuwen. Iedereen kent het. Maar deze zijn mijn keuzes geweest. Ik hield het meest van Ericsson. Mijn eerste. Uitgesproken. Eigen. Met klepje en antenne. Afgebroken natuurlijk. Terwijl iPhone niet meer weg te denken is uit mijn leven. En dat vind ik zo interessant. De impact van de innovatieve kracht. De snelheid en de daarmee gepaarde tijdelijkheid. Maar die ook in staat stelt anders te denken. Door een andere bril te kijken. Opnieuw af te pellen wat nodig is. Die vraagt om een nieuw ontwerp. Van de hele kleine tot de hele grote schaal. Van product tot landschap. Hernieuwde vorm en taal die raakt, die omarmd wordt. Schoonheid: dat blijft. Op zoek naar het artifact of fact of art van de 21e eeuw. Pierijn van der Putt is een man van het woord, ik ben benieuwd naar de muziek bij zijn artifact volgende maand.


Afstuderen en dan...


Beeld Eric Geboers

In zijn drukke agenda vond alumnus Eric Geboers tijd voor een interview met Bnieuws. De afgelopen tijd stond zijn ‘The Salt Project’ in de schijnwerpers. Tijdens zijn afstuderen ontwikkelde Eric het idee om zout te gebruiken als bouwmateriaal. Uiteindelijk ontwierp hij een zoutfabriek in Lusail (Dubai); een gebouw dat onderdeel is van een door Eric ontworpen winningsproces. Hij won een tweetal prijsvragen en het bracht hem nieuwe kansen voor een toekomst met zout. Wat is zijn geheim?


Facebook “Het afstuderen van Architectural Engeering begint bij je eigen fascinatie”, vertelt Eric. “In mijn geval biomimetica: het imiteren van structuren uit de natuur. Uit een aantal gegeven locaties koos ik de Nederlandse kust. Ik deed onderzoek naar het ecosysteem, wat zijn de mogelijkheden?” Zijn afstuderen kreeg een wending tijdens een SOGmomentje: “Op Facebook zag ik een bedrijfje dat 3D-print met zout. Ik dacht: met zout kan ik wel wat, dat is super interessant! Ik zag echter ook in dat het Nederlandse kustgebied niet geschikt is voor het bouwen met zout. Het winnen van zout uit zeewater kost veel energie. Zo kwam ik uit op de kustgebieden in de woestijn: daar is zonne-energie en de afvalstof, zoet water, is daar zeer waardevol.” Toen Eric aankwam bij zijn begeleiders met het idee zout te gebruiken als bouwmateriaal, wisten ze niet wat te verwachten en tot wat voor ontwerp het zou leiden. Eric waagde het erop en ging aan de slag in zijn keuken: “Ik heb zout en zetmeel uit de supermarkt vermengd met een beetje water uit de kraan tot een kleverige pasta. Na een boel gesneuvelde plastic magnetronbakjes, bakte ik uiteindelijk in een glazen schaal in de oven mooie staven om mee te gaan testen. Mijn eigen staafjes

heb ik vervolgens bij Civiele Techniek kunnen testen op dichtheid, druk- en treksterkte. Qua treksterkte is het materiaal zwak en bros, maar het kan goed belast worden op druk.” Eric haalt een staaf uit zijn tas: “Deze sleep ik al één jaar mee. Als je er doorheen kijkt en je hand ervoor houdt, zie je dat het materiaal licht translucent is.” Het maken en testen van een materiaal was voor Eric nog niet voldoende: “Ik had eenvoudigweg kunnen zeggen: ‘je scheidt zeewater van zoet water’, maar ik wilde wél een goed verhaal. Het is eenvoudig om cyclussen van materialen in kaart te brengen. Waar komt het vandaan, waar gaat het naar toe? Ik ben met mensen van TU Delft en Wageningen University gaan praten over de mogelijkheden.” Uiteindelijk ontwierp Eric een infrastructuur [zie blz. 33] waarbij gebruik wordt gemaakt van zoutwaterkassen, een bestaande kastechniek waarbij gelijktijdig zoet water, voedsel en zout geproduceerd worden. Algen kunnen worden gebruikt voor de productie van zetmeel. Je vraagt je af of hij nog wel tijd had voor een ontwerp, maar ook daar had Eric grote ambities: “Bij mijn P2 had ik mijn materialenstroom duidelijk en het materiaal getest. Ik wilde graag de ideale zoutstad ontwikkelen met een typische

‘zoutarchitectuur’. Dat vonden mijn begeleiders iets te veel van het goede. Ze hebben me gestuurd op het ontwerpen van één gebouw: de zoutfabriek.” Het ontwerp bestaat uit een reeks koepels, in Grasshopper gemodelleerd op druk, en kleinere ge-3D-printe onderdelen [zie afbeelding]. Waar af en toe je ‘timeline’ checken tot kan leiden... Een momentje op Facebook blijkt waardevol voor een afstudeerder, blijkt uit Erics verhaal!

van de toekomst’, kwam door een gesprek met de business developer van Studio Roosengaarde. “Ik was via een vriend geïntroduceerd en had één van mijn zoutstaven meegenomen. Ik dacht: als ik klaar ben, wil ik wel graag met zo’n innovatief bedrijf samenwerken. Hoewel ze zelf geen fondsen verstrekken, attendeerde hij me wel op de wedstrijd, waar Daan Roosengaarde voorzitter was.”

Een mail, een gesprek, een berichtje Dat Eric een talent heeft voor het zien van kansen, blijkt ook uit het winnen van de ‘Distinguished Award’ van de ‘Science of the Future Cities Competition’. “Ik zag het ergens in een mailtje staan van de TU [red. BK-nieuwsbrief]. Ik heb een essay geschreven van een paar pagina’s en daar wat plaatjes van mijn P2 bijgevoegd.” Binnenkort gaat Eric zijn prijs in Singapore ophalen en staat onder andere een diner met de president van het land op het programma.

Tijdens zijn welverdiende vakantie na zijn afstuderen hoorde Eric “tot zijn stomme verbazing” dat hij beide wedstrijden gewonnen had. Eenmaal thuis genoot hij veel media-aandacht. “Het is vrij bizar. Ik heb het ook niet echt gepromoot.” Het begon met een berichtje op LinkedIn over het winnen van de twee prijsvragen. “Dat bericht werd gedeeld door een paar van mijn contacten. Toen werd ik benaderd door Cobouw voor een interview. Het artikel werd getweet door de TU Delft, verscheen op de Facebookpagina van de faculteit en toen belde het AD, het FD… het balletje ging rollen.”

Zijn deelname aan de Urban Accelerator voor de tien finalisten van de wedstrijd ‘Challenge: de stad

Afstudeerder opgelet: de nieuwsbrieven in je mailbox toch maar eens checken!



Boven: Interieur van de zoutfabriek. Rechts Erics zoutinfrastructuur.

En nu? Inmiddels heeft Eric met het winnen van de twee prijsvragen genoeg fondsen om zichzelf een halfjaar te onderhouden en zijn idee verder te ontwikkelen. Vanuit de Urban Accelerator wordt hij verder ondersteund met coaching en masterclasses, met het oog op de finale van ‘Challenge: de stad van de toekomst’ in april. Voor dit evenement zou Eric graag een zoutpaviljoen bouwen. “Ik ben nu bezig met het aanvragen van beurzen, mails beantwoorden vanuit de hele wereld en promotieactiviteiten. Ik spreek binnenkort bij de Dutch Design Week en op de Pier in Scheveningen…voor meer moet ik mijn agenda kijken.” vertelt de drukke net afgestudeerde.

verwachten: “Er zijn hier betere biobased materialen voor handen, zoals hout, die minder energie kosten om te produceren.”

In oktober verwacht Eric meer te weten over de funding en kan hij zijn zout verder onderzoeken. In Nederland kunnen we, naast hopelijk binnenkort zijn paviljoen, voorlopig geen zouten gebouwen

Voor meer info kijk op

Tot slot vragen we Eric naar zijn geheim: “Ik zou iedereen willen aanraden ook buiten de muren van deze faculteit te kijken. Er gebeuren hier veel goede dingen, maar buiten ook. Iedereen vindt het leuk om met een student te praten over hun ideeën. Studenten onderschatten hoe goed deze kunnen zijn. Ik heb tijdens mijn proces bijvoorbeeld gepraat op Bouwkunde, Civiel, Scheikunde en daarbuiten.” Check ondanks je afstudeerstress Facebook, maar kijk vooral ook rond binnen en buiten je omgeving.

Bekijk Erics project van 9 tot 30 oktober in de BK-Expo bij de tentoonstelling van de BK-Archiprix voorselectie



LINGUISTIC FOLKLORE Words Leo van den Burg

This text was written by a Dutch speaking person. I am sure a native English speaker will quickly recognise it as coming from a foreigner, both because of its style and its grammar. I accept this for I think the point I want to communicate will come across anyhow. In the previous issue of Bnieuws, MaartenJan Hoekstra and Remon Rooij made a case against an English spoken bachelors curriculum. They gave a number of reasons for this, one of them being the negative effect simplified communication in bad English will have on the academic development of Dutch students.


This argument reminds me of a domestic problem we often have when we watch television. Since my wife is German, we always have to make a tough decision if we want to rent an English spoken movie: shall we watch it in the original language with Dutch subtitles, or shall we rent it with German voice-overs? As a Dutchman, I always looked at traditional German overdubbing as outdated folklore but I have had serious arguments with very intelligent Germans who defended overdubbing by saying that verbal subtleties are overheard if you listen to a language you do not fully understand. They trust the voice-over to translate these subtleties into German. In my view, this is bad reasoning. Not only will you not learn to recognise subtleties if you are never exposed to them, but trusting the overdub to be subtle is like asking Sjoerd Soeters to design a hotel. Now you may think that this example only proves Hoekstra’s and Rooij’s point: when Dutch teachers give lectures in English, subtleties will get lost in translation, our native professional vocabulary will lose its meaning and simplified English will lead to simplified thinking. But this argument can be reversed. Just as we learned our first foreign language in front of the television as a child, we must learn a new professional language through constant exposure. This goes for both students and teachers and it will involve making failures. I want to defend the right of both teachers students to make mistakes at first, but to learn a second professional language over the years and to grow into a new multinational culture. If the teacher is never asked to deliver a lecture in English, for sure he will not succeed in giving a good one. This process will take time but eventually, it will make us richer, not poorer. Dutch urbanists also have their linguistic folklore. Since 1996, the word ‘stedenbouw’ is spelled with an ‘n’ in the middle. The discussion about the bachelors in English brings back memories of at least ten years of debate among urbanists about the ‘n-word’. Stedenbouw implies that an urbanist designs cities. No, say urbanists,

we design ‘stedes’ - steads in English, like homestead as reflected in the old word ‘stedebouw’, without the ‘n’. For a small but militant group of urbanists, this spelling change violated the inner core of the profession. Getting into a discussion with them was useless. Their faces would become grim, like Germans defending overdubs. As now, a linguistic argument was used to defend professional identity and culture. The Stedenbouw-n is here to stay. Is urbanism any worse off than before? Well if it is, it is definitely not because of the n. Stede-bouw has disappeared like the steam train. In came new developments like GIS, GPS-tracking, big data, serious gaming, MOOCs, etc. This shows two things, the ‘n-guys’ were as old fashioned as we knew they were and many of the current trends in urbanism come from abroad. We do not even have proper Dutch terms for them and quite frankly, I don’t believe we need them. The quality of our education is not determined by language, but by an international context of design thinking. Hoekstra and Rooij quite rightly explain that our specific Dutch physical or legal context can also be explained in English: “language and content are two separate things”. This brings me to my last remark. Some see in an English spoken bachelor a final surrender to an Anglo-Saxon academic model that started with

a bachelors-masters division, then brought in the publish-or-perish doctrine and will now rob us of our language. What the opponents overlook in this case is that a bachelors in English has nothing to do with Anglo-Saxons. It has to do with Germans, Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Chinese and all those other nationalities who come here to learn from us and from each other. For them, as for us, English is the common ground that brings us all forward - and none of us speak it well. Hoekstra and Rooij stress that they are not against the introduction of English in those parts of the curriculum where this is functional. I also agree with them that we need market research to see if there is any real interest from foreign students in our bachelors education. Ten foreign students a year obviously do not legitimise a transition to English. But these considerations relate to the business-case and have nothing to do with the protection of the Dutch language. To all our colleagues in the faculty for whom a bachelor’s in English is like saying the ‘n-word’ (or your specific departmental equivalent of it), I would like to say: come on guys, jump of the steam train and stay on the right side of history! The future of education is an open international network, also in the bachelors. We should pioneer and facilitate this transition, not hamper it. Leo van den Burg is teacher at the Chair of Urbanism.

NEXT EDITION 03 What to do after your graduation? Will you go for the BEP? Or will you go beyond the borders of the Netherlands and find your luck elsewhere?


Bnieuws VOLUME 49 EDITION 02

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