North Sea – D-i Studio 2017-2018

Courtesy of Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC @

Delta Interventions Studio 2017-2018
North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence.
Transitional Spaces, Infrastructure and Power.

See here: Year Final Studio Exhibition
See here: Graduation Days

In collaboration with
RCA Royal College of Art, London
AA School Architecture, London
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Het Nieuwe Instituut

Joint Design Studio with
Dalhousie Architecture School – Halifax/ Canada

Studio Leader Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, t.bacchin (at)
Coordinators Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin Hamed Khosravi

Instructors/ Mentors
Architecture & Urbanism
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin Hamed Khosravi
ir. Stefano Milani
(Responsible Instructor for Architecture & Public Building)
Nicola Marzot
Fransje Hooimeijer
dr. Diego Carmona Sepulveda
ir. Kristel Aalbers
ir. Filippo laFleur
Landscape Architecture
Inge Bobbink
dr. Steffen Nijhuis
Denise Piccinini
Building Technology
ir. Sjap Holst

Student Assistant
Elise van Herwaarden

Graduation Sections
Urban Design
Architecture & Public Building
Environmental Modelling
Landscape Architecture
Policy Analysis
Hydraulic Structures & Flood Risk
Water Management

Delta Interventions (D-i) is an interdisciplinary graduation studio (architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture, hydraulic structures/ flood risk, water management, policy analysis) focusing on the transformations of delta/ coastal landscapes – the dynamic relation between natural processes and societal practices in both opportunities and threats for future urbanisation. D-i has a strong emphasis on the agency of spatial interventions in the production of territories, forming a narrative of space occupancy over time.  The studio takes stock of contemporary landscape urbanism theories and practice, next to the mutual relationships between architecture, engineering and territory, to explore potential paths forward in design thinking and practice.

For the academic year 2017-2018 Delta Interventions Studio focuses on the North Sea territory/region, particularly on its expected transformation driven by the consequences of extreme climate — recent studies (see ‘Nature’ article) concerning climate change scenarios suggest that by 2100 sea levels could rise up to 3 – 3.5 meters (instead of the 1.3 meter expected by the ‘extreme scenario’ of the Dutch Delta Program). 

D-i will explore the future geography of this common space and the possibility of a shifting position between land and water in which the sea becomes a transnational ground for climate adaptation strategies. As a landscape, the North Sea is the product of the dynamic relations between natural processes and the intensity of manmade activities. Its progressive urbanisation along the coastline creates disperse intensities structured by discontinuous and diverse infrastructure spaces.

Landscapes of Coexistence — A territorial perspective
Historically, the North Sea has been a contested territory. While bordering the mainland Europe it has been often turned into a platform for geopolitical affairs with the UK as well as the Nordic countries. Such strategic role has manifested itself in various military, religious, economic, and social ties and divides, which has consequently made the North Sea a confliction common ground. The ongoing refugee crisis or the Brexit are only very recent examples of such a long history. As a result, the sea is not seen anymore a periphery of Europe but rather a central territory and a point of departure through which the idea of Europe would be defined or challenged. Therefore, in the North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence Studio we would celebrate these controversial aspects of the sea, not anymore as an extra-territorial space and a limit to the land, but rather as the main point an autonomous entity through which the political, environmental, economic and societal questions could be addressed. In this way any spatial proposition, whether landscape, urban or architectural, would be challenged and revisited through the lens of the North Sea as a referenced territory for new spatial interventions. Students are encouraged to redefine the role of the territory of the sea and particularly its land borders/ coastal cities, addressing the complex, yet not so visible, spatial, juridical, environmental and geopolitical natures of the North Sea for the design of spatial interventions that are informed by climate adaptation and clean energy futures.















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/ diversity of mechanisms (e.g. logistics, energy production, coastal management, migration) re-shaping the North Sea continuously. D-i studio individual projects will be sited in different geographic locations along the sea’s east and west coastlines. Within the scope of the D-i 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

North Sea: 4 Studio Themes

1. Imagination
North Sea as State of Exception
Poetics of Infrastructure

2. Re-Nature
A Third Nature Manifesto

3. The Limits of the City
From Cities to Urban Systems: Territorialism

4. Ecologies of Power
Political Ecology of Urban Form and Integrated Infrastructure Space

North Sea: 4 Geographies

1. North Netherlands-Germany – from Bremen (Weser Estuary) to Den Helder, including the northern dutch islands
2. Dutch-Flemish Delta – from Rotterdam to Antwerp
3. South-east UK coast – from the coast of Norwich to the Thames Estuary
4. Norwegian South-west coast – from Bergen to the Skagerrak Strait (Kristiansand)

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 delta 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 on both research innovation and design projects in design offices and governmental departments

Learning objectives

  • Students will be able to operate analytical research at a large territorial scale of delta regions
  • 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

Courtesy of H+N+S: NORTH SEA+ENERGY 2050 – An Energetic Odyssey. Commissioned Study for IABR 2016  > See video 

Courtesy of OMA – Zeekracht, The North Sea – Netherlands. Commissioned Study for Natuur en Milieu 2008 > See report













Ailsa Craigen/ Deniz Üstem/ Efrain Fajardo Ibarra/ Elise van Herwaarden/ Fathima Nafeesa Hamza/ Gerben van den Oever/ Joanna Kosowicz/ Julia Holtland/ Karlijn Scholtens/ Mihai Turtoi/ Xiaoyue Hu

Aikaterina Myserli / Alexandra Farmazon/ Jan Michael Cyganski/ Jie Wang/ Junzhong Chen/ Neil Moncrieff/ Niroopa/ Qing Ma/ Shaoning Wu/ Ye Hu/ Yelin Zhang/ Yi-Chuan Huang/ Wenxin Jin

Landscape Architecture
Malou Visser

Water Management
Geert van der Meulen

Delta Interventions Studio 2017-2018 @ North Sea Field Trip. With Dalhousie Architecture School Joint Design Studio. October 2017, Lincoln, South-East England, UK