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        • Define and Let Go
          An interview with John Habraken

        Abstract
        In the 1960s, as a critique of the standardization of mass housing John Habraken introduced, under the title Het Open Bouwen (Open Building), the distinction between the ‘support’ and the ‘infill’ by which a building can be adapted over time to unforeseen changes in programme and use. The design is introduced using a thematic methodology, whereby the architect shapes the support, in other words the communal. In this strategy, the architecture takes into account the changing wishes of (new) users, or in other words with the factor of time. In this interview Habraken brings this idea of the factor of time up to date, applying it not only to the lifespan of buildings but in particular to the design process itself. ‘Open building’, Habraken argues, is not confined so much to the role of the architect, but it makes it more specific and more interesting. Thinking in terms of time is crucial if architecture is to provide an answer to seemingly conflicting movements in our increasingly articulate society.
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        Citation
        Teerds, H., Habraken, J., & Havik, K. (2011). Define and Let Go. An interview with John Habraken. Productive Uncertainty. Indeterminacy in Spatial Design, Planning and Management, OASE, (85), 8–16. Retrieved from https://www.oasejournal.nl/en/Issues/85/DefineAndLetGo

        Download PDF (243 KB)

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