“The Community” might be the most frequently used term over the last 50 years of Architectural and Urban discourse. For decades, “the community” has served as a legitimization for anything from Team X to New Urbanism, from Celebration to “vancouverism”. But what is “the community”? Where should we look for the proper definition? How did communities appear in the past and how do they form today? Can ‘the community” influence the design of its own space, territoiry or context? If yes, what could be the relationship between the community and architecture in the future? In his Strelka talk Reinier de Graaf is trying to answer these and other, even more complex questions.

Reinier de Graaf is an architect and partner of architecture and design office OMA, where his projects include mixed-use buildings in Rotterdam, a masterplan proposal for Moscow’s Skolkovo Centre for Innovation and the redevelopment of London’s Commonwealth Institute. He was responsible for several OMA projects in the Middle East, and in 2009 led the competition-winning design for Rotterdam’s Stadskantoor. In 2002 he became director of AMO, the think tank of OMA, and produced “The Image of Europe”, an exhibition illustrating the history of the European Union. He is responsible for AMO’s increasing involvement in sustainability and energy planning, which has included the publication in 2010 of “Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe” with the European Climate Foundation and “The Energy Report”, a global plan for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, made with the WWF. De Graaf is has been involved in Strelka education programme since 2010.


1. 2006. Team X, 1953-1981. In Search of a Utopia of the Present.
2. Mumford, Eric. Frampton, Kenneth. 2002. The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism, 1928-1960.
3. Saunder, Doug. 2011. Arrival City. How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World.
4. 2008. An Architektur 19-21: Community Design. Involvement and Architecture in the US since 1963.
5. Ungers, L. and O. M. 1995. Kommunen in der Neuen Welt: 1740-1972.
6. MONU #18 Communal Urbanism. 2013.
7. Bodenschatz, Schönig. 2004. Smart Growth. New Urbanism. Liveable Communities.

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