Keynote speakers

Francine Houben

Keynote speaker, 09.00-09.45h, Querido room
Keynote: Inspiration and Analysis

The blue dots represent the locations of projects executed by Mecanoo architecten.

Prof. ir. Francine Houben


Prof. ir. Francine Houben is an architect known worldwide for her oeuvre ranging from single houses to complete neighbourhoods and skyscrapers, cities and polders, schools, theatres and libraries, museums and hotels. She studied at the Delft University of Technology and is the founding partner and creative director of Mecanoo architecten, based in Delft. The firm was officially founded in 1984 in Delft after Francine and a group of fellow students won a competition for a social housing complex and now consists of a highly multidisciplinary staff of creative professionals from 25 countries. Francine and her team have a special focus on the expression of materials, a strong relation with context, technical expertise, and the precise resolution of details, as can be seen in the TU Delft Library, the Montevideo building in Rotterdam, and the recently opened Birmingham Library; the latter currently being the largest library in Europe. She combines the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture in an untraditional way, with a profound sensitivity for light and beauty.

Francine has held professorships in the Netherlands and abroad and was a visiting professor at Harvard University in 2007. In 2015, Queen Maxima handed her the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prize, a prize that is awarded to a person or institution with a highly successful track record within the field of culture, nature or science. To learn more about Francine Houben and her projects, the documentary ‘’Francine Houben – een Hollandse architect met wereldsucces’’ (divided into four parts) can be found on NPO start:

Prof. dr. Francesco Mattace Raso


From early childhood until old age, we are exposed to the effects of lifestyle and diseases, which all influence the acceleration of our aging process. But how can we maintain control over this aging process? Prof. dr. Francesco Mattace Raso, professor of Geriatrics at Erasmus Medical Center, might know the answer.

Prof. dr. Mattace Raso obtained his medical degree and became a geriatrician in Italy. In 1999, he moved to the Netherlands and obtained his PhD at the Erasmus Medical Center on the topic of ‘Age- related changes in vascular structure and function’. Since his move to Rotterdam he has been working as a geriatrician, became head of the division of geriatrics in 2011, associate professor in 2015 and full professor in 2018. His research focusses on vascular problems in the elderly population. He identified determinants of age-related cardiometabolic changes and investigated the consequences of this process on disability in the elderly. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles. In order to reach an old age Prof. dr. Mattace Raso’s recommends to obtain a healthy lifestyle, to have good medical control of chronic disease, and, most importantly, to have lots of fun in life. You might have seen him carry out this last tip as one of the members of the ‘Sticky Fingers’-band at the Erasmus Open Plein Festival. During his talk ‘Silver and gOld’ at the Sophia Research Day 2019 prof. dr. Mattace Raso will elaborate on how we can intervene in the circle of life to reach old age in good health.

Prof. dr. Francesco Mattace Raso

Keynote speaker, 16:10-16:50h, Querido room
Keynote: Silver and gOld