Under the auspices of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, the Jaap Bakema Study Centre and Het Nieuwe Instituut together with the Department of Architecture, TU Delft, launch the special PhD programme ‘Architecture and Democracy’. Interested candidates who are qualified to pursue PhD-level research work are invited to submit their applications before Monday, 18 February 2019.
Institutional research agendas
This open call is for PhD dissertation proposals aligned with the research agendas of both the Department of Architecture and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre. The Delft Department of Architecture is in the process of renewing its research portfolio. The PhD programme 'Architecture and Democracy' will be accommodated by the new research group ‘Architecture, Culture and Modernity’, which continues the work of the former group ‘Revisions: Changing Ideals and Shifting Realities’ (2008-2018). The new group will be coordinated by Dr. ir. Dirk van den Heuvel and Dr. Jorge Mejia Hernandez.
Main focus of the research group are the multiple ways in which architecture as a discipline absorbed and reflected the conditions of modernity, including the rise of a mass society, new forms of (democratic) government systems, and concomitant issues of subject-formation, emancipation and citizens' empowerment.
For more information on the research of the Department of Architecture, including the research group 'Architecture, Culture and Modernity'.
The Jaap Bakema Study Centre was founded in 2013 as a research collaboration between Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. The Jaap Bakema Study Centre develops its programme on the basis of the holdings of the national archive of architecture and urban design, housed at Het Nieuwe Instituut. The research programme is situated at the intersections of advanced historical and theoretical studies, and urgent social issues. Output results include exhibitions, book publications and conferences. Dr. ir. Dirk van den Heuvel is head of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre.
Architecture and democracy programme
The 'Architecture and Democracy' programme is geared to expand the PhD-portfolio of the Department of Architecture and to connect with the programme of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre and the national archive of architecture and urban design at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
In light of the current political and ideological crises in liberal democracies around the world, the 'Architecture and Democracy' programme seeks to investigate how over the course of the 20th century, architecture and urban planning have played a role in representing, embodying and enabling democracy. What has been the role of architecture and planning — from office buildings, industrial complexes and housing to city halls and university campuses — in the redistribution of power, wealth and knowledge? How did the design of the built environment interact with the larger governance systems of the previous century, particularly in the project of the welfare state, a time when architects’ most extensive and ambitious projects were commissioned by national governments, local councils and their derivative bodies?
'Architecture and Democracy' aims to explore how this political, historical and social context enabled architectural experiment, disciplinary expansion and transformation, how it brought an interest in the masses and their everyday needs, and where it gave rise to productive intersections between the avant-garde, mainstream culture and new professional practices.
The archive – as the construct of institutional values, knowledge and memory – plays a crucial role in the development of this programme and its PhD projects.
'Architecture and Democracy' probes the built legacy of the period, in combination with the rigourous investigation of the historical materials as gathered in the archives, by contextualization, comparative analysis, and critical confrontation. Ultimately, the research needs to formulate a contemporary perspective on this period and the question of architecture and democracy — how can this period of time inform our current practices, architecturally, culturally, or even politically?
The research group doesn’t offer paid PhD positions at this moment. PhD candidates must cover an annual tuition fee of 5.000 euro over a period of four years. Additionally, by Dutch law applicants must provide proof that they have sufficient financial means to cover their own living expenses, with a minimum of 1.400 euro per month. The Department of Architecture and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre are able to support accepted candidates in their application, among others by providing support letters to scholarship providers.
The Department of Architecture will provide accepted candidates with the following services:
- Supervision and advise by professors and the group coordinators, while working on the doctoral dissertation during the various stages of the research (from monthly seminars to peer review colloquia),
- Active peer support in realizing publication of papers and conference contributions,
- Participation and involvement in the doctoral education programme of the Graduate School of Architecture and the Built Environment, and the activities and programmes of the Department of Architecture,
- Where applicable and possible, financial and organisational support in case of conference contributions and external archive visits and the like,
- Provision of flexible workplace, access to work facilities, and laptop,
- Access to TU Delft campus facilities.
The Jaap Bakema Study Centre and Het Nieuwe Instituut will provide accepted candidates with the following services:
- Support by the archive staff and conservators of Het Nieuwe Instituut,
- Access to the various archive and study facilities of Het Nieuwe Instituut,
- Participation and involvement in the public programmes of Het Nieuwe Instituut,
- Opportunities for the development of public, academic events such as seminars, lectures, installations, web formats or other presentation formats.
After the first year, the candidate will have to submit to the evaluation process by peer review. The review panel of both external and internal jurors will assess the research work for its quality and rigour. If approved, the elaboration and completion of a PhD thesis is expected to take approximately three more years in total, including a successful public defense of the dissertation. If the quality and progress is found unsatisfactory, the PhD project will have to be terminated.
Dirk van den Heuvel holds ius promovendi and can act as first promotor. Full professors of the Department of Architecture could also act as first promotor to the PhD-candidate. Prospective candidates will have to contact their preferred promotor in order to obtain their agreement with the candidate's proposal for the 'Architecture and Democracy' programme, and their confirmation of their willingness to act as first promotor. Daily supervision will be provided by the research group coordinators Dirk van den Heuvel and/or Jorge Mejia.
An overview of all doctoral regulations of TU Delft can be found here (pdf)
The candidates are supposed to carry out the following tasks:
- Writing a Ph.D. thesis,
- Submitting research results for publication in peer‐reviewed academic journals,
- Presenting papers at (international) conferences,
- Organising and participating in reading and discussions groups, seminars and workshops.
The successful applicant must hold a master’s degree (MSc. Arch. or M. Arch.) or equivalent degree in Architecture or Architectural History.
The applicant's MA thesis testifies to well‐developed research skills, including the ability to formulate relevant and creative research questions and hypotheses, descriptive and analytical skills, and a clear and persuasive style of writing. Furthermore, any previous teaching and/or professional experience will be considered helpful.
The applicant has an excellent command of English, in reading, writing and speaking, and should be able to work both independently and as part of a team. The applicant harbours broad interests, along with the intellectual and conceptual tools necessary to work across disciplines and time periods, and for making creative connections as well as project‐oriented organisational skills applied to both academic and practical tasks.
Additional Graduate School requirements are stipulated here.
Cover letter (one page)
The applicant should elaborate on personal motivations, interests, and aspirations. The applicant should explicitly argue how the proposal is aligned with the research interests of the ‘Architecture and Democracy’ programme and the hosting institutes.
Full CV (max. ten pages)
The CV should contain comprehensive chronological information on academic and professional experience, as well as any pertinent record of publication. Please, do not include any information prior to the first year of your university‐level education. The CV should also include three referents or recommenders, but do not enclose any letters of recommendation in the application package.
The proposal should include the following elements:
- Dissertation title
- Abstract (300-500 words, including 5-10 keywords)
- Introduction to proposal (approx. 1500 words)
- Preliminary outline and/or table of contents (one page)
- Planning, incl overview of sources, research and reading (one page)
- Value, ambition and/or uniqueness of proposed dissertation (one page)
- Preliminary, critical bibliography (max. five pages, incl an explanation of the selection, 300-500 words)
- Writing examples (e.g. master’s thesis, papers and essays, max. three items).
- A letter of agreement from the prospective first promotor
- Copy of Master’s degree.
The deadline for submission is Monday 18 February 2019
Contact Information and submission: Dirk van den Heuvel: firstname.lastname@example.org
The senior members of the Department of Architecture and the research group coordinators will first screen the proposals for qualification. After the initial screening, they will assemble a short-list and invite the candidates for an interview and presentation, which will also include a Q&A session.
Review criteria for selection are: relevance to the call, originality in approach, commandment of the subject-matter and overview of the state-of-the-art of the research field, demonstration of critical reflection on the subject matter, eloquence and overall impression.
Successful proposals will be endorsed for a scientific and financial validation by the department. Based on the interview, presentation and the scientific and financial validation, the Department of Architecture will accept the selected candidates. In certain cases, the research group coordinators may ask the candidate to respond to the questions and revise the proposal for a follow‐up meeting.
- Submission of Proposals: 18 February 2019
- Interview and Presentation: 25 April 2019
- Notification of Acceptance: 27 May 2019
- Start of Research Work: September 2019, to be discussed with candidates
- One‐Year Review: September 2020
- Completion: September 2023