huisjes en consumenten, of dragers en mensen?

Indien men in de woningbouw alleen de menselijke relaties wil herstellen maar niet de technische mogelijkheden van vandaag wil uitbuiten, blijft alleen een weg naar het verleden over, een weg die wij niet kunnen gaan.”

Een citaat uit ‘de dragers en de mensen’ , van Prof.Ir. N.J.Habraken uit 1972, 44 jaar geleden en nog altijd onverminderd actueel. 

Op 22 december j.l. reageerden Gerben van Dijk en Cees-Jan Pen in een kritisch artikel (‘Vastgoedsector heeft gezond verstand nodig’) op recente rapporten van CPB en EIB. Deze – helaas noodzakelijke – kritische reactie valt zeer te prijzen. Ik roep in dit verband het interview van januari 2015 in Bouwformatie van Prof. J. Rotmans in herinnering.[1] Recente ontwikkelingen illustreren dat een substantieel deel van de bouwsector nog altijd hecht aan de bestaande gekende praktijk en de focus legt op proces-innovatie, niet op product-innovatie. Dit impliceert geenszins dat product-innovatie in de woningbouw niet bestaat, wel dat dit vrijwel geen fundamentele consequenties heeft voor het opgeleverde product als geheel. Er wordt nog altijd toegewerkt naar een traditioneel ‘huis’, terwijl we nu als sector bereid moeten zijn ook inhoudelijk anders te denken over hoe ons wonen er in de toekomst uit kan/moet zien; proces en product moeten onderdeel van de discussie zijn. Wij bouwen per slot van rekening niet ter wille van de werkgelegenheid en het bouwen zelf. Lees verder

iot, built environment, ethics & privacy

preparations for the 5th IoT & Built Environment MeetUp on WW.IoT-day, April 9, are in full progress; again at V2 in Rotterdam we will discuss one of the most urgent and important current issues involved; i.e. the accompanying ethics and privacy issues. The format will  again be a MeetUp; therefore all visitors need to  register on the MU-website. Most speakers are now known; the evening will be moderated and provide enough time for discussion. More info soon………

sensing the virtual

While preparing the text for a book on IoT I re-read a paper by Brian Massumi: ‘Sensing the virtual, building the insensible‘, published in 1998 in Hypersurface Architecture (AD, profile 133, vol.68). What once again is remarkable is that Massumi, ‘building’ on Deleuze, points to the problematic situation architecture has in relation to the virtual:”The virtual is imperceptible. It is insensible. A building is anything but that. A building is most concrete. His proposal: “Built form could be designed to make the “accidental” a necessary part of the experience of looking at it or dwelling in it. The building would not be considered an end-form so much as a beginning of a new process.”

In a hyperconnected world, with an IoT this brings new options to life and – more important – to inhabiting new forms of architecture, i.e. creating structure as a basis for further experience and – above all – the accidental. 

IoT & Built Environment 2015

On April 9th. 2015, the 4th. IoT, Built Environment & Smart City conference, now organized as a MeetUp, was held in Rotterdam, this year back on its original location, i.e. V2, Institute for the Unstable Media. Besides a fine line-up of speakers, among which Nimish Biloria (TUD-Hyperbody, Ben van Lier (Centric), Jan Belon (Buitengewone Zaken) , Floris Schiferli (Superuse), also one political party from Rotterdam (Nils Berndsen/D66) was present; which can only be admired, given the subject. Worthwhile in particular was the lecture (read by me due to her illness) from Cristina Ampatzidou; and especially the closing debate, moderated – like the whole event by Leon van Geest – delivered some interesting discussions and statements.

New Babylon

Last September 28th. at the Illinois College of Architecture; a fascinating lecture by Mark Wigley on Constant’s New Babylon, preceded by a.o. a brief introduction from Trudy Nieuwenhuys-van der Horst, wife of Constant and founder of the Fondation Constant. Wigley shows in particular the relevance of New Babylon for our networked world and emphasizes it value where it concerns the – again – actual important of hospitality, given the increasing numbers of refugees worldwide.

actual: currently the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid offers a extensive exhibition of ‘New Babylon’, in close cooperation with Gemeente Museum the Hague and the Fondation Constant, until Feb. 29th. 2016.

tech & biology

fascinating lecture by MIT’s Neri Oxman on ‘Design and the intersection technology and biology’ at TED-2015. Imagine the possibilities for our immediate environment when structure and materials merge and create a sphere which adapts and transforms; imagine the possibilities when this development is linked to the increasing internet of things/people connectivity and what this implies for our way of building. Do we need a built environment as the only way to provide shelter and privacy?


recently published: the Metabody Journal of Metacultural Critique, nr. 1. the Metabody project is an EU-supported project and will last 5 years, i.e. from 2013-2018. It covers various disciplines : music, dance, architecture, media, etc.; but above all “the context of the project is an unprecedented control society, with the onset of Big Data as new economy that aims to reduce all reality to traceable data” .(p.4) TU-Delft’s Hyperbody Lab represents the Architecture section. The Journal, accompanied by a dvd with works, prototypes and subprojects is available via the website.

Warren Ellis at ThingsCon

Disruptive, fascinating, out-of-the-box, playful and, above all, a true attentive keynote from Warren Ellis at ThingsCon 2015 in Berlin. While using the house and its – assumed – internet of things connectivity as an example he illustrates that we need to think a lot harder to come up with real adequate solutions if we really want to add meaning to the place we call our home.

smog free tower

After his first smog-project in Being, artist/designer Daan Roosegaarde – based in Rotterdam – now focuses on his own city. Supported by a crowd-funding action he plans and designed a 7 meter Smog-Free Tower in Rotterdam, to be completed in September 2015. After being presented in Rotterdam the tower will travel to other countries. Participants/partners that donate at least € 50,- receive an object containing the dust taken from the air; for € 250,- you can wear it as a ring: techno poetry………….. Let’s hope the tower will remain and/or others will follow……


Until August 2nd. this year nobody should miss the beautiful exhibition in Munich’s Haus der Kunst of Louise Bourgeois’ ‘Cells, Structures of Existence‘ , a series of intimate spaces created in a decade between 1998 and 2008, just 2 years before her death in 2010. The `Cells’ represent the remembrance of her life and – in particular – childhood. They show a remarkable ability to transfer memories and eventsIMG_0143 into spheres recognizable for many; with simple materials – in particular doors rescued from e.g. her studio – the  small spaces become a reference to  often lost experiences.