Hans Venhuizen deals with the culture of spatial planning. Venhuizen advances a broad understanding of culture that encompasses cultural history, heritage, architecture and art, as well as the culture of the current residents of a region and the idiosyncrasy of a place. In his search for a more specific identity for cities and areas, Venhuizen links the worlds of culture and space to each other in different ways. In this, his focus is always on the culture of spatial planning itself, and the game is his most important instrument.
The Game of Continuity PhD research focuses on how the constant can be the guiding principle behind spatial transformations. Instead of radically choosing for a perspective on spatial transformations based on either the future or the past, or calling for a compromise somewhere between the two, this PhD study zooms in on the moment of change itself. In other words, on the present. After all, the present is where one explores, frames and evaluates the spatial values of the past (the constant) and future (transformation). The present determines what precise role they play within the culture of spatial change.
The Game of Continuity is a research project that looks at the Dutch new town of Almere. Over the past forty years, this city has been the testing ground for a whole array of innovative concepts that, because of the ample space initially available, could be realized side by side without difficulty. Now, after forty years have elapsed, space has become scarcer, and past innovations are themselves ripe for renewal now. This raises an opportunity to strengthen the relation between elements originally created as separate entities, and between those elements and their context.
Various predicted and possible transformations in Almere will provide the basis for a series of experimental spatial processes of change, which will result in an ‘Almere Situation Room’, a workshop in which the entire process of exploring, defining, participating, transforming and continuing can be experienced in words and, especially, images. The ‘Situation Room’ contains a landscape of scale models that create the setting for the research sketches and results, and an arena that regularly initiates debate about spatial continuity in the form of an actual board game.
The study deploys the ‘the game’ not only as a metaphor but also as a method and simulation. In the complex process of spatial change, the game acts as a metaphor for an inconceivable process based on rules that have or have not been determined. In addition, I use the game as a method of concept development to test relations between the most varied fragments present in the context. Finally, games make it possible to simulate the complex process of spatial change with participants.
Short selection of projects GAME URBANISM publication 2010, AUTONIA the culture of cars 2014-2015, LEGENDA Gesellschaft für exploratieve Landeskunde 2010-2015, GASTGASTGEBER Ruhr Area Germany 2010, THE MAKING OF concept development game for several clients 2001-2014, PARQUETRY LANDSCAPE Almere NL 2009, DES BEEMSTERS NL 2005-2010, DOING AS IF playground Hilversum NL 2006, AMPHIBIOUS LIVING competition/publication 2000
Since 2011 Hans Venhuizen is head of INSIDE the Master Interior architecture at the Royal Academy of the Art The Hague (NL)
- Prof. dr. J.C. Wesseling (promotor)
- Hans van Houwelingen (mentor)
- Dr. Michelle Provoost (mentor)