Eventhough I studied cinema and screenwriting, over the past years I have been working mostly in the field of architecture. At the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) I developed a matchmaking programme. This program connected Dutch architects to foreigner architects and foreigner project-developers to work on new daring, experimental architecture based on common ideas. The program focused on China, India and Brazil, mostly on the subject of (social) housing.
The matchmaking program China started by selecting five Dutch and five Chinese architects and paired them with a Chinese developer, VANKE. This involved making a well-considered choice based on the capacities of these architecture firms as well as their experience with designing social housing and with operating in China. The ten architects investigated the assignment as a team and devised a masterplan, in which the identities would remain intact. The developer approved the designs and the projects are under construction. The contract was signed in Beijing in the presence of Halbe Zijlstra, former State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science.
The design results of Matchmaking China were exhibited at the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in December under the title Housing with a Mission, with special attention to the process of collaboration and the current living conditions of young Chinese urban professionals for which the affordable housing is intended.
The selected architects were KCAP, NL Architects, NEXT architects, Arons en Gelauff architecten, Barcode architecten, Urbanus, Standard Architecture, NODE architecture, O-Office architecture and Amateur architecture.
The matchmaking program India was the second program that I coordinated. Like the China-program it took as a basis a free exchange of knowledge between Dutch and Indian architects taking on a project for a local developer, in this specific case TATA Housing. In the project the architects addressed the redevelopment of the walled TATA Housing residential complex. The architects commonly worked out different scenarios focusing on various themes like sustainability, mobility and adaptation into the existing city street plan.
The selected architects were KuiperCompagnons, Dick van Gameren Architecten, VenhoevenCS, ANA Architecten, DUS Architects, Architecture Brio, MO-OF Architects, HCP Design & Project Management, RMA Architects, The Design Cell of Kamla Raheja, Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA).
The matchmaking program Brazil was the third program that I coordinated. Like the China-and India program it took as a basis a free exchange of knowledge between Dutch and Indian architects taking on a project for a local developer, in this specific case Idea Zarvos! The team of architects in this case was smaller, three Dutch architects x three Brazilian architects. The architects worked on different scenarios for new housing typologies for the city of Sao Paulo.