iwan baan

ivan baan 3 bw

intro’d to Iwan via this TED.

oh my.

Ingenious homes in unexpected places

In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story “Tower of David,” an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity’s ability to survive and make a home — anywhere.

Photographer Iwan Baan captures the many ways people shape their shared built environment — from glossy starchitecture to handmade homes. 

what’s fascinating is what happens when architects and planners leave

so imagine a city (cities) set free from govt regulations… in order to take over/redesign/upcycle their cities..

caracas venezuela, 70% of population lives in slums – took over 45 story – unfinished – tower of david..

iwan bball court

people create their own space, remarkable to see their design decisions (none with ed in architecture/design)

iwan outside

organic and intuitive creation

iwan boat

adapt to specific way of living

there’s no such thing as normal.. people are able to adapt to any situation

in most places.. govt completely absent.. so use what they have (found materials) in amazing ways

imagine… what these ingenious communities could create themselves and how highly particular their solutions would be if given basic infrastructures they could tap into

generic.. simply doesn’t work as answer to individual needs of people

people need to be set free..

plague of sameness.

Zita Cobb, president/founder of shorefast foundation


self directed graphicself organizing graphic

[when i think of self-organizing i can’t help but think of self-directing. and my mind often goes to the visuals/work/art that Iwaan Baan shares – like the ones above – and the ones on the self-directed page. both being/becoming/emerging the same dance/fractal. it’s like the element of unique (thumbprint) from self-directed ness keeps the self-organizing from slipping to the center of sameness/status-quo/invented vs invited. and the bumping up against, the rubbing shoulders with, the colliding, of the self-organizing, keeps the self-directed ness awake/alive to its authenticity/possibility/curiosity.]


great photos from talk in this post:

iwan presents

as well as the manifold beautiful photos on his site below..

very profound..

Mitra shows how people can learn – if basically – left alone.

Iwan is showing how people can live/thrive – if basically – left alone. and he’s showing us multitudes….


find/follow Iwan:

link facebook

wikipedia small

his site:
iwan s site

from his about page:

Dutch photographer Iwan Baan is known primarily for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture. Born in 1975, Iwan grew up outside Amsterdam, studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and worked in publishing and documentary photography in New York and Europe.

…His work is characterized by the portrayal of people in the architecture, the context, society and environment around architecture. He also completes documentary projects on social initiatives such as schools, libraries and community centers in Africa, Asia and Latin America..


Iwan’s ted page:

iwan on ted


Cameron Sinclair

Stéphane Malka

Sugata Mitra


complex systems –

lots and lots of little independent systems all acting on their own agenda – and usually have emergent behavior.. when you look back and squint your eyes you go wow


invited vs invented – Jaco

city ness


living spaces


nomad ness

empty buildings



CityLab (@CityLab) tweeted at 4:01 AM – 25 Feb 2018 :

Letting slum residents control their own destiny https://t.co/b2zk3DTq06 (http://twitter.com/CityLab/status/967716294362615808?s=17)

title sounds iwan baan ish.. reading it doesn’t


half a house ness