Nationaal Militair Museum, Soesterberg, H+N+S, credits: Anne Reitsma
Dirk Sijmons (NL)

Urban-Nature co-existence

When it comes to climate and the relationship between humans and urban nature, Dirk Sijmons is an authority. As one of the founders of the renowned Dutch firm H+N+S Landscape Architects, he did pioneering work in this field. With H+N+S, he redefined the relationship between human and nature: central is the natural functioning of the urban landscape and how people live in it.

Using the term "Urban-by-Nature", Sijmons draws attention to a new way of planning, governing, designing and new ways of looking at responsibility. As a starting point, he takes not humans but landscape-forming forces, such as soil formation and hydrology. The landscape is thus seen as a system of layers that interact between each other. The quality of the design stems from the logic of the layers of the landscape and the meaningful intervention by humans in its natural environment.

By the theme of “Urban-by-Nature”, Dirk Sijmons draws the attention to the emerging anthropocentric condition which redefines the relation human and nature. The condition demands a new way of planning, governing, designing, and new ways of looking at responsibility. The theme of “hybridization” is well presented in the research and work of Dirk Sijmons and H+N+S, who approaches the landscape as a system of layers that interact with each other. The office takes the landscape-forming forces and processes, such as soil formation, hydrology, natural dynamics, infrastructure development and occupation, as a starting point. The quality of the design stems from the logic of the layers of the landscape and the meaningful intervention by humans in its (natural) environment.

The main publication of Dirk Sijmons includes ‘=Landscape’ (1998), ‘Oorden van Ontvangen’(1998), 'Landkaartmos and other reflections on the landscape'(2002), 'Een Plan dat werk' (2006), 'Greeting s from Europe' (2008), and 'Landscape and energy (kWh/m2)' (2014).


WHEN Thursday 29 February 2024 at 20:00

WHERE STUK Auditorium, Naamsestraat 96, 3000 Leuven

TICKETS via | | 016 14 66 88

PRICES € 9 | STUK members € 7 | students € 5 | S&A members free entry > members can request a ticket by sending an email to



Lecture series architecture, urbanism and landscape

Curator: Studio Paola Viganò


In the framework of today’s socio-ecological transition, different human and non-human communities need to live together in new ways of life: how to live with wild nature in the city, how can underprivileged communities find their space in dense metropolitan areas, how can different activities come together in public spaces, etc. This lecture series focuses on the creation of new typologies of space, which accommodate and inspire new ways of life through a technical, political, and ethical process of collective choices.


26.10.2023 / AV aula 91.12
Chloé Bodart & Agnes Pelletier (FR)
Everyday co-existence

30.11.2023 / STUK
Stad Parijs - Charles-Antoine Depardon, Sophie Mourthé, Kristiaan Borret
Metropolis of co-existence

29.02.2024 / STUK
Dirk Sijmons (NL)
Urban-Nature co-existence

21.03.2024 / STUK
Gabu Heindl (AU)
Landscape(s) of co-existence

02.05.2024 / STUK
Dilip da Cunha (IN)
Co-existence with water

08.05.2023 / STUK
Paola Viganò (IT), Viviana d'Auria (IT) & Greet De Block (BE)
Discussion around P. Viganò The Biopolitical Garden

Thu 29 Feb 2024 20:00


STUK Auditorium


€ 9 (standard)
€ 7 (STUK card)
€ 5 (student)
€ 4 (KU Leuven culture card)
Free (members S&A > request your ticket via mail at