Academic year 2022 and further: (R)evolution Planet – a curriculum in progress

The academy wants to be a design and research institute that generates solutions and perspectives for the future of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and abroad. It is up to the current and next generation of architects, urban designers, and landscape architects to create spatial conditions for a sustainable and inclusive future. These conditions must reflect on both the climate emergency and the urgency to become nature positive while at the same time achieving a more inclusive and just society. (R)evolution Planet is the overarching theme for the educational and public program at the academy.

We see a shared responsibility; as designers to put urgent spatial tasks on the public agenda, using the study projects, visions and ideas developed at the Academy. In addition to the educational program, the Academy of Architecture is organizing public debates with designers across various disciplines, and with people from other disciplines including politicians, opinion makers, scientists, policy makers and others. During the forthcoming academic years, the Academy will continue to publish the results of the debates and projects, the ideas, and the possibilities for the future in various ways.

Inconvenient Questions

15 years ago, a documentary film changed how we look at climate change. Inconvenient Truth – the presentation of former US Vice President Al Gore made it undeniably clear, that climate change is a fact and that we need to act. When receiving the Oscar for best documentary in 2007, the film made a call to action: “It’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That’s a renewable resource. Let’s renew it.”

What followed were a series of climate conferences where countries pledged to reduce their carbon footprints radically. After accepting the inconvenient truth, we now have to take action to achieve these goals. And this is where the problem lies now: we need to come up with answers and solutions and a lot is happening. But – not every solution at hand really is one. What looks like a good way forward might have devastating consequences on the longer perspective. We have to keep asking ourselves inconvenient questions.

The following lectures of the Inconvenient Questions series can be found on Kaltura (students only):

26 January 2022: Inconvenient Questions

2 February 2022: What is the design school of tomorrow?

9 March 2022: Convenient Answers


(R)evolution Planet Award

On 7 November 2021, the Academy's (R)evolution Planet award went to alumnus Silko van der Vliet and his project Moose River Delta Cree. This graduation proposal outlines a relocation strategy for the Moosonee and Moose Factory communities in the Moose River delta. This strategy responds to the hypothetical changes in the landscape and builds upon the legacy of Cree culture.

Stable riverbanks of clay and gravel form the basis for the relocation. The proposal is based on a new location in the dynamic forest edge determined by flooding. The forest edge as a link between life in the boreal forest and the tidal area with flourishing flora and fauna. Two landscape types that are fundamental in Cree culture.

Metabolic Urbanism

Daniel Ibañez lectured at the Academy on September 22nd about Metabolic Urbanism. Daniel is a Master of Advanced Ecological Buildings and a practicing architect and urbanist, as well as a Doctor of Design and instructor at Harvard University.

His research, Metabolic Urbanism, critically seeks to frame the design disciplines in relation to broader socio-ecological interdependencies through cross disciplinary research on the field of urban metabolism.

This online lecture was recorded, and visible to students and employees of the Academy. The evening was hosted by the students of Team 3: Rachel Borovská, Azat Dzhunushev, Reinier Gramsma, Mirjam Krüssel, Mustafa Nicanci, Coen Pronk and their tutors: David Kloet, Erik Frijters and Mark Hendriks.

The lecture can be found on Kaltura (student access only) by clicking on the top-left image!

Winter School: Planet Paradise

Land artist Bruno Doedens was the Artist in Residence 2020-2021 of the Academy of Architecture. The Artist in Residence (AiR) programme is part of the Amsterdam University of the Arts.

On the basis of this position, Bruno shaped the interdisciplinary Winter School 2021 for the 1st-year and 2nd-year Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture students. Bruno is well-known for his impressive visual projects in which he connects the landscape, natural processes and humans with each other in surprising ways. He experiments, transforms and imagines, in the course of which people are always both participant and spectator. On Friday 15 and Saturday 16 January 2021, the students began part one of their (online) trip to Planet Paradise together with Bruno.

For more information, please click here.

Kick-off 2021: Workshop Thinking Together

Our kick-off workshop centered on Thinking Together, which activated us to formulate the five most important academy themes for (R)evolution Planet for the coming year(s).

In two sessions with all the students of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture combined, we used the waterfall method to find answers to our question. 

With this method, a participant begins by formulating what they consider the five most important themes for (R)evolution Planet. After a few minutes, they find someone else to re-formulate their five common points of view - thinking together. This pair then finds another pair, repeating the exercise. Finally, you end up with the number sequence 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 etc. and arrive at five central points of interest in relation to our question.

Our two final 'waterfalls' came to:

1. Synergy
2. Adaptive
3. Brave
4. Love
5. Time

1. Think local - local solutions - circularity
2. Integrated ecosystems
3. Rethink economics
4. Symbiosis
5. Interdisciplinary revolution
6. Climate culture - communicate, educate, be aware.
7. Technological innovation