Modes of Existence: Architecture and Philosophy (Modes of Existence - 15 EC)


About this minor

This joint minor is offered in collaboration with Leiden University and TU Delft. Education may take place at several locations.
If you follow the 15 EC version, the minor ends on 10 november 2024
If you follow the 30 EC version, the minor ends on 09 february 2025

What if architects and philosophers work together to approach the world in terms of its various modes of existence? The minor MAP aims to:

  • develop a transversal and transdisciplinary approach to identify and address shared problems and concerns regarding the production of contemporary urban environments;

  • develop methodological innovations that inform and trigger new ways of speculative design;

  • offer students a cross-domain mentality and cooperative attitude

Architecture and philosophy, as a material-discursive practice, has literally and materially shaped and built our living environments for centuries, building on concepts such as identity, value, and socio-economic status. Nevertheless, we are often oblivious to
a) how these environments are produced
b) how they affect us
c) how we may affect them in return.

What if architects and philosophers work together to approach the world not through the worn dualism of objective structures and subjective interpretations, but in terms of its various modes of existence? It would be to understand the urban environment relationally, that is, as composed of heterogenous but intersecting processes of becoming. Dynamic and incomplete by definition, it is only through the convergence of modes that nature and technology, culture, science, politics, law, and daily existence become coherent and concrete.

To think and build in terms of modes, means to participate in their ecology. This calls for the development of new conceptual and methodological frameworks capable not only of describing ‘what is’, or anticipating ‘what might be’, but especially to become aware of processes and networks that produce and foster actual change. Thus, the transdisciplinary convergence of architecture and philosophy is a vital component in the formation of new environmental knowledges and urban awareness.

The broadening minor ‘Modes of Existence: Architecture and Philosophy’ (MAP) offers a theoretical and practical merger of philosophy and architecture via (speculative) design. It gives students of architecture and philosophy the opportunity to close-read key contemporary theoretical texts, while learning to put concepts into practice by addressing transdisciplinary problems with a design-oriented eye. Further, students will learn how to bring ideas to life within a given urban context by working closely with other human and non-human interlocutors, including residents, stakeholders and cutting-edge technologies. Teaching will be hybrid and involves workshops (offline) and seminars/lectures (online optional).

Learning outcomes

  • Acquired the academic skills for thinking, reading, presenting, and collaborating in an inclusive and transdisciplinary manner, in particular a sensibility for problems at the interface of architecture and philosophy
  • Acquired a conceptual toolbox for thinking in terms of relations and speculative-interactive design
  • Learned to apply contemporary ideas and debates in a dynamic urban setting in engaged, responsible, and non-reactive ways
  • Acquired or developed basic (technical) design skills while contributing to ecological literacy

Good to know

The minor is open to all students under the LDE agreements. No prior knowledge, skills or specialisation are required, but it is recommended to students with affinities and interests in theoretical and philosophical questions as well as in (architectural, environmental and spatial) design.

BK and EUR students follow part A for 15 ECTS minor. Additional courses award 15 ECTS in part B .

Teaching method and examination

Part A

  • Key concepts for Ecological Encounters
  • Technicities and Collectivity
  • Diagrammatics and Societal Design

Part B

  • Human Conditions

  • Advanced Academic Skills Course: Normality and Resilience OR Advanced Academic Skills Course: Philosophy of Culture OR Advanced Academic Skills Course: Quantum Mechanics for Philosophers

Method of examination:

  • Module 1: Students write 2 position papers in the form of critical reading; responses of 1,500 words each (2x50%).

  • Module 2: Combination of Tests (100%): Speculative research statement, physical model and presentation.

  • Module 3: Combination of Tests (100%): Presentation and peer feedback

  • Module 4, 5, 6 and 7: see

Composition final grade:
Part A, all modules need to be completed with a 5,5 or higher.
Part B, all courses need to be completed with a 5,5 or higher.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Erasmus University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      7 February 2025
    • Term *
      Block MINOR30
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      15 May, 13:00 - 15 Jul 2024
    Only one day to enrol
These offerings are valid for students of Erasmus University