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Thursday, February 25, 2016
The Netherlands and Germany face big challenges in the coming years. Climate change and global politics have a direct impact on both countries.
While the Netherlands will have to find solutions for an ever increasing sea level that will eventually cover all of the Netherlands, Germany is confronted with a societal change through large numbers of immigrants.
Architecture and design are creative processes that used to be initiated by the public sector, private clients and the industry. But due to the consequences of globalization these initiators are subject to the rules of the free enterprise economy. The results are mediocre public buildings, housing crisis, Starchitecture, and an elite design concept. Who will start the process nowadays? Private initiatives? Foundations? The architects and designers themselves? Are the former initiators too dependent on the market economy to support valuable research and design? What does client based approach really mean? A product, that suits well or sells well? Will there be design and architecture for an elite that only serves the lifestyle of that particular society, because they are willing and able to pay for it?
Who would finance design for the other 99 %? Architects and designers can and should play an important role. They are predestinated, because they are trained in interdisciplinary teamwork and can liaise creative processes. They have a similar background in education, and could even join forces.
Furthermore the above mentioned principal should realize the importance of creative input and design thinking in their value chain. This applies to the industry as well as to governments and the private sector. But is the current education preparing future designers and architects for that role?
The invited architects and designers from the Netherlands and Germany will put forward those questions concentrating on their experiences and self-concept. While keeping an eye on the varying preconditions and definitions of the disciplines, the discussion will focus on European common ground and local cultural differences that are rooted in the varying definitions and values of architecture and design.