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February 2021

Taboo

54/04

Taboo

Taboo you, taboo me, taboo everybody. Some things are better left unsaid, but that’s better for who exactly? Since expressing yourself is healthy, we will talk about taboos in this edition. That can be casual ones, in architecture, worldly, whatever feels best. More and more conversations are beginning to idle, we believe it is better to stay in conversation. So, let’s do that!

Editorial team

Christopher Clarkson, Federico Ruiz, Inez Margaux Spaargaren, Robert van Overveld, Oliwia Jackowska, Jonas Althuis

With contributions from

Katarzyna Soltysiak, Ecaterina Stefanescu, Alessandro Rognoni, Ana Herreros, Jin Chang, Juliette Khoo, Ulf Hackauf, Anne van den Berg, Raven van der Steen

Cover design by

Raven van der Steen

Editorial

Taboo is the theme of this edition. That is to say; those things which are implicitly prohibited by cultures or groups are exactly the thing we aim to discuss here. Everybody has things they’d prefer not to discuss… perhaps it’s their country’s political background, or that subject they failed twice. And similarly, as groups of people, there are things that are generally accepted to be improper to mention or discuss with each other; perhaps it’s that table you got with your housemate which is actually just a little too big for the space, or the fact that everyone pretends to be emotionally strong and stable all the time.

Taboos seem to be pretty conventional phenomena of group dynamics. Almost every group of individuals, when brought together, eventually will encounter something which will subsequently never be discussed again, because it’s just easier to ignore it. Just like how we Bnieuws editors simply prefer not to speak about the old Bnieuws website,which we only realised existed after we built the new Bnieuws website…

Anyway! At Bnieuws we thought maybe this is not the healthiest approach to things; sweeping uncomfortable truths under the rug works for a while, but eventually, the rug gets difficult to walk on. So we’re going to remove all of the societal detritus that has gathered there under the rug and bring it out into the light for all to see. This edition is aimed to look at those things that we would prefer not to speak about; that is: we as members of Bouwkunde faculty, we as working architects, we as serious architects, we as male architects, we as filmgoers, and we as sustainable designers.

We understand that these are often quite sensitive or emotionally draining topics, but we do intend for you to enjoy our edition. We hope that this collection of uncomfortable but honest thoughts inspire some introspection for yourself, or maybe even an honest conversation with somebody about what has been committed to words here. Have a break between articles, think about it, meditate, and go vent about it to your friend!*

*If it’s not too uncomfortable of course...

Contents

Your teacher and you

From the editors

1

In the first years in primary school, teachers had a hard time telling if I was a good student or not. I could occasionally be very bright in some areas, but sometimes I would fail at the same subject. That changed when I went to grade 7, the year that I had teachers that I absolutely adored. My grades went up significantly in every area. You, my readers, can probably tell similar stories about times where a teacher made all the difference for you.

A subjective take on greenwashing

Pen Pal

2

Katarzyna and Ecaterina graduated from the Architecture department of TU Delft a couple of years ago. Soon, they hit a wall - not because of the economic crises but because of the ignorance of the industry. Nonetheless, the problems started earlier, they believe. In the following talk, they discuss greenwashing, misunderstood concepts of sustainability and reuse in academia and the industry. The topic of Taboo inspired their few-hours-long conversation. Below, you can find its most important ideas.

Calling it like it is

From the editors

3

This is a Bnieuws article, and you are reading it. I wrote this article because I’m being paid to and because I have obligations to the editorial board to do so; because it’s my job. The world is not often discussed in this way, because it’s not usually a very comforting outlook on the world. It can at times, as shown in my opening sentences, bleed the colours out of everything even remotely interesting. This article aims to do exactly this: ‘call architecture like it is’. But is architecture a defined thing- or can it be what you want to make of it?

An Introduction to The Invisible Architect

From the editors

4

If a gender – specifically women – is portrayed invisible, it can have consequences for the next generation. A visible person, like a role model,  would help that next generation. A generation with women in architecture seems the most normal thing. However, women who have experience in the male profession of architecture intimidate, and sometimes surprise the other gender. Women in architecture aren’t much of a role model. Why do people often think of a male role model, when they hear the word architect?

I read it on the internet...

From the editors

5

Bnieuws has always been a print-based magazine. It’s our tradition, our sacred way of connecting with the students and staff of the Faculty of Architecture. That made the idea of going digital a taboo, something we were often thinking but never dared saying, and now that’s exactly what we’ve done. Here’s why.

The Dutch Factor

BK Report

6

For many international students, there is a moment in their first months at BK when they are surprised by how the skills, motivation, and sense of responsibility of many of their Dutch colleagues is not as high as theirs. After a while, they learn that, academically, their Dutch peers are a crucial and unpredictable factor that has the power to define the outcome of any group assignment, for better or worse. But, why is this “Dutch factor” so determinant?

Taboo in Translation

From the editors

7

Taking advantage of the international and multicultural community of TU Delft, we collected national traditions or beliefs that only make sense in given communities. We might not understand why they exist, but this is what makes it special. Let’s respect each other and enjoy the beautiful mixture of traditions and taboos all around the world! Enjoy.

Back to the cinema. Please.

Pen Pal

8

If there is a type of space that we could easily call resilient, that is the cinema.

The Berlage questionnaire: Emanuel Christ of Christ & Gantenbein

The Berlage x Bnieuws

9

Based on the late-nineteenth-century parlor game, made fabulous by answers from Marcel Proust, The Berlage Questionnaire is a series of questions posed to guests after their public online lecture about their lives, thoughts, values, and experiences to reveal their wit, character, and personality.

Take It Seriously

From the editors

10

This story begins in Zaandam. I went there to visit the Inntel Hotel, a building that I find to be hilarious. Its façade consists of a bunch of traditional wooden houses stacked on top of each other in the least traditional of arrangements. The comical effect was even stronger as I considered how architects usually despise humour in architecture. While standing in front of it, I couldn’t help but ask: what was going through the mind of the architect?

I went to Wilfried van Winden, the author of this colossus, to try get an answer to this and other questions I had about his work.

Gordon Matta-Clark: Poetic Anarchy

Article Exchange

11

By the time Gordon Matta-Clark completed his architecture degree at Cornell University, he was determined to pursue art as a career.

Artefact: Kitchen Knife

Artefact

12

‘Artefact’ is a recurring two-page spread, which features a beloved object presented by one of the BK City staff members. Every month, the author passes the ‘Artefact’ contributorship to the next. Last month, Amber Leeuwenburg nominated teacher and researcher Ulf Hackauf, who works on the relation of urban metabolism and urban morphology at the section of environmental technology and design.

Taboo in Verse

Pen Pal

13

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