Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 2021-2022: 'Inland Seaward. The Form of Time and the Politics of Space'
Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary design studio focusing on the notion of territory as a constructed project across scales, subjects and media. In particular, the studio focuses on the agency of design in the (trans-)formation of fragile and highly dynamic landscapes between land and water (maritime, riverine, delta landscapes), and the dialectical (or inseparable) relation between nature and culture. The studio explores through cross-disciplinary and situated knowledge (theory, material practice, design and representation) lines of inquiry and action by building upon Delta Urbanism research tradition, yet moving beyond conventional methods, spatial concepts and constructs.
For the academic year 2021-2022, the studio continues the three years cycle “Inland Seaward” on the de-/re-territorialization of places, (infra) structures and cultures between land and sea. The studio approaches the contemporary instability of environmental, climatic, political and socio-economic structures and urban formations, the sense of disruption and mutation that they cause, as the object of design. We understand that the traditional instruments for urban design and planning are not able to address the complexity and urgency of societal and environmental challenges defining urban life. Therefore, we approach the instability in our disciplinary practice as our collective effort in the studio, envisioning, programming and designing material and ecological spatial interventions that are able to imagine and demonstrate different futures for climate adaptation, water related risk management, energy transition, forms of inhabitation and productivity in highly dynamic and/or severe altered landscapes.
Transitional Territories builds upon a long-established collaborative platform (science, engineering, technology and arts) on ways of seeing/seizing, mapping, projecting change and critically acting on highly dynamic landscapes. At the core of the Delta Urbanism Research Group, the studio is embedded within/and supported by the interdisciplinary TUDelft Delta Futures Lab, in close collaboration with the CEG and TPM Faculties.
For the second year, the studio closely collaborates with the Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London - Diploma Unit 9 / Pantopia on the current status of the territorial project. Tutors: Stefan Einar Laxness | Antoine Vaxelaire.
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Luisa Maria Calabrese
Instructors | Mentors
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Diego Sepulveda Carmona
Leo van den Burg
Hugo López Silva
Luiz do Nascimento
Monserratt Cortes Macias
Samuel van Engelshoven
Graduation Sections/ Chairs
Environmental Technology & Design
Spatial Planning and Strategy
Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London.
Diploma Unit 9.
Academic year 2021-2022
Money is unequally distributed. There has never been as much money in the world as there is today, yet most of us don’t see it in any shape or form. But it’s out there, somewhere, in various shapes and many forms.
Architecture is intrinsically linked to issues of funding; sometimes for the best, often for the worst. Whether for private or public ends, money inevitably remains the fuel for the creation of architectures around the world – and too often, the lack of funding puts an end to projects of great quality.
This year, DIP9 will continue to diagnose the current condition of the built environment and reveal its latent crises, with a specific focus on those of funding. Advocating for territorial trans-formations and institutional adjustments, the unit will propose strategies of collective responsibility towards our environment, consider ecological restoration as a catalyst for profound spatial and political change, and weave together spatial conditions through the dissemination of civic infrastructures.
Our ambition is twofold. Firstly, we will study and critically position ourselves in relation to existing funding strategies and their territorial impact. Secondly, we will design uncompromising architectural proposals that correspond to accessible and feasible financing mechanisms. By directly addressing the question of funding, our proposals will adapt, transform and relocate themselves to articulate territorial units that are rapidly accessible, equally distributed and capable of resisting destructive forces. Through creative funding strategies and revamped institutional support, we will unlock the means to deliver much-needed transformations of our built environments, our territories and our politics.
Tutors: Stefan Laxness, Antoine Vaxelaire
Post-war reconstruction in Syria is inevitably burdened with urgency and political pressure, After many years of violent war, the country is reconstructing a lot of its built environment. Through international and local funding mechanisms, schools, institutions, and homes are being rehabilitated as we speak. Yet, the reconstruction might also be an opportunity to create local transitional public spaces for post war communities.
The project intends to channel the reconstruction and funding efforts currently happening in Syria , towards transforming elements of its built environment : schools and the surrounding public realm, into new public spaces for post war cities.
The project puts forwards a strategy to transform the deconstruction debris into new surface material for a network of easily accessible local public courtyards , through manipulation and transformation of the ground to achieve strategic technical, environmental and programmatic properties, with an aim to reconstruct the public and allow for greater porosity towards Syrian communities.
The project aims to open up the design of the ground to new forms of use beyond possession and control, particularly urgent in Syria’s context. By defining a space without enclosing it to offer alternative ways of conceiving the open spaces in Damascus.
Huang Jia Wei
For more than a decade, most borough in the UK has suffered severe funding gaps. Forcing them to invent short sighted strategies for their survival. The project identifies two spatial crises as a consequences of these recent policies Dramatic disappearance of social infrastructures Abrupt disposal of public assets
Although the project acknowledges the financial difficulties faced by local governments, it will also be critical of the solutions proposed, as they constantly by-pass concerned communities and ignores the ingenuity of resistance that these communities have developed over the years.
The project aims to counter this trend by proposing a strategy to condense social infrastructure into repurposed carparks.
Carparks are infrastructures built for city’s expansions. However, in the context of densifying European and UK cities, carparks are fast becoming disused and obsolete due to reduced personal vehicles and improvements in public transport.
Many of these structures are built during construction boom in the 1960s and 70s, are in valuable land in strategic urban locations, are monolithic brutalist structures that are designed with minimum structure and a maximum span.
The ambition is to adapted and transform these excellent structures for public usage; extend the service life, both programmatically and physically through addition, openings and reinforcement.
The expansion of North Bucharest has a conflicting relationship with its ecosystems. These environments are adorned for their scenic qualities, but the rich biodiversity causes enormous discontent. In parallel, the urban sprawl is taking over the prairie meadows of the area.
The project proposes a pedestrian network based on interconnected ecosystems which preemptively creates publicly accessed, managed and funded greenspace in a car-driven private developing region.
The design explores the notion of public garden in the context of ecologically rich urban outskirts through the example of Bucharest's north peri-urban area. This region presents a pattern of highly contrasting natural geography and urban and suburban forms. This is the effect of frivolous real estate interventions that disregard urbanist ambitions and do not have a clear design logic.
These developments are supported by politically corrupted planning that enables their construction, encourages a car-driven infrastructure, and excludes urban space. Consequently, the civic spaces are private and exist within the enclosed communities or not at all.
Islands of residential enclaves sit within grasslands and adjacent to wetlands and forests, sometimes intending to integrate these ecosystems inside the development. How can these natural environments create public space while raising awareness about protecting biodiversity? The project responds on a territorial scale using a system of existing and restored ecosystems interconnected by gardens and landscaped paths to create an uninterrupted pedestrian experience throughout the wider area.
The research focuses on a series of restrictive conditions that have been plaguing the Akamas Peninsula today. Environmental protection measures, contested lands and unsuited development proposals have deemed the Akamas Peninsula region an economically inoperable region for its population. The proposal aims at the restoration of the Akamas regions by allowing the local population to reclaim development processes that have been reserved for large landowners until today.
The proposition acts in opposition to the current ways of operation relating to the development of the territory. The proposal’s aim is to question notions of what it means to develop a financially stable future for the local population without the sacrifice of their own culture. By inviting the local landowner to participate in the development process of the territory the proposal aims to facilitate a way for the culture of the region to remain in some way.
It is in no way possible for the future of these development processes to be known. The complexities of each situation make it almost impossible. The only way that one can begin to appropriate these new forms of development is to attempt to untangle the complex territorial conditions of Akamas from a different lense. The villages and their cultural character through hospitality could again become a territorial attractor; providing a new opportunity for cultural heritage to grow again. The abandoned villages left behind by their Turkish-Cypriot inhabitants could perhaps once again become centres of temporary culture.
The project begins at the village, through the creation of hospitality accommodating spaces but slowly flows outwards into the fields of Akamas in order to accommodate for its people.
Charlotte Li Wen Phang
The region of Kalimantan in Indonesia faces two main crises, with the first being an ecological one as it is now a hotspot for invasive mining, logging and palm oil plantation activities due to government negligence and corporate greed. This led to the emergence of the second crisis: the customary land crisis as indigenous rainforests settlements were destroyed to make way for new economic ventures.
The project begins to speculate how the degraded ecological landscape would evolve if management rights are transferred from belonging solely to the government, to the indigenous population, educational institutions, NGOs and the public. It approaches the crises on four different levels: territorial, legal, cultural, and economic, and aims to alleviate the symptoms of indigenous marginalisation by empowerment through trade, production and rehabilitation. This would be supported by a network of longhouses, a traditional dwelling of the indigenous people, where these activities are placed in close proximity to one another. By harnessing the strengths and expertise of the different stake holders, a multi-layered form of commoning: biophysical, social, cultural and knowledge, can emerge to facilitate social and ecological rehabilitation.