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Housing with Civility in the Netherlands – Julia Robinson

February 22, 2019 @ 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm CST

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Civil Mediation: Gates or Gateways

The Spring 2019 Urban Design Colloquium: Questions of Civility takes as its overarching theme the notion of “civility” – considering civic topics from a variety of standpoints. In the first of four sessions, Julia Robinson, professor of architecture at the University of Minnesota and author of Complex Housing: Designing for Density, will present her research regarding innovative Dutch housing practices. Her talk, “Housing with Civility in the Netherlands,” will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Daniel Kuhlmann, ISU assistant professor of community and regional planning and real estate development, and James Spiller, director of design with Blackbird Investments, a real estate development company based in Des Moines.

The talk and panel will be followed by the opening of Dutch Complex Housing, an exhibition of Robinson’s research featuring a series of case studies of Dutch housing, which will be on display in the corridors of the College of Design from mid-February to mid-March. The opening reception will be from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Department of Architecture, Department of Community and Regional Planning and College of Design.

Session Abstract

Urban neighborhoods provide us with a sense of place and “at-homeness” in the world. But planning in North America tends to place barriers on who we identify with as neighbors. Monoculture housing developments tailored toward members of identical socioeconomic demographics can increase the sense of distrust among communities. While in some cases this is taken to the extreme — gated communities — in other contexts, invisible gates are erected through seemingly innocuous planning practices.

This session (and the accompanying exhibition) examines housing solutions described as “complex housing” in the Netherlands. In these projects, people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds share a sense of common place with one another.


The Dutch Complex Housing exhibition has been organized and toured by the Goldstein Museum of Design (GMD) at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design and is made possible by Regents of the University of Minnesota. GMD programming is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Opening Support grant, thanks to the legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


February 22, 2019
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm CST
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Kocimski Auditorium (101 Design)
715 Bissell Road
Ames, IA 50011 United States
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