‘Tech’ and ‘Academia’ @WorkplacePride visit The Green Village – TU Delft, 15 February 2023 – “Diversity in the Built Environment”

The five designated Workplace Pride Communities regularly host events to connect our members and learn from each other. On Wednesday, 15 February 2023, [email protected] and [email protected] combined their efforts in a single event hosted at the Green Village of the TU Delft. At The Green Village, knowledge and educational institutions, entrepreneurs, government bodies, and citizens can research, experiment, validate, and demonstrate their sustainable innovations in the built environment. This informative event offered participants the opportunity to meet other Workplace Pride members from tech industry and academia alike. It was also a great opportunity for TU Delft to increase its visibility among the LGBTIQ+ community in general, and to contribute to awareness about the topic on their campus. 

Each of the three speakers spoke about Diversity & Inclusion within TUDelft; the significance of architecture for the LGBTQ+ community; and how to connect climate change and sustainability; including through social structures.

David Keyson D&I Officer TU Delft kicked things off with the statements that “If you are not explicitly working on diversity, you are being exclusive” and “If we aren’t intersectional, some of us, the most vulnerable are going to fall through the cracks”.  With this he immediately set the tone for why equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is important within TUDelft. Keyson said “We believe that EDI is the right thing to do. It is our moral dutyto be equally accessible to all. It is also our responsibility to offer an inclusive campus where everyone can take part in the organisation and feel they belong”. “Equity, diversity and inclusion enhances wellbeing, which is required for optimal creativity and productivity and therefore enriches innovation and the societal impactof our university. Moreover, diversity is broadly recognised as a valuable asset that provides a pathway for world class research and innovation, and strengthens our commitment to excellence. TU Delft seeks to develop the expertise of tomorrow’s engineering leaders. By providing for an inclusive environment and developing basic principles and skills for equity, diversity and inclusion we enable students positive change in their communities through their professional and personal leadership, we expect our engineers to become inclusive leaders and contribute to social coherence in society in the future.”

Nothing about us without us”

Download David Keyson’s entire presentation below

Dr.ir. Dirk van den Heuvel is a professor of architecture and urbanism at TU Delft. He has written extensively on the topic of queer architecture, which refers to the ways in which architecture can reflect and contribute to queer culture and identity. Van den Heuvel argues that architecture is not neutral, but rather deeply intertwined with cultural and societal norms and values. He contends that traditional, heteronormative architecture reinforces binary gender roles and reinforces oppressive power structures. Queer architecture, on the other hand, seeks to challenge these norms and create spaces that are more inclusive and welcoming to people of all genders and sexual orientations. This can take many different forms, from designing spaces that are more fluid and adaptable to creating buildings that challenge traditional notions of beauty and aesthetics. Van den Heuvel also argues that queer architecture can have important political and social implications. By creating spaces that are more welcoming and inclusive to queer people, architecture can help to challenge and subvert dominant power structures and create more equitable and just societies. Overall, van den Heuvel’s work on queer architecture highlights the importance of considering the ways in which architecture can reflect and shape cultural norms and values, and encourages architects to create spaces that are more inclusive and reflective of the diversity of human experience.

Download Dr. ir. Dirk van den Heuvel’s entire presentation here

Prof.dr.ir. Andy van den Dobbelsteen, is a Dutch architect, researcher, and professor of Climate Design and Sustainability at the Delft University of Technology. He is known for his research and innovation in sustainable building design, particularly in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and circular building materials. Van den Dobbelsteen has been involved in numerous research projects and initiatives aimed at advancing sustainable building practices. He has also collaborated with various organisations, including governments, industry partners, and academic institutions, to develop innovative solutions for sustainable building design. Van den Dobbelsteen indicates that climate change hits us all, but the impact is not divided equally or righteously, not between regions, not between rich and poor, not between genders. Therefore, he emphasises: ”Those who are responsible and who have the means, they should help others in solidarity”. He therefore ended his engaging lecture with the encouraging words: “Key for social sustainability is connecting, and thus connecting between all groups in society, within and without certain groups, acknowledging differences and helping each other”.

Download Andy van den Dobbelsteen’s entire presentation here

The visit was concluded with a tour of the Green Village, where experienced students guided the participants through this unique field lab at the centre of the TU Delft Campus. The research at the Green Village focuses on the implementation of sustainable solutions in the urban environment and exploring the implications on neighbourhood, street and building aspects. The Green Village is a place where people live, work and learn, beyond standard rules and regulations. With access to the innovation ecosystem of the TU Delft, science is literally around the corner.

Click here to view all photos of the event.

Click here to view the video of the event.

Click here to read the subtitles of the video.