School of Architecture College of Design

Complexity: Dutch & American Housing Symposium


The symposium "Complexity: Dutch and American Housing" will explore the similarities and differences between the way housing is designed, developed, and constructed in the Netherlands and in the United States, as a way to create new practices. The dialogue is inspired by complex housing, a special form of housing developed in Northern Europe, provides an innovative model that includes:


  • Moderate to high density
  • Mixed income housing
  • Dwellings for purchase and for rent
  • Three or more housing types
  • Mixed use
  • Notable architectural design


Extending from the book Complex Housing: Designing for Density, (Routledge, forthcoming 2017) and accompanying the exhibition Dutch Complex Housing (September 2 - Jan 28, 2017), the symposium brings 12-13 presenters from the Netherlands, including architects, developers, residents, urban planners, and politicians to engage in discussions about best housing practices. The book and exhibition introduce the reader and exhibition participant to the background that has led to these projects, and then analyzes eight case studies. They end by presenting the implications of these projects for future design of housing, and the requisites for its replication elsewhere. The symposium supplements these more passive presentations of information by engaging conversations among a variety of people engaged in the creating of housing in the two countries that are directed toward application of the ideas in practice. These discussions, both informal (breaks, meals and receptions) and formal (sessions, tours and salon dinners) will be sparked by morning presentations of the Dutch designs and afternoon tours to exemplary local projects.


The conference will address such questions as how to build equitable housing that: 1) incorporates mixed-income households, 2) includes rental and purchase opportunities, 3) is financed in new ways, and 4) is architecturally innovative and diverse?


Registration Information & Rates:

Event registration covers: welcome and farewell receptions, keynote addresses, continental breakfasts, Saturday salon dinners and morning presentations. Event registration limited to 200 people. Tours are extra. Friday night events are open to the public at no cost, but require registration (keynote addresses and welcome reception).


Early Bird Event Registration - through August 15: $250

Event Registration August 16 - September 29: $300

Saturday Tours: $30 (limit of 30 registrants)*

Sunday Tours: $20 (limit of 30 registrants)*

Friday Keynote Registration Only: Free


To register please visit the registration website.

*Tours limited to 30 people. Additional registrants will be placed on a wait list. If there is sufficient interest a second tour will be implemented, if not, fee will be refunded. Notification will take place by September 1 or earlier.


To learn more about the exhibition Dutch Complex Housing please visit this website


To learn more about the book Complex Housing: Designing for Density, please visit the publisher's website.



To design dense housing, take a cue from the Dutch
An interview with Julia Robinson


To connect to our Facebook page please visit:


About the Symposium:

When: 5:30 PM, Friday October 6 to 6:30 PM Sunday October 8, 2017

Where: Rapson Hall (HGA Gallery and Room 100), 89 Church St, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant Street, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Hosted by: The U of M School of Architecture and the Goldstein Museum of Design

CE Credits: Up to 17.5 credit hours available
The College of Design is
AIA CES Provider #F169

Press Release








Thank you to our sponsors:


Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota


Imagine Fund, University of Minnesota


Center for Urban Regional Affairs(CURA)












AIA Minnesota

ASLA Minnesota

Cermak Rhoades Architects

City of Minneapolis

Collage Architects

Kari Gill

Lunning Wende Architects

Project for Pride in Living

Sarah Nettleton Architects

The Cornerstone Group

University of Minnesota

Center for German & European Studies

College of Design

German, Scandinavian & Dutch

Goldstein Museum of Design

Housing Studies Program

School of Architecture

Urban Studies Program, Department of Geography, Environment & Society

School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

Undergraduate Student Services
12 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
107 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
P: 612-624-1717 | E:

General Information
P: 612-626-9068 | E:

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