African Public Spaces?

What is public space in African? Does it exist as we may presume? At the current, we are analysing and comparing urban life and presumed public spaces in selected segments of four African cities to map what we know about these cities. It is a first step in deepening cross-cultural understanding: An exiting start of a new exiting scientific journey along Dakar in Senegal, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Maputo in Mozambique, and Lusaka in Zambia.


Image by Vaggy Georgali
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City of the Future Competition

Making Cities in Times of Major Transitions

On January 10, 2018, our research ‘The City of the Future’ has starts. This study explores new ways of city making by using five test locations of 1 x 1 km in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven (five most populated cities in The Netherlands). We question how we can interrelate urban development, whilst urban design, planning and engineering, to upcoming challenges like shifts in transport, energy transition, circular economy and other system and network innovations, in times of the next generation of densification.
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Architecture and the City

The Architecture and the City: Public Realm/Public Building research group of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology focuses on questions regarding the mutual relationship between the city and its public realm. This is a relationship that can only be considered in socio-cultural and economic context. The idea of the public realm here refers to an intermediate ‘space’, which facilitates and mediates between different groups of inhabitants and individuals; the idea of the public realm as the space of (ex)change of ideas, opinions and beliefs of the different groups of users. Therefore, the architecture of the city and its actual qualities form the main framework of this research. Within this context urban blocks, as interface between architecture and urban design, and public buildings are seen as crucial architectural elements. Their functioning and organisation are physically, symbolically, socially and economically fundamental to the city. As such they form a domain both of architectural convention and experimentation. In terms of research and design methods architectural typology, typo-morphology and research-by-design hold a central position in our group’s approach.


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Expo goes Guangzhou

Design Exhibition
Reclaiming the Human Space at
South China University of Technology

on invitation of
SCUT-TU Delft Joint Research Center on
Urban Systems & Environment

8th – 15th November 2015

School of Architecture
381 Wushan Road
Tianhe, Guangzhou

设计展区
重塑人性空间
华南理工大学

邀请方
中荷城市系统与环境
联合研究中心

2015年11月8日至11月15日

建筑学院
五山路381号
天河区, 广州市

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Reclaiming the Human Space

Delft University of Technology and
Beijing University of Technology at
Beijing Design Week

Exhibition 1

Reclaiming the Human Space
on invitation of
Netherlands Embassy in Beijing
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

23rd September – 30th October 2015

The Nurturing House, Dashilar
21 Sanjing Hutong (near Meishi Street)
Xicheng District, Beijing

In the past decade, Beijing has focused on overall strategies for its rapid urban development. New functional zones, land-use layout, and a comprehensive traffic system, laid the basis for a booming urban economy, and widespread social wealth. Iconic buildings by global starchitects, including works by the ‘Big Dutch’, are evidence of this development. The city has been reshaped. Yet, along its motorways, and in its streets and alleys, we see other images of the city. People feel lost, houses are dilapidated, and the quality of urban spaces is relatively low. The current generation of international design students is taking on these big small-scale issues. Their designs show a more human-centred approach. Therefore, they take the culture of the city as their starting point and work across disciplines in search of answers. A clear paradigm shift. The collaborating universities of technology in Delft and Beijing strongly support this people-oriented approach by means of research. Here they present the outcome of recent studio work as a visual manifesto, forecasting four major challenges in the long-term development trend of the city: Humanisation of Infrastructural Wastelands; Integration of Modernist Fragments; Recreation of Community Places; Rehabilitation of Daily-Life Environments.

代尔夫特理工大学
北京工业大学在
北京国际设计周

第一展区

重塑人性空间
邀请方
荷兰驻华大使馆
荷蘭外交部

2015年9月23日至10月30日

保苖民居,大栅栏
三井胡同21号(近煤市街)
西城区, 北京

过去几十年间,高速发展是北京城市建设的主旋律。新的功能组团、土地使用区划和综合性的交通系统构成了城市经济发展和社会财富积累的基础。包括荷兰建筑师在内的明星建筑师们所设计的标志性建筑物,就是这一时期的产物。城市在被重新塑造着。但是,在城市快速路的两侧,在街道边,在小巷里,我们看到的是不同的城市景象。人们失去了他们曾经拥有的,房屋在逐渐老化而城市空间的质量在相对下降。这里所呈现的学生联合设计作品面对的正是这一重要却又往往被忽视的议题。他们的设计所秉承的是一种更加人性化的态度,然而却从城市的文化角度出发,通过跨学科的合作寻求答案。这无疑是种范式的转变。代尔夫特理工大学与北京工业大学的合作从研究的意义上为这种以人为本的设计方向提供了强有力的支持。本次展览所展现的学生作品可视为一次视觉上的宣言,预告了城市长期发展趋势中面临的四项主要挑战:基础设施建设的人性化、现代主义城市空间的整合、社区场所的再造、以及日常生活环境的复兴。

 
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Design for the People

Delft University of Technology and
Beijing University of Technology at
Beijing Design Week

Exhibition 2

Design for the People
on invitation of
Shijia Hutong Preservation Association
Chaoyangmen Sub-District Council

23rd September – 7th October 2015

The Shijia Hutong Museum Annex
22 Shijia Hutong (near Dongsi South Street)
Dongcheng District, Beijing

Within boosting big-scale Beijing, community-based spatial action gain exposure. Top-down development and market oriented real-estate is supplemented by communal initiatives. Participatory design is emerging. People ask themselves: How can we make our common courtyards and alleyways more attractive places to linger? Members of the Shijia Hutong Area are pioneering in initiatives inquired by design. Their recently opened museum is one of the many projects. At this place and together with their local partners, the universities of technology of Beijing and Delft present the exhibition ‘Design for the People’ to the public. It showcases a wide set of interrelated design issues inspired and supported by locals: Social investigation and among others the recording of hutong oral history show that improvements on their own living environment are free from any theoretical disciplinary restraint. Their suggestions to strengthen micro-economy derive from local entrepreneurship. Their appreciation for historic streets come from their own memory. Likewise, one will discover that the combat with the increase transport and tourism is foremost their own struggle. In this expo daily issues matter. These have inspired collaborating young designers to rethink issues on a local level. By visualising physical improvements and emphasising the added value for the people, now these designers aim to inspire locals vice versa. Therefore, local residents and visitors are invited to vote for their favoured future.

代尔夫特理工大学
北京工业大学在
北京国际设计周

第二展区

为人民设计
邀请方
史家胡同风貌保护协会
朝阳门街道办事处

2015年9月23日至10月7日

史家胡同博物馆
史家胡同 22号(近东四南大街)
东城区, 北京

在北京的大规模城市建设中,以社区为基础的空间规划行为逐渐显现出其重要性。社区层面的主动性成为了自上而下的规划建设与市场导向的房地产开发的补充。参与式设计越来越普遍。人们不禁会自问:如何将我们共用的院落或胡同变成更加宜人的场所?史家胡同所在的社区就是实践这一理念的先行者,而新近建成开放的史家胡同博物馆则是其中的一个典型案例。与当地的合作伙伴一道,北京工业大学和代尔夫特理工大学以“为人民设计”为题在这里向公众展示我们的工作成果,内容包括一系列与社区合作进行的、相互关联的设计项目。社会调查与胡同口述史的纪录展现了人们对于改善他们自身生活环境的需求和为之进行的努力,而这些并未为我们理论上所谓的学科差异所限。他们认同当地小商业对于微观经济的贡献;他们怀念记忆中的历史街巷;同样地,他们发觉不断增大的车流和过度的旅游开发是首要面对的挑战。日常生活是这次展览的重点,并将促使合作参与的年轻设计师们重新思考社区层面的议题。通过体现物质空间质量的改善及强调其对于社区居民的意义,设计师们也向居民们提供了新的思路。同时,社区居民和参观者也有机会投票选择他们中意的设计。

 
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10yrs of Graduation Projects

Liveability and Public Space in the Happy City
9th September 2015, 8:45-10:30h

Lecture

Delft University of Technology
Room: IO-Bernd Schierbeek
Landbergstraat 15
Delft

My faculty in Delft is one of the world’s largest in the field of architecture and urban design. “It is a place that is buzzing with life from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge*.” In this environment, I have supervised quite some graduates in their final master thesis, all focussed on liveability and public space. What can we learn from them and how to proceed?

Liveability and Public Space in the Happy City [download pdf]

Everyone Contributes

Singapore has been undergoing a fast growth scheme in a short time frame. No single person, no single firm or institution, not even a single government can solve all themselves. So, within the international Vertical Cities Asia competition, exactly this is challenged in the Paya Lebar area. How to house hundred-thousand people per square kilometre in the future?

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Interior Public Space

Thesis Presentation
16th January 2014, 12:00h

Delft University of Technology
Aula Congress Centre, Senate Room
Mekelweg 5
Delft

‘Interior Public Space, On the Mazes in the Network of an Urbanist’ is the result of ten years of scientific research on the evolution of interior public spaces. It explores the development of the phenomenon in a time era when general accepted theoretical understanding on public space in urbanism has been established, increasingly neglecting or even rejecting the existence of public spaces within the interior. The subject is, and the research cases have been very international. They uncover relatively unknown knowledge and in syntax they are recombined to achieve new and unexpected insights.

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Mazes in the Network

Interior Public Space
On the Mazes in the Network of an Urbanist

For centuries – and increasingly often today – the term ‘public space’ has been a synonym for government-owned spaces, open for all, and known by everyone. According to me, this is a complete misnomer. The spaces that people actually use are forgotten. Subordinated and neglected, considered unimportant by many urban theorists; the thinking on public interiors as day-to-day public space is in a poor way. The theorists who do pay attention to public spaces almost always accord them a separate status, and describe them as ‘semi-public’ or ‘collective’ spaces, neither public nor private. I base my views on the influence that people themselves have on the public character of a space.

Interior public spaces are exemplary. They are certainly not have become a new phenomenon, as some contemporary researchers suppose. They have always played an important part in various social-spatial changes and have been crucial to cities and their culture. I have studied the development of Graeco-Roman thinking on public space up to present day, and measured it against architectural and urban design practice. My research is based not just on theoretical premises or on political aims. It is based on the many designs in practice, which have been realised in various Indo-European cities, in the Turkish and Arabian countries in their periphery and in the Japanese capital, during and after the period of ‘westernisation’. My thesis can therefore also be seen as the scientific journey of a designer, close to day-to-day practice.

I believe that everyone makes a space, not just a designer. This involves a redirection of our thinking: Until theorists come to respect all public spaces and understand the complex network of people, they will lose their way in their self-made mazes.

Cover of Interior Public Space, by Maurice Harteveld

see:
Harteveld, Maurice (2014) Interior Public Space, On the Mazes in the Network of an Urbanist, A Scientific Journey of a Designer, Following the Evolution of Greco-Roman Thoughts, Through Some Remarkable Indo-European Cities, Including those in The Americas, Crossing the Turkic and Arabic Spheres in their Proximity, and Abridging to the Japanese Capital as Introductory Exemplar, to Reconstruct Today’s Reasoning on Public Interiors by Means of Defining Types, Interrelating People and Actions, Describing Socio-Spatial Transformations, and Comprehending Cultural Meaning, In Nine Books; Delft: Delft University of Technology, Faculty Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences

Find a copy in the library