The Why Factory

The Why Factory (T?F) is a global think-tank and research institute, run by MVRDV and Delft University of Technology, and led by professor Winy Maas. It explores alternative possibilities for the development of our cities in particular and of our Planet in general, by focusing on the production of models and visualizations for the Planet of the future. 

Focus and approach

Education and research at The Why Factory are combined in a research lab and platform that aims to analyze, theorize and construct future cities and a better Planet. The Why Factory investigates within the given world and produces future scenarios beyond it; from universal to specific and global to local. It proposes, constructs and envisions hypothetical societies and cities and landscapes; from science to action and vice versa. The Why Factory thus acts as a future World scenario making machinery. Moreover, we want to engage in a public debate on architecture and urbanism. The Why Factory’s findings are therefore communicated to a broad public in a variety of ways, including exhibitions, publications, workshops, and panel discussions. 


The Why Factory combines research with education. We offer a MSc1 course in the Autumn semester and a MSc2 course in the Spring, where students will simultaneously do collective research and design studios, complemented by a reading seminar in the Spring. 

The research at the Why Factory produces observations, hypotheses and statements in a visual and direct manner. The images produced are a combination of science and fiction, in an approach integrating systematic observations and gathering of data with speculation and imagination through spatial and architectural means.
A systematic, parametric exploration of parts of the design is an integral part of the research approach. Students work in large groups and produce one single collective presentation at the end of the studio. 

Programme MSc 1 fall semester 2023 (pdf)

Programme MSc 2 spring semester 2024 (pdf)


Winy Maas, Javier Arpa Fernández, Adrien Ravon, Lex te Loo 

Additional information

Additional information about the projects and student work can be found here.

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the study guide:
MSc 1 (only in fall semester)
MSc 2 (only in spring semester) 

* The MSc2 semester of the Architecture track consists of 5 credits of compulsory courses and 25 credits of electives, of which an Architecture approved MSc2 elective design studio. See also the Elective Design Studios page for a full overview of MSc2 Architecture design projects. 


Javier Arpa