Delft Lectures on Architectural Design: Edition 2015 / 2016 revised and updated August 2018
The idea of this lecture series is to enable various full professors, associate professors and researchers to present their positions held in architectural design within the faculty’s master track in architecture. Next to their collaboration in the actual lectures, the faculty staff each has handed in a contribution to this reader, in which the lecturers reflect upon both contemporary key problems within the field of architecture and/or their own sources of inspiration and illumination.
Hence, the audience and target group of the lecture series and reader are MSc1 students. Since this student group has diverse educational backgrounds, like bachelor students from Delft, college students, Erasmus students and International Master students from all over the world, this series offers what actually ‘forms’ the Delft Master program on architecture for both an informed and un-informed public. For the students the series renders thus an introduction to the MSc architecture programs & design studios, which are offered by a variety of architecture chairs located within the faculty. For the outside world — other architecture faculties, academic researchers, professional practice and interested lay(wo)men — the reader might be of interest as well, because it provides insight into the current stances of the Delft school of A+BE vis-í -vis architectural design.
The introduction of the reader illuminates the way in which certain approaches to research and design evolved at the Delft Faculty of Architecture as a consequence of student revolts after 1968. It traces the roots of what today might be considered part of the ‘Delft DNA’ and as such, could be considered specific for the Delft approach to architecture if compared to other schools across Europe.
We arranged the contributions to this reader according to the structure of the Department of Architecture and the Department of Architectural Engineering and Technology. Within these departments, we distinguish the chairs, headed by professors representing a specific field. So, for Architecture, there are six chairs: Architectural Composition & Public Building, Architecture & Dwelling, The Architecture of the Interior, Complex Projects, Methods & Analysis and The Why Factory. From the Department of Architectural Engineering and Technology, the chairs of Architecture & Engineering and Heritage & Architecture are involved. For each chair, a short introduction addressing the chair’s main field of research and education is to be found. Considering that the students just enter their master education at our faculty we hope this structure will help them to orient themselves and to provide insights that facilitate the choice of design studios.
The full professors, associate professors and researchers of the Delft Faculty of Architecture address in the collected texts key contemporary topics, investigating historical models and theoretical arguments while discussing the latest architecture projects as well prototypical cases. Moreover, diverse contributions present contemporary positions in architectural practice and theory against the background of the modern era (1750-today) as characterised by the conditions of the historical avant-garde, (post)modernity, and its various moments of crisis and critique. Through the series of articles presented here, a broad range of questions and themes thus is addressed and explored.
Notwithstanding the broad focus of the reader, the lecture series concentrate each semester on a specific theme. In the academic year 2017-2018 the lectures series is composed around the theme of Architecture and the City. The series is organized to challenge the students to see the possibility of positions that could be taken within the field and how they affect the actual (design) approach to architectural projects. The central theme is first addressed from an academic perception, by giving the floor to two more or less theory-oriented lecturers. The subsequent lectures than offer the floor to professors who are extensively involved in design practice, in order to reflect upon the theme using their own practice as exemplary. The series concludes with a final debate in which the theoretical positions and practical approaches are confronted. This debate will make students aware of the urge to reflect upon their own position. Underneath this approach is the conviction that reflection is a necessary part of architecture: without discussion there only is ‘building’, no architecture!
– The editors August 2019