IABR–2014–Conference BY DESIGN–Keynote Dirk Sijmons

Dirk Sijmons is Curator of IABR–2014–URBAN BY NATURE– and Professor for Landscape Architecture at the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands
On June 12, 2014 the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) held its international conference Productive Space By Design–. The conference was part of IABR–2014–URBAN BY NATURE’s public program of events parallel to the exhibitions at the Kunsthal Rotterdam. Intended as a ‘collective thinking exercise’ rather than a series of speeches and round table discussions, its goal was to explore the consequences of the paradigm shift that is identified by URBAN BY NATURE –the irreversible blurring of the urban and natural systems and planning worlds– on the practices of design and of urban development. Hence the conference’s foremost question was: Can design help us find an alternative model of urban development, one that does not capitalize on the exploitation of land and natural resources, but on the productive capacity of people and space?