Marleen Buizer is a critical thinker and explorer, as much as a do-er and creator. She loves to work with people beyond the confines of a university campus, so that different knowledges and values, energies, practical and theoretical thinking, and imagination of how the world could become a more socially and environmentally just place, can meet. She believes that the tensions that will inevitably arise in these (democratic?) meeting spaces, can in fact inspire and be made productive. She likes to emphasize that 'knowledge' should really be a verb, and plural. What are the obstacles to transdisciplinary teamwork?
In her projects Marleen explores the politics of place-making and citizen initiatives, conflict and democracy, and the role of language and knowledges therein.
She chiefly conducts interpretive qualitative research, inspired by action research and other participatory methodologies, discourse theory and analysis and practice-based approaches.
A wide range of critical thinkers inspire her: with backgrounds as broad as political philosophy, political ecology, human and critical geography, urban studies, planning, sociology, anthropology and STS.
She coaches students working on topics related to place-making and sustainable urban policies, to the role of knowledge, conflict and participation, civic initiatives and democracy, with a focus on the politics of participation in and around cities, in public space and landscape governance. For example, with regard to place-making, she asks: what 'language' is spoken, what does it do? How is it performed? What is the role of design? How do 'text, talk and things' communicate ideas, how and why do some ideas become more dominant than others? Who win and who loose, by what mechanisms?