“How can I integrate a resilient approach to teaching in these times?

A surprising answer was provided by StudioBlended. Tikvah coached me in making my educational approach and impact last longer.

I realized that acquiring knowledge is a process that obeys the rules of resilience very strongly.”

Dr. Alexander Jachnow, Urban Researcher and Strategist
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam

“Foremost, I feel very at ease knowing that Tikvah is not only an educational advisor but also someone who truly understands the urban development field. It was an enjoyable co-creation experience not starting from zero but maximizing the learnings and experience of the course implementation in the previous years.”

Charmae Pyl Wissink-Nercua (she/her)
Specialist in Urban Land, Housing Development and Capacity Building
Course Manager, Sustainable Urban Development (SUD)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam

Are you curious for more? Would you like to get in touch? Feel free to contact our lead directly for any questions or inquiries you may have. +31 6 42 47 29 69

Our technical approach to curriculum design is based on ‘constructive alignment’. You achieve it with backward design, which has proved to be the most robust technique for design. Source image: Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Technical Resilience

When you design a curriculum, you would like it to lead to effective learning and ensure that your time, energy and cost investments make sense over a longer period of time. At our Studio we call this design quality ‘technical resilience’.

We advise you on how you can design for an effective and resilient curriculum that lasts up to a decade - even if your subject area experiences paradigm shifts and transitions and therefore requires you to rejuvenate content regularly. Our ‘fit for purpose‘ approach to technical resilience is cutting edge, and allows you to enjoy the benefits of delivering a mature course/training, including its impact on educational results and accreditations.

How is our Studio different from any other educational specialist you will find at your own campus or beyond? We are unique in our approach: we bridge the silo between your content field and the educational realm of expertise. Not only do we come alongside you to advise on your educational design, we partner with you with a broad comprehension of your field. This is how we design a fit for purpose framework for the curriculum with you, relevant for a decade. Scroll down to discover more about ‘fit for purpose’ and key projects.

Steps to be taken for a technically resilient framework:
1. Strategise the scope of your content (paradigm shift and hype cycle analysis)
2. Articulate guiding questions for your course to set direction and raise curiosity, exposure and wonder
3. Establish the big ideas of your content domain, with sufficient generative pedagogical power
4. Craft ‘understandings’ and ‘knowledge’ learning goals, expressed as 10 statements each
5. Balance this body of knowledge with domain skills and human capabilities
6. Ensure constructive alignment - from learning objectives to formative/summative assessment and activities
7. Craft the fit for purpose open building framework into ‘simplicity’. Make hard choices, determine dosage, both for evidence-based effective learning, and to do justice to your expertise.

Read more about our (re-)design studio.
Click to expand, and get a full illustration of our ‘fit for purpose‘ open building framework for technical resilience in your course curriculum.

Curios? Feel free to contact our independent senior advisor directly:

Decade strong / Big ideas

Image: a co-lab between Tikvah Breimer and Lucas Rampazzo to visualize and transform our understanding of a paradigm shift to help us set a decade proof scope for a course’s content. The cycle of 20-30 years is true for the urban field, and may vary for other knowledge domains. For a deeper discussion of paradigm shifts see Breimer (2006). Use of original hype cycle and X-curve with permission by authors, Davidson and Drift, Rotterdam (NL), respectively. Find their reference at the bottom of this page.

Breimer, Tikvah 2015. Informal Urban Expansion: Anticipation and Preparation. Workshop Urbanisation in Europe and the World. Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy, May 28. Includes the hype cycle of concepts and a paradigm shift by Davidson (1999) [slide 7-11].

As Mitchell et al. (2016 [6]) conclude in their research:

‘ Framing big ideas is not simple. (...) Big ideas can help teaching in multiple ways; they can clarify whether and why pieces of content should be taught, help target known barriers to learning and hence improve both lesson and unit planning. They help teachers to integrate parallel agendas of content, of the nature of the domain and promoting quality learning. (...) We argue for framing big ideas about content in ways that are richer, more generative, offer links between content ideas, and are more pedagogically powerful than topic headings. (...) Our experience shows that if big ideas are to be framed differently and not merely extricated from curriculum documents, textbooks or even research papers, then teachers need to be supported in developing these big ideas. ‘

Fit for purpose

Allow our Studio to come alongside you and give you bespoke advice for an open building framework for your unique course/degree.

Our frameworks are fit for purpose. We see an analogy with land cadastres. We identify the way your curriculum works within a relatively short time and at relatively low costs and then propose a robust and resilient framework as you continue to develop and deliver your course or training.

This enables you to begin to work regardless of the overall context as you find the optimum way to apply the framework in your unique environment, improvise with technique, and innovate.

Our bespoke ‘Fit for purpose’ open building framework stands strong for up to a decade ahead, and is able to incorporate ongoing development in the content. As such it also guides sound financial health for the course in terms of ensuring investments are smart (i.e. what to develop, when?).

Technical perfection: the pencil - it keeps its qualities in whatever context or time period (by Philippe D'Averio). Analogy explanation by an Italian technical architect (AM).

By now our open building framework is simple, and technically perfect - like a pencil.
What is technical perfection? 
It means that it keeps its qualities in whatever context.
If you throw it in water, and allow it to dry it can still write.
Should you keep it for a decade, and then try it again: it writes. It is perfect. Which is why it is not further developed, you just see variations of pencils, no difference in the original design.
It is already technically perfect.
Likewise, our open-building framework for curriculum design is technically perfect. 

Join related studies / Our Audio Podcast

Prefer to read? Looking for resources? Transcript forthcoming
Listen on: Acast Spotify Apple 
Release Summer 2024

Prefer to read? Looking for resources? Transcript
Listen to A) dosage on: Acast Spotify Apple Listen to B) slow productivity on: Acast Spotify Apple
Release March 20 / June 21 ‘23 

The episode comes in two clips: A) dosage (technical effectiveness) B) slow productivity (human resilience), the transcript is combining both clips.

In this episode, we tackle the problem over so-called ‘overload’ in terms of content in your curriculum. Perhaps to your surprise, we will link it directly to how you prepare for the content in your curriculum design, whether it is a module, course, training or a degree.

We go even beyond that: with technique - you can design for your own human resilience during preparation; your balance, your enjoyment of the simplicity in curriculum design.

Related publications


Our lead and founder, takes a lively interest in architecture, and made an extensive exploration of the open building approach in architecture (with distinction) at the Institute for Housing and Urban Management (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

More design angles we use

Technical resilience
Human resilience
Evidence-based design
Financial health and resilience by (re)design
Innovative and deep pedagogy
Multi- Inter- and transdisciplinary
Designed to be green (and technological simplicity)
Nature and aspirations
Flexibilisation and personalisation
Simplicity and decluttering

Photo: Brazilian Brutalism at FAU USP, a University Faculty that defined its own Architectural Style. Flickr user Fernando Stankuns.

“I received alongside advise on my course design by Tikvah Breimer, and now deliver the actual course.
I feel secure the material is solid and lasting, so I can build on it, incrementally.

I dare to learn by doing, everything you (Tikvah) said is true – I’m calmer, more self-confident, and daring to experiment more. The structured approach the course brought, now brings me deep excitement to keep growing and learning myself too, not just students. It’s so rewarding.

You are so right we don’t need more heavy and extensive technology for excellent higher education,

We need excellent technique and pedagogy, resilience.

I feel secure the material is solid and lasting, so I can build on it, incrementally.

The advisory and training was a gift from heaven. I want you to train our entire team of professors!”

prof. dr. Patricia Samora
Senior lecturer and researcher
Pontificia Universidade Catholica de Campinas
Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism
Greater Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area

We are here especially for you as unique professional, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (architecture / urban / development / policy / land / water / climate) curriculum, so that you can offer effective and resilient education in its simplest form.

References infographic at the top Breimer, Tikvah A. 2006. Op icarusvleugels. Een nieuwe studentengeneratie in Nicaragua, en de revolutionaire ideen voor democratie van toen en nu. Afstudeeronderzoek, Culturele Antropologie, Universiteit Utrecht, Nederland. [Dutch]

Davidson, Forbes 1999. Conceptual Cycles in Urban Development Management; are we getting better and better – or just going round in circles? Implications for Capacity Building and Research. N-Aerus (Network Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South) conference, Venice.  

Hebinck, A., Diercks, G., von Wirth, T. et al. 2002. An actionable understanding of societal transitions: the X-curve framework. Sustain Sci 17, 1009–1021.

Silverstri, Giorgia, Diercks, Gijs & Christian Matti 2022. X-curve, a sense making tool to foster collective narratives on system change. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Drift for Transition.

StudioBlended Foundation 2024

Prefer to have direct contact?
Feel free:
Tikvah Breimer (MSc MAEd MSc)
Independent senior advisor, teacher trainer, lead
+31 6 42 47 29 69

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StudioBlended Foundation


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We are here especially for you as unique course/training coordinator, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (architecture / urban / development / policy / land / water / climate) curriculum, so that you can offer effective and resilient education in its simplest form.

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