2017-10-01Soupet #88

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The last Monday of September were two consultants as guests Erick Haag (Haag Supply Management) and Erik Tetteroo (APPM Management Consultants). In restaurant Huson a relatively new world opened for us.

Erick and Erik have both followed a design education in Delft. Erick Industrial Design and Erik Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture. They found the processes in the design subject more interesting than creating new products and environments. We talked about the professional adviser in relation to designer. After this evening, I certainly do know these two different professions needs each other. An architectural or urban design is not always the solution of a problem. A process sometimes requires imagination to understand its impact. I believe that an ingenious plan arises from a brilliant process.

Erick now focuses on energy and supply chain of companies, and Erik is a specialist in bicycle mobility. Both say that they do not design anymore, but these subjects determine the layout of the future city in great measure. That cannot be a coincidence.

2017-09-01Souper #87

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Last Monday of August, Landscape Architect Steven Delva (Delva Landscape Architects) and Marco Broekman (Marco Broekman Urbanism Research) joined us in Restaurant Huson.

Steven and Marco each have a portfolio of fantastic projects, interesting studies, impressive strategies. Obviously, they simply switch between designer, researcher and spatial strategic thinker. It is therefore not strange that they won various competitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht for the development of new neighborhoods or transformation of existing industrial areas into bustling city districts.

In addition to all these roles, they are also entrepreneurs. Steven hires a part of his office in Amsterdam as a luxury Bed & Breakfast and Marco regularly seeks strategic partnerships with (inter)national parties to expand his work. Started in time of crisis they have both solid office by using the right knowledge and skills. Respect!

2017-07-01Souper #86

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Jan Dekkers (entrepreneur in building construction) and Fenna Haakma Wagenaar (Municipality of Rotterdam) were our guests at the end of June in restaurant Huson.

Jan graduated as a construction designer with specialization: prefab concrete. He started his career as a manager of a concrete factory, followed by several director positions at various construction companies (IBC, Heijmans, Hurks, Bruil). At the moment he is working on different innovations in the prefab industry.

Fenna, after her turnarounds at OMA, Herzog de Meuron, SANAA and the municipality of London, is now working as an urbanist for the centre area at the municipality of Rotterdam.

Our guests had little in common in terms of work and personality. Jan is a modest and technical man in charge of building construction. Fenna is undecided and works as an idea woman at a very early stage of the design process.

2017-06-01Souper #85

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The last Monday of May, Francien van Westrenen (Stroom) and Otto Trienekens (Veldacademie) joined us at restaurant Huson.

Francien van Westrenen is art and culture scientist and work as a curator architecture program the art center Stroom in The Hague. Stroom converts the imagination to enrich and clarify thinking about social issues and developments. For eleven years Stroom was also the local Architecture Centre. Although this role has now been taken over by Platform Stad, it does not prevent them from continuing with interesting activities.

Otto Trienekens is an architect of Vertex and has established the Veldacademie in collaboration with the municipality of Rotterdam. The Veldacademie has years of experience in designing research into Rotterdam urban issues, in cooperation with education institutes. In the meantime, AIR Foundattion, the local Architecture Centre has also been withdrawn from them and closely cooperated with the public debate.

In a fascinating evening we learned how urban development through design research, art and public activities sometimes goes well with the municipality and sometimes not.

2017-05-01Souper #84

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For interesting guests we like to travel to another city. For Roel Vos (former municipal official and politician) and philosopher/ journalist Annemarie Kok we moved our souper from Rotterdam to Groningen. Inspiring city. Nice people.

The way in which Groningen worked for the last fifty years seems to be exceptional and consistent. That did not happen without a fight. In the late sixties and the early seventies there was a big and radical change of perspective. The city and city renewal was looked at in a different way. Urban development was then used in a new way. Roel worked with the municipality and together with Max van de Berg he shaped this dynamic development of Groningen. Later he was a deputy at the province and director of the Blauwe Stad.

Annemarie has recently written an interesting essay about the role of politics and politicians in the city. Shortly, without relying on her nuanced essay, she advocates a proactive attitude of politicians. This means absolutely not a municipality that facilitate. This fashionable jargon means in practice a government that does not want to take responsibility, is not caring about their inhabitants and has no vision at all. A politic movement that puts politicians out of the way and connects citizens against their sense does not strengthen civilisation. It just affects society.

With Roel as a practitioner and Annemarie as a scientist we spoke about the past and discussed about the city of Groningen today. In restaurant De Pijp it became evident that the specific lessons from Groningen are particularly valuable for thinking about and making the future city in general.