Graduation studio 2019/20: Densification/Intensification

Urban Fabrics is concerned with the design of the physical form of urban areas and the complex relationships between urban form and social processes. The Urban Fabric Research Group studies the relations between tangible and intangible structures in different contexts. Its aim is to foster a sustainable and liveable urban environment.

The Urban Fabrics (UF) graduation studio focusses this year on the topic of Densification/Intensification of urban environments. The UF studio is design-oriented and is concerned with the typological and structural transformation of urban fabrics, considering multiple scales – from the building, the urban block, the street and the neighbourhood to the city. We explore transformations of urbanised areas that can accommodate an increasing need for dwellings, adapt neighbourhoods to climate change and enhance living quality. We investigate urban densification and intensification considering not only the quantitative, but specifically the qualitative aspect of urban transformation.

The graduation projects are expected to draw from multi-scalar design driven research and conclude with possible future evolutions of the city, urban transformations supporting adapting societal practices.

The Urban Fabrics studio comprises group work and individual work. The group work is putting comparisons between locations central, building up an atlas of urban transformations. Group work is embedded until P1, after P1 regular pin-up sessions provide a discussion platform and connect the students with the Urban Fabrics research group.

Academic year 2018/19: Automated Mobility

The Urban Fabrics graduation studio focusses this year on the topic of Automated Mobility, exploring the possible impact of technological and societal innovations on the built environment within different scenarios. The graduation projects are expected to draw from multi-scalar design driven research and conclude with possible future evolutions of the city, urban transformations supporting adapting societal practises.

We explore the theme through three lenses:

A) Living quality

B) Intensification (Growth and density)

C) Segregation and social sustainability

Possible first mentors for this studio are: Rients Dijkstra, Birgit Hausleitner, Stefan van der Speck, Frank van der Hoeven, Marco Lub, Victor Munoz Sanz, Leo van der Burg and Luisa Calabrese.

The graduation projects are expected to draw from multi-scalar design driven research and conclude with possible future evolutions of the city, urban transformations supporting adapting societal practices. Analysis and design are Interwoven. The design driven research integrates imagination and evidence. For the latter we apply advanced spatial analysis and performative design. Advanced GIS driven spatial analysis and space syntax, spatial narratives derived from fieldwork observation and video-analyses are used to build up knowledge on the spatial morphology of urban systems and processes. Design, visualization and story telling  are supported by VR, AV technologies, parametric design. We will use scenario  construction to address uncertainties of the future.

The Urban Fabrics studio comprises group work and individual work. The group work is putting relations between sub-topics and comparisons between locations central, to build up more concise knowledge on this year’s focus topic. Group work is dominant until P1, group work and individual work have a similar share until P2 and after P2 include monthly group meetings to draw conclusions on the topic in an integral way. Besides the group sessions we will introduce peer review learning. Find here the agenda for MSc3: UF graduation agenda MSc3

Our main case study for this year is Metropolitan region of Amsterdam. Exceptions will be discussed case by case. Within the region students can choose their local design location in the corridor from Amsterdam Zuidas– Inner City – Almere (inclusive Floriade location).

The UF studio has links to following research projects:

Cities of Making ( (Birgit Hausleitner, Victor Munoz Sanz)

Robocar and urban space (Rients Dijkstra, Ioana Ionescu)

VRDML Virtual reality design methods Lab van der Hoeven, Stefan vdSpek))

The studio is supported by:

-The municipality Amsterdam
– Municipality Almere  & the Floriade location


Suggested literature:

BerghauserPont Haupt (2009) Space Density and Urban Form

Habraken(2000) The structure of the ordinary

Ratti, C. and Claudel, M. (2016). The city of tomorrow. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Benfield, K. (2012). 10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable. [online] CityLab. [Accessed 28 Jun. 2018].

Carmona, Tiesdell, Heath and Oc (2003) Public Places, Urban Spaces – the Dimension of Urban Design

Michael Thompson and Bruce Beck, “Coping with change: urban resilience, sustainability, adaptabilityand path dependence”, Futureof Cities Working Paper(2014), Foresight– Government Office for Science.

Anderson, S. (1986). On streets. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Academic Year 2017-2018



  • 1st session wk. 1.1/ 05.09.2017/ Building 26, Room 1/ 8:45-10:30 – Introduction to the urgencies our group deals with, and the general themes – technology, health and growth.
  • 2nd session  wk. 1.2/ 12..09.2017/ Building 26, Room 1/ 8:45-10:30 – Parallel workshops for each of the Design of the Urban Fabric main themes (Technology, Health, Growth).
  • Coaching on Wednesdays: first 5 weeks, 15:00 in the Urbanism studio.

Following this introductory phase, the students need to choose the research group they would like to graduate with.

After the introductory lectures and workshop sessions, there will be

  • Clinics for those students who will work with our Graduation Lab. Students will be asked to make a poster each week, becoming more precise with their topic. These sessions can take place either on Thursday mornings, and they will be led by mentors of the Design of the Urban Fabric Lab. These meetings will place on 21st of September, 28th of September and 5th of October.

After this phase, the students need to confirm their mentor team on 9.10.2017.

Introduction to graduating with the Urban Fabrics research group 2017/2018

Presentation Graduation Lab

Tue 05.09.2017

Location: Building 26, Room 1

Time: 8:45-10:45

8:45 Prof ir. Rients Dijkstra introduces our research group and describes the urgencies we deal with

9:30 Introduction to theme technology (Prof. ir. Rients Dijkstra).

9:45 Introduction to theme health (dr. ir. Frank van Der Hoeven) Download the presentation here: presentation theme health

10:00 Introduction to theme growth (Dipl. Ing. Birgit Hausleitner) Download the presentation here: presentation theme growth

10:15-10:45 Q&A and meeting UF mentors


Thesis presentation Anca Ioana Ionescu 14.11.2016 16:00

P5_project image Ioana

Towards a Territorial City.

The case of Craiova, an Eastern European Mid-Size City

Anca Ioana Ionescu

Mentor team:  Birgit Hausleitner, Saline Verhoeven

The territory is a palimpsest (Corboz 1968), a complex unfinished story encoded in morphology and in society. By exploring future images and scenarios the project seeks to support social and ecological integration in the fragmented territory surrounding Craiova city. At larger scales, the valley section (Geddes 1909 in Welter 2003) and the two network strategy (Tjallingii 2015) inspire the definition of the valley system as a complex carrying structure for the territorial project.  A new system of relations is designed upon the common grounds between the city and its natural and rural surroundings along the Valley of Jiu River. The project explores the definition of territory through precedent projects and elements that define it: the limit, the core and the main systems in relation to limits and cores. Existing networks and structures are re-used to scaffold (Forgaci, Alexandrescu and Ionescu 2015, 2016) a common territory and a new system of relations between Craiova city, natural lands and rural units. The limits and the trajectories to the cores are used to settle the scaffold. The condition of limits is gradually discovered from an administrative, morphological and topological perspective. Limits are discovered to be a cumulation of drosscapes (Berger 2006), porous and permeable lands (Secchi and Viganò 2009). By designing on limits and trajectories to the core, a polycentric model is encouraged, consolidating local identity as well as exchange with the wider territory. Territorial limits become themselves a scaffold to regenerate the cores.

Three principles guide the construction of the scaffolding on site: porosity, permeability and correspondence. The research by design uses a gradient of scales, while the project is finally revealed at three main scales: the valley scale, the image scale and the project scale. This thesis sets two main goals: to explore common grounds between practice and theories regarding territorial projects and, by setting this provocation, to provide a grounded design strategy, which would support social and ecological integration.

Do you like to join my thesis presentation?

date and time: 14.11.2016  16:00

location:  Zaal R



Berger, A. (2006). Drosscape. In The landscape urbanism reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Corboz, A. (1983). The Land as Palimpsest. In Diogenes, 31(121), pp.12–34.

­­­Forgaci, C., Alexandrescu, M., Ionescu, A.I. (2015). 342,914 km of scaffolding: A spatial strategy for the disjointed Colentina lakes in Bucharest. In Zeppelin, Vol. 2016, No. 142, 2016, p. 164-169.

Forgaci, C., Alexandrescu, M., Ionescu, A.I. (2016, October).Urban scaffolding: a topological design tool. Paper presented at SLU – Beyond ism the landscape of landscape urbanism, Sweden.

Secchi, B. and Viganò, P. (2009). Antwerp, territory of a new modernity. Amsterdam: SUN.

Tjallingii, S. (2015). Planning with water and traffic networks. Carrying structures of the urban landscape. Research in Urbanism Series, 3(1), 57-80.

Viganò, P. (2009). On Territories. OASE, (94), pp.91-107. Amsterdam: NAI Publishers.

Welter, V. (2003). Biopolis. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.

X-Large seminar Mapping Wuhan – July 12th 2016

The Department of Urbanism at TU Delft will host a delegation from Wuhan Land Resources and Planning Bureau including the Party Secretary of the municipal Planning Bureau and our client for the research pilot project Mapping Wuhan, Director CHEN Wei of WLSP on July 12th.
We are proud to announce the seminar we organise as part of a series of events. Please have a close look at the poster below. We cordially invite you to participate.
Next to listening to the lectures given by Professor Will Zonneveld and influential practitioner Hiroki Matsuura, we think this is a unique chance to hear about and discuss a Master Plan for a major Chinese city with the directly involved planners as well.


The City at Eye Level – 2n edition, free download

The City at Eye Level brings together an international network containing experts for placemaking, design, pedestrian flows, street performance, the urban sound scape, markets, street management, city wide strategy, newly built areas and transformation, to name a few. Stipo has set up this open source network, in collaboration with our partners UN Habitat, Future of Places, Project for Public Spaces (, Gehl Architects, FAU PUCRS University of Porto Alegre in Brazil and Copenhagenize.

The resulting publication, ‘The City at Eye Level’, is now free for download. More information, including the download-link, can be found here.