Themes & Methods

— Themes

“A landscape is not a natural feature of the environment but a ‘synthetic’ space, a man-made system of spaces superimposed on the face of the land, functioning and evolving (…) a composition of man-made spaces to serve as infrastructure or background for our collective existence”
— J.B. Jackson

Transitional territories: spatio-temporal transformations of land, riverine and maritime landscapes
The theme focuses on the question of urbanisation as the outcome of ever-changing interrelations between socio-ecological systems. We aim to research the possibility of new forms of life and architecture that both disclose and are informed by these interrelations, exploring the notions of agency, connectivity, synchronicity, 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 as a medium that generates new spatial narratives and values through time. In this context, the infrastructural space is seen as a crucial medium – manifesting the programmatic dimensions and the transitional aspects of territorial, urban, and architectural projects.

Metropolitan delta landscapes: water systems as a mean of spatial improvement
The explosive character of urban development in many deltas leads often to chaotic and fragmented urban patterns, combined with an increase of flood risk, an exhaustion and erosion of the territory and the deterioration of the ecosystem. The question is how a new (and necessary) organisation of the water system can contribute to halt the erosion of the territory and to reduce flood risk, as well as to improve the spatial coherence and the ecological quality of the delta region.

Water sensitive cities and neighbourhoods
Urban spaces and landscapes in deltas are the result interventions by a number of institutions, responsible for different tasks such as urban design, flood risk management, water management, traffic control. We want to explore how collaboration and integration of these different tasks can lead to new designs, with more spatial coherence and quality, more possibilities for adaptation-pathways and substantial cost-reduction.

— Methods

Design as a way of research

Designing with uncertainty

Drawing the Delta

Working with layers, times, scales