Design Challenge: public space as meeting place

Do you want, as a student, to contribute to the design of public spaces that invite residents to meet? And would you like to collaborate with students from various fields of study? And maybe win a prize of € 100? Register now for this challenge!

(this text is also available in Dutch)

Public space is the perfect place to play, move and to meet. This applies to the city center with all its shops and restaurants, as well as to residential areas. Public spaces are important here, especially for families and older people who are more involved than others in their immediate living environment.

This is becoming increasingly important, in the neighborhood ‘Tanthof’ in Delft, where people are getting older. How can we make the environment more attractive, not only for children and their parents but also for the elderly? Students are asked to contribute ideas here.

Questions that arise include: which routes to facilities – such as the shopping center or public transport – or walking routes through the neighborhood, can be recognized and reinforced, or designed? And how can ‘stops’ be placed on these routes where people can rest for a while? ‘Stops’ that offer the opportunity to have a chat, casual, without obligation. The importance of such stops has been shown by research: the more causal encounters people have in a neighborhood, the more they feel safe and at home.

This leads to the following design assignments:
– Strengthening existing routes
– Designing new routes
– Designating places for ‘stops’
– Designing ‘stops’ that invite residents to have a casual chat

A design competition – a challenge – is organized around these assignments. Students from various study programs can register. They will be divided into multidisciplinary teams that will make a design for an existing or a new route, and for ‘stops’. The language of instruction is English.

The challenge is a two-day event. On Friday afternoon we start with a neighborhood walk and an inspiring lecture about the usefulness and the qualities of good ‘stop’. On Saturday, the teams can work on their designs.

A few weeks after the challenge, the teams are asked to give a presentation to a jury (and other interested parties). The teams with the best design/idea – selected by a jury – will win a nice price. The winners will each receive a gift voucher of € 100 (second place € 50 per person and the third place € 25 per person).

Date and place
The challenge will take place on Friday afternoon, February 11, 2022 (3pm-8pm) and Saturday, February 12, 2022 (8:30am-9pm). A few weeks later, a public meeting is organized in which each group can pitch its idea to the jury and other interested parties. The locations – in Delft – will be announced later.

Why join?
Apart from the gift voucher, you will learn more about how the spatial and other qualities of the built environment can play a role in casual encounters. The workshop is supported by researchers and teachers who have extensive experience in designing public space. And there will be an inspirational lecture by an expert.
By participating, you also explore your own limits, because you come into contact with other professional disciplines and areas of knowledge. You not only broaden your knowledge, but also your network. You will also learn more about collaboration, project-based working and problem-solving. You gain experience in advising and presenting. And you will receive a certificate for participation, which you can put on your CV, so that you can distinguish yourself from the competition in the labor market.

You register as an individual. Subsequently, multidisciplinary teams are created. In the team composition, the aim is to mix study programs and educational institutions as much as possible. If desired, we can make a Dutch-speaking group. The condition for participation is that you are a student (at least 2nd year or higher) of a study program at TU Delft, The Hague University of Applied Sciences or Inholland University of Applied Sciences. Knowledge of, and passion for, spatial issues is useful (think of urbanism, architecture, landscape or industrial design), but there is also room for students from other disciplines. After all, it is not just about design, but also about use (social work, sociology). In other words: input from all study programs is welcome. We are looking for innovative ideas and like to think out-of-the-box!

You can register by filling in the form below. After registration, a selection will be made based on motivation, experience and education (we strive for a good mix).

The challenge is organized by a collaboration between the City Deal Kennis Maken Delft, study association POLIS and architect Flip Krabbendam. The research is part of the living lab ‘urban aging’: a multi-year collaboration between knowledge institutions, residents, the municipality of Delft and various social organizations in the field of housing, welfare and care. Lecturers, researchers and students of The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Inholland University of Applied Sciences and Delft University of Technology are asked for help in this regard, in order to gain more insight and to offer solutions for the issue of aging.

(this text is also available in Dutch)
Photos: Gerben Helleman

Gepubliceerd door Kennismakelaar

Dit onderzoek is onderdeel van de City Deal Kennis Maken Delft. Dit is een samenwerking tussen de gemeente Delft en drie kennisinstellingen (De Haagse Hogeschool, Hogeschool Inholland, TU Delft). Met behulp van de inzet van docenten en studenten wordt getracht om belangrijke vraagstukken in de stad en in specifieke wijken beter te begrijpen en oplossingsrichtingen aan te bieden. Dit in samenwerking met maatschappelijke partijen én wijkbewoners. Wilt u meer weten? Neem dan contact op met Gerben Helleman via

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