Professor Carola Hein first to be appointed in Leiden Delft and Rotterdam

News - 13 April 2022 - Communication BK

Anthropologists, planners, architects and designers have a lot to learn from each other’s approaches and entanglements in professional and research practices.’ The connection between design and social sciences is a key issue for Hein.

'In order to design future scenarios, we must first understand the past and present,' says Hein. 'This is not always obvious for engineers at TU Delft. The students do a lot with ethnography of architecture or interviews, but they are not entirely aware of what it means to do research with people.' Anthropologists explore power structures, including ones that architects and planners participate in. Planners may support the transformation of a neighbourhood in line with a goal of urban revitalisation. Anthropologists may look at the same transformation, and their closer eye to power dynamics in decision processes can lead them to examine the developments in terms of gentrification. From her new position as Leiden-Delft-Erasmus professor, Hein sees great opportunities for cooperation with anthropology students who have experience with ethnographic research.

LDE double appointment

Carola Hein, Professor of History of Architecture and Urban Planning TU Delft,  has been affiliated with the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology of Leiden University and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication since January 2022 as Professor Water, Ports, and Historic Cities. On the surface this may seem a strange combination, but for Hein it makes sense: 'Without an understanding of the past and present, we are not able to design future scenarios.'

Hein is the driving force behind the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus PortCityFutures programme and since January she is not only a professor at TU Delft, but also at Leiden University and Erasmus University Rotterdam. This is the first time a professor is appointed as Leiden-Delft-Erasmus professor. Since the beginning of this year, Hein was also awarded the Unesco Chair in 'Water, Ports and Historic Cities', which forms the basis for this LDE double appointment. Hein is looking forward to it: 'I think it's great and a bit exciting, but mostly I see opportunities to bring different worlds together.'

More information

This article is a summary of an earlier post on Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities.

Read more about the LDE PortCityFutures programme and news about the appointment of the UNESCO chair 'Water, Ports and Historic Cities'.

The new minor on this topic will start in September 2022.

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