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?

CE Credits

Up to 15 credit hours available.


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 July 31: $250
Event Registration August 1 – 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.

Learn more about the exhibition Dutch Complex Housing.

Learn more about the book Complex Housing: Designing for Density.

AIA Minnesota is a sponsor of this event.