At FABRICations we have adopted a comprehensive methodology to design resilient cities for a sustainable future. We offer our clients a range of products that vary in scale and level of development, according to their specific needs.

OUR GOALS
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OUR EXPERTISES

Our cities need to incorporate 6 essential features to become resilient. They vary from infrastructural and strategical elements, to social and economic catalysts. In every project, the goal of our design is to implement these features in existing urban (eco)systems.

Cities are the motors of our economy. The city is an economic ecosystem, a complex system of which the parts hook into each other: physical space and economic and social processes, spatial systems on various scales, individual actors, companies and institutions. Cities have a large array of economic infrastructures: factories, offices, shops and schools, but also ports, industrial areas, office parks and shopping streets. Our projects offer space to flows of people, knowledge and goods. We believe a vital economy needs to find the right balance between economic prosperity, local value, social inclusiveness and circularity.
Improving healthy living in cities has a long tradition in architecture, urban design and planning: industrialization in the twentieth century started a movement for modernism and garden city planning across the globe. The development of healthy cities of the future requires a new perspective on urban development and on the design of healthy buildings, streets, cities and regions. It is not just about the protection the public health and meeting legal norms, but about an integral approach of the concept of health. It is about programming and organizing urban facilities in such a way that everyone has a healthy living environment and access to healthcare. At FABRICations we aim to stimulate ‘healthy living’, and to improve air-, water- and soil qualities. Our projects encourage a healthy lifestyle by creating proximity and pleasant spaces that encourage meeting, discourage antisocial behavior and counter social exclusion and loneliness.
FABRICations works on projects that contribute to a vibrant, inclusive city with involved residents and enterprising citizens, where old and new ages overlap with each other in a recognizable way, with room for new developments and reuse of buildings and spaces. City planners have always been concerned with the social and cultural aspects of the build environment. But urban planners and engineers tended to ignore the people ‘making’ the city: those who create their own playing field, develop new investment models, make new social connections, and step off the beaten track. That is why we at FABRICations don’t believe in an engineered society, in blueprints or masterplans. We always aims to connect bottom-up initiatives and desires to top-down agendas and challenges. Our researches and our designs contribute to making cities by offering spatial perspectives and by scaling up ideas.
Climate change, population growth, economic fluctuations, pandemics, terrorism and bordercrossing polution increase the pressure on our metropolitan landscapes and urban infrastructures. FABRICations works on projects that create resilient landscapes. Resilience is the capacity of systems to adapt to changing circumstances or disruptions. Our designs adept energy systems to renewable sources, sewage systems to heavier rain showers and connected economies to faster online networks. We combine coast safety measures with economical development, design landscapes that retain fresh water to prevent drought and salination, and transit oriented development that connects several transport modalities at once.
Our economy is linear and urban regions are the end point: food, energy and materials are imported from far across the borders, are consumed here and in the end mostly downcycled and wasted. The increasing world population and the rising welfare level are rapidly exhausting global resources. For some raw materials the end of supplies is already near. Especially in Europe this is a geopolitical challenge, because the old continent is an economic world player with an enormous consumption footprint and at the same time very small natural supplies. Our role as designers is not limited to the building chain. Other flows and economical chains also involve valuable materials and resources. There’s a role for design on each scale – from creating a reusable building, to investigating potential for local exchange.
Cities worldwide are responsible for 70 percent of the global energy use and 40 to 70 percent of CO2 emissions. The way cities are designed and planned is crucial for their energy use. FABRICations works on dense compact cities, public transport based development, cycling infrastructure – to establish cities with a lower energy use per capita. We promote energy exchange between industries, food production, housing and public facilities and combine exchange networks with other smart infrastructure projects. The transition from an almost invisible fossil energy system to a system using renewable energy sources puts a vast claim on the metropolitan landscape. Our integral planning and design approach not only aims to implement sustainable energy, but to use the energy transition to create better cities.
OUR GOALS
OUR METHODS

OUR METHODS

To tackle social, cultural, ecological and spatial aspects of our projects, we combine a research by design approach with a wide range of tools and methods. We select the most appropriate methodology based on the conditions of each project, involving our clients in the process to ensure an effective outcome.

Cities require energy, water and food to function. They are constructed with building materials and have often changed landscape’s natural dynamics. Their economies produce flows of goods, data and money, but also generate waste. Each of these flows involves a chain of places and an infrastructure it uses to move around, often transforming from one type of flow into another. Many of today’s global challenges involve flows, whether it’s reducing waste by making our economies circular or the transition to renewable energy types. The Urban Metabolism Framework helps to better understand how cities work, and how to improve our cities performances.
The Urban Metabolism Framework was developed through projects such as ‘IABR-2014 A New Metabolism for Rotterdam’, ‘Omgevingsvisie Hart van Holland’ and ‘Circular Amsterdam‘.
Healthy Urbanization is as relevant for the area surrounding the city, or for the region, as it is for the city itself. The city is no longer a single ‘object’, but can be seen as part of a dynamic process of urbanization. This dynamic perspective starts at the regional level and works all the way to the house and street level and back again. The Complete City Cube was developed to assess the potential effectiveness of different projects at the regional, city and street levels, with respect to safety, liveability and accessibility, and taking economic, sociocultural and ecological aspects into account. Projects which tick as many boxes as possible within The Complete City Cube are most likely to represent solutions which, through smart combinations—i.e. combined opportunities—make it possible to achieve several objectives and combine as many agendas as possible.
The Complete City Cube was developed for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and implemented in various projects.
The shaping of cities is about far more than planning and accessibility. It is about creating a positive climate for business, and combining planning agendas with the local vision to ensure the support of all stakeholders. The New Market Approach connects spatial planning to the region’s historical development, stakeholder dynamics and economic assets. This actor-based approach uses design as a research and communication tool to extrapolate a ‘vector for development’: a shared future perspective that works to bundle agenda’s and interests.
Design as instrument and process has the power to identify development opportunities and to turn these into realizable innovations. Design is essential for the inclusive process of collaboration, by bringing together parties in strong coalition.
New technologies on sensoring and tracking enable public institutes, commercial companies and scientific organizations to better map flows and use. But to understand how cities work, to see where problems occur and opportunities arise, a continuous dialogue is required between explicit data and implicit knowledge of experts and users. To capture both forms of information FABRIC has developed the DOCA scan. DOCA stands for Data, Opportunities, Challenges and Anecdotes. It complements scientifically modelled and objectively measured data with streetlevel observations and examplary anecdotes, in order to clearly formulate challenges and track opportunities.
The DOCA scan has been succesfully deployed in projects like Metabolism of Albania, Metabolism of Antwerpen, LABO Kust.
Building construction is one of the most energy-intensive industries. Every cubic meter of concrete produced equals a CO2 emission of 410 kg. We assess urban areas and existing buildings how to be (re)developed and (re)used in the most sustainable way possible while at the same time re-integrated into the urban tissue, and produce high quality dwellings.
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OUR METHODS
OUR PRODUCTS
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OUR PRODUCTS

We have been involving clients and partners in a continuous process of discovery and exploration, offering flexible products that vary in scale and approach.

Regions are a fluid concept, in between the street level and the system scale. Ideally they combine a socio-cultural history, a cross-sector economy and a distinct urban-rural pattern.
Urban design aims to create space to flows of people, knowledge and goods. It creates spaces for people and ideas to meet, and for people to be safe and healthy.
As the world’s population rapidly urbanizes, landscape architecture encompasses the challenge to design resilient urban landscapes and at the same time reduce our footprint on the global landscape.
We develop architectural projects and interiors, with particular attention to spatial experimentation and sustainable strategies. Every building incorporates strategical aspects and forward-looking tectonics, to become an engaging entity in the urban environment.
Our involvement in architecture, urban design and regional strategies leads to a wide range of products. Next to built projects, we also produce publications, do interviews and give lectures to share our work, our ideas and our knowledge.
FABRICations’ knowledge is available for anyone seeking consult about spatial challenges or opportunities. We have a long history of advisory for policy makers, entrepreneurs, investors and private clients.
OUR PRODUCTS

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We are always open to new encounters.

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