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2014 Eindhoven, Netherlands

Eindhoven 2050

A Master Class program called ‘Eindhoven 2050’ suggest a very ambitious project. It almost naively presupposes a belief that the future is inherently knowable. At the same time however, it would also be naïve not to speculate about the future and just submissively wait for events to happen. An orientation towards the future is essential in the domain of urban planning and in contrast to the economic domain understanding and predicting the development of a city over a period of several decades is not beyond imagination.

The most important reason to initiate this speculative forecasting study for the city of Eindhoven has been our interest in the spatial impact of emerging innovations. We expect a disruptive impact ion city’s by the cumulative effect of these innovations. Reflecting on the spatial impact of such possible future developments has been the main objective of this Master Class. Even though our cities may be slow in their spatial and physical development, these kind of radical shifts in our economy or behaviour can have a significant spatial impact and planners and designers should be involved to help anticipate such transformations. 

Mobility, workspace, retail; these are very substantial categories that define the appearance and the functioning of our cities. If we are truly witnessing such ground-breaking innovations and change in behaviour patterns of citizens and customers, then we as planners and urban designers should develop spatial concepts for the city of tomorrow. Admittedly, the year 2050 is way beyond ‘tomorrow’, but not far enough nót to influence our thinking and acting of today. We were very lucky to discover in Eindhoven an open-minded attitude and an openness and willingness to embrace such foresight and future-oriented thinking and to apply the combined forces of technology, design and social innovation to enhance its liveability and economic appeal. Of all Dutch cities, Eindhoven may be best positioned to transform into an urban laboratory to explore the potential of design and innovation. Therefore, it has been a truly rewarding and exciting project to work in an environment of continuous debate between local actors and international designers and planners to envision the meaningful first steps towards a future that has already started.

Yongzhi Wang (China) Jiexin Cheng (China) Qian Bao (China) Yong Wang (China) Hong Liu (Chang) Shenqi Wang (China) Rong Lin (China) Tao Lv (China) Dolf Nijsen (Netherlands) Patricia Calvino (Spain) Tom Billingham (UK) Ahmed Al-Mallak (Iraq) Irena Itova (Macedonia) Jing Feng (China) Jochem van Boxtel (Netherlands) Gijs Maas (Netherlands) Javier Leyba (Netherlands) Sidney van Well (Netherlands) Bob van der A (Netherlands) Mohammed Elagiry (Egypt) Diana Bokovaia (Russia) Rob van der Wijst (Netherlands) Cees Donkers (Netherlands)

Caro van de Venne (Netherlands) Jason Hilgefort (US) Marc Glaudemans (Netherlands)

Publication with results of the Master Class

Documentary on the process and results of the Master Class