About Failed Architecture

Mission        Map of Failure         FA team         Partners         Work with us        Contact

Failed Architecture (FA) is a research platform that aims to open up new perspectives on urban failure – from what it’s perceived to be, what’s actually happening and how it’s represented to the public. Supported by a website, travelling workshops and a series of lectures, FA seeks to develop ongoing and open conversations with experts and the public at large.

We find it crucial to examine architecture not just from an architectural discourse. Since architecture is a product of the political, economic and social conditions of its time, it should be scrutinized as such.

Observing and living in a time of crises, speculations, vacancy, mega developments and the inflation of the architectural profession, we are often astonished by what is happening to our built environment – both physically and ‘behind the scenes’. Simultaneously, the best visited online architectural media are preoccupied with the eye candy produced by architects, without being critical about current or future developments. We feel that there is a demand for more holistic, 360-degree observations that lay bare the downsides of urban development and architecture in order to learn from past and contemporary failures.

By using the maxim ‘failed architecture’ we aim to raise questions. What is failure? Which criteria do we/ can we use to define failure? According to whom has something failed? If perceived as failed, what caused this and what are its effects? We understand architecture as the outcome of larger urban dynamics, which are therefore at the core of our research. By exploring a wide range of viewpoints – e.g. residents, architects, planners, developers and artists – we aim to provide some possible answers to the aforementioned questions. This will provide us with broad insights into how the relationships between design, politics, economics, culture and human behavior can literally and representatively (re)shape our built environment.

Map of Failures
The map below shows some of the topics and places we covered. The red pins are locations that have been subject to one of our workshops. If you cannot see it, please click here.

FA team
Mainly based in Amsterdam, but operating internationally, Failed Architecture consists of a group of young professionals that share knowledge in architecture, urbanism, media, sociology, history and the arts.

Michiel van Iersel
Mark Minkjan
René Boer
Charlie Clemoes
Tim Verlaan
Daphne Bakker (Delft)
Chiara Dorbolò (Delft)
Joshua McWhirter (New York City)

Martha Mingay (London)
Jim Clemoes (Leeds)
Robert Snelling (Melbourne)
Harriet Cook (Manchester)
Katherine Tanner (Devon, London, Paris)

In recent years we have worked with a.o.:
Network for Young Planners in Copenhagen, Denmark / Skopje Architecture Week in Skopje, Macedonia / Mikser Festival and KC Grad in Belgrade, Serbia / Sofia Architecture Week in Sofia, Bulgaria / Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, The Netherlands / Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham, UK / Deutsches Architektur Zentrum in Berlin, Germany / Architecture Day 2013 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands / RE-ACT Urban Festival in Porto, Portugal / Tallinn Architecture Biennale in Tallinn, Estonia / KÉK Contemporary Architecture Center in Budapest, Hungary / CRIMSON architectural historians and Het Nieuwe Instituut (as part of their contribution to the X São Paulo Architecture Biennale) / Design-as-Politics, master studio at the Architecture Faculty of Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands/ Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam, The Netherlands / Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates / PLACE, Belfast, Northern Ireland / The Spring Sessions, Amman, Jordan / Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin, Germany

Work with us
Failed Architecture is a node in a growing network of people and organisations who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and critical about architecture and urban issues. We’re always open to collaborations. Failed Architecture cherishes its independent voice and our website drives on voluntary contributions and editorial work.

Advertise with us
Failed Architecture is a growing website with thousands of dedicated daily readers. We are open to advertisements on our site from parties with a similar focus. For information, please get in touch with Mark Minkjan.

FA is located in Amsterdam’s oldest building: the Oude Kerk (Old Church). Feel free to drop us a note or to drop by.

Failed Architecture Foundation
Oudekerksplein 9
1012GX Amsterdam


FA is kindly supported by the The Creative Industries Fund NL.


This is a preview of FA 2014.5: Ben and Barack.
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