Ed Ravensbergen – Architect, Urbanist, Researcher, Lecturer and Social Entrepreneur. Urban management lecturer.

He worked as a designer and project leader for leading and internationally acclaimed Dutch firms in the field of architecture and urban design, before starting his own office Nieuwbruut with Marc Holvoet, after winning a number of competitions (Europan, Eo Wijers) in 2010.

He was a part of international collaborations on projects in various countries, such as France, United Kingdom, Spain, Slovakia and Poland. Starting with urban planning and design, Nieuwbruut’s work gradually and increasingly came to include  doing research. Their research involves  exploring processes that are shaping today’s cities and their suburbs, and the civic, social and economic domains.

Currently working as a lecturer for NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences at the department of Built Environment.

What is the most important for you in the teaching? How do you work with students? What would you like to teach them, what to transfer, what to share with them?

For me, the essence of the work that I do as an urban designer in my own office NIEUWBRUUT is to improve the world around us by creating or improving the (built) environment. Therefore we need to know how exactly it is used and percieved, how it functions, the way it is shaped and how it is designed. How can we learn from the past? What will the future look like and how can we anticipate the challenges that urban designers will have to face? We should be committed to the future of the world around us.

As a teacher developing and sharing this commitment through knowledge and competences is my main focus and ambition.

What is interesting for you in life, art and at work?

Life can offer many interesting things, and things that are uninteresting at first glance have a way of coming back in different circumstances and surprise you. I always try to have an open mind and give attention to things and people around me to discover what qualities they may present. In short; the world is dynamic and I am easily distracted. When I look at art, culture or politics, these things fascinate me mainly because I want to understand how they work. Who created them, and how? Why have they become what they are, what is their history and reason for existence?

Reading a book on 19th century city planning I was very excited to realize it helped me understand social, cultural and governmental processes around me. That history quite literally repeats itself and I could apply what I read to the here and now…

What do you do in your spare time?

I work as a teacher for two days a week. The rest of my time I am a partner in NEUWBRUUT, an office for Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design. But most importantly I am a father of two, so I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

I enjoy spending time with my family consisting of two daughters of 12 years old, my wife and me. We like food, travelling, sports and all things digital. We live in the centre of Amsterdam and enjoy all that the city has to offer us, like music, movies and international cuisine. To make up for the clean air and nature that we miss, we love to travel to the countryside and go visit family that live on an old farm in the northern part of the Netherlands.

What are your goals, what do you dream about (not only in professional life)?

My hopes and ambitions concern three things: my family, my person and my profession. Having fun, enjoying each others company and making wonderful memories is what I hope for in my family life. As a person I want to keep growing and improving where I can, to treat people around me well and be wise, honest and pleasant company. My professional ambitions are to be an inspiring teacher that delivers enthousiastic students fully prepared for a succesful career. Likewise I hope to lead our office to be a innovative group of professionals making outstanding projects.