I made the decision to go back into academia after working for 6 years as an architect in Istanbul, Turkey. I wanted to grow more holistically as a designer, and therefore looked outward in search for new ideas and opportunities. I also wished to reconnect with both theoretical and scholarly sides of my profession, which seemed unimportant within the commercial practice of architecture.
That is why I decided to come to TU Delft to pursue my master’s degree in Urbanism. This would not just help me broaden my horizons by zooming out to see the bigger picture, but also understand how society systematically coexists within the built environment, and all the layers in between. Coming to this faculty not only helped me update my outlook on these issues, but it also exposed me to new perspectives that force rigorous dialect within analytical frameworks that primarily exist in an international and diverse setting such as TU Delft. These perspectives included ideas regarding urban metabolism, design, planning, and circularity. The faculty also strengthened my belief that there is no boundary between architecture and urban design, as they both help define our spatial reality.
Understanding how processes in society have spatial implications, I chose urbanism because of its broad scope, the fact that it involves working with many different disciplines and that functions are at the heart of society. Because the subject is so broad (designing from a regional scale right down to a paving stone), you’re always being confronted with new subjects on a spatial, technical and social level. Just about everything has something to do with urbanism!
It’s nice to learn to understand how processes work in society, their spatial implications and how you can influence them by means of a vision or design. You spend a lot of the time working in groups, because collaboration is also very important in the working environment. That can be difficult at times, but often also very enjoyable, as the master’s programme is very international and you can learn a great deal from each other. Urban planners are usually very down-to-earth and pleasant people with a broad range of interests. Each group receives intensive supervision from at least two lecturers, who you consult twice a week. Most of the lecturers also work in the field and therefore know what’s going on outside of TU Delft.
I joined the Urbanism master programme in September 2011, having finished my bachelor study successfully in Architecture at Tehran University in Iran. In fact, I preferred to experience larger scale projects with a wider vision and more practical knowledge for today’s Iran as a developing country. As a result, I decided to make a shift to Urbanism as a more tangible and dynamic field.
TU Delft, as one of the most famous universities in the Urbanism field, gave me the opportunity to study different urban research approaches, methods and urban design in the presence of great well‐educated staff and professors. The programme is flexible, comprehensive and practical, which helps to understand physical space by appreciating the social, cultural, economic and political environments that frame it.
During two challenging years, plenty of open lectures and seminars and team projects in a friendly and international atmosphere give the students the golden opportunity to improve their knowledge, teamwork ability and breadth of vision in order to find their future path. My thesis topic was ”Historic religious Identity, Ray urban dignity” which received a lot of attention. It was published in Delta Magazine Volume 47, Number 4. I have just graduated and I am researching and writing about my interest topic “Urban Regeneration” as a PhD research proposal’s topic. I am exploring different universities in the Netherlands to develop myself in the field of Urbanism as far as I wish.
After a graduation in the bachelor of architecture, a couple of internships in Dutch architectural/urban bureaus, I was searching for an intense and deep learning program for science of Urbanism. TU Delft seemed exactly the right place to take the existing knowledge to another level. The studies were rich with professional academic domain and also practical learning experience. I had teachers from OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), and Crimson Architectural Historians.
During my studies I learnt a great deal about how to think critically, design responsively and present my work with articles, speeches, etc. My degree was awarded with Cum Laude and honourable mention. The thesis was published by some architectural journals. That gave me the opportunity to work with BUUR (Bureau voor Urbanisme) in Belgium, an international office coping with a widest scope of urbanism projects.
I work as an urban planner and urban designer. I have no regrets that I chose to study in TU Delft master track of Urbanism, it is a very powerful learning platform, however, one has to adjust it to oneself.
I think the international aspect was the best part of studying at TU Delft. My graduation supervisors were from Holland, China
and Brazil so getting opinions from people from different continents added a lot of value to my project.
I looked at post-socialist housing in my hometown in Lithuania and it was really interesting to see how my perspective has
changed through studying in the Netherlands. After graduating I started my own office PUPA with Tadas Jonauskis and we were lucky enough to win Europan 11. We made the choice to come back to Lithuania because we are really appreciated here and we have a lot of advantages because of that. We know how it’s done abroad and everyone knows that in Holland urbanism is done well.