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Jan Verwijnen

I received the extremely sad news from Helsinki that Jan Verwijnen has died, following a serious illness, at the age of 56. Many Doors people will know of Jan as leader of the Spark! project that we participated in not long ago. Sparkl! was an inspirational experience that reflected Jan’s insatiable curiosity towards new phenomena. He read, studied and wrote incessantly to the very end; cities, their structures, and human lives in urban environments, were his main interest. Students will remember Jan as a discursive, critical and tireless teacher; colleagues report that when the rest of them went home after working hours, Jan would often move from his office to sit on the table corner and discuss with students sometimes well into the evening. In addition to his teaching, Jan conceived and executed many EU and TEKES projects (of which Spark! was but one). He published a number of books. And played a pathfinding role in several ground-breaking curriculum development projects. Among Jan’s unfinished projects remain his doctoral dissertation, and a visiting professorship at the Estonian Academy of Arts. His colleague Eija Salmi, who sent me this sad news, concludes: “Jan always found it easy to get to know new people. He was so well-informed that it was always possible to find mutually interesting topics. He had friends all over the world. Though always a cosmopolitan, his wish was to be buried in Finland, near to his sons and those close to him. It had been good to work here, here he gave so much of his best. But his was a life cut too short”. Jan was buried on 21 October but a
memorial event will held 6 November 2005. Contact: inmemoriam@duvin.org.

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