Architecture of Peace Dialogues: April and May 2019

Architecture of Peace Dialogues: April and May 2019

Architecture of Peace is a long-term research and action project exploring how architects and urban planners can and should play an active role in the process of rebuilding and stabilizing post-conflict spaces. For the next step of the project, we are conducting a series of Dialogues inviting those working in the field of politics, aid, architecture, community work, and development cooperation to share their knowledge and experience and rethink the post-conflict community.

Four Architecture of Peace Dialogues in April & May 2019 gave new insights and tools to work with around the topic of post-conflict architecture. The format of the exchange was experimented with the fusion of the ‘Socratic Dialogue’ and ‘The Handbook for Democratic Dialogue’. Each Dialogue revolved around a specific question and be hosted at a venue relevant to the topic:

Dialogue#1 (8 April, Ondertussen Amsterdam): What is needed today for the rebuilding and reconstruction of cities in post-conflict situations (i.e. Syria)? And how to avoid the mistakes we’ve seen in the past?

Participants: Lilet Breddels (ARCHIS/Volume), Bengin Dawod (Common Affairs), Prof. Jolle Demmers (Utrecht University), Berend van der Lans (African Architecture Matters), Francesco Longo, Nienke Nauta (Pearl), Arjen Oosterman (ARCHIS/Volume), Jan Willem Petersen (Specialist Operations), Dr. Allard Wagemaker (Netherlands Defence Academy), Ing. R.J.G. (Ronald) van Warmerdam (TU Delft).

Dialogue #2 (29 April, Academy of Architecture Amsterdam): What education/learning tools should we implement to make Architecture of Peace part of the Agenda of today’s practitioners? 

Participants: Narda Beunders (Roof for Humanity), Lilet Breddels (ARCHIS/Volume), Vasyl Cherepanyn (Visual Culture Research Center, Kiev), Bengin Dawod (Common Affairs), Randa El Hallak (Architecture Student), MArch Saša Radenovic (Architectuurstudio Radenovic), M.G.H. Schoonderbeek (TU Delft), Ivan Thung (UN-Habitat Iraq), Denisse Vega de Santiago (ARCHIS/Volume).

Dialogue #3 (6 May, Prince Claus Fund Amsterdam): Can the lessons learned in postwar areas be useful to prevent potential conflict zones in our own European context? What is the effect of the built environment on the societies that inhabit it?

Participants: Peter Defesche (Defesche Van den Putte architecture + urbanism), Francesco Degl’Innocenti (ARCHIS/Volume), Dr. Anatol Itten (Disrupted Societies Institute), Arjen Oosterman (ARCHIS/Volume), dr. M.B. Michelle Parlevliet (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Willem van de Put (Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM)), Kathelijne Schenkel (PAX for Peace), Deborah Stolk (Prince Claus Fund).

Dialogue #4 (23 June, Stroom Den Haag):  Mix to the Max or Community of Equals: Can and should we accommodate the segregation of citizens in groups, in communities of equals, or should architects and urbanists try to prevent this and provide an environment in which the exchange of cultures finds its way?

During the wrap-up event at Stroom Den Haag, Syrian architect and urbanist Bengin Dawod and disrupted societies expert Anatol Itten introduced the two sub-themes (Reconstruction; European context). Invited guests will add their perspectives with special focus on education. The discussion will be moderated by Saskia van Stein. 

With the Architecture of Peace Dialogues we wanted to achieve three goals. First of all, we hope the Dialogues will lead to clear next steps for the project at large. Secondlywe aim to create a new tool for having a fruitful dialogue between people from different backgrounds with a different jargon (one of the obstacles to achieving or maintaining peace), and lastly we wanted to bring the AoP project to the attention of a larger audience.

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