Bnieuws 50/06 - The visual craft (2016/17)

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Bnieuws Volume 50 Issue 06 04 April 2017 Contact Room BG.Midden.140 Julianalaan 134 2628 BL Delft Editorial Team Nadine van den Berg Ruiying Liu Noortje Weenink


Visueel denken


Een hartekreet: Faculteit Bouwkunde zonder gastdocenten?


The Dean: Rule of Least Regret

Editorial Advice Edo Beerda Contributors Jamal van Kastel Gezicht op Delft@ Mauritshuis Cover A History of Utopian Tradition by Carlijn Kingma see also p. 03 Editorial Advice Board Robert Nottrot Pierijn van der Putt Marcello Soeleman Ivan Thung Linda van Keeken Next Deadline 18th of April Bnieuws Volume 50 Issue 07 Printed by Druk. Tan Heck 1.350 copies © All rights reserved. Although all content is treated with great care, errors may occur.




All About Lines


City of Canvas


Architect Designer


Ground for Discussion





In our last issue, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bnieuws and the fine tradition of writing in architecture and design. The buildup of materials for this issue seems to compel a pendulum swing, determined to balance our narrative of the BK life—that we live, work and play with our visual craft as well as our verbal one! Between the two V’s, the visual one is no doubt our very own specialisation. We diagram our way out of complex design argument; it is no less challenging than visualising chemical molecules. With machine-rivalling precision, our construction drawings are engineering blueprints. Perspective sketches can be as poetic as impressionism, and as narrative as comics. Design sketches join the abstractness of maths with the concreteness of craft. What a strange mixture it is! We can never learn enough about this craft, just like architecture and design is a life-time exploration. —So here is our exploration in a bit of both: With the conclusion of the Van Eesteren Chair, head of the chair Frits Palmboom shares his experience in drawing over the years. Former researcher Tiwánee van der Horst talks about making Architecture as Painting in the City as Canvas. Stylos, the student association, writes about their workshop, Visueel Denken on turning ideas into images. Peter Russell, our dean, has started a column with Bnieuws to share his ten rules for an architect career. Nadine reports back from the BEP event and its many unresolved issues. Meanwhile, we also bring to our readers’ attention the ongoing discussion on inclusiveness in the Faculty, as well as the sustainable architecture fighting air pollution worldwide. Last but not least, we are glad to have Carlijn Kingma’s drawing as the cover for this issue. It could not be more appropriate. (For the stories behind this drawing, please follow our next issue). Keep on drawing, keep on breathing!


Bnieuws Call

Gezocht–Vacancy / CARTOONIST Heb jij een passie voor beeldverhalen? Wil jij je tekenvaardigheden ook voor iets anders gebruiken dan voor architectuurproducties? Bnieuws biedt jou een plek waar je deze passie en vaardigheden kan exploreren. Elke maand vragen we van jou een goede, aan de faculteit gerelateerde visuele vertelling. Alle grafische stijlen zijn welkom! —Are you passionate about visual storytelling? Do you want to use your drawing skills for something else than architectural renderings? Bnieuws offers you the freedom to explore your passion, and even experiment with different graphic styles and format. All we ask from you is a good visual narrative every monthly issue, related to our faculty. Bnieuws / Every Issue






Get to know / GRIJZE EI, THE FREE SPEECH PLATFORM Het Grijze Ei is een vaste column in Bnieuws, die uitdrukking geeft aan de meningen van alle anonieme BK Citizens. Anders dan andere organisaties wordt de column niet gerund door iemand, maar is deze in bezit van iedereen die zijn stem wil laten klinken. Stuur jouw gedachten naar Bnieuws en maak gebruik van dit platform van het vrije woord! —The Grijze Ei is a regular column in Bnieuws where all BK Citizens can express their opinions in anonymity. Unlike any organisation, it is not run by anyone, and is owned by all those who want their voices heard. All readers are welcome to write to Bnieuws and make use of this free speech platform! Bnieuws / Once every two issues


To do / FEMINISMEN IN DE ARCHITECTUUR Van de ongeveer 650 auteursarchieven in het Nederlands Rijksarchief voor Architectuur en Stedenbouw–de grootste architectuurcollectie ter wereld–staan slechts vijftien op naam van een vrouw. De TU Delft Feminists maken hun opwachting met een performatief statement, waaraan jij kan meedoen als je mailt naar Architect Afaina de Jong reflecteert op de vraag of er zoiets bestaat als ‘feministische architectuur’ en als stedenbouwkundige geeft Riek Bakker haar visie op feminisme binnen de architectuur vanuit haar ervaring als oprichter/ directeur van meerdere bureaus.

Symposium / DECONSTRUCTION How to deconstruct existing buildings practically? What opportunities lie in the integration of old components in new structures? How to design buildings to maximise its potential for later reuse, on site, and/or offsite? Visiting professors of Rotor will lead a symposium on transforming the linear modes of material consumption from the age of industrialization. BK / 24. 04. 2017 - 25. 04. 2017

Het Nieuwe Instituut / 06.04.17 / 19:30 - 21:00


Workshop / MILANO BOVISA AREA The 3rd Erasmus+ Wicked Workshop on architectural and urban sustainability (with ION MINCU Bucharest and POLIMI in Milano) will focus on the former industrial site of Bovisa, Milano. Participants can earn 3 ECTS and apply for funding. To apply, please send your C.V. and a 500-word motivation letter to N.SanaanBensi@ before April 12th. Both bachelor and master students are welcome!

Conference / INDESEM 2017 APPLICATION “Crowded”—INDESEM 2017 will address the aftermath of densification of cities. The one-week conference consists of a design project involving eighty students from around the world, lectures, and discussions with the speakers, including Mauricio Pezo, Sofia von Ellrichshausen and Winy Maas. INDESEM (the International Design Seminar) is a biennale set up by students in 1962 to explore beyond the curriculum constraints. Please visit for more information (application deadline: April 14th).

Milan, Italy / 07.05.17 - 13.05.17

BK / 26.05.17 - 02.06.17


BREATHE Words Nadine van den Berg

It is becoming a norm: sustainable architecture. It is important to plan ahead and consider the future inhabitants of the world when we are making interventions in cities and urban areas. A balance between ecological, economic and social interests is necessary. A lot of the time the focus is on saving energy (and money), producing clean energy, using sustainable materials, renovating instead of building new houses, creating a pleasant interior climate… It is included in the role of the architect to consider all these aspects. But what about the exterior climate? The air surrounding the buildings we design? Is it slipping from our minds that even though the buildings we create may be sustainable and aiming for zero emission, it is of little use when the future air pollution keeps reaching new highs?


The Situation If man-made emissions continue at present levels, the overall air quality will have worsened by 2050.1 A study from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) already determined that the average world citizen forty years from now will have the same air quality as experienced by today’s average East Asian citizen. If the “business as usual” use of current technology for food and energy continues, there will be an increase of man-made air pollution in the future.1 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), urban outdoor air pollution causes 1.3 million deaths per year. Areas with densely populated regions, such as East and South Asia, will experience the levels of air pollution tripling. Europe and North-America will also be affected, but less so because these regions have already implemented policies over the past two decades to reduce the effects of pollution.1 It seems we are only reminded of how serious this global problem is when it reaches the extreme and makes the headlines. For example, London has

breached its annual air pollution limits only five days into the new year.2 Action needs to be taken, in both preventive as improving ways, and already is being taken around the world. But how can architects contribute to cleaner air in the future in their architectural and technological way? This article focuses on several examples of architects and designers. Some of them are already finalised, others are being planned, which serve for some great inspiration. How can they contribute to a future with cleaner air, not only for now, but also for future generations? Vegetation There are several architects who combine plants and architecture. It is a way to help improve the air quality in a part of a city. An example of this is the vertical forests from Stefano Boeri Architects. They designed a model for vertical densification of nature within the city that operates in relation to policies for reforestation and naturalisation of large urban and metropolitan borders.

Their first vertical forest project, Bosco Verticale, finished in 2014 and is located in Milan (see next page). These two towers house different kinds of trees, which help reduce smog, produce oxygen, moderates temperatures, trap fine dust and attenuate noise.3 Another vertical forest is in the making: Nanjing Vertical Forest, located in China. With a total of 1,100 trees and 2,500 plants that will cover a 600 Sqm area (double the amount on the Bosco Verticale), this architectural design will be contributing to improving the city’s air quality.4 Although it is a relatively small amount compared to the whole city, it still has a positive influence on the surrounding area. Their next step is designing a mini-city with trees and plants on the facades. They are currently working on this. Building would start at the end of this year in Liuzhou and hopefully there will be a first forest city in China by 2020.5 This design is supposed to bring new life to the polluted urban sprawl. There are of course other architects who work with green architecture (in the most literal sense) like the Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia, known for combining architecture with vegetation, and for his use of sustainable materials including bamboo and thatch. Greenery is overflowing in the holiday resort Atlas Hoi An Hotel (see next page) in the city of Hoi An. Innovative use of vegetation in architecture projects on this scale does not only contribute to the local climate, but is also aesthetically appealing to the people living there and visiting the area.11 Vo Trong Nghia also envisions the combination of architecture and vegetation on a bigger scale. Construction on the Hanoi University campus has already started. It features a chequerboard facade made up of concrete slabs and tree-filled balconies.6 The aim of the project is not only using the positive effects of vegetation to our advantage. It also creates a connection to nature that can be felt anywhere in the building, restoring the

harmony between humans and nature that was lost over the years. Facades Another way to use architecture in a positive way, is by designing a smart facade. Mexico City is a densely populated and heavily trafficked city. Located there is the Hospital Manuel Gea Gonzalez, which integrates a honeycomb-like facade that filters air pollutants and prevents unwanted solar gain. The façade (see next page), designed by Prosolve, consists of geometric tiles that are coated with superfine titanium dioxide, which, when activated by ambient daylight, can neutralize emissions and other toxins.7 Other Scales Developments towards smarter cities with clean air can also be made on the scale of a designer. Studio Daan Roosegaarde designed the Smog Free Tower, with which they are trying to raise awareness about air pollution and allow city dwellers and those living in areas affected by air pollution to live in a cleaner environment. This seven meter tall tower has the ability to clean 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour while using about 1,400 Watts (roughly the amount a home water boiler uses).8 The air purifier harvests smog and converts it into little cubes, that can be made into jewellery. One smog free ring equals 1,000 cubic meters of clean air.9 After their first Smog Free Tower in Rotterdam in 2015, they now have one opened in Beijing. During its time in Beijing, the tower cleansed 30 million cubic meters of air.8 Not only buildings and towers can contribute to cleaner city air. Scientists and writers from the University of Sheffield have produced the world’s first air-cleansing poem. It is a catalytic poem “Praise of Air”, written by Simon Armitage, that has been printed on specially treated material the size of a billboard. It is capable of purifying its surroundings


through catalytic oxidation. This poem has shown how science and the arts can work together to address the issue of poor air quality in our towns and cities.10 Awareness An important point of all these projects is not only helping the environment, but also spreading awareness about this issue. To let people know that this is a serious problem and something needs to be done. The previous projects are only a few of them.

help a part of the area. Most architectural changes start on a smaller scale first. It is also a good way to inspire other people to come up with their own solutions. People from all over the world, with creative ideas to improve the living environment of the future, could build a cleaner future together. The sources for this article can be found on the online pages 36 - 37:

Of course, two green towers in a huge urban environment are only a small contribution, but they do


Hospital Manuel Gea Gonzalez (left) and “In Praise of Air� poem (right). Images by prosolve370e and Sheffield University. < From left to right: The Bosco Verticale, the Atlas Hoi An Hotel and the Smog Free Tower. Images by Stefano Boeri Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects and Daan Roosegaarde Architects.

A Palmboom Perspective

ALL ABOUT LINES Words Ruiying Liu

During his time as head of the Van Eesteren Chair, Prof. Frits Palmboom has inspired us to sketch, to learn and to think in the context of urban design. What is the language that we use to depict and design? What are the tricks and traps of this instrument? What is its connection to the phenomenal world that we shape? His perspective on lines—the agent of representation, form giving and spatial narratives—leads us to the centre of design.


Layered Lines—a Dutch Problem The Dutch urban landscape is notoriously complicated with pervasive, hidden infrastracture as a result of generations’ intervention. Dikes, canals, roads and parcels used to be neatly bundled into one system as craftsmen of old carefully negotiated the relation between the settlement and the ground layer. Today things are different. Designers can pass on the complicated ground to the engineering surgeons. The result is a salad of urban systems, fragmented space and disoriented perception. That was the condition in which Frits found Rotterdam during his graduation project in 1981: the city is severed into islands, and his own site is a "put" (Dutch word for "pit"). Various forms intrude on the shaping of the put: highways, dikes, river, industries, railways, hierarchical roads … and all he has is maps that smooth over these spatial irregularities. “... [the administration’s map] practically blotted out the topography, swiping under the carpet both the opportunities for turning the area into a good residential setting and the hindrances to that.”

(Excerpts from translated project text.) In other words, it’s reading the situation by tracing. 1, 2 The mind uses sketches as external memory to help it sort out the categories and relations of the lines. As it does so, it builds up the internal knowledge of the situation into a coherent representation. And the latter is the basis of design decisions. Building up this basis is a difficult task in terms of space, because the source of spatial information—the map—is abstract on the urban design scale. When do lines of physical edges turn into abstraction of three dimensional things? When does the order of multiple lines imply an object? When are lines not physical objects at all? Compounding the issue is the intricate Dutch ground composition. Cities and new infrastructure sit on top of old structures. Try to find dikes, canal connections and height differences on the map and you will know the meaning of despair—modern maps hide them so well. Why should uniform criteria be applied to all types of landscape? If contour lines are invented for mountains, what can be done for the Dutch ground?

Maps have rationalised everything. Yet the lines whisper of different identities and spatial implications. A line can be the edge of a road, then it becomes a slope; some lines are indifferent to one another, others seem to imply a shared origin … The neat appearance falls into chaos in the mind’s eye, but beneath the chaos is something that makes sense. The mind needs some help to grasp the complex situation.

So far no mapping device has been invented yet, but there are some cognitive guidelines. First you trace lines to decompose maps and grasp the situation; second you use the Dutch layer approach to help with your cognitive categorisation. In fact, through his work on Rotterdam, Frits is one of the initiators of this approach. 3, 4

“By putting things on paper one after another in a sequence I am re-enacting the process of landscape formation [...] By tracing the movement (or the non-movement) [...] I’m experiencing the difference between active, fully-formed lines and passive, quietly continuing, ‘endless’ straight lines [...] how they untouched pursue their course or how they interweave or blend [...] This is a nearly physical sensation: getting a grip on the area, getting tuned in to the area.”

In fact, from its origin, the Dutch layer approach can be differentiated from McHarg’s 5 layer approach. While the latter is a computational method of synthesising geographical information—involving matrices and value gradient—the former is actually a perspective to understand a site by decomposing it into layers. Such a cognitive strategy is inspired, and necessitated by the representation problem of the Dutch ground.

< Sketches made by Frits during the interview at Espresso Bar.


Lines Serve Two Masters As a designer, Frits is strongly opinionated about the difference between design and planning. But why? Aren’t they both indispensable to the cross-scale operation of urbanism? But you would be mistaken to dismiss it as a professional bias. The difference is not about the scope or scale, but about the cognitive processes in design and planning. Essential part of being a good designer is knowing that difference.


Good designers know what their lines stand for. Using a line to represent a canal is one thing; using a circle to indicate a city is quite another. With increasing scales, lines become more abstract, but they are still morphologically analogous to their physical counterparts. They are still part of the system that represents real space. Symbols, however, are introduced onto the map by arbitrary definition. Take planning diagrams for example. Main elements are purged of morphological attributes. Circles and links are symbols with no physical instantiations. Yet they are put in one frame with a basemap—whose lines represent actual forms. Of course “does this line exist” is easy to answer with the reference of reality. The trap lies in “is this line intended to be part of the new space”. Because diagrams can look so elaborate and depictive that they seduce people into taking them for actual forms. Imagine a symbolic line is drawn on a map, crossing mountains, rivers and houses indiscriminate. The designer forgets to elaborate it into spatial forms, and the plan is passed along to engineers. The latter go to all the trouble to cleave open mountains, bridge

(Clockwise) A planning diagram from the 4th Report on Physical Planning 6—abstract elements purged of morphological attributes The Green City of Moscow, 1930 7 —is this planning or design? Lines twist and dance but have no intention to negotiate with the spatial context. The concept and plan sketch of IJbrug by Frits Palmboom (1997) 8—both levels are about space and form in relation to the context

ravines and move houses to make that line realised. All this violent remake of the landscape hinges on an arbitrary definition: a line is (the easiest way) to represent a connection. Such things are not too surreal to happen. Designers often drop their arbitrary symbols on the face of the land—sometimes for clear reasons, such as religion or marketing effects. But to be oblivious to the concept of context is spatial illiteracy. The way “illiterate” designers meddle with the space is like how people who don’t speak Chinese try to edit a Chinese text based on the aesthetic appearance of the characters. That is why it is good to know that lines serve two masters. Symbolic lines illustrate explicit and abstract ideas; they help us plan what to do with our object. Representational lines depict specific forms; they give concrete forms to ideas in the given context. The double life of lines can be deceptive, but it is also the foundation of the transformation between planning and design. As long as design relies on visual media, designers work with both kinds of lines. So how do lines serve design?

In Frits’ view, design is a conversation with the spatial context. The conversation can only begin when the designer understand the logic of the context. That’s why designers must first read the lines—re-enact their movement to grasp the meaning and possibilities of the forms they compose—as described in the last section. 2, 8 “When designers sketches, their lines interact with lines of the context. New lines also interact with old ones. This gives the sketch a kind of ambiguity. In the ambiguous lines, designers see new forms, new relations and new possibilities. It takes their ideas further. In other words, as designers put their ideas on the paper, they also get feedback and inspiration from it. This process is a central part of designing.” Frits’ reflection connects to the line of thinking embraced by many design theorists and cognitive scientists. Schön and Wiggins 9 calls it the “reflective conversation with the situation”. Goldschmidt 10 reveals designers discover new forms in their ambiguous sketches by alternating between the modes of “seeing as” and “seeing that”.


The Meaning of Lines The poetics of space lies in the experience of it: the intriguing views, the movement on the terrain, the rhythm of changing surroundings … On architectural scales, designers construct direct experiences one episode after another; but on urban scales, designers have to think differently.


“I stood on the dikes of IJsselmeer, and the sea just goes endlessly in front of me. How do people grasp such an infinite space?—I wondered. What spatial qualities can designers handle on such a large scale? How can they connect to human-scale experiences?” On urban design scales, lines on maps become abstract; and the space represented is something beyond direct perception. Designers that handle this object rely on more than the representational quality of lines—they actually see them as possessing meaning for the phenomenal world. Such a connection is a professional gear. Imagine a plan is embroidered with intriguing patterns, but the designer has no idea what they feel like on the ground. Eventually, the constructed space may not be experienced as nice at all. Perspective renderings can help visualise that experience, but complex design cannot rely on frames after frames of renderings to proceed. So instead, designers are trained to have a cross-scale imagination that rapidly zooms in and out between plans and on-the-ground experience. Seeing, drawing, flying is Frits’ repertoire to exercise

this imagination. 11 In five minutes he “zoomed out” from our coffee table in Espresso Bar to Delft, and to the Hague–Rotterdam region. This gear allows designers’ imagination to go both ways. The patterns on maps and plans become vivid space that they move through on eye level; and lines gain a layer of experiential meaning for them. In fact, designers of all scales who use maps and plans forge this mental connection. Yet it is more vital for large-scale design than for others. On architectural scales, rooms as places are organised by the narrative of the house. A house is small enough to be designed as a whole, and still makes sense for human experience, regions, however, are not only too big to be experienced as a whole, but are also already differentiated into “rooms” and voids. On this scale, relations among the “rooms” come to the fore in the long lines of large-scale forms. These lines appear as intriguing patterns on maps, but they are something else when perceived during everyday movement. Instead, they are indirectly felt as storylines of many directly experienced places. Knowing this, urban designers find grounding of their long lines in human experience through the former’s role in spatial narratives. Whereas small-scale designers zoom from their lines into forms of objects, large-scale designers zoom into places and the movement connecting them. “The feeling of the IJsselmeer space emerges from the experiences of many small places, combined with the experience of the infinity towards the horizon … A line is not a monolithic entity. It’s like a thread with

various beads, the thread even varying from bead to bead. On the paper and through the space, the movement/locomotion of this thread ties all the experiences together, and that defines its character. “A curve-in of the IJsselmeer shoreline creates a bay-like place, surrounding the viewer like a cradle, its calm water like a window looking out onto the sea. A jutting-out makes a cape, asserting itself on the horizon and leading the view far out into the openness … Stakeholders can argue over many issues, but when this analogy is presented, they all come to agree on the value of a dynamic shoreline.” Line of Inquiry We mostly argue about what design should do, but often forget to learn HOW DESIGN IS CARRIED OUT. Poets master the language so they can shape words to carry thoughts. Professionals learn their tools and materials to achieve fluency. If we don’t learn about our “language” in the media we work with, we produce bad poems, or struggle through every idea implementation, at the very least. Reading lines by tracing, conversing with space in lines, and feeling the world created by lines... Frits’ lines form a line of inquiry that leads to the centre of design. It crosses the terrains of representation, form giving and phenomenal grounding—in the context of the media we work with. “The visual mode of working is defining to our profession. It’s how we represent our objects and how we shape them,” Frits says. Lines, unlike words or symbols, is locked in one kind of media: the visual one. They are designers’ agents in those media to represent, to give forms and to create narratives. With visual representation designers record their experience of space using lines. By reading lines in visual representation, they glean knowledge of space. Some representations are so intricate that they must be peeled layer after layer, while in the mind designers

re-assemble them with the structure they have learnt, into an ever more salient image of the situation. Then they feel the urge to design, to assert ideas in the conversation with the situation. Still in the same visual media, they place ideas represented by symbols, then use lines to negotiate their corporeal forms out of the spatial context. Throughout this represented frame, urban designers attach human values to lines. They care about how forms feel like, and design the phenomenal qualities of lines. They are good at crossing spatial scales to imagine the experience of lines on the ground, just like engine designers can cross temporal scales to tell how a part performs after 10,000 rotations. How design is carried out is a fundamental question that has been tackled with human intelligence before any technological aspirations. “Multi-disciplinary approach to real-world problems only works when everyone on the team has a discipline he or she has mastered. While exploring various themes, students should ask themselves: what are the core skills of design, and what is the value of these skills compared to data technology? Data cannot solve our problems if designers don’t go beyond compiling. Because to design is to select, abstract, and engage data in the spatial context,” Frits concluded. Some may believe one day VR technology can give designers the freedom of manipulating spatial objects without visual representation. Others dream of magical algorithm to carry out that cross-scale imagination and translate countless human-scale experiences onto one regional plan … But none of this will happen if we don’t explore for the answer today. Or maybe we would prove Frits’ point: absolute freedom is not what designers should seek. “No imagination without material resistance; no creativity without medium-switch.” Sources can be found on the online pages 36 - 37:



VISUEEL DENKEN Tekst & Beeld D.B.S.G. Stylos

Je bent druk bezig met je ontwerpopdracht en hebt een prachtig idee. Maar hoe kun je dit idee visualiseren? Visueel denken, we doen het allemaal. Samen met ‘design thinking’ proberen we uitgangspunten, complexe concepten en abstracte ideeën weer te geven.


Ontwerpend Denken in samenhang met ‘Visueel denken’ is voor ‘De jongens van de tekeningen’ het gereedschap om abstracte of complexe ideeën zichtbaar en deelbaar te maken. Tekenen wordt nog steeds gezien als de eerste stap om je ideeën te visualiseren. Aan de hand van een casus over architectuur werden in groepjes ideeën visueel gemaakt en gepresenteerd op posters. Tegenwoordig wordt veel gewerkt met renders en digitale programma’s. Is een programma als Revit de snelste manier om onze ideeën te visualiseren? Zeggen renders nou eigenlijk wel wat we willen zeggen? Moeten we voorzichtig zijn met het gebruik van renders? Bij deze masterclass heeft een lezing plaatsgevonden van @Hok waarbij een ontwerpproces van schets tot render werd gepresenteerd. Liviu van @Hok heeft aan de hand van zijn eigen werk en ervaring met software een ontwerpproces van schets tot render gepresenteerd. Daarbij heeft hij aansluitend op ‘De jongens van de tekeningen’ het belang van schetsen aangekaard. “Ontwerpen doen we uiteindelijk fysiek op papier en niet in een computer programma,” aldus Liviu. Daarnaast werd het belang van een goede presentatie bij architectuur prijsvragen besproken. ‘Bij een prijsvraag worden soms 200 posters ingeleverd, om op te vallen moet je inzicht krijgen in de visuele presentatie die de opdrachtgever herkent en waardeert’. Mede dankzij ‘De jongens van de tekeningen’ en @Hok werd deze masterclass mogelijk gemaakt waarbij studenten een inspirende dag hebben gehad. Hou de Stylos website in de gaten voor meer events.



Alumni project

THE CITY AS CANVAS Tekst Noortje Weenink

Beeld Tiwánee van der Horst

Een jaar geleden studeerde Tiwánee van der Horst af met haar onderzoeksproject “The City as Canvas, Architecture as Painting – An Intuitive Approach to 3D Printing” in Explore Lab. In dit project onderzocht ze de mogelijkheden om schilderkunst te verbinden met de manier waarop architecten ruimte creëren. Door middel van een techniek die vergelijkbaar is met 3D-printen vertaalt ze expressieve schildertechnieken als de toets, de veeg en de druiper in driedimensionale vormen. Het “action painting in 3D” is een treffende combinatie tussen hedendaagse technieken en ambacht. Naar aanleiding van haar succesvolle crowdfundingscampagne in februari, sprak Bnieuws met Van der Horst over het project en de toekomstige ontwikkelingen.

Hoe kwam je op het idee om technieken in de schilderkunst te verbinden aan architectuur en hoe heeft dit geleid tot de ontwikkeling van je 3D-painting techniek? Tijdens mijn afstudeerjaar bestudeerde ik de ontwikkelingen in 3D-printen en de inzet van de plastic afvalstroom om het grondstofverbruik van architectuur te verminderen. Wat ik zag is dat de combinatie van plastic en het huidige 3D-printen (specifiek: Fused Deposition Modeling) eigenlijk met elkaar strookt. Met een 3D-printer kan je heel precies volgens een digitaal model het geheel in laagjes laten printen, maar plastic heeft juist een vloeibaar karakter. Waarom willen we het dan langs een XYZ-as in een vorm dwingen? Plastic heeft een relatief lage smelttemperatuur en snelle stollingstijd waardoor het—anders dan beton, staal en klei—gemakkelijk tot een bruikbaar geheel kan worden gemaakt. Ik dacht: “Als we die vloeibare eigenschap vergelijken met verf, dan kunnen we ook veel inspiratie halen uit schildertechnieken.” Als 3D-printen wil kunnen tippen aan de oude technieken van het metselen, dan moeten we zorgen dat we het koppelen aan dingen die we al kennen. Daarom maakte ik de analogie tussen 3D printen en schilderen

en stelde ik voor dat er een machine moest komen die tussen beiden in staat. Wat was je inspiratie? Is er een gemis aan ambacht in hedendaagse architectuur? Er is voor mij wel een gemis aan ambacht in architectuur. Het is vooral het moment van creëren dat verloren gaat doordat we al snel onze ideeën om gaan zetten naar computertekeningen en soms zelfs de computer het creatieve denkwerk laten doen. Dit lijkt misschien onontkoombaar als we mee willen doen aan het efficiënter en goedkoper maken van de bouw, maar het hoeft niet het doel te zijn. Ik denk dat er een zekere waarde zit in de menselijke intuïtie die niet na te bootsen is met welk algoritme dan ook. Een interessant boek dat hierover gaat is In Defence of Serendipity van Sebastian Olma. Hij beschrijft hoe onze programmeringsvaardigheden te kort schieten en dat de enige stap vooruit wijst naar een herwaardering van onze vrije expressie. Voor mij staat het loslaten van controle hierin centraal: niet alles geforceerd doordenken, maar letterlijk het pad volgen met de minste weerstand. In relatie tot mijn machine wordt dat pad bepaald door hoe het materiaal valt en


Onderzoek naar de invloed van beweging op het werk, met v.l.n.r. lichaam, arm en hand. Tekeningen door Nadia Pepels.


hoe jij met je lichaam de machine bestuurt. Het eerste is altijd anders en niet te voorspellen met een thermodynamisch model, het laatste is sterk afhankelijk van hoe jij je laat leiden door het moment, of dat je van te voren een bepaalde vorm in gedachte hebt waar je het materiaal naar probeert te vormen. Kun je iets meer vertellen over de techniek? Essentieel is dat de machine analoog werkt: het gaat om de directe interactie tussen mens, materiaal en machine. Als architect kun je van te voren een idee hebben van wat je wilt maken, maar hoe het er precies uit komt te zien ligt aan het materiaal en de beperkingen van de machine. Er hangt een plasticextrusie-machine aan een arm, waarin de scharnierpunten van schouder, elleboog en pols in een balansmechanisme zijn verwerkt. Zo kan je met lichte lichaamsbewegingen de kop sturen. Je geeft daarmee richting aan het materiaal, maar de verschillende eigenschappen van verschillende plastics, bijvoorbeeld bioplastic, polypropyleen of polycarbonaat, zorgen voor een eigen esthetiek. Over het algemeen resulteert dit in de esthetiek van beweging, vergelijkbaar met 3D-action painting: het materiaal legt de beweging in het moment vast. Maar het is ook de esthetiek van vloeibaarheid, waar

natuurlijke krachten als zwaartekracht en centrifugekracht het overnemen van het materiaal. Wat voor mogelijkheden biedt deze techniek voor architectuur? Het is een eerste stap naar het vinden van een nieuw idioom voor architectuur gemaakt van onze plastic afvalstroom. De techniek is bedoeld om architecten en ontwerpers bewust te laten worden over de manier waarop we met de beschikbare materialen omgaan en om steeds creatief na te blijven denken over alternatieven. Op deze manier blijven we kritisch kijken naar de positie van architectuur binnen de huidige technologische ontwikkelingen en hoe deze antwoord kunnen bieden op uitdagingen van de 21ste eeuw met betrekking tot materiaal schaarste en bevolkingsgroei. De sculpturen die ik maak kunnen worden versnipperd en worden hergebruikt voor een nieuw sculptuur. Om tot interessante texturen en andere structurele eigenschappen te komen, wordt komende tijd, naast gerecycled plastic, gekeken naar additieven en fillers uit andere afvalstromen. Stap voor stap kijk ik naar hoe ruimtes kunnen worden bepaald door de extrusielijnen. Ik zie voor me dat we in de nabije toekomst een klimrek voor

kinderen kunnen maken. Op constructief vlak zouden kolommen bijvoorbeeld kunnen worden gecreëerd vanuit het laten vallen van een materiaal: de rechte lijn wordt dan gecreëerd door de druppel, die onderhevig aan de zwaartekracht onderweg stolt. Ook haal ik inspiratie uit weef- en vouwtechnieken om tot sterke structuren te komen. Je tekeningen waar de beweging van een schilder gelinkt wordt aan je machine doen denken aan eerder gemaakte relaties tussen archietctuur en ‘performance’ of ‘events’, zoals het Triadisch ballet van Oskar Schlemmer en de Manhattan Transcripts van Bernard Tschumi. Hoe heeft dit invloed gehad op je werk? Ik leg de verbinding tussen schilderkunst, sculptuur en architectuur, waar de drie beeldende kunstvormen tijd, ruimte en beweging tot uiting laten komen in een materieel object. Het gaat voor mij niet per se om het eindproduct maar om het moment van het maken. Ik haal daarom inspiratie uit de ‘performance’ die ontstaat door de beweging van een schilder—of het nou het detailwerk van het pointillisme is of de uitspattingen van action painting. Beweging wordt geleid door ritme en balans en dus kunnen we ook inspiratie halen uit dans. De fotografie serie Mirages van Alexander Yakovlev heeft me heel erg geïnspireerd. De manier waarop hij de interactie tussen mens en materiaal vastlegt is heel intens. Wat als we deze intensiteit van dat moment niet alleen in een foto kunnen vastleggen, maar ook in het materiaal, precies op dat moment dat het materiaal valt, stolt en zijn vorm in neemt in de ruimte? Op dit moment ben ik aan het kijken op welke manier de dansdiscipline kan worden ingezet. Of andersom: hoe dans op een nieuwe manier tot stand kan komen. De beweging van de danser kan richting geven aan het materiaal, maar het materiaal kan ook richting geven aan de danser. Zo geeft de danser vorm aan de ruimte. Ik ga dit de komende tijd samen met een danser onderzoeken tijdens de kunstresidentie in Kunsthuis SYB. De resultaten zullen tijdens de vernissage op 29 april worden tentoongesteld en blijven tot 14 mei in Beetsterzwaag, Friesland te zien.

Wat zijn de volgende stappen in de ontwikkeling van de machine? Ik ben op dit moment met de tweede versie aan het experimenteren en bekijk hoe de interactie tussen lichaamsbewegingen, de machine en het materiaal verbeterd kan worden. De basis is nu gelegd in het balansmechanisme, dat het mogelijk maakt om lichte bewegingen te maken. De volgende stap is om controle te krijgen over het stollingsproces. Los van de technische aanpassingen gaat het vooral om de samenwerkingen die ik aan ga. Ik blijf nieuwe verbindingen zoeken binnen de wetenschap en de kunst om het idee in zoveel mogelijk disciplines te laten doorklinken. Daarnaast wil ik de machine graag inzetten voor educatieve doeleinden, waarbij leerlingen hun creativiteit niet gelijk vast leggen in de computer, maar de kans krijgen om vanuit hun lichaamsbeweging vaardigheden te ontwikkelen en hun creativiteit te uiten. Het is belangrijk dat er omgevingen zijn waar betekenisvolle experimenten en exploraties gedaan kunnen worden. In Explore Lab heb ik mijn afstudeerjaar als een leerzaam, speels en vrij jaar ervaren. Ik geniet nu nog steeds van de inspiratie en ruimte die mijn begeleiders me toen hebben gegeven, daarom zet ik dit graag door. Bedankt daarvoor, Robert, Martijn en Jan! Meer informatie over The City as Canvas en de vernissage vind je op




ARCHITECT DESIGNER Words Nadine van den Berg

Student Association Stylos organized an information event about BEP last month. For those who are not yet familiar with it: BEP stands for “beroepservaringsperiode” (in English: Professional Traineeship). Since 2015 it is mandatory for BK students from the master tracks Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture who want to enrol themselves in the Bureau Architecten Register (in English: Architect Registration Office ) to participate in this two-year traineeship. The information moment was meant to clear the air and hopefully let students leave without any questions.

The information event offered the possibility to ask questions face-to-face to the people supporting BEP. What is going to be discussed in those two hours? According to the programme, at least the following four questions: “Do I have to do it?” “Why should I?” “What does it cost?” “Can I work at a firm without having the title?” You can see those questions on a presentation slide before the event begins. The Orange Hall is packed with students who are eager to get more clarification about the BEP, even though it started in 2015 and the first students are finishing the procedure this year. People from different disciplines were invited to tell students about their experience with the BEP from different perspectives. The first speaker, Henk Dol of the Bureau Architecten Register, makes it clear at the very beginning that the remainder this afternoon is not meant for discussing the reasons for BEP and the way it was brought to students. After a quick summary of reasons why the BEP is a good idea are listed, negative reasons are left out. And won’t be discussed, as was firmly stated at the beginning. A lot of time is dedicated to describe the general aspects of the BEP that could easily be found online. This is futile, since everyone present already dug into the available information themselves. They came to this event because there were still some questions that were left unanswered. A description of the general aspects is not the reason why people attended this event. This becomes clear from the amount of people who left during


the presentations. Of course the finances, a bottleneck for students, are addressed. The costs of the BEP and the difference between the integrated route and the independent route is explained. The only option for the integrated programme up to date is PEP (Professional Experience Program), which would costs you 1250 euro’s excl. VAT per half year. However, when the costs of the independent route are explained, things get blurry quite quickly. You have to pay almost a 1000 euro’ s for just the meetings with the committee (three times 320 euros), which at least is a clear number. The costs of the modules vary a lot. It all depends on what you choose. Examples range from fifteen euro’s for half a day to hundred euro’s for a whole day. But how much do you need to spend for the whole two years if you take the independent route? This is not addressed. In February 2017 the number of people who were doing the BEP was 139. Eighty-one of them followed the integrated program: 73 from Architecture, 4 from Urbanism, 4 from Landscape Architecture and 0 from Interior Architecture. For the Independent Route this was a total of 58 people: 54 from Architecture, 0 from Urbanism, 2 from Landscape Architecture and 2 from Interior Architecture. 24

After these numbers we get to listen to a student who is following the PEP integrated programme and one who is doing the independent route. Listening to students from the two different routes explaining how they experienced the BEP period and how they managed it gave helpful insights and a better idea of how to approach the BEP programme. One of them stated that after five years of university studying Architecture, they were still not an architect, but a designer. These two speakers were by far the most interesting to listen to. They were followed by presentations of architecture firms, that found it necessary to start with some much needed promotion material. Then, out of the blue, seven reasons are listed why the BEP is useful like before we go to the actual Q&A, even though the first speaker made clear at the start that today was not meant for discussing the reasons for BEP. After this short auction we have finally reached the Q&A. It was disappointing to see that this part was rushed. The audience was told the event was over after only four main questions while people weren’t done questioning yet. One topic addressed by a student was the finances of the BEP, a big barrier for most students. All speakers were asked to be more explicit about it. The Bureau Architecten Register only responded that they couldn’t give more information than presented today. They are only obliged to charge students 960 euro’s for three meetings.

Another question was if there was a possibility to do the BEP abroad for two years. After an initial ‘in principle, yes’ it became clear that all meetings find place in The Hague and your mentor has to be registered in the Netherlands. It would not be practical to do it abroad. It is also not possible to follow modules online (for the abroad option). Maybe some universities will present a module online, but the BEP is meant for practice, not for education. There is, of course, a benefit of an internship before starting out working as an architect. We should acknowledge the existing gap between education and practice instead of ignoring it. What is exasperating about the BEP, is the way things are presented to students. There are still unanswered questions, there is only one provider for the integrated programme, and there is financial uncertainty as to how to pay for it all. This bad communication, incompletion and expensiveness was not cleared up in an effective way at all. The Q&A could have been very helpful; but the focus should have been on the questions of the audience. The programme manager of BEP from the Bureau Architectenregister states that they know this programme is not popular. Yet no one seems to make an effort to change that. It is incomprehensible that two years after the start of the BEP (the first diploma has been handed out at the beginning of this year) there is still no complete clarity for students. Despite the lack of clear answers after two hours, it was a valuable contribution to see the work and process of the brave students who tackled the BEP before the rest of. And the questions that where presented in the beginning? These were the answers according to the presentations: “Do I have to do it?” A simple and short yes. “Why should I?” Because it’s obligatory. “What does it cost?” No clear answer. “Can I work at a firm without having the title?” This was not addressed Do you want to voice your own opinion about the BEP or other topics? You can use our anonymous platform, Het Grijze Ei, for voicing your thoughts.



FACULTEIT BOUWKUNDE ZONDER GASTDOCENTEN? Tekst Gastdocenten Namens alle gastdocenten publiceert Bnieuws onderstaand artikel waarin ze hun zorgen uiten over het nieuwe beleid van de Faculteit om gastdocenten te laten werken als declaranten met een nulurencontract.


Afgelopen november overviel de Faculteit Bouwkunde haar gastdocenten met een nieuw contract dat hen dwingt om het mes in eigen vlees te zetten. Het college van bestuur van de TU en het management van Bouwkunde verplichten de gastdocenten te gaan werken via een aanstelling als declarant met een nulurencontract. Aanleiding hiervoor leek in eerste instantie de per mei 2016 ingevoerde wet Deregulering Beoordeling Arbeidsrelaties (Wet DBA) waarmee de Rijksoverheid beoogt schijnconstructies tegen te gaan en risico’s niet alleen bij zzp-ers wil neerleggen, maar nu ook bij opdrachtgevers zoals de TU Delft. Eind februari gaf de faculteit echter aan al begin 2014 door de fiscus op de vingers te zijn getikt op verdenking van verkapte dienstverbanden. Vervolgens blijkt dat ze met haar gastdocentenbeleid sinds 2015 ook al niet meer voldoet aan de cao van de Nederlandse Universiteiten (cao NU) die inzet op de beperking van inhuur. Deze ontwikkelingen plaatsen de Faculteit Bouwkunde voor een groot probleem. Het onderwijs rust namelijk al jaren voor een aanzienlijk deel op de flexibele schouders van toegewijde gastdocenten die als zelfstandig ondernemer werkzaam zijn in de praktijk. Evenals zo’n 150 andere gastdocenten zijn wij zeer verontwaardigd over de mentaliteit en handelswijze van de faculteit. In de visie van de TU worden we op persoonlijke titel tijdelijke oproepkrachten zonder secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden, terwijl onder meer de Decaan en Directeur Onderwijs namens de faculteit juist hoog opgeven over onze praktijkinbreng in het

onderwijs vanuit ons ondernemerschap. Maar als oproepkrachten kunnen wij het onderwijs niet meer inrichten naar eigen inzicht op basis van onze praktijkkennis. Dat is geen onderdeel van de arbeidsovereenkomst. De halfbakken aanstelling vergroot daarbij onze ondernemerskosten, risico’s en administratieve lasten. Tegelijkertijd dwingt men ons tot een 20 tot 30% lagere vergoeding voor ons werk, terwijl voor gastdocenten al jarenlang een bruto uurtarief wordt gehanteerd dat vergelijkbaar is met dat van loodgieters in de bouw. Voor ons is dit nieuwe aanstellingsbeleid onacceptabel, omdat het nulurencontract niet bedoeld is voor structurele en regelmatige arbeid. Dit onderschrijft ook de eerdergenoemde cao NU, waarin staat dat een oproepkracht enkel mag worden ingezet voor incidentele werkzaamheden zonder vaste omvang. De faculteit tuigt daarbij met het nulurencontract een draaideurconstructie op om het ontstaan van vaste aanstellingen te voorkomen. Om de twee jaar wordt een verplichte ‘pauzeperiode’ van minimaal zes maanden ingelast. Hiermee wordt de ketenbepaling van de Wet Werk en Zekerheid (WWZ 2015), tegen het oneigenlijk gebruik van flexibele contractvormen, omzeild. Hoewel juridisch gezien wellicht correct, lijkt een bedrijfsvoering op deze schaal ons maatschappelijk onaanvaardbaar. En er dreigen meer problemen rond het nulurencontract nu onlangs ook de normalisering van

de rechtspositie van ambtenaren naar regulier, privaatrechtelijk arbeidsrecht in gang is gezet (Wet NRA, 2016). In deze nieuwe situatie die voor 2020 zal ontstaan, moeten wij als nulurencontractant verplicht aan het werk als de faculteit ons oproept. We kunnen daarom tijdens de contractduur niet bij een andere instelling of bedrijf aan het werk onder dezelfde voorwaarden. Omgekeerd verplicht de faculteit zichzelf met het contract een declarant op te roepen als er werk ontstaat waarvoor diegene geschikt is, voordat nieuwe nulurencontracten kunnen worden aangegaan. Op deze manier moet de faculteit eerst haar vrije docenten oproepen, ongeacht of de oproepkrachten zelf of de coördinatoren dit willen en of de oproepdocent inhoudelijk wel past bij het specifieke vak. Voor de faculteit is het een nadeel dat zij het nulurencontract niet zomaar kan beëindigen door ons niet meer op te roepen, bijvoorbeeld als dit in de praktijk wenselijk blijkt te zijn bij een wisseling van hoogleraren of inhoudelijke aanpassing van de opleiding. Het enige alternatief dat de faculteit haar gastdocenten biedt is de overeenkomst van opdracht via een BV-constructie. De BV is voor het merendeel van ons echter een haalbare noch wenselijke ondernemingsvorm, gezien de hoge kosten en administratieve lasten die deze met zich meebrengt. Zeker in verhouding tot de lage vergoedingen die de faculteit biedt is dit bij een gezonde bedrijfsvoering geen haalbare zaak. Het onderwijs is ons dierbaar want het legt het fundament onder ons vak. We dragen Bouwkunde een warm hart toe en veel van ons vinden het een eer om voor dit instituut te werken. We zijn echter ontstemd over de manier waarop wordt omgesprongen met onze loyaliteit. In december heeft ons collectief geëist dat de invoering van de contracten uitgesteld zou worden om te komen tot fatsoenlijke alternatieven en meer differentiatie, bijvoorbeeld voor docenten die een enkel gastcollege

per jaar geven. In januari is het CvB van de TU akkoord gegaan met een uitstel van de invoering tot 1 juli 2017, maar de gesprekken met de faculteit hebben tot nu toe nauwelijks iets opgeleverd. De faculteit handhaaft haar standpunt van november, aangevuld met de belofte van een vooralsnog onbekend aantal vaste deeltijdaanstellingen. Men zegt niet anders te kunnen omdat er geen zicht is op een modelovereenkomst voor het universitair onderwijs in de onderhandeling met de Belastingdienst. Daarmee is het einde van de gastdocent een feit. Wij zien op dit moment nog twee scenario’s die ‘future proof’ zijn: óf de faculteit richt haar organisatie én onderwijs in conform de geldende norm - en zoals andere onderwijsinstellingen - met vaste (deeltijd) medewerkers, óf de faculteit bevecht, wellicht samen met andere ontwerpopleidingen, haar unieke positie in de universitaire wereld bij de minister en de Belastingdienst. Het eerste scenario sluit aan bij de steeds strengere eisen aan docenten zoals de BKO (BasisKwalificatie Onderwijs) en ook de verplichte beroepservaringsperiode (BEP) waarin afgestudeerden alsnog praktijkkennis op doen. Het tweede scenario is afhankelijk van politieke en maatschappelijke druk maar onderschrijft bovenal de koers waar Bouwkunde al jaren voor staat en is op zijn minst een poging waard. Wij begrijpen de uiterst moeilijke situatie waarin het bestuur van de faculteit zich nu bevindt, maar vinden het onredelijk en onacceptabel dat de individuele gastdocent opdraait voor het oplossen van de problemen. Wij hopen in samenwerking met de faculteit te komen tot een werkbare oplossing voor Bouwkunde MET gastdocenten en daarmee met een bevlogen inzet van kennis, ervaring en het plezier van het maken, voortvloeiend uit de praktijk. Geschreven door Jan Hoffmans, Mathilde Peen, Hans Stotijn, Ruth Visser Bob van Vliet en Luc de Vries.





“The water is your friend … you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.” —Alexander Popov

When I started competitive swimming in 1986, at the age of ten, my main swimming gear was ordinary swimming trunks, swimming goggles and a kicking board. I used to illustrate my kicking board with water resistant markers. As these drawings faded over time, new drawings emerged. This kicking board became a part of my identity as a young swimmer. I threw it away when I started to study in Delft. My kicking board paid off: my kick is still one of my strongest points. Nowadays, my favourite swimming gear is my paddles. On one hand, they increase the strength in my arms, on the other they correct my stroke if it “does not match with the spirit of the water”. For some reason, I stopped customizing my swimming artefacts. But having the most up to date gear is part of being a competitive swimmer at the age of fourty. The items in my gear increased dramatically. Today, my swimming bag holds: • zoomers—short fins to train strength and flexibility in kicking; • shooter monofin—a large fin to improve butterfly kicking; • swim parachute—a parachute to increase drag while swimming; • donut—a donut shaped piece of foam to put around your ankles to increase drag; • pull buoy—a piece of foam to put between your legs in order to train your arms; • paddles—to put on your hands to improve technique and to increase strength; • snorkel—to train breathing and stability;

< Image by Egbert Stolk. Dimensions: 210 x 178 x 3 mm (lxbxh).

• drag suit—a swimming trunks designed to increase drag in the water; • tempo-trainer—used under a swimming cap, beeping at a certain pace. They are the artefacts designed to improve certain aspects of swimming. The main aim is to improve power and to reduce drag, which is essential for peak performances in competitions. In competitions, you’re allowed to wear a race-jammer (a type of tight swimming trunks), swimming goggles and a swimming cap. So, most of the above artefacts are used for training purposes only. For me, tools I use in design are similar to the artefacts I use for swim training: they are first and foremost training tools, and they help me master certain design skills. Once acquired, the design process is becoming like a competition: relying less on design tools and more on expertise acquired by intensive training. In both, getting into a flow is the key to peak performances. What role do artefacts supporting your design process play? Do you use them for training purposes only? Do they strengthen the power of your design? Do they reduce design-drag? And, do they support you getting into a flow? For the next Artefact I would like to nominate Remon Rooij.


Ground for Discussion

INCLUSIVENESS Words Noortje Weenink

Images Sumanth S. Rao

Last month, the Faculty’s student associations and the Faculty Student Council (FSR) organised the first Ground for Discussion (previously “Room for Discussion”) in a cosy setting in the Orange Hall: an initiative to ‘open up discussions on topics that matter to all students and staff in the Faculty’. The topic of this first event was Inclusiveness. TU Delft, as well as our faculty, values diversity and intends to be an international institute where a welcoming environment and equal opportunities are provided to all students and professors regardless of their cultural backgrounds and gender. Ground for Discussion invited all involved within our faculty to (re)consider if that is actually happening here.


The Importance of Inclusiveness In the current political and social climate, where polarisation and nationalism are gaining ground, inclusiveness might be one of the most important issues at hand. Especially in a profession where we literally shape the world, it is of utmost importance to be aware of diversity and inclusiveness—not only in social lives, but also in the design process the objective of designing inclusive (semi-)public space and architecture shoud be obvious. Mounir Samuel once wrote the following: ‘What is hated by many is what I love most about the Netherlands: the endless colourful diversity on the streets. The whole world in one hand, all nations in one land. [...] Rather than the kitsch stereotypes of Las Vegas or Disneyland, subtle elements from all over the world: dozens of delicate details, shapes and materials, in order to make every building as diverse as the citizens of the Netherlands.’1 In order to achieve such a goal one first needs to gain an understanding of different issues specific to different people or groups, and for that one needs to talk to people outside of their default settings. In our faculty, diversity and the aim to become an international institute are the flag poles. Is BK City then also the example of an ideal sample society where a welcoming environment and equal opportunities are provided to students and professors for studying and working, regardless of their cultural backgrounds and gender? The organisation of Ground for Discussion (ARGUS, the Faculty Student Council, Polis, Bout, Boss, Geos and Stylos) noticed ‘that opinions from different groups of people vary on whether this is actually happening here.’ Together they joined hands to create an open place where, since the policies made by the Faculty’s management are influencing the lives of all citizens of BK City, Ground for Discussion aims to provide ‘a place for open discussions on management, education and plans of the Faculty, a place where voices

from different groups of people can be heard.’ Last February, Ground for Discussion launched their initiative by a lunch event. In order to prepare for the event, the organisers held several interviews with teachers, students and staff from different departments of our faculty. The conversationts were accompanied with an online survey, with statements such as “gender does influence my studies/work” and “most of my friends are the same race as I am”. The Event After a warm welcome by Catherine Koekoek, chair of ARGUS Architecture Student Association, the importance of an inclusive environment at all scales (internationally, in the Netherlands and Delft, at TU Delft and BK City, and even in the studio spaces) was shortly introduced. A short follow-up discussion on the premise of the interviews and online survey shed some light on the different topics that were to or could be discussed during the event. Although there were just 41 responses to the survey, it certainly provided a good starting point to open up the conversation. After the introduction, the group of about 40 people got randomly split into several smaller groups of about six to eight people. This division not only made it possible to continue the predecessing discussion in more depth, it also provided a safe space where people less comfortable speaking in public were given a voice. Each group was moderated by one of the organisers and other interested people, who asked the participants to answer questions about inclusiveness at BK City, such as “where and when do you feel excluded at our faculty?” and “where do you feel at home?”. At the end of the event, these conversations were reviewed with in the full group again, providing room for people to react to issues that played a role in other groups. The Discussion An issue among students was the different treatment of Dutch and international students in the master. From the very beginning—the moment of applying to study at our faculty— the two groups are treated differently. While international students are filtered by a portfolio, a motivation letter and a language test, Dutch students who have completed their bachelor at a TU are permitted without any further consideration. This not only leads to inequal entry levels (after all, internationals are carefully selected while the Dutch are not), but also an unbalanced continuation of the education. At the start of their master’s, international students have thoroughly reflected on their process, abilities, and future goals as well as proven their skills of the English language, while Dutch students can just continue what they were doing without the blink of an eye. On the one hand, some international master students feel like they had to unjustly prove themselves over Dutch students, mentioning that in other (European) countries applying with a portfolio is mandatory for all students. On the other hand, some Dutch students expressed a feeling of fear of falling behind in their master’s or when applying for a job, since they lack the experience of making a portfolio and being forced to think about future plans.


Ground for Discussion (previously: Room for Discussion) turned the Orange Hall into a cosy environment for their first event.


Another, almost unanimous issue among students was the language barrier, or rather the lack of English being spoken in studio spaces. International students feel left out when Dutch students speak their native language together—or worse, when teachers start tutoring individuals in Dutch. The problem, which often occurs, is threefold. Aside from the convenience of being able to speak their native language, Dutch students have the extra advantage of being able to eavesdrop on the English conversations, while international students do not have that privilege the other way around. It also brings about the matter of Dutch teachers and their (lack of) English skills: it has happened multiple times that the Dutch tutoring was much longer and more comprehensive than those with internationals, due to teachers unable to express themselves properly in a foreign language. These problems are somewhat surprising, since they are easy to solve—especially in an academic environment where English is supposed to be the main language of education. In order to equalise the entry levels of the master’s, Dutch students could be asked for the same application requirements as international students. And to break the language barrier, students and teachers of the Faculty can be expected to mandatorily speak English at the studio tables to break

the language barrier. On the other hand, a compulsory Dutch course could be implemented in the curriculum to give international students a head start in integrating in their Dutch environment. Cases like this are fairly easy to solve, yet if they are unknown to the Faculty’s management, not much will happen. The Bigger Picture Of course, there are also more complicated obstacles that will not be able to follow turn-by-turn instructions. Issues like underrepresentation or exclusion, such as in terms of gender and race require an in depth look into society’s and the university’s ordeal. For example: in 2014 only 25,3% of the acadamic staff’s FTEs were female (675 women against 1993 men, a whopping increase of 3,1% since 2010), and currently there is not a single black female professor working at TU Delft. Inclusion of a diverse group of people, one might conclude, is certainly not yet fully implemented at university level. But every cloud has silver lining. As a reaction to the polarising political climate, there seems to be a momentum regarding the topic of inclusion, with Women’s Marches and other protests all around the world. But rather than conveying the message that the Faculty or TU Delft are to blame by stating the

mentioned (and somewhat disturbing) facts, Ground for Discussion provided an open platform where these issues could be discussed on a personal level without being brushed aside as non-objective or non-factual. Not only was it a breeze of fresh air to talk about these loaded issues with regard to personal experience and an environment we all know, it was also enlightening to do this with people that generally only see each other on a professional basis, or do not meet at all: professors, students, researchers and other staff members of different nationalities, cultures, backgrounds, and ages were present. The Conclusion The individual differences led to some interesting discussions. Case in point: at one instance a woman from another Western-European country than the Netherlands got told by a Dutch professor that she should have spoken up in a particular case in which the woman felt excluded. Another person mentioned that this ‘Dutch directness’ is something that is not common in all cultures. To which the professor replied that ‘even’ Dutch women often don’t speak up for themselves, and that they could and should learn something from more ‘masculine’ approaches. But isn’t it excluding to only include people who live up to our societal norms, or—in this case—the Dutch norms

in BK City? Wouldn’t a change in our Dutch culture of tolerance to a culture of acceptance and empathy be more favourable for all? Shouldn’t society be more inclusive by opening up our hearts, creating an empathetic environment where all kinds of people can thrive? Of course there is a paradox here. If society is empathetic, and a certain individual is not as much, can (and should) we then be empathetic towards this non-empathetic person? It certainly provides further ‘Ground for Discussion’. If people stop being silent and reserved, start to open to others about their own thoughts and listen to others, perhaps suitable solutions can be created to the diverse range of issues at hand. Hopefully the events of Ground for Discussion will be a catalyst in the process of making BK City a completely inclusive place where people feel comfortable to be whomever and do as however they please. As Koekoek concluded: maybe we should start by not defining ourselves by gender, sexual orientation, race or cultural background, but rather by acknowledging diversity and many layers in and of ourselves in order to open up our minds for others as well. If you have any ideas, comments or solutions, don’t hesitate to e-mail to

Charlotte Ros speaks on behalf of TU Delft Feminists about a call for inclusion and diversity at the Faculty.


Rogier & Tiemen





producing minimal electronic music.

Maxwan in Rotterdam and since 2015



The desk, a design of his own, enables

head of the chair for Urban Design at our

Rients to be at the centre of the house

faculty lives in a transformed warehouse

while making his music.

along the water in Schiedam. Ever dreamt of moving? “Ideally, I would Producer Rients divides his free-time

superpose this apartment on top of the

between his family and his passion for

old flat in Blijdorp, where I used to live.”

The Dean

RULE OF LEAST REGRET Words Peter Russell

I have had the privilege to give speeches to new graduates, in Delft and elsewhere. In the end, these come down to a few nuggets of information to impart on those about to start their careers. I have pared these down to ten rules and will share them with you in Bnieuws over the coming months: Rule No. 1 Least Regret When you are confronted with a decision with more than one option then pick the one you believe you will have the least regret about. This is perhaps the most difficult rule to understand, but essential to living a fulfilled and happy life. The story goes thus: When I was about to finish my Master of Architecture at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in Halifax, Canada in 1990, I was faced with the happy situation of having several options open to me. These were fourfold: I was offered a job at a large corporate architecture office in Toronto, I was offered a junior partner position at a small office in Halifax, I was offered the opportunity to pursue a PhD, and I was offered a position at a small office in Saint Gallen, Switzerland. What to do? This is where I had to come up with my own rule

about how to proceed. Each option had pros and cons, but on one (fateful) day in July 1990, I put two strips of masking tape down on the floor of my apartment to divide the world into four quadrants. I named each quadrant for the four cities I was thinking of starting my career in: Saint Gallen, Toronto, Halifax, and Cornell. Then physically stood in each quadrant and asked myself “Given I have chosen the city where I am standing, how much regret will I have in ten years for not pursuing one of the other options?” I signified this one, two or three pennies. After the process was over, the most pennies were there in Switzerland. It was a way to be honest with myself to do the thing that was perhaps the most challenging, but also the one that I did not want to look back later on in life and have regrets about not doing it for whatever reason. We all face decisions every day and most are not as momentous as the one I had on that July day 27 years ago. However, the litmus test of “What would I regret most not doing” is a good way to be honest with yourself about what it is that you really, truly want. I ended up getting on an airplane to Switzerland not knowing anybody and not knowing any German! To quote Robert Frost in the Road Not Taken, that has made all the difference.

NEXT EDITION 07 Designers and planners are culture-makers through the construction of our material world. Next issue we look beneath surfaces for symbols, metaphors, and expressions of identity.



SOURCES Breathe pages 06 - 09 Earthzine. (2012). Study Shows Overall Air Quality to Worsen by 2050. Retrieved from www.earthzine. org/2012/08/18/study-shows-overall-air-quality-to-worsenby-2050/ 2 Carrington, D. (2017). London breaches annual air pollution limit for 2017 in just five days. Retrieved from 3 Stefano Bboeri Architetti. (n.d). Retrieved from www. 4 Frearson, A. (2014). Stefano Boeri’s “vertical forest” nears completion in Milan. Retrieved from www.dezeen. com/2014/05/15/stefano-boeri-bosco-verticale-verticalforest-milan-skyscrapers/ 5 Phillips, T. (2017). ‘Forest cities’: the radical plan to save China from air pollution. Retrieved from www.theguardian. com/cities/2017/feb/17/forest-cities-radical-plan-china-airpollution-stefano-boeri 6 Mairs, J. (2015). Vo Trong Nghia unveils tree-covered 1


university campus for Ho Chi Minh City. Retrieved from 7 Zimmer, L. (2013). Mexico City’s Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital Has an Ornate Double Skin that Filters Air Pollution. Retrieved from 8 Lloyd, L. (2017). Studio Roosegaarde’s giant air-purifier leaves Beijing’s air cleaner than it found it. Retrieved from 9 Studio Roosegaarde. (n.d.) Retrieved from www. 10 University of Sheffield. (2017). Air-cleansing poetry:

poems that clean the air we breathe could help tackle pollution. Retrieved from catalytic-poem-air-cleansing-pollution-sheffield-1.673043 11 Gibson, E. (2017). Vo Trong Nghia completes Vietnam hotel featuring walls of hanging plants. Retrieved from

All About Lines pages 10 - 15 Palmboom, F., Lines. 2017, van Eesteren Chair, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TU Delft: Delft. 2 Fosso, M., A. Andreotti, and F. Palmboom, Frits Palmboom: Inspiration and Process 2014: Moleskine. 3 Palmboom, F., Rotterdam, verstedelijkt landschap. 1987. 4 Meyer, H. and T. Bouma, De staat van de delta : waterwerken, stadsontwikkeling en natievorming in Nederland. 2016, Nijmegen :: Uitgeverij Vantilt. 5 McHarg, I.L. and L. Mumford, Design with nature. 1969: American Museum of Natural History New York. 6 Devolder, A.-M., W. Wilms Floet, and D.L. Camp, De Alexanderpolder : waar de stad verder gaat = Alexanderpolder : new urban frontiers. 1993, Bussum :: Thoth. 7 Palmboom, F. and R. Technische Hogeschool Delft. Werkgroep, “Doel en vermaak” in het konstruktivisme : 8 projekten voor woning- en stedebouw : OSA, Sovjet-Unie, 1926-1930. Sunschrift ; 142; Sunschrift ; 142. 1979, Nijmegen :: Socialistiese Uitgeverij Nijmegen. 1

Palmboom, F., Drawing the Ground - Landscape Urbanism Today : the Work of Palmbout Urban Landscapes. 2010, De Gruyter: Basel :. 9 Schön, D.A. and G. Wiggins, Kinds of seeing and their functions in designing. Design studies, 1992. 13(2): p. 135-156. 10 Goldschmidt, G., The dialectics of sketching. Creativity research journal, 1991. 4(2): p. 123-143. 11 Palmboom, F., et al., Lines. 2016, van Eesteren Chair, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TU Delft: Delft. 8


Bnieuws VOLUME 50 EDITION 06