NEXT – Extremes / Constructed Natures

New Research Project:
NEXT – Extremes / Constructed Natures
Next generation infrastructure design under conditions of extremes

Starting from a reconceptualization of the field of infrastructure and environment in planning, engineering and design, NEXT aims at developing a new set of design principles which are responsive to extreme societal, economic and environmental conditions.

Beside climatic drivers, other drivers such as economic and demographic growth and related land-use changes have direct impact on socio-ecological systems and their processes. The understanding of the changing nature of those drivers and their influence on the quality of the infrastructure space requires a new design approach, one that mediates system’ performance, operation, and values under the influence of various ranges of uncertainty and management scales. The working hypothesis is that the infrastructural project (a new paradigm of public works) – as science and professional practice – must evolve vis-à-vis with the complexities, magnitudes and indeterminacies of urban and environmental change, now transitioning to a state of extremes. This calls for multi/interdisciplinary influences to fully respond to the challenges at hand. Such integration is a precondition in practice, research and education development, where design, planning and engineering, environmental and political sciences must converge into new forms of infrastructure design inquiry.

The typology of infrastructural project addressed by NEXT is the hybrid blue, green and grey network system, i.e. the integration between water resource management, rehabilitation and/or formation of ecological matrices and the built environment.

Having the focus on the ground as resource and design space, NEXT aims at researching the spatial, societal, economic and environmental impacts of new constructed natures as the most essential infrastructural strategy supporting earth systems rehabilitation and a revised notion of urbanisation. Specifically NEXT will focus on plantation and cultivation as a large-scale infrastructural project and as a strategy of carbon mitigation/ adaptation/ compensation along with the formation of economies that rely on the material stream’s management of these new ecological zones.

The project emphasis on the development of two interlocking tracks:
1. (Space) Regionalization as reterritorialization aims at showing the spatial impact of the intensification 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).

NEXT is a research project and initiative by A+BE: Delta Urbanism Research Group within the framework of DIMI Delft Deltas, Infrastructure & Mobility Initiative

Project Leaders: dr.arch. Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin (project coordination) / dr. Fransje Hooimeijer
Principal Investigator/ Researcher: ir. Filippo LaFleur

Period: 2018-2019
Funding: DIMI Delft Deltas, Infrastructure & Mobility Initiative, AMS Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions
Partners:  Delta Programme, College van Rijksadviseurs, Gemeente Rotterdam,  Gemeente Amsterdam, AMS Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Deltares, UNESCO-IHE.

NEXT is jointly developed with the support of:
TUD CEG: Integral Design of Civil Infrastructure and TUD TPM: Policy Analysis

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

Ilkka Halso. Naturale. Main Corridor – North, 2013
125 cm x 210 cm, edition 6 65 cm x 109 cm, edition 10 © Ilkka Halso