Juha van ‘t Zelfde, Impakt Event: Architectures of Exclusion

On Wednesday 29 February, Impakt EVENTS presented Architectures of Exclusion: a presentation focused on the political dimensions of architecture and the virtual realm. Three guest speakers adopted an interdisciplinary approach to discuss this issue which has a long-standing history and broad reach. The event took place at Impakt Headquarters, Lauwerecht 10, Utrecht.

To what extent are interferences in the urban environment able to influence human behavior? This question has been topical ever since urban planning & development issues have come into being. The matter becomes even more pressing when urban planning is used to solve specific political dilemmas, or rather: when architecture is at the root of such dilemmas. How can urban planning foster political inequality, and to what extent can algorithms or even concrete play a role in moral issues?

Next to physical architecture, there is a – possibly – even more complex territory to explore. Indeed, our social and professional behavior increasingly takes place in virtual environments. Behind our computer screen lies a world of predetermined constructions, restrictions, prerogatives and fantasy. How abstract is this world?

Architectures of Exclusion investigates the interrelationship between politics, morality, urban and virtual interference.

Impakt invited three guest speakers to shed light on this subject from various angles.

Gideon Boie studied architecture and philosophy in Ghent and Rotterdam and is co-founder of BAVO, an independent research and cultural activism institute engaged in the political dimensions of art, architecture and urban planning.

Architecture theorist Edwin Gardner currently works as a research fellow at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His research centers on the correspondence between cognition in relation to design processes, our ways of interacting with the city and the modes of computer functioning.

Juha van ‘t Zelfde is an independent researcher, publicist, musician and curator. He is co-founder of VURB, a European network for policy and design research issues in relation to urban and digital environments.