Francine Houben: Learning Environments
Learning environments play an increasingly important role in the urban economy; education and the city need each other. In the past, universities and colleges were often approached as isolated building projects. Today, we talk about ‘innovation environments’ that raise the spatiostrategic question of how education, commercial activity, and other public functions can be knit together. Ideally, this is done in a way that creates a sustainable vital public domain, where creativity thrives and is permanently appreciated. What are the new learning environments that cleverly combine knowledge and testing platforms, startups, and free zones? How can educational institutions transform into dynamic anchor points of the urban economy? Will they be able to train people for jobs that haven’t been created yet, rather than for jobs that no longer exist?

Based on her award winning designs for the Library of Birmingham, the Delft University of Technology Library, and Amsterdam University College, Francine Houben will discuss her views on education, the city and the Next Economy.

Respondent for the lecture is Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science (subject to change)

Francine Houben is the founding partner and creative director of Mecanoo architecten, based in Delft, The Netherlands. Her work has received international critical acclaim, each project illustrating the three fundamental elements of her architectural vision: people, place, purpose. She currently leads the renovation of the Midtown Campus of the New York Public Library and the revitalization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC.
In November 2015 Queen Máxima of the Netherlands presented the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prize to Francine Houben for her oeuvre.
Francine Houben was curator for the first edition of the IABR, Mobility: A Room with a View, in 2003.

Time: 5.30 - 7 p.m.
Location: Fenixloods II, Paul Nijghkade 19, Rotterdam
Language: English
Admission fee: none, provided you can produce a valid exhibition ticket.
A reservation in advance is highly recommended and can be made here.

Provocative Friday afternoon lectures by famous thinkers Every Friday afternoon, a Next Talk will take place in the auditorium of THE NEXT ECONOMY-exhibition. Radical and provocative ideas for the future of the city are given a platform. International speakers stimulate and intensify the debate about the Next Economy.