Our mission is to help build critical minds, able to assess and act on spatial development and design issues in an increasingly complex world. We wish to do so by helping you integrate academic research and design and planning practice
This happens in several ways:
- by discussing the role of theories for design and planning practices,
- by clarifying the ways in which theories are translated into practice in different domains (notably in the social sciences, in the physical sciences and in the design and planning practices),
- by clarifying the role and the importance of design for planning practices and vice-versa and
- by promoting active engagement of students in discussions, simulations and role playing games.
One of our claims is that planners and urban designers often have an irrational belief in the effectiveness of their own ideas, often without evidence or research that supports those ideas. This sometimes leads to false claims about the effectiveness of plans and designs. By enabling you to reflect on the relationships between research, design and planning, we expect you will be more rigorous and responsible in your practice. We hope you will be able to ground your designs and plans on sound research and on evidence. We also expect you will reflect on your role in society and the ethical dimensions of the profession. We want you to do “evidence-based” urbanism that is also creative and innovative.