INDESEM 2013 – Scale Matters

INDESEM 2013 – Scale Matters

Scale Matters Global, Local and Everything in Between

This is Indesem 2013, the biennial student convened event hosted by the TU Delft. It will be a week crammed with inspiring speakers, challenging workshops and great enjoyment.

This edition inquires into the matter of scale. It is time to ponder on the spatial effects of thinking big and reflect on whatever happened to thinking small. The need for debate on this issue is acute for several reasons;

Globalization propelled architecture well into the world of massive scales, big ideas and fat cats. Architects spatially addressed this world of bigness accordingly and perhaps rightfully so. But now that the sagging of global economy is a fact, will this model still do? The financial crisis necessitates critical thought on the meaning of the large scale of today’s architecture and we must ask ourselves if a more local approach is a convincing response.


Modern technology blurred the boundaries of scale. Internet made information and data available to everyone, making our world a whole lot bigger. Airplanes take us around the planet in the blink of an eye. This makes it easier to locally respond to global matters, like global warming, trends or style. It’s not hard to imagine that these global stimuli have their influence on local urban and social conditions, local identity therefore being subjected to change. Do we need to question this development? Is the erosion of local culture an unwelcome prospect or must we harness its upsides to make our lives nicer?

Old economy allowed for architects to wait out projects next to their phone. The financial crisis now dictates that this is not advisable. We have to employ new methods of acquiring work and must urgently discuss what strategies are open to us. Is unsolicited architecture a possible answer? Or does the concept of what an architect essentially is need a turnover altogether?

Indesem will explore the ability of the architect to shift scales in both organizational and practical ways. The top-down/bottom-up duality in architecture implies the use of different scales as a starting point for your project; how to decide which the most appropriate organization is and what the implications of these methods are will be subject of discussion. Also the technical ability to quickly zoom through the scales on your computer poses intricate questions on how to prevent getting lost between the scales. This problem also will be part of discussion.

We want to ask the question: Which level(s) of scale can, and should we influence?


ISSUU Pre-publication
Participants: 50
Speakers: Gerald Adler, Jan Hendrik Bakker, Tony Fretton, Irene Fallou, Nail Leach, Wouter Davidts, Herman Hertzberger, Tom Avermate, Andreas Rumpfhuber, Tatjana Schneider, Rory Hyde, Gert Urhahn, Greg Sharzer, Nanne de Ru, Sjoerd Soeters
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