WDE Spotlight: Bygg Architecture & Design

In WDE Spotlight, we give the floor to various designers from the Embassies. This time, we talk to Bygg Architecture & Design, part of the Embassy of Mobility. What is their background? What inspires the designers of this studio? And what does Bygg hope to achieve with their work? You can read it in this Q&A!

Type Update
Published on 25 November 2021
Part of Embassy of Mobility
WDE Spotlight: Bygg Architecture & Design
Part of Embassy of Mobility

Can you tell us a bit more about you, your background and your design practice? 

We are Bygg architecture & design, an agency from Eindhoven. We are a multidisciplinary agency and within our work we focus on circularity, temporality and sociality. We have architects, social designers and product designers in our team.

Your project is part of the Embassy of Mobility during Dutch Design Week. What can you tell us about this project, and what stage is it in now?

The Achtse Trein is a speculative design proposal for the layout of public space in the Achtse Barrier, a neighbourhood in the north of Eindhoven. With this project, we are looking at the possibilities for public space if we – forced or voluntarily – give up the car and start living more climate-adaptive and locally oriented. 

We have introduced three themes that we consider important for a future-proof neighbourhood: wild nature, technological frugality and social resilience. With these three themes as a starting point, we are redesigning the neighbourhood, where we put nature-inclusive thinking and social interaction first.

  • Wildlife: Inclusive design means integrating a non-human perspective into the design process. The Achtse Barrier provides a complex network of wildlife to reintroduce permanent or migratory species into the neighbourhood.
  • Technological frugality: The use of individual cars is not in line with the sustainability and quality of life objectives and we are redesigning the public space for walking and cycling. A step back for a step forward.
  • Social resilience: The Fransebaan is a ring road in the district, where a moving platform is being introduced. This platform is full of necessary daily facilities and makes a weekly round around the road, making it accessible to everyone. If you can’t go to the city, the city will come to you!

Can you explain how your project relates to the story of this Embassy? 

Our project is in line with the Embassy’s objectives to think about the future of mobility, in which we use our raw materials more economically and ensure that we are climate-adaptive. Our mobility has become faster, more intensive and more individual in the last century, which has put enormous pressure on our landscape and raw materials. This project shows that things can be done differently and that you can get a lot of quality of life in return.

You are an architectural firm, but you are also very much involved in the design, quality of life, circularity and now also mobility. Is the liveability of a city something you like to focus on, and if so, why?

We are a multidisciplinary agency, and our projects sometimes vary considerably from a new residential area completed by the end-user to a circular pavilion for the national government and a strategic social and circular plan for Prorail. It is this diversity that appeals to us!

What kind of design/project would you like to realise in the future and why? 

The meeting place is the most interesting to design and think about. We would like to be involved in a project where we are given the responsibility to design a square or cultural building, where we can make interventions from object to architecture. In principle, the Achtse Trein is an example of such a place, and we are therefore happy to go further to see how we can translate this concept into reality. 

Can you name another interesting designer dealing with the same theme, and why is his/her work so strong in your eyes?

For this project, we got a lot of inspiration from The Shift Project. Research and insights provide targeted inspiration from which we can create. They conduct multidisciplinary research into every form of transport and translate this into manageable analyses. Did you know, for example, that if you are a meat-eater, you are on balance more efficient on an electric scooter than on a bicycle?

How do you think you can make an impact with your work? 

With the Achtse Trein we have put forward a proposal for the redesign of our public space, which is feasible but also just far enough away from us so that we can fantasise about it and allow ourselves to accept this concept. The project shows that there are many benefits to be gained in the living environment that do not require much effort. We hope that the project will inspire and motivate to look at mobility in a positive and solution-oriented way.

If you could choose one person to work with (a scientist, artist, philosopher, biologist, designer, politician, anyone), who would you choose and why?

We would choose Liam Young because of his extremely high quality in relating and visualising impactful thoughts. We would be honoured to tackle and conceptualise a project with him.

For/with which company would you like to do a project someday? And what kind of project would that be?

We like to work on projects that are connecting and therefore like to collaborate with public institutions and organisations. It might be interesting to carry out the next project at European level; there are still many connections to be made. Closer to home, a project in collaboration with Natuurmonumenten would be nice, where we, for example, design a link between nature and people. 

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