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Designing is imagining the future. In a time of climate change and multiple transitions, a ‘designerly’ attitude is needed more than ever. Understanding past practices, institutional frameworks and socio-cultural conditions is the basis for new interventions. In this minor, students link research and design from multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural perspectives with a focus on the future of Rotterdam Harbour. Students will develop the skills to identify and address the challenges that port cities are facing now and in the future.

For whom?

BSc students from Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University.

This minor is open for all BSC students with interest in portcities (in particular the city of Rotterdam) and in research and design in a social, historical and cultural context.

For non-design students, this means an introduction into the way designers think and act and an understanding of the relationship between designing and their own professional way of thinking. For design students this means that they will be able to improve themselves in the design process, especially in a social, cultural context.

Maximum number participants: 30

Type of minor: Selection minor

Criteria: The groups will be divided as much as possible on the basis of equal numbers of students from Delft, Leiden and Erasmus.

What will you learn

In this minor you will work on a series of short design and research studies (Q1) and a design project (Q2), and learn to:

  1. Study (analyze and reflect) the historical, social and cultural context in port-city areas in relation to the present and the future

  2. Experiment (explore and test) with possible alternative future ideas, supported by the studies

  3. Take position as designer with regard to the future of port cities by choosing a theme or quality

  4. Elaborate the theme in a design at different scale levels, such as public space, street furniture and/or an urban vision.

Course overview

The minor consists of two courses (15 EC in the first quarter and 15 EC in the second quarter) with lectures and tutorials in the (design) studio.

Participating institutions

Faculty of Social Sciences, Leiden University (Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CADS)

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, (Department of History)

Register for this minor

For registration, please visit

Students can register from 3 April until 16 April 2023.

More information

Check out the promotional video of the minor (Re)Imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, Society and Culture!

For more information about the minor (Re)Imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, Society and Culture, please check the minor website of the TU Delft.

You can also read more about the minor (Re)Imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, Society and Culture in this article.