Dennis Koek

Dennis Koek


MODUS VIVENDI – monument van sociale integratie

MODUS VIVENDI – monument of social integration 

Modus Vivendi stands as the monument of social integration, serving as an ode to the social encounter and flexibility that we have lost in our polarised, intercultural society, yet so desperately need. The monument is a socio-architectural sculpture that honours, facilitates, and stimulates social exploration, discovery, and interaction in our intercultural co-existence. 

Contemporary society is diverse and multifaceted. However, we primarily coexist passively alongside one another, seldom actively engaging with each other. Biased perceptions and assumptions stemming from the in-group / out-group theory, often in a mostly imaginary, intangible space, lead to segregation and polarisation among various societal groups. 

The research question in this project revolves around the role architecture should play in the social integration of intercultural society. Public architecture assumes a crucial role in physically bringing together these diverse groups and subgroups. Architecture with a public function should thus be designed less from conventional guidelines such as pragmatic, economic, historical, or habitual perspectives, but predominantly from a social standpoint, where the social usage of space and spatial social awareness of oneself and others always remain central. 

The meaning of 'Modus Vivendi' is a way of living or a way of dealing with differences, of continuing what binds us together, even if we do not share the same values and norms: a co-existence. Philosopher Eberhard Scheiffele's quote, "making the familiar strange by studying the unknown", thus serves as the guiding principle in the research, development, and realisation of the socio-architectural project Modus Vivendi. 

The social monument Modus Vivendi stands as the public, physical space to honour, facilitate, and stimulate this social exploration, discovery, and interaction. True to its nature as a monument, this architectural sculpture of mass and counter-mass serves as both a homage to and a catalyst for our social flexibility. 

The research, the developed theories, and the realisation of the socio-architectural project Modus Vivendi are based on scientific theoretical studies from sociology and environmental psychology. This has resulted in an architectural design of the social monument, which also serves as a manifesto for a shift in mentality regarding the social aspect of design in public architecture. 

Graduation date: 22 January 2024
Graduation committee: Wouter Kroeze (mentor), Txell Blanco Diaz, Paul Kuipers 
Additional members for the exam: Jarrik Ouburg, Krijn de Koning

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