Meet…#4 | Greetje van den Nouweland

In ‘Meet…’ the employees of GROUP A respond to a number of spicy statements about their work. This time it is Greetje van den Nouweland’s turn. Greetje has been working at GROUP A as an architect/urban planner since 2007. She studied at TU Delft and lives with her boyfriend and 2 children in Rotterdam. She works, among other things, on the complex station area in Utrecht.

The biggest challenge as an urban designer is…
– complexity in the assignment
– the process towards realization

The complexity of the assignment makes this work fun and challenging. The feasibility of the design is becoming increasingly apparent earlier. The entire process from design to realization seems to be becoming increasingly ‘compressed’. The trick is to make the many sides of a layered assignment clear and integrated, so that a clear argument for choices can be built up. And a well-substantiated story helps throughout the entire process.

What do you like more?
– design a large square especially for children
– design a walking area/stream in the center of a large city

I find working on connections and networks in a city and thinking about how you can direct or entice people to choose a certain route very interesting. And preferably at the scale of a district or an entire city. Designing a playground for children would be a major challenge for me because my experience as a mother of two boys shows that children are often happier with a vacant lot or a piece of forest than with a playground specially designed for them.

With a new assignment
– it takes me some time to form a plan and idea
– I quickly have in mind how I want it to be

Even though I sometimes quickly have an idea of what it should be, I still want to make a sound assessment before I put my ideas out there. And I regard every assignment as unique, so I always want to look for individuality in the design… and that usually takes some time to ‘bubble’.

My colleagues describe me as
– someone who is up for a joke
– a serious person

Wow, what a difficult question, you should of course ask my colleagues this.
I fear the former but I actually hope both. I like to joke and I enjoy misleading people every now and then, but I take my work and my colleagues very seriously.

When a project is finished
– I am happy with the result
– I’m still thinking about how things could have been better

Mostly I’m just happy with the result. In fact, you can only be finished with a project when you have done as much as possible to achieve a good end result.

On a free Saturday afternoon
– I do fun things with family and friends
– I am still thinking about the task I am working on

I spend the weekend with family and friends. I like to go out with my family for walking, cycling or canoeing trips and preferably never in the same place. That gives me new energy and sometimes also new ideas.

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