Research on design performance as part of the Dutch Spatial Design Action Agenda 2017-2020. 

In 2018 the Q-factor program (José van Campen, Sandra van Assen, Wil Zonneveld) was asked to conduct research on ‘strong design’ (ontwerpkracht) in the context of spatial planning. The research is a contribution to the Inter-University Research Program ‘Design and politics’ which is part of the Dutch Spatial Design Action Agenda 2017-2020. The aim of this program is to stimulate, deepen and connect (existing) scientific research and initiatives in the field of design and government in the context of the new Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet).

Literature offers many descriptions and definitions of the concept of design, but is less definite about its strength or performance in spatial planning. Literature indicates that strong design can be perceived from different angles. The ambivalence of the term ‘strong design’ offers room for interpretation, but room for confusion as well. The purpose of the proposed research is to provide more information on perception of strong design. The (over 140) spatial quality teams in the Netherlands offer a research population that is suited for the proposed research: designers and their public clients (central government, provinces and municipalities). Theoretical and empirical research are combined to arrive at a definition and description of the concept from the different perceptions of design performance. Insight into and the arrangement of perceptions that coexist (and may partly overlap) may set the stage for discussion and evaluation.

Who: Sandra van Assen, José van Campen, Wil Zonneveld, research team ‘Ontwerp en Overheid’
Where: the Netherlands
When: 2018-2020