The Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam has appointed Maike van Stiphout as the new head of the Masters programme in Landscape Architecture. Her entry lecture, held on September 4th will be published in October 2014.

 A fragment of the lecture ‘Together’:

 A noteworthy development is taking place that offers new perspectives for architects, landscape architects and urban planners. The Internet is changing the world in ways as powerful as the invention of the printing press did over 550 years ago. The invention of printing led to the spread of knowledge. 

The Internet was originally conceived to share knowledge, as was printing. Surprisingly, it has broadened to provide sharing mechanisms. The Internet appears to be the engine behind “sharing”.

For the generations that have grown up with the Internet, ‘sharing’ has become a new manner of possessing. Houses, boattrips, workspaces, ebooks, beds, knowledge, lovers and photos are mutually and cleverly shared via various apps. Sharing is becoming an accepted and very comfortable way of living. Businesses such as Airbnb and Ubertaxi earn a good profit from managing sharing goods. The effect is that a new urban generation used to sharing isn’t interested in ‘having’, and doesn’t attach status to big cars and large mowed lawns.

Sharing means caring.

What makes sharing an interesting variation on possession is that it incorporates the taking care of what is being shared. Taking care of something is in itself nothing unusual, but caring for it when it’s not yours? This demands a new attitude from the modern individual. Now that a whole generation partakes in sharing and caring, our ‘sharing and caring of global biodiversity’ may well have a better chance than before the era of the Internet.

My lecture is all about this new positioning, and the opportunities and the role that the fields of architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture can and should play in designing with nature. Now is the time to hitch a ride to a complete world built for humans, plants, animals, microorganisms and fungi.”