Transitional Territories Graduation Studio

Reclaimed Power
Altered painting by Peter Balke. Author: Boaz Peters, TT Studio 2018-2019


— TT Studio – North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence 2019-2020
TT Studio – North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence 2018-2019

D-i Studio – North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence Studio 2017-2018

Transitional Territories Graduation Studio
Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary design studio (MSc. Architecture and MSc. Urbanism tracks in collaboration with Landscape Architecture, Hydraulic Structures & Flood Risk, Policy Analysis) focusing on the notion of territory as a constructed project across scales, subjects and media. In particular, the studio focuses on the agency of design in territories at risk between land and water (maritime, riverine, delta landscapes), and the dialectical (or inseparable) relation between nature and culture.

— Focus and approach
Informed by Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Spatial Planning & Urban Design theory & research, the studio explores—through design and representation—new pathways of inquiry moving beyond traditional methods and concepts. During the graduation year, students will develop an analytic, critical and conceptual approach to design and learn how to use the project as knowledge producer (Viganò, 2016) by means of cartography, system analysis, phenomenology (of time/ space), narration, process based design, scenario planning and systems thinking (uncertainty). The scale of individual projects can vary from buildings and (infra)structures to entire landscapes and regions. The studio is founded on notions of complexity, territorialism, infrastructure space, (landscape) ecology, environmental risk (extremes), geophilosophy, biopolitics, transition and policy analysis.

Waterscapes and territories – at sea, delta, and/or riverine landscapes – are increasingly becoming the arena of radical climatic changes, resource depletion, political/economic instability, and socio-spatial inequalities. Their fragile state requires the envisioning of an interdisciplinary design knowledge that mediates form, performance, and representation under the influence of various states and scales of control. Within this context, the central question of the studio is how biophysical, socioeconomic, cultural and political changes (and related risks) in maritime, riverine, and/or delta landscapes can be addressed by the architecture and urbanism project. The scale can vary from buildings, constructions and public works to urban areas, landscapes and regions.

Studio Assignment
During the graduation year students will be asked to reflect on aspects of spatial morphology (scale, form, structure, performance), landform (geology, altimetry/bathymetry, topography), and the diachrony and diversity of mechanisms (e.g. logistics, energy production, coastal management, migration) re-shaping the North Sea continuously. TT studio individual projects will be sited in different geographic locations (of choice) along the sea’s north, central and south coastlines. Within the scope of the TT studio, students will be able to formulate their fascination and choose their own assignment (design, engineering, policy) which can vary from buildings, constructions and public works to urban areas, landscapes and regions.

— Studio Meta-Themes
Risk and beyond: exploring a projective dimension towards the sea (and/or triggered by the sea), and in the specific context of the North Sea region

Exploration of the limit: the notion of “limit” as conceptual framework at the base for an explorative design research in the North Sea region

Water related design as a creative (or, conversely, innovative) form for reimagining Architecture/Urbanism/Landscape Architecture/Water Engineering purpose and their collective character

— Studio objectives
To develop an innovative didactic exchange among the disciplines of Architecture, Urbanism, Landscape, Water Engineering and Policy Analysis

To operate analytical research at the large territorial scale of lowland regions

To formulate comprehensive Architecture, Urbanism, Landscape, Engineering and Policy design strategies (considering the different spatial and temporal scales relevant for the design)

To elaborate and apply a comprehensive Architecture, Urbanism, Landscape, Water Engineering and Policy Analysis research and innovative design methodologies

To prepare students to work/ initiate both research and design projects in design offices and governmental departments

— Learning objectives
Students will be able to operate analytical research across scale – from, territorial, landscape scales, to architectural, object scales

Students specific architectural/urban/landscape/engineering/policy interscalar design task

Students will be able to share and integrate knowledge from other disciplines

Students will be able to formulate a highly individualised design approach

Students will be able to apply innovative design methodologies and creative techniques for their design

Students will be able to select and apply comprehensive constructive techniques

Students will be able to express and represent their design ideas at appropriate scales through writings, drawings, and physical models

— Themes & Methods (a projective approach to waterscapes)
Infrastructure & Geopolitical Space
Landscape Design and Phenomenology
Process-Based Design
Designing with Uncertainty/ Climate Adaptation
Integrated Spatial Planning & Flood Risk Management/ Water Sensitivity
Public Works (Buildings)

The studio will contribute to the collective research of the Delta Urbanism Interdisciplinary Research Program. Students will take a position on the future of urbanised landscapes (the production of territory) reflecting on new interdependencies between natural processes, societal practices and (geo)political projects. Throughout the studio, students will discuss their observations and statements with both teachers and external experts.

The Transitional Territories MSc 3-4 graduation studio is only offered in the fall semester.
For detailed course descriptions, please visit the study guide: MSc 3/4

* Please note: Urbanism students should enroll for the Laboratory Urban Transformations and Sustainability

Information: Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, t.bacchin (at)
Studio Leader