Urban Research

The Individual and Density

Sat 19.01.2002, 14:00-19:00

Urban Research
© Hans Werlemann / Berlage Institute

Hollowed or condensed urban structures, socio-cultural changes and media dynamics as well as the permanent repositioning of the individual have increasingly shaken typical images of urban space over recent years and provided an impetus for numerous urban research projects.

Highly reputed researchers are to be presenting their current urban development projects at the symposium Urban Research: The Individual And Density on 19th January 2002 at the Architekturzentrum Wien. These include: Stefano Boeri (Milan/Venice), Sanford Kwinter (New York/Houston), Bart Lootsma (Rotterdam/Vienna), Winy Maas (Rotterdam) and Marcel Meili (Zurich/Basle).

The symposium is to accompany the exhibition of the same name, open from 18th January to 2nd March at the Heiligenkreuzerhof exhibition space of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Not only are the various premises behind the research and analyses to be presented within the discursive framework of the symposium but, above all, an opportunity is to be provided – for the first time with such density – to compare a diversity of research methods on an international level, and to open these to public debate.

Large-scale research projects that address the phenomenon of urban space in different ways and the new literature relating to the theme are increasingly gaining in relevance. The Harvard Project On (What Used To Be Called) The City by Rem Koolhaas is probably the best-known and most comprehensive of these, but it is far from being the only one. Students in Hans Hollein’s class at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna have already spent years working on the project Ort Und Platz (Site And Place).

One of the reasons for the rekindled interest in urban space appears to lie in the fact that current changes are clearly being felt. Following a first phase of modernisation, characterised by large bursts of industrialisation, the second phase of this modernisation has now gained an increasing amount of influence on the urban centres. The essential hallmarks of this second modernisation are rapid growth (more than 50% of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities), increasing density, international networks for media and of mobility and post-Fordian methods of production.

These changes are linked to certain uncertainties and an allied sense of insecurity (Stefano Boeri, for instance, has given his project the title Uncertain States of Europe), and are making it imperative that the canon of urban development processes and measures (historic, sociological, programmatic, typological and morphological) be analysed anew. Before a background of contemporary socio-cultural conditions, the question is posed as to whether it is still possible to depend upon trusted (outdated?) research methods any longer. Do we new ones?


A symposium organised by the University of Applied Arts in co-operation with the Architekturzentrum Wien

2:00 P.M.
Bart Lootsma
Introduction “The Individual and Density”

2:15 P.M.
Stefano Boeri
Multiplicity / USE

2:45 P.M.
Discussion in the Plenum

3:00 P.M.
Marcel Meili
Studio Schweiz

3:30 P.M.
Discussion in the Plenum

3:45 P.M.
Sanford Kwinter
Urbanism: An Archivist’s Art

4:15 P.M.
Discussion in the Plenum

4:30 P.M.
Coffee Break

5:00 P.M.
Winy Maas
Multiplying Urban Capacities

5:30 P.M.
Discussion in the Plenum

5:45 P.M.
Peter Trummer
Time-Sharing Urbanism

6:15 P.M.
Discussion in the Plenum

6:30 P.M.
Bart Lootsma

7:00 P.M.
Discussion in the Plenum

7:15 P.M.
Final Discussion
Moderation: Jeff Derksen

Biographies / Links

Stefano Boeri

is an Architect and Urban Planner in Milan; teaches at the University of Venice, the ETH Lausanne and the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Projects include urban plans and architectural designs for the ports of Genoa, Mytilene, Triest and Naples, and for various abandoned industrial areas in Italy.
Author of (with Arturo Lanzani and Edoardo Marmi) “Il territorio the cambia: Ambienti, paesaggi a immagini della regione milanese”; (with Gabriele Basilico) “Italy: Cross Sections of a Country” and co-editor of “Mutations”.

Jeff Derksen

born in Canada, is a poet, culture critic, and editor. Author of “Dwell” (Talonbooks) “Down Time” and “But Could I Make a Living From It”. Usually based in Vienna, he is temporary living in New York where he is associated with the Center for Place, Culture an Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Sanford Kwinter

is an architectural theorist, writer and editor whose scholarship and teaching encompasses contemporary technical, cultural and intellectual currents. He is co-founder of the influential publication series ZONE, for which he co-edited the books “The Contemporary City” (1986) and “Incorporations” (1992).
His recent books include “Architectures of ” (2001) and “Mutations” (with Rem Koolhaas, 2000.) Kwinter holds the C.F.Cullinan Chair at Rice University’s School of Architecture and has taught at Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Architectural Association in London among others. He has been recognized with two Fellowships from the Canadian Arts Council, a Visiting Scholar award at the Getty Center, and the 1996 Nan and Will Clarkson Chair at the University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, where he is currently visiting professor.

Bart Lootsma

born in 1957 in Amsterdam, is a historian, critic and curator in the fields of architecture, design and the visual arts. He is a visiting Professor for Architectural History and Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and Thesis Tutor at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Crown Member of the Dutch Culture Council.
Together with the architectural historian MariÎtte van Stralen he founded V.O.F.Boiling Phenomena. Extensive publications in books an magazines worldwide. His book “SuperDutch”, on recent architecture in the Netherlands, is published by Thames & Hudson, Princeton Architectural Press, DVA and SUN in the year 2000 and “Body & Globe”, a collection of essays, will be published in 2002 by 010 Publishers.

Winy Maas

born in 1959 in Schijndel, studied at the RHSTL Boskoop (Landscape Architecture) and at the Technical University in Delft, Netherlands. In 1991 he founded the studio MVRDV in Rotterdam together with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV has carried out several urban studies and masterplans.
Installations and publications (“FARMAX”, “Metacity Datatown”, “KM3” and “Costa Iberica”, to name just a few) expound one of the practice’s core theses: the need to develop high-density building to combat “grey urban sprawl” and preserve what is left of the pastoral landscape. Thesis Tutor at the Berlage Insatitute in Rotterdam.

Marcel Meili

born 1953 in Küsnacht, studied architecture at the ETH Zurich, under Aldo Rossi and Mario Campi (1980 diploma). 1980-82 Research scientist at the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture (gta) at the ETH. 1983-85 collaboration with Dolf Schnebli. Since 1987 he has his own architecture firm in Zurich, together with Markus Peter. Since 1984 he has had many posts as lecturer, amongst others at the HfG Zurich, at the International Summer Academies in Berlin, Karlsruhe and at Harvard GSD. Since 1999 Professor for Architetcture at the ETH Zurich.
Together with Roger Diener, Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, Meili heads “Studio Basle” an external experimental laboratory, developed to test new forms and methods of teaching. The project “Switzerland a portrait” combines methodical wide-ranging urban development analyses with questions of the conceptional development of large, open spaces.

Peter Trummer

born in 1964, he studied at the Technical University in Graz (graduated 1994). 1995/98 Master of Architecture (BIA) am Berlage Institute Amsterdam / Laboratory of Architecture. 1996-2001 Designcoordinator at UN Studio Ben van Berkel & Caroline Bos, since 1999 he teaches at several Universities in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Graz and Arnheim. In 2001 he founded the studio “offshore” together with Hannes Pfau and Astrid Piber..
Time Sharing Urbanism [ 01:06 min ]

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