Can architecture bring positive elements in peacekeeping operations? Does it have a substantial role in the transition between ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ peace? Arjen Oosterman’s opening questions set the tone to the varied contributions enriching the debate on Architecture of Peace during the Law & Order Mini-Conference, taking place at Stroom The Hague on May 20th.
A host of international experts from the world of justice, design, activism, conflict management, and politics will discuss how justice and design can either contain or ignite conflict situations. One of the important questions to address is: who’s law are we applying?
What is it like to live in a city that hosts more than 100 institutions that are active in the field of peace and justice? What impact does this have on security measures and urban planning? Is this identity a dividing factor or does it bring people closer together?
Belgium architectural historian Geert Bekaert has quite a few footholds in the Netherlands. To name a few: He was professor at the TU Eindhoven in the 80s and member of the editorial boards of TABK and Wonen-TABK in the 60s and 70s. In the 90s he became Editor-in-Chief of Archis (1990-1995). Architects who met him as students during their education often express being deeply stirred by his intellectual input. The Dutch world of architecture, however, has hardly been touched by his presence. That seems telling for the segregation between architecture and history in the Netherlands and indicative for Bekaert’s connectedness to present-day architecture. This relation is more complex in his own country: it is hard to overestimate his influence on Belgium’s academic intellectual climate. The same can be said about his influence on the position of architecture in Belgium, as far as this was open to influence at all.
The unique Volume shopping bag is back in stock! Conceptualized by designers Daniel van der Velden and Maureen Mooren, the text was originally conceived as a T-shirt print, we couldn’t resist re-publishing it now that it is again so actual. Get one of these limited edition Dutch Design icons for only €10, worldwide shipping included!
As you may know, our exhibition The Good Cause is on show until 1st June at Stroom The Hague. Earlier this month, ArchiNed, one of the Netherlands’s major architecture websites, published quite a positive review about the exhibition.
The Netherlands has two new prizes, the Geert Bekaert Prize for Architecture Criticism and the Simon Mari Pruys Prize for Design Criticism. They’re promoting ‘a vibrant design culture’ by stimulating writing and reflection and awarding the prize to one critique, not to a critic. Initiated by Archined and Design Platform Rotterdam they were awarded for the first time in Amsterdam on March 20th 2014. For architecture the award went to Plain Weirdness: The Architecture of Neutelings Riedijk, a text in El Croquis by the former Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, now Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Aaron Betsky. The Simon Mari Pruys Prize went to Sander Manse for his essay on the use of models in designing design.
What is essential about the work of Neutelings Riedijk is its plain weirdness. The two aspects of this definition are essential. The use of form and materials that are familiar, simple, and sometimes even primitive grounds the strangeness, the baroque involutions, and the haunting quality that gives the work its power. These architects know how to mine the vernacular to find within it the material that both grounds us and connects us to something bigger, stranger, and older than we are. Their buildings use this basis to teeter between abstraction and reference, creating a blur that allows us to intuit forms, images and spaces that the designers only imply. Finally, Neutelings Riedijk’s buildings become stages on which we can act out the roles to which we would like to become accustomed, sometimes as masques in which both the structures and we are actors, and sometimes directly, when the buildings’ interiors become, more often than not, stages.
As you may know our exhibition The Good Cause is currently on show at Stroom in The Hague. This spring Stroom will be hosting a side program accompanying The Good Cause, that consists of a number of tours, a congress, an Archis RSVP Event and a number of expeditions. Most of the events are free of charge.