Herbestemmen industrieel erfgoed, Deventer

The main ambition is to create a well-known cultural and creative hotspot in Deventer with respect for the current creative energy. Therefore, the focus should not be on creating real estate or solving problems like cramming in a certain car parking ratio. The questions one must ask are: how do we call attention to this creative identity of the “Havenkwartier”? How do we establish a creative and cultural flux that is sustainable for years to come? Do we really need to build anything for it?

In this regard farming comes to mind. In order to grow crops a farmer has to ensure so called “tilth or tilled earth”. This can be described as a state of aggregation of soil and its condition for supporting plant growth. “Havenkwartier Deventer” can be perceived as such. In order to grow a strong brand it’s “soil” needs to be fertile so to speak and sown with creative and cultural initiatives. Are we able to create an innovative, cultural and creative tilth? Up till now the identity of “Havenkwartier” rests mainly on the nomenclature  “Havenkwartier Deventer” and it’s purple “H” logo. On an urban- architectural design level, there’s hardly any common ground.

It’s clear that “Identity” in itself is too complex and abstract a notion to use or envisage as a design tool. The danger lies in wait of translating conceptions of identity such as creativity or ruggedness in a cliché fashion. In order to deal with urban development on this level there’s a need for plural approach that is both rational and intuitive: rational in analysis, intuitive in interpretation of symbols and metaphors. A technique that enables us to jump between an observed and modelled reality is the use of diagrams. They enable us to short circuit singular notions and simplified interpretations of complex themes. The level of abstraction presented by diagrams make it possible to come up with specific configurations, unexpected connections and new insights.

“Tilled Earth” is not a design proposal per se. Moreover it forms a strategy to create an identity for “Havenkwartier Deventer” based on its own history and with maximum freedom to play around with the design tools it fabricates. Therefore the proposal presented in these documents is merely a coagulation of poetic interpretations of rational composed diagrams. Thus truly generating a condition were creativity, unexpected interpretation, and future development of the urban structure can occur.

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