Category Archives: education

Back home to Campus NL

by Alexandra den Heijer

After a turbulent year with many unexpected turns, I am happy to announce that I will focus on the NL campus again. This post will summarise some 2015 milestones in education, research and valorisation, at least so far.

Alexandra den Heijer in front of design course students

October 30, 2015 – moderating the final session for TU Delft design students at BK city’s orange Oostserre (their assignment: TU Delft campus strategy)

July – TH Nürnberg students present designs for AEG campus

More than 60 students present their urban plans and building designs for AEG campus, the former industrial site in the west part of Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German). As guest professor I guided them during the semester and was present at their two-day final assessments mid July. My temporary position at TH Nürnberg was a great experience, thanks to the students and professors, with a special thanks to my host, Architecture professor Florian Fischer.

August – Exploring new business models for resource-efficient campus facades

Since March 2015 we have been working on a research project – funded by Climate KIC as a pathfinder project – to explore the feasibility of integrated facades as a product-service system (with leasing as an option). Both the client/user and the facade industry are actively involved. This could be a solution for the resource-efficient transformation of the large number of buildings from the 1960s/1970s on European campuses. More info: Climate KIC website.

September – Smart campus tools: measuring real use of space

On holiday “the towels on empty lounge chairs by the pool” are a source of irritation. Booked but empty meeting rooms and lecture halls are equally annoying on campus: expensive, high-quality facilities are often under-utilised, because of territorial issues. No problem if there is plenty of space and money, but even then it is unsustainable. With 13 NL universities we will explore existing tools to measure space use and design new tools and apps for campus navigations and better use of expensive and high-quality facilities.

October – TU Delft students present 10 strategies for their own campus

In September and October about 90 BSc students of our Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment studied their own TU Delft campus and explored strategic choices for the portfolio of buildings in their urban setting. With the didactic model of a management game (playing roles in an urban development process) ten teams of students analysed, discussed and designed ten campus strategies, which were presented to professors and practitioners on the last Friday of October.

November – Campus NL research starts

In November we started a research project in close collaboration with (all) 14 Dutch universities, to look back on the past 20 years of campus ownership (since 1995) and to explore the university of the future and strategic campus (investment) choices that need to be made. More info about this research project will be added to this website during the research process.

More about the lectures and publications of 2015 so far can be found under TOUR, DOWNLOADS and/or PUBLICATIONS.

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Back to South Korea, with students (looking back)

by Alexandra den Heijer

In the past two weeks professor Hans de Jonge and I travelled through South Korea with 24 of our TU Delft students (see previous post). We started by visiting harbour city Busan in the south. The urban municipal planning office of Busan city welcomed us on the first day and showed us some iconic projects like the Busan Cinema Centre and the construction site of the Busan Lotte Tower (see group photo below).

visit construction site Lotte Tower Busan

After Busan we visited the 2012 Expo in Yeosu with the theme “The living ocean & coast” – see 2012 Expo website for more info.

Expo 2012 in Yeosu – LED roof

Dutch design @ the Dutch pavillion – the first pavillion of many country and theme pavillions we visited

student association BOSS organised this study trip – this photo was taken by prof. Hans de Jonge at the 2012 Expo in Yeosu – five students formed the organising committee: Dora Baalman, Coen Geesing, Luuk Kops, Roberta Gutierrez Llaguno and Peter Horst

On Saturday July 14 we arrived in Seoul where we stayed for more than a week. In Seoul our academic and business program became really busy, with visits to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (architect Zaha Hadid) and Hanyang University on Monday and to Sangji Architects & Engineers (see website) and Heyri Art Village on Tuesday.

visiting the construction site of Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza – after an inspiring presentation of one of the project architects

thanking Sangji architects for their presentations – on the right: two members of the BOSS organising committee, students Peter Horst and Dora Baalman

At Hanyang University all professors contributed to an academic session – about (the changing context of) urban planning – also intended to compare education and research of both universities.

after giving lectures at Hanyang University – meeting the dean, the vice-dean and a professor of the department of Urban Planning and Engineering

group photo at the campus of Hanyang University

Some other photos of the first three days in Seoul are shown below, including my favorite urban project “Cheonggyecheon”: an 8.4 km (5.2 miles) long, modern public recreation space in downtown – see info on wikipedia.

my favorite Seoul project: Cheonggyecheon – flowing through downtown

part of our group in front of Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace…

in front of Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace… zoomed in

On Wednesday we visited Seoul Development Institute – in a series of presentations of Dutch and Korean speakers we compared Netherlands and South Korea and Amsterdam – or better: our Randstad region – and Seoul. In the afternoon we were impressed by both the size and work of Samoo architects (see Samoo website). On Thursday we visited “The Green” by recommendation of Dutch architecture firm Architecten Cie / architect Frits van Dongen who designed part of a new sustainable housing area for client LH – Korea Land & Housing Corporation (see LH website). The Green demonstrates the newest sustainable measures for housing projects (see photos, also with our hosts).

visiting The Green by LH Housing – a photo with our hosts

sustainable housing unit – with many eco-friendly measures and a lot of flexibility in the floor plan

sustainable housing unit – also demonstrated in the Green as a complete mock-up scale 1:1

On Thursday afternoon we got a tour at Ewha Womans University. Last month I was impressed by both the ECC project (see photo and text in post) and this prestigious university. One woman started this university in 1886, which still shows in the university name: “Womans” from Woman’s, see EWHA on wikipedia.

thanking our host for the tour of (the ECC building of) Ewha Woman’s University

our student Dora Baalman, Ewha professor Judith Yoo Daun and me

group photo at Ewha’s iconic ECC building

On Friday July 20 we visited Savills in the morning and SeoulTech in the afternoon. Savills presented us the facts & figures of the office market and retail market in Seoul. They took us to one of the newest office buildings in Seoul’s Central Business District – see group photo below.

our complete group with Savills hosts, in front of a prime Seoul CBD office building (next to downtown stream / successful project Cheonggyecheon)

In the afternoon both professors and students enjoyed an academic visit to Seoul National University of Science and Technology – Seoultech (see website and Wikipedia). Our host professor Ock did not only lead the discussion about shared knowledge and research (Public Private Partnerships i n particular), but also offered our students “Friday afternoon drinks” in a very popular student bar. Both the academic connection and the social encounters were very much appreciated by (PhD) students and professors!

prof. Ock and me – after a fruitful academic discussion, at SeoulTech campus

enjoying “Friday afternoon drinks” near SeoulTech’s campus

As a token of our appreciation – and according to local tradition – professor De Jonge signed ‘our name’ on the wall: “20/7/2012 – RE&H / BOSS was here – TU Delft” (see photos below). BOSS is the student association of Master track Real Estate & Housing (RE&H).

as a token of our appreciation – and according to local tradition – professor De Jonge signed ‘our name’ on the wall

“20/7/2012 – RE&H / BOSS was here – TU Delft” (RE&H is TU Delft Faculty of Architecture’s Master track Real Estate & Housing)

This was an excellent end of a busy week and successful student trip. On Saturday July 21 we took a DMZ tour to North Korea, which was very impressive. On Sunday our group split to various Asian countries – some stayed in South Korea and some returned to Netherlands. Professor Hans de Jonge and I want to thank everyone – including our group members and especially the BOSS organising committee – for their valuable contributions and we also look forward to the student report!

To be continued…

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Back to South Korea, with students

by Alexandra den Heijer

Today I will return to South Korea with 24 students from our Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Professor Hans de Jonge and I were asked to join the group of Architecture / Real Estate / Design & Construction Management students on their trip to Busan, Yeosu (Expo 2012) and Seoul. All students are members of BOSS – a student association related to our department of Real Estate & Housing.

a group photo – a few days before our flights to South Korea – in front of our BK city building @TUDelft

It is purely coincidental: two visits to South Korea in the same month! At this moment – just before we leave – I am happy that I can share my experience, my Korean network and my enthusiasm about Seoul and South Korea with our students.

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From 320 students to 1001 books

by Alexandra den Heijer

While the snow not only covered Finnish campuses – but also our Delft campus – huge groups of students filled up (and warmed up) our lecture halls and design studios. Being responsible for their 30 ECTS curriculum this semester made me focus on something else than research, lectures abroad and simple things like replying all those (voice)mail messages.

Spring semester started with 320 students

The most challenging part of the semester – 320 student playing a management game – ended today. This means I have a little more time to enjoy and distribute the second edition of the book (1000 more copies + 1, see photo), starting with sending 130 copies to the UK – for attendants of AUDE conference where I will be speaking – and 120 to universities in the Netherlands.

our TU Delft library after the first day of snow (February 3)

In the meantime I also included more ‘tour dates’ to my schedule (see TOUR). I still can’t believe how international this research has become in less than one year… I never thought I would bring the book all the way to South Korea, and in the next year I will do that… twice. However overwhelming, I am also struggling with an overload of (international) opportunities and limited time. My mailbox is exploding and I feel bad about not being able to respond to everyone personally.

Alexandra den Heijer with the second edition of her book (+1000 copies)

the second edition of the book arrived last month (+1000 copies)

Nonetheless, the busy schedule still allows time to publish. Deadlines still work for me, apparently. I will soon add a separate PUBLICATIONS menu to this blog, to split the written publications like articles in journals and magazines from the other DOWNLOADS like hand-outs of presentations. This month there will be two new publications: a book chapter in “Creative Knowledge Cities” (release February 2012, Edward Elgar Publishing – and an article in CELE Exchange (OECD Centre for Educational Learning Environments). I will upload the latter as soon as it is released.

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While students are preparing for exams…

by Alexandra den Heijer

… I am continuing my European winter tour in Scotland and Finland (where I am now, in the snow). Last week’s presentation for University of Strathclyde can be found under DOWNLOADS. This also goes for the spontaneous (thanks to Ana Cristobal) presentation at Page/Park architecture studio in Glasgow (, which was the same one I gave in Barcelona early November.

I can not write enough about how blessed I feel to be given these opportunities to meet inspiring people in beautiful cities (and beautiful people in inspiring cities…). I also consider it to be a reward for investing time and money in my own education. I will keep encouraging my students to do the same… and hope they make the best of this semester’s exams.

Note: the photo below was taken last week of University of Strathclyde’s Assembly Hall, just before the students came in.


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Students of the future (and today)

Besides writing about the students of the future, I spent the past four weeks with (>200) students of today – at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). All of the lectures and student presentations renewed my energy for new research initiatives with my colleagues.

TU Delft - Aula - lecture hall B (just before my lecture)

PS The ground-breaking science news from CERN (“neutrinos move faster than the speed of light”) at least proved that we sometimes need some very expensive research facilities – and some serendipity – to change the world of science. So much for the added value of university real estate. Who paid for and benefits from the research infrastructure of CERN?

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