Transitional Territories Graduation Studio
Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary studio for students of Urbanism* or Architecture. The studio deals with spatial and temporal transitions in lowlands territories (maritime, riverine, and/or delta areas) and the ever-changing interrelations between natural processes, societal practices, and (geo)political projects.
— Focus and approach
Transitional Territories Studio focuses on the question of urbanisation as the outcome of ever-changing interrelations between socio-ecological systems. We aim to research new forms of living and architecture that are informed by these interrelations, exploring the notions of connectivity, synchronicity, sensitivity, risk, and emergence as instances of urbanisation. Thus, the leading hypothesis is that the project must evolve vis-à-vis with the complexities, magnitudes and indeterminacies of urban change. At the core is the idea of the agency of design in disclosing new spatial relations, narratives and values through time. In this context, the infrastructure space is seen as a crucial medium – manifesting the programmatic dimensions and the transitional aspects of territorial, urban, and architectural projects.
The complexity of contemporary societal, political, economic, and environmental challenges is best represented by uncertainty – the acknowledgement of deep levels of change and instability that questions the effectiveness of the plan. In this way, the apparatus of time, as spatial ontology, redefines the notion of spatial morphology. Thus, the leading hypothesis is that the project must evolve vis-à-vis with the complexities, magnitudes and indeterminacies of urban change.
The project of the city and of the territory, as now informed by extreme ecologies, climate crisis, and economies of time, requires the envisioning of a design language, narrative and agency that mediates form, performance, and meaning under the influence of various states and scales of control. That is, the structure of space must be capable of anticipating, preparing and reacting to both continuous and/or disruptive changes while maintaining the sense of cultural belonging and representation. In this way, the plan (and its infrastructure) operates through the understanding of changes from the scale of the body, to communities crossing the entire territory. At the core is the idea of the agency of design as a medium that generates new spatial narratives and values through time.
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 with innovative designs. The scale can vary from buildings, constructions and public works to urban areas, landscapes and regions.
* Please note: Urbanism students should enroll for the Laboratory Urban Transformations and Sustainability
Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary design studio (architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture, hydraulic structures and flood risk, policy analysis) with a strong emphasis on the translation of research output into design concepts. During the graduation year you will develop an analytic, critical and conceptual approach to design and learn how to use research and design methods such as case study analysis, system analysis (spatial and temporal dimensions), perception/ phenomenology, landscape narration, and performative design. The studio is founded on theories of complexity, territorialism, landscape urbanism and ecology, environmental risk and transition management (dynamic adaptation), and infrastructural space.
Students will learn how to use research output to strengthen their project and get in control of complex design assignments. During the graduation year students will be asked to reflect on aspects of spatial morphology and the diachrony and diversity of mechanisms re-shaping urbanised land/waterscapes continuously. Within the scope of the studio, students will be able to formulate their fascination and choose their own design assignment, which can vary from buildings, constructions and public works to urban areas, landscapes and regions.
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.
— Themes & Methods
Territorialism/ Infrastructure Space/ Ecologies of Power & Economies of Scale
Urban Landscape Dynamics, Spatial Narratives & Biographies/ Phenomenology
Performative Design/ Process-Based Design
Dynamic Adaptation (Designing with Uncertainty)/ Climate Adaptation/ Transition Management
Landscape Urbanism/ Sustainability & Liveability
Landscape Infrastructure/ Projective Ecologies (Water Sensitivity/ Designing with Nature)
Integrated Spatial Planning & Flood Risk Management
Public Works (Buildings)
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
dr.ir. Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, t.bacchin (at) tudelft.nl