independent school for the city


A conversation with Reinier de Graaf on the new language of building. Wednesday 12 April 202, 19:00 - 20:30

On April 12, Independent School for the City’s Dean Team Members Michelle Provoost and Wouter Vanstiphout talked to architect and writer Reinier de Graaf about the significance of terms like “world-class”, “award-winning”, “creative”, “innovative”, “sustainable”, “livable”, “beautiful”, “placemaking” and “wellbeing” in today’s architecture discourse. When does a building warrant the label “world-class”? Why is one city more “liveable” than the next? What is the meaning of “innovation” in architecture? And what building can credibly claim to improve anyone's “wellbeing”?

In his new book ‘architect, verb’, Reinier de Graaf argues that the incorporation of such terms into the glossary of architecture is part of an ongoing trend in which the language to debate architecture is less and less architects' own, and more and more that of outside forces imposing outside expectations. Once a profession known for its manifestos, architecture finds itself increasingly forced to adopt ever-more extreme postures of virtue, held accountable by the world of finance, the social sciences or the medical sector. 

Reinier de Graaf is a Dutch architect and writer. He is a partner in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the co-founder of its think-tank AMO. Reinier is the author of Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession and the novel The Masterplan. He lives in Amsterdam.


18:00 - 19:00 Book signing by Reinier de Graaf 
19:00 - 20:30 Michelle Provoost and Wouter Vanstiphout in conversation with Reinier de Graaf
20:30 - 22:00 Drinks

Reinier de Graaf: architect, verb