The Design Studio develops abstract methods to effectively synthesize constraints from different disciplines and domains of production into an operative framework, with the aim of generating material organisations and strategies capable of managing the urban and regional transformations anticipated in the coming decades.
From this year the programme* is engaged with the idea of territorial landscapes as the milieu for the development of a territorial practice. This practice is concerned on the one hand with the geomorphological formations of relevant landforms as its raw material and on the other with the actual cultural, political and economic forces that drive and choreograph what we call the social formations of these landforms.
The understanding of these landforms as the primeval material is not solely the concern of a geologist or more specifically a geomorphologist (or any other scientist), though the understanding of their physical processes derive from it, but of the landscape urbanist who see them in turn as manufactured landscapes, in other words as cultural productions, derived from a constant and relentless human activity full of conflicts, struggles, alterations, shifts, within or outside legal or institutional frameworks. In short the result of a specific historical and physical processes with political consequences.
The outcome of this concerns is primarily the production of a set of cartographies (Atlas of radical Cartographies). These cartographies are seen as projective machines with a capacity to unveil the glitches between conflicting systems a stake: tectonic landscapes, political governance, land administration and so on and their capacity to project futures where negotiations, introduction of new regimes of those territorial landscapes provide alternatives to their future.
TERRITORIAL FORMATIONS: (Terms 1- 2): Mediation between typical organisational paradigms and local conditions
Landscape Urbanism begins the year threading territorial processes, social structures and design intention in what we call forms of Territorial Creoles. From a linguistic perspective, Creoles are sedimented version of pidgins languages, or necessarily simplistic attempts of communication by communities that do not have a language in common, generally following situations of incipient trade. Landscape Urbanism wants to extrapolate this idea of a necessary synthesis, of a forced hybridization from a utilitarian perspective to imagine new forms of territory where physical and social processes morph into new spatial solutions. They will rely in the historic capacity of landscapes to host and modulates the struggles between physical/environmental and the human forces, at its very specific geographical/geological point in space and time.
CARTOGENESIS: (Term 2- 3) : Development of a Cartographic Manifesto
The assemblages and geomorphologic communities of the territorial creole will be re-traced, re-described in the light of historic and contemporary forms of cartographic representation in order to fabricate an architectural understanding of territorial space, or alternatively, the territorial description of architectural space. The final aim of this term is the generation of an Atlas of similar territories across Europe, tracing the geographies of the pan European problematic posed by the social and geomorphological formations outlined by the student.
ACTUAL DOCUMENTATION (Term 3): Regulatory plans
The final section of the course would consist on the exploration of modes of documenting that go beyond the idea of the fix and stable master planning documents and become both projective and subversive. What sort of material would be delivered if we were to specify the changing character of a form of urbanity built in the cracks of receding glaciers? How would urban design guidelines look like if we were to consider the very ground of the formation process as actual typologies?
LANDSCRIPT (Term 1)
Software simulation and programming will be introduced enabling students to script basic procedural modelling, and to understand the ways in which physical interactions of materials and processes produce recognisable morphologies in the landscape. In a second stage, we progress to an exercise in which the student is asked to introduce intention and design criteria into the flow of the simulation or processual formation.
Software include: GIS, Rhino modelling with Grasshopper and Phyton Scripting, and modelling Software such as MOPLA application and CAESAR modelling among others.
SOCIAL FORMATIONS (Term 1 )
This workshop will seek an understanding of processes of social formation, their multiple forms of organization and the ways in which these produce specific spatial configurations. The student will diagram and ultimately employ, in their design practice, their knowledge of the ways in which specific groups have historically organised themselves into productive communities such as, for example, trade unions, local associations, guilds, cartels, and cooperatives.
CARTOGENESIS (Term 2)
The aim of the workshop is the use and of cartography as a projective tool through the generation of positions, arguments and descriptive representation of the projects. This workshop will have a strong graphical and critical input, with the aim of drafting a cartogenetic manifesto of the pan-European intentions of the project.