Prepared by Roberto Rocco
Chair Spatial Planning and Strategy,TU Delft
Photo: ChernobylBob at Flickr
Challenge the futureChallenge the future
You can get more information about the chair Spatial Planning and Strategy by visiting our website at http://
www.spatialplanning.bk.tudelft.nl/ or our BLOG at http://spatialplanningtudelft.eu/
✤ Is design the visual artifact? (drawings, models,
✤ Is design the visual representation of something one
has invented or imagined?
✤ Or is design the combination of the visual
representation of the artifact and the description of the
processes and uses that it might facilitate?
✤ IN SHORT: the spatial organization of PROCESSES?
✤At the end of the
TU Delft course,
you will be a... ?
Welcome to the methodology
Spatial Planning and
Technology and Design
Machiel van Dorst
Technology and Design
Spatial Planning and
I know it
Students who raise the alarm
You need to have a
combined with an
Einstein said that:
more to it!
We believe that
makes your doing
relevant to the
Knowledge is the raw material of
It is what we know (for a fact),
as opposed to what we believe
or assume (which is subjective
and could very well be wrong!)
(but actually...there is a lot of discussion about the
essence of knowledge, starting from Plato onwards,
and even before!)
Platoc. 428–427 BC, to c. 348–347 BC, Athens
In this course✤ Knowledge is active
engagement with the
object to be known.
This means that you
need to ‘work’ in order
to know: to study, to
research, to draw, to
design, to discuss and
✤ (That’s why we have this course: to
understand different ways of knowing
✤ Knowledge exists
✤ This means that
knowledge is a
you, the object and
others (in our case,
your colleagues and
teachers. Later, your
clients or users).
✤ To ‘know’ means to be
able to communicate
In this perspective
exists only in your
head is IRRELEVANT,
unless it manifests itself
in your DOING and
then can be accessed
But there are
different kinds of
And different ways
to get to that
Have a look at the following picture
What knowledge is contained in the picture?
What can you know?
David Goldblatt, "Saturday Morning at the Hypermarket: Semi-ﬁnal of the Miss Lovely Legs Competition, Boksburg, Transvaal, 28 June 1980"
Exercise from STAINTON-ROGERS,W. (2006), Logics of Enquiry, in Doing
Postgraduate Research , Ed. Stephen Potter, London: Sage.
Now read the following texts written about the photography and decide
which one comes closest to the knowledge gained? What are other insights
you can have by reading these commentaries?
Last night, Charmaine du Preez was
crowned Miss Lovely Legs Noksburg for
1974. Charmaine is a 2nd year student at
Sukses secretarial College and says her
hobbies are reading, watching films and
[going to] the gym. Charmaine said the
she was thrilled that the judges chose her
out of so many deserving competitors and
would try her utmost to live up to
everything expected of her during her
Although one does not want to further
denigrate the participants in such
contests, nor ascribe personally malign
motives to those who consume those
images, the political implications of such
‘cattle parades’ are inescapable: women
are turned into objects in a male-
dominated world. Such practices are the
visible manifestations of an all-pervasive
(Patsy Smith-Collins, International Journal of
In this photograph, Goldblatt again
explores the semiotic (and now perhaps
even nostalgic?) possibilities of 1970s
suburbia, so fetchingly oblivious of the
larger political forces playing themselves
out in the context of apartheid South
Africa. The careful juxtaposition of the
foregrounded white contestants and the
predominantly black audience plays with
the irony of the white culture as an
object of black consumption.
(Mandla Nkosi, ArtWorld)
Which one is the
It all depends
one is asking!
Which one is the right question?
That QUESTION depends
on your ‘world view’, that is,
from what perspective you
approach the subject *.These
different world views result in
different ‘logics of enquiry’
Example of primary source of data,
information and policies
do not stem
... also stem
world views and
Increasing complexity of space
✤ The increasing complexity of living
environments and the tools to understand
them results in increasingly complex research
✤ After all, there are new tools for analysis, new
combinations of disciplines and new
QUESTIONS that need to be answered.
But THIS is not so complex... Or is it?
Delft,The Netherlands, pop.: 96.000 (2008)
Urbanisation in the Netherlands, 1950 Urbanisation in the Netherlands, 2010
Urbanisation in the Randstad, 1950 Urbanisation in the Randstad, 2010
enough for you?
Commuting patterns in The Randstad
KLM Routes 1964 KLM Routes 2004
Metropolitain de Paris 2005 Tokyo Subway system 2008
✤The increasing complexity of
research paradigms in urbanism
results in the perception that a
practical education on design
skills alone is insufﬁcient to
deal with the broader task at
questions need to
be answered by
different kinds of
The broader task at hand
✤ To understand the context, the
role and wishes of stakeholders
and the socio-political forces that
ultimately produce ‘real world’
space in order to be able to
intervene effectively and in
have to do
✤ 1. to develop your critical thinking
✤ 2. to be able to understand different
worldviews and different logics of
enquiry deriving from them
✤ 3. to be able to COMMUNICATE your
ideas and results using image and text.
✤ 4. To understand the ethical issues
involved in the activity
We want you!
We want you to make relevant
RESEARCH and DESIGN in
Enhance your creativity &
Fundament your designs
But we also hope you can have a better
understanding of your role as a reflective
and responsible practitioner later on.
So, why this course?
✤ To REFLECT on the character and content of the
education given in the Urbanism department (What do
we learn from whom and why?)
✤ To UNDERSTAND the importance and the usefulness of
an academic attitude in the university education and in
the professional practice
✤ To give INPUT to the education (What are new needs
and aspirations of young urban planners and designers?)
✤ To prepare for the GRADUATION YEAR and beyond
of the master in
Thanks for listening!
With special thanks to Matt Smith
(ChernobylBob) of Gloucester, UK, whose
photos adorn these pages.
Matt’s photographs are available at:
Prepared by Roberto Rocco,TU Delft
See all my presentations at http://issuu.com/
robertorocco or http://slideshare/robertorocco