Design in Dialogue.
51N4E, endeavour, Denkstatt


  • Edited by ETH Newrope
  • English
  • Published in: 2021
  • 116 pages
  • 320 x 240
  • ISBN: 978-3-944074-35-1

The second issue of the Chapters series focuses on the question of how design processes can be shaped through dialogue to give different actors the opportunity to add, remove or change something in an attempt to exceed the expectations of everyone involved.

The first part of the book investigates the work of Brussels-based architecture firm 51N4E and two design-focused consulting firms, endeavour from Antwerp and Denkstatt from Basel. All three companies explore the boundaries of architecture, advocating openness and dialogue with clients and users rather than the autonomy and monologue typical of many architects and urban designers. Digesting the firms’ work and probing for patterns, this book seeks to explain the craft and organizational processes that drive this design approach.

A second part of the publication examines the hidden presence of this “design in dialogue” approach in a wide range of European architecture firms and their projects—not as a new methodology to study, but as a liberating attitude to share, cherish, and develop. Reflecting on these undertakings illustrates the way design in dialogue can create a productive momentum and foster engagement. With projects by Harder Haas, Atelier Bow-Wow, Lacol, Studio Paola Viganò, Equip 10+1, Onkruid, Caruso St John Architects, and Communitism.

About the authors:
Seppe De Blust is a sociologist, urban planner and co-founder of endeavour. He works on intervention-driven design and adaptive infrastructures at the Chair of Architecture and Urban Transformation at ETH Zurich. Freek Persyn is an architect and co-founder of the Brussels-based firm 51N4E, focusing on urban and social transformation. Since 2019, he is a professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Transformation at ETH Zurich. Charlotte Schaeben specializes in photography, mapping, and the cognitive response to spatial environments. She joined the Chair of Architecture and Urban Transformation at ETH Zurich in summer 2019.

Published so far in the Chapters series: 51N4E. Skanderbeg Square Tirana