Job Floris is architect and co-founder of Monadnock. a Rotterdam-based office for architecture, urbanism, interior and research. He trained as an interior- and furniture designer at the Royal Academy of fine Arts st. Joost in Breda (NL). Floris obtained his master’s degree in architecture from the Rotterdam Academy for Architecture and Urbanism in 2004. He gained his first practice experience at Christian Kieckens Architects in Aalst (BE) and Poulissen & Partners in Antwerp (BE) from 1998 to 2000. In 2000 Floris returned to practice in the Netherlands, working as projectarchitect at Rapp+Rapp till 2006. During this period he was involved in a large number of projects, including the design and realization of the town centre plan in Ypenburg, a large-scale ensemble of nine residential and retail buildings containing 450 housing units, and the office block for Social Services in Rotterdam. Floris publishes in various architecture and art magazines and was editor of OASE Journal for Architecture from 2008 till 2018 and involved in various issues of the journal. He has held various visiting lectureships in the Netherlands and abroad since 2006. From 2010 till 2018 Job was appointed as coordinator of the Master’s degree course Architecture at the Rotterdam Academy for Architecture and Urbanism.
Ambitions of Urbanity and Dexterity
The condition of Urbanity
In recent decades, the city has ever expanded and therefore has become an increasingly vague territory, compared to the former understanding of a city as a place of merely congestion. Nonetheless, the collective memory of a city has not changed accordingly, and to most the city remains a physical place for deriving identity. Architecture and urbanism have an on-going urgent role in the formation of this identity: how to design a spatial environment that provides these? This includes large public and collective buildings, places of production and domestic environments – housing – and the quality of living in these areas. For, a second phenomenon that simultaneously takes place, a large number of cities are under an ever increasing pressure by densification by an explosion of urbanisation and tourism, resulting in rising real-estate prices and places of doubtful quality. This phenomenon takes place in Europe and beyond, and requires for a research on the consistence of our urban environments. Simultaneously this pressure might only be temporary; therefore, it is worth engaging with the longer perspective by strategically thinking on the metabolism of a sustainable city. All of which could start with a close reading of the existing city fabric and simultaneously with the design of small-scale single objects.
Current developments call for a focus on the working on the city; researching on the conditions of urbanity; on architecture making city. This includes research on precedents, typologies and their origins.
The condition of Dexterity
In the education of architecture, it is the consistency, simultaneity and interaction between the conceptual and the physical level: the skills of the hand or craftsmanship are a focus area, explored in various forms. As in Richard Sennets understanding: the movement of the hands informs the mental formation of an idea. This means, at all times, the modus operandi of architectural education means combining theoretical reflection and pragmatic hands-on explorations. This exploration includes the experiment, as an inseparably part of education, understood as making use of the existing alphabet in order to build up new narratives, for which no new letters are required.