Night of Philosophy 2017


About [Us]: Architecture and Collective Identity in the Contemporary City

Night of Philosophy 2017

With: Richard Sennett, Fenneke Wekker, Elma van Boxel (ZUS), and Charlie Koolhaas. Moderator: Carola Hein.


Date: Thursday 15th of June,  19:30 – 22:00
Place: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (Thursday Night)

This year’s Night of Philosophy will address the question of collective identity in the contemporary city. This notion is difficult to define in today’s fragmented andge interconnected world, being constantly reshaped by factors like new forms of media, hypermobility, multiculturalism and diversity.

Due to advances in communication technology, the individual of a city can now not only interact and establish a network with the people of his street or neighbourhood, but with the whole world. Think about the distance that a Facebook post or a tweet can travel in a few seconds, or the amount of people it can influence. One’s life no longer limits itself to the edges of the city.

Moreover, displacement of population on a global level has led to shifts in the composition and homogeneity of contemporary cities. Cultural negotiation and exchanges turn them into multicultural and diverse spaces, and as a result tradition and identity are continuously revisited.

How should the built environment respond to that? How to make an ever shifting and fragmented collective recognize the same space as their own, where people can interact and relate to each other? One wonders whether, under these circumstances, it is still possible to maintain a single shared and acknowledged realm.

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