Views on Delft


  • Aleksandar Staničić Delft University of Technology
  • Fatma Tanis Jaap Bakema Study Centre at the Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam
  • Angeliki Sioli Delft University of Technology
  • Klaske Havik Delft Univesity of Technology
  • Holly Dale Delft University of Technology
  • Willie Vogel Delft University of Technology
  • Saskia de Wit Delft University of Technology
  • Jorge Mejía Hernández Delft Unoversity of Technology
  • Elena Perez Guembe Delft University of Technology
  • Dorina Pllumbi Delft University of Technology
  • Jeremy Allan Hawkins Strasbourg School of Architecture



Around 1661, Johannes Vermeer painted what has become one of the most famous city views: the View of Delft. Delft, an intermediate European city in the Netherlands, located between The Hague and Rotterdam, has featured quite prominently in Dutch city narratives, partially thanks to Vermeer’s paintings, which showed fragments of both spatial and social characteristics of the city in the seventeenth century. As Delft is the city where this Writing Urban Place network originated, and where many members of the network have lived, studied or lectured, or are still doing all the above, this contribution collects their views on Delft, painting for our readers, in words, their accounts of the sociospatial characteristics of this city, their relationship with the water, their favourite urban places, their personal views of Delft. 

Author Biographies

Aleksandar Staničić, Delft University of Technology

Aleksandar Staničić – WG4 – is an architect and assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology. Previously he was a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Delft University of Technology (2018-2020), a postdoctoral fellow at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT (2017-2018), and a research scholar at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University (2016-2017). His most recent work includes the edited volume War Diaries: Design After the Destruction of Art and Architecture (University of Virginia Press, 2022) and numerous research articles in various journals, including The Journal of Architecture, Footprint and Architecture and Culture

Fatma Tanis, Jaap Bakema Study Centre at the Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

Fatma Tanış – WG1 – is the coordinator of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre at the Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam and lectures at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Prior to Delft, Tanış trained as an architect in İstanbul and Stuttgart. She holds Master’s degrees in Architectural History (ITU) and Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (MSFAU). Having a particular interest in the in-between realm, she has explored the specificity of port cities through the notion of cosmopolitanism in her doctoral dissertation titled Urban Scenes of a Port City: Exploring Beautiful İzmir through Narratives of Cosmopolitan Practices (2022). Her other publications include Spatial Stories of İzmir (2020); Space, Representation, and Practice in the Formation of İzmir during the Long Nineteenth Century in Migrants and the Making the Urban-Maritime World: Agency and Mobility in Port Cities, c. 1570–1940, eds. Christina Reimann, Martin Öhman (New York, London: Routledge, 2020); and a themed issue Narratives #1: Mediterranean and Atlantic Cities (2021). 

Angeliki Sioli, Delft University of Technology

Angeliki Sioli – Co-leader WG2 – PhD, is an assistant professor at the Chair of Methods of Analysis and Imagination at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She is a licensed architect, holding a PhD degree from the History and Theory Program of McGill University, Canada. Her research seeks connections between architecture and literature in the public realm of the city, focusing on aspects of embodied perception of place in the urban environment. She has edited the volume Reading Architecture: Literary Imagination and Architectural Experience (Routledge, 2018) and she is currently working on a collection of essays dedicated to sound and acoustic atmospheres of architecture. She is the co-leader of Working Group 2 in the COST Action Writing Urban Places, working along with the group’s members to create a strong, contemporary and interdisciplinary theoretical context for the study of mid-sized European cities. 

Klaske Havik, Delft Univesity of Technology


Klaske Havik Action Chair – is professor of Methods of Analysis and Imagination at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. She studied architecture in Delft and Helsinki and literary writing in Amsterdam. She has developed a distinct research approach relating architectural and urban questions, such as the use, experience and imagination of place, to literary language. Her book Urban Literacy: Reading and Writing Architecture (2014) proposes a literary approach to architecture and urbanism. Havik initiated the platform Writingplace and organized the conference Writingplace: Literary Methods in Architectural Research and Design (2013). The resulting book Writingplace: Investigations in Architecture and Literature was published in 2016. Klaske Havik was editor of de Architect and OASE, and initiated the Writingplace Journal for Architecture and Literature in 2017. Havik’s literary work appeared in Dutch literary magazines, her poetry collection Way and Further (2021) appeared in English with RightAngle Publishing. 

Holly Dale, Delft University of Technology

Holly Dale – WG1 – graduated in 2020 from Delft University of Technology. While at Delft, she researched an alternative ‘open’ architectural approach that encourages intimate narratives to flourish in the city. After graduation, Holly co-founded RARE Collective, a space for interdisciplinary collaborations exploring values within artistic and scientific processes. Holly has worked at leading architectural practices in the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Currently, she works in Amsterdam with a focus on sustainable design and teaches Architectural Design in the chair of Methods of Analysis and Imagination at Delft University of Technology. Through research projects and teaching within the chair, distinct methods are developed for producing, using and understanding the built environment. 

Willie Vogel, Delft University of Technology

Willie Vogel – WG1, WG2 – graduated in 2020 from Delft University of Technology. In her final project she used narrative tools to research the feeling of being at home through scales. After graduating she moved to Berlin where she is finishing her double degree bachelors in Philosophy with a thesis on Ecophilosophy and New Materialism. She works parttime in a start-up with Sophie van Riel and Italo de Vroom to develop the graduation project further under the name Studio Makadam. She also works parttime in the start-up Studio Inscape, where she merges her philosophical interests with (architectural) design together with Eileen Stornebrink and Charlotte von Meijenfeldt. Finally, she is involved in the network as research assistant for the chair Methods of Analysis and Imagination at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology. 

Saskia de Wit, Delft University of Technology

Saskia de Wit – WG2 – landscape architect, is an assistant professor in the Section of Landscape Architecture, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. She holds a master’s degree from Wageningen University and a PhD from Delft University of Technology. She combines teaching and research with practice at her own firm Saskia de Wit tuin en landschap. Her research focuses on the garden as a core concept of the field of landscape architecture, as expressed in her recent publication Hidden Landscapes (2018), which ties the concept of the enclosed garden as an expression of landscape to contemporary metropolitan developments. She uses the concept of the garden as a lens for research into perception of place, sensory landscape qualities and contemporary notions of nature. 

Jorge Mejía Hernández, Delft Unoversity of Technology


 Jorge Mejía Hernández Leader WG1 – graduated as an architect in Colombia, and received a PhD form Delft Unoversity of Technology, where he teaches design studios and researches with the section Methods and Matter as an assistant professor. He is a member of the Delft/Rotterdam-based research group Architecture Culture and Modernity, where he supervises PhD candidates from the programme Architecture and Democracy, and also acts as science communications manager for the EU-funded COST Action Writing Urban Places. Mejía participated in the design of the ‘Balcony’ exhibition, part of the 2014 Venice Biennale, and designed the San José de Castilla high school in Bogotá.

Elena Perez Guembe, Delft University of Technology

Elena Perez Guembe – WG4 – is a licensed architect, currently undertaking a PhD at TU Delft in the Netherlands. Elena has worked in the offices of Zaha Hadid, Rafael Moneo, and Nicholas Grimshaw. Her work has been exhibited at the 2018 Venice Biennale as well as at the 2019 Lisbon Triennale. Her design work and writing has been published internationally: DeArq Magazine (Colombia), Hipo-Thesis (Spain), Global Art Affairs Foundation (La Biennale di Venezia), Routledge (UK/USA) and others. After teaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) School of Architecture in Troy, New York for several years she moved in 2021 to TU Delft (Netherlands) as a PhD researcher. Her interdisciplinary research “Architectures of Care. From the Zapotecs to the Cosmos” combines critical thought and praxis through hermeneutics and material culture as architectural discourses. 

Dorina Pllumbi, Delft University of Technology

Dorina Pllumbi – WG2 – is an architect and a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Her research interest resides in studying practices of commoning as material and spatial engagement in realities of political transition. Her particular focus is to understand the role that commoning practices have played in Albania during the transitional period from a totalitarian state-socialist regime to a recently consolidating neoliberal one. Currently, Dorina is a visiting scholar at Parsons School of Design in New York City. 

Jeremy Allan Hawkins, Strasbourg School of Architecture

Jeremy Allan Hawkins – WG3 – is a poet and lecturer at the Strasbourg School of Architecture in France, where he is a member of the AMUP research laboratory and contributes to teaching and research on design narratives, architectural writing and poetics. He is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, studying situated writing practices and knowledge production in spatial design contexts. He is the author of the poetry chapbook A Clean Edge (BOAAT, 2017). His writing has been published widely in Europe and the United States and has been selected for inclusion in the Best New Poets anthology series, as well as the extended programme of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennial. His research interests include 


Witold Rybcynski, Home: A Short History of an Idea (New York: Viking, 1986).



How to Cite

Staničić, A., Tanis, F., Sioli, A., Havik, K., Dale, H., Vogel, W., … Hawkins, J. A. (2023). Delft: Views on Delft. Writingplace, (8-9).