STIP Critical Making Workshop


Have you ever wondered about the sounds of Minnaertgebouw?
Can you imagine making Educatorium dance?
And what on earth is "junkspace"?

In today's ever-changing technological world, it's crucial to take a close look at how technology shapes our cities. That's why we want to explore the concept of critical making, which emphasizes that technological creations carry values and can ignite interdisciplinary re-evaluation and revitalization of urban spaces.

The concept of critical making has many predecessors, all of which start with the assumption that built technological artifacts embody cultural values, and that technological development can be combined with cultural reflectivity to build provocative objects that encourage a re-evaluation of the role of technology in culture. – Matt Ratto and Garnet Hertz.

Join us for the Speculative Theatre Imaginary Platform (STIP) Critical Making workshop, organized by the Creative Urban Methods (CRUM) interdisciplinary group in collaboration with the Transforming Cities research hub. This workshop delves into the captivating world of critical making and performative architecture. We'll be using the process-oriented critical making method developed by Ratto and Hertz (2019). As a participant, you'll have a unique opportunity to critically examine iconic landmarks in Utrecht Science Park, such as Rem Koolhaas' Educatorium, the Minnaert building, and the enigmatic Hoge Bos. After a brief introduction to CRUM by Olga Efremov (Utrecht University RMA MAPS), we'll engage in hands-on explorations of performative architecture, using the campus as our research site.

During the workshop, you will:

  • Gain a critical understanding of the Utrecht Science Park campus as an interdisciplinary "performance space" using innovative CRUM methods.
  • Engage in forward-thinking, speculative brainstorming to envision innovative possibilities for the campus and find inspiration for your own independent research or start-up projects.
  • Explore the potential of cutting-edge technologies like motion capture, virtual/augmented/mixed reality (VR/AR/XR), and generative artificial intelligence (AI), while becoming acquainted with the relevant facilities at Utrecht Science Park.
  • Foster collaborative connections with Utrecht University's beta labs, including motion capture and Lili's Proto Lab, encouraging interdisciplinary knowledge exchange.

Who should attend?

This workshop welcomes Bachelor and Master students interested in exploring the intersection of critical making, performative architecture, and emerging technologies. It is particularly relevant to students studying Geosciences, Global Sustainability Science, ICT, Communication and Information Sciences, Natural Science and Innovation Management, Artificial Intelligence, or Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. However, students from other academic programs are more than welcome to join!

Why participate?

By taking part in this workshop, you'll gain valuable insights into the potential of critical making and its impact on the future of architecture and urban spaces. You'll have the opportunity to learn about qualitative urban research methods, collaborate with like-minded individuals in an intense and productive format, and develop practical skills in speculative design and rapid prototyping. These skills can prove instrumental in shaping your own research or post-graduation career path.

This workshop is part of the Utrecht Science Week 2023 programme.

Start date and time
End date and time
Learning Plaza, Minnaertgebouw, Leuvenlaan 4, 3584 CE Utrecht

We're excited to welcome you to the STIP Critical Making Workshop and embark on this thrilling journey of exploration and collaboration. Spaces are limited, so make sure to secure your spot early! To register for the workshop, please complete the registration form here .

For any inquiries or further information, please contact: