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 possibilities for the development of our cities by focusing on the production of models and visualizations for cities 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. 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; 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. Students will simultaneously do research and design studios, complemented by theory, programming and representation courses. The research on the city of the future starts with the speculation on possible theoretical models. Once produced, these theoretical models are tested in existing cities and stored in a data cloud that combines collective agendas and individualistic tendencies.

A systematic, parametric exploration of parts of the design is an integral part of the research approach, and therefore each of those studios is accompanied by a parallel scripting seminar: Future Models. In the future models seminars, parts of the design are scripted in Grasshopper or other relevant software programs. The systematic, parametric exploration of parts of the design is an integral part of the research approach.

Programme MSc 1 fall semester 2021 (pdf)

Programme MSc 2 spring semester 2022 (pdf)

Staff Winy Maas, Javier Arpa, Lex te Loo, Adrien Ravon.

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 MSc 2 semester of the Architecture track consists of 5 credits of compulsory courses and 25 credits of electives, of which an approved MSc 2 Architecture design project. See also the MSc 2 design projects page for an overview of MSc 2 Architecture design projects. 


Javier Arpa