Constructed Natures: bio-geographies, extremes, and the project of cultivation

In face of continual violation of natural systems caused by human-induced forcings, an altered state of the physical environment is now seen in geological, ecological, and climatic terms: land, water, and living systems affected by pollution, higher frequency of extreme weather events, scarcity and/or excess of nutrients and water.

Reflecting on this altered state, this theme aims to look at the coupling of infrastructure and environmental designs in the development of new models of practice and new pairings of program. Having the focus on the ground as resource and design spacewe aim at researching the spatial, societal, economic and environmental impacts of new constructed natures (e.g. urban woods, green/blue patches and corridors) as an essential infrastructural strategy supporting earth systems rehabilitation and a revised notion of urbanisation. Special sensitivity is placed to the specific qualities of places, the systemic understanding of structures, subjects, and flows across scales, and to change over time. Specifically, the theme questions site modification, planting, and cultivation as a large-scale infrastructural project and as a strategy for carbon mitigation/ compensation and water safety. In this, new ground conditions are envisioned along with the formation of economies that rely on the material stream’s management of these new ecological zones.

The theme emphasis on the development of two interlocking tracks:
1. (Space) Regionalization as reterritorialization aims at showing the spatial impact of new paired programs and functions in the region’s mosaic.
2. (Time) Synchronization of landscape change (i.e. nature dynamics), climate, and urban programming.

Research by design and advanced representational techniques (horizontal, vertical, temporal and composite) are employed to depict new assemblages of spaces, ecologies of scales (succession / management) and economies in time (governance, actors and industries).

Theme Leaders:

dr.arch. Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, ir. Filippo LaFleur
with: dr. Fransje Hooimeijer

Related Research Projects: 

NEXT-EXTREMES: Constructed Natures 

JPI Urban Europe Green/Blue Cities

Related Publications: 

Bacchin, T.K. (2015) Performative Nature. TUDelft A+BE – UNESCO-IHE PhD thesis, Delft, December 2015.

LaFleur, F. (2016) Re-Territorialization. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, November 2016.

Related Education: 

Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 

 EMU Post-Master in Urbanism Spring Semester

Related Graduation Projects/ Examples: 

Farmazon, A. (2018) Reversed Risk: Protective | Productive cycle based on tidal force in estuarine territories. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, July 2018.

Myserli, A. (2018). Re-Natured Economy: From pollutants to productive landscapes. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, July 2018.

Moncrieff, N. (2018) A non-straightforward archipelago: Speculative strategies for enriching the ecological and cultural landscapes of the Dutch Southwest Delta. TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, July 2018./ 

Wong, C. (2018) Intertwined Natures: Towards Territorial Cohesion & Flood Risk Adaptation in Lambayeque, Peru. EMU Post-Master in Urbanism – TUDelft A+BE MSc thesis, July 2018.


Ilkka Halso, Museum of Nature, 2003 100 cm x 135 cm edition 6 50 cm x 68 cm, edition 10 © Ilkka Halso