week 2: Amsterdam by design

Week 2 (Tu-Sat, May 30 – June 3): Amsterdam by design

Monday: Holiday. No GW classes.



Han Meyer, et al., Delta Urbanism: The Netherlands (APA Planners Press, 1990). Ch. 4 PDF on E-Reserves. (Optional ch. 3 is there also for further background).

Aaron Betsky with Adam Eeuwens, False Flat: Why Dutch Design is So Good (New York: Phaidon, 2004), 1-176 (about 50 pages of text; the rest images).

Google several references from Betsky/Eeuwens and look for images of Dutch architecture and design. Think about what you’d like to see when in Amsterdam (e.g., there will be a side trip to Utrecht to see Rietveld’s Schroder House; see p. 157.)

New Post: Try to apply some of Betsky/Eeuwens’ ideas–or complicate or contradict them?–in your post with reference to these specific images you’ve found. Why is Dutch design so good (by their reckoning)? Give your post a catchy title. Add an image. Put your username at the head of your 1st post (it will show up more obviously in comments).



Betsky/Euuwens False Flat, 177-401 (about 50 pages of text, the rest images).

Further online googling of references, as above.

Find a peer’s post with 0-1 comments (not 2 already). Comment with specific followup to what they wrote, continuing the conversation by adding to it with reflections/applications from the second half of the book.

Do this again, so each peer gets 2 comments (and each of you comments 2x).



Tracy Metz, “Kranspoor,” review of Trude Hooykaas’s Kranspoor reuse/office structure, Architectural Record (Feb. 2011). PDF in Bb > E-Reserves.

Justin Davidson, “Critique: There Goes the Neighborhood,” review of Bentham Crouwel’s Stedelijk Museum extension, Architectural Record (Sept. 2012). PDF in Bb > E-Reserves.

Read/view:  Mark Wagenbuur, Bicycle Dutch [a detailed blog on bicycle infrastructure design]. Browse & watch the videos, esp. these.

First some history (both locations near our hotel):

Now key design principles through example:

Comment on your own original post, bringing these new readings/viewings into the conversation:

What, if anything, do you see in these resources that echo or complicate Betsky/Eeuwens’ framwork for analyzing design (which includes architecture, urban design, graphic design, and industrial design)?

Can you make any connections to Week 1’s readings and your peers’ posts/essays?


One comment on one peer’s post:  What ideas should they develop in their essay?


Essay 2 due, as with Week 1.  Title it. Add a relevant image. Option: You may also reference ideas from Week 1 if you’d like: Can you apply Betsky/Eeuwens’ framework to Golden Age paintings? Or not?