The New Open

Consider a near future where data related to buildings and cities is open. Imagine how the look and feel of our world would be different, and how it could perform all kinds of radical new feats. If it was able to consider the critical ecological needs of the planet and manage our lifestyles in the way it creates and sustains built environments, could an open data world have more impact on cultural, scientific, social and political change than any other space? 

The New Open is an interdisciplinary flagship project of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft, initiated and led by Georg Vrachliotis, professor Theory of Architecture and Digital Culture to explore the role of open data for design and social change. 

[ An Open Society ]

Architects Jaap Bakema, Frei Otto and Fritz Haller; the Club of Rome and the Bouwcentrum Rotterdam, laid the philosophical groundwork for an open data society, where democratic design informed public spaces. These innovators of the open data society also experimented with ‘participatory design’, to better involve citizens in the design decisions of their cities, which transformed the architect's role from sole decision maker to moderator and curator of communication processes.

The New Open builds on these historical references to inspire today’s visions for a future open data society while addressing today and tomorrow’s most pressing concerns, from sustainable building materials and better design, to data literacy and data democracy, to curating the cohesive fabric of highly functioning, ecologically savvy smart societies. 

[ Visions ]

In a world drowning in data and pixelating in data fog, The New Open aims to increase data optimism through data literacy, and new ways of seeing, processing, interpreting and sharing data between architects, urban researchers, climate and computer scientists in collaboration with artificial intelligence.

The New Open explores “openness” by overcoming data sharing anxiety and scepticism. At the same time The New Open aims to democratise data in order to make our collective data cloud more visible and useful for all, and to foster a co-creative mind-set in the design of our living environments.

By unlocking a new data culture, the project cultivates architectural transformation by demonstrating the potential of open data as a resource for radically new design, and as a freely available resource to advise, inspire, and inform architectural practice, business decisions and planning.

[ Impact ]

As a dynamic platform with ongoing critical contributions from global thought leaders in architecture, design, climate, data science, art, culture, economics and politics, The New Open rethinks the future foundations of design and its impact on our societies. 

Through a vibrant mix of digital and analogue experiences, ever-evolving critical topics in the cultural, political and social arenas will bring open data futures to life, to demonstrate how open data contributes to innovative design methods encompassing environmental, societal, cultural, and economic conditions of buildings.

These will include a podcast and a book series, live and digital talks, workshops, exhibitions, social media happenings and a fellowship program featuring special projects with creative visionaries.  

The generated content, guidelines and insights lead architects, designers and city planners to improve their design methods with data-supported feedback, such as user behaviour, functionality, spatial efficiency, comfort, and carbon impact. 

The New Open, therefore, dwells upon open science to share design knowledge, create public values, and work towards a sustainable data economy in architecture and the built environment.

More information?

Please visit The New Open website for more information and the latest news.