XML Architecture Research Urbanism

XML Architecture Research Urbanism

Amsterdam, NL


XML starts new master program ‘Designing Democracy’ at Sandberg Institute Amsterdam.

Mar 5, '14 12:41 PM EST
European Parliament, Strasbourg (XML, 2013)
European Parliament, Strasbourg (XML, 2013)

(Amsterdam, March 5 2014) XML, Max Cohen de Lara and David Mulder, have been appointed course directors of the new temporary masters program ‘Designing Democracy’, that will start this September at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In a time when confidence in democracy is under increasing pressure – from the Euro crisis to the US shutdown and from the Occupy movement to the streets of Athens – this Sandberg master program will put the future of democracy into question through design. In the program, students will collaborate within an intensive environment with artists, architects, journalists, politicians, scholars and other thinkers. The interdisciplinary studio will explore the power of design to activate possible forms of collectivity – the quality or state of being collective  – and will range from intervening on the scale of personal media to rethinking the institutions of democracy itself.

The program aims to apply design as a specific method of critical thinking and use it to reimagine collective structures of dialogue, debate and social progress. Design used to be one of the self-evident tools to shape politics, but today the role of design in large-scale politics is either underestimated or controversial. The aim of the studio is to understand this reconfiguration and to experiment with new articulations of design that give shape to democratic politics.

Admissions are open at


Following a master studio at TU Delft (2010), an exhibition in the Dutch House of Parliament (2011) and an international comparative research of plenary halls of parliament (2011-2013), the Sandberg master program is the next episode in XML’s ongoing project that seeks to understand and challenge the reconfiguration of the public role of architecture through an analysis of spaces of political congregation. By looking at how ideas about the organization of society materialize in the architecture of general assembly halls, this research explores the evolving relationship between architecture and society.

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