Complex projects

The Chair of Complex Projects (CP) investigates settlements around the world that are ambiguous in their development and embedded in the process of globalisation. Students and teachers are encouraged to look critically at their surroundings; to gather, organise and question the complex forces that ultimately manifest themselves into our built environment.We are interested in the study of different urban conditions; core or peripheral, dynamic or stagnant, traditional or without history, anonymous or famous; these are the contemporary post-modern realities we must confront as a profession.

Complex Projects targets all scales of the architectural thinking: details, building, city, and region, with the purpose of expanding the knowledge about design and dense urban areas development, and of broadening the mind and thinking of future architects. The architect operates within many different scales and cultural contexts, and consequently sees the world through many lenses: as an artist, organiser, politician, economist, philosopher, strategist, humanitarian, planner and sometimes visionary. The complexity of these parameters converges into a new definition of design which in turn enables students to unpack virtually any set of design constraints, cultivating a strong critical and analytical approach to the design process.

In Complex Projects, the research-by-design zooms in from the large scale of the city itself, to the medium scale of the site, to the small scale of the building. This serves as basis for a design narrative that on its turn is a lead for the individual proposals. The research products of the different design studios vary from the kickoff material, that has to be prepared and
edited by the teachers, to the individual design projects, models, collages, books, video, wallpapers, prepared by the students. Through the various final products it should be visible how the research led to the narrative, and how this in its turn is translated in the design. A selection of the students' works will be part of the exhibitions periodically organised and curated by the Chair.


Nathalie Kooijmans-Bout