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.

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.


Workshop ‘The real story behind the Schilderswijk’

Students Eva van Rijen and Freke Aalpoel, affiliated for their graduation with the Urban Fabrics research group, organise the workshop ‘The real story behind the Schilderswijk. The Schilderswijk from an environmental psychological perspective.’ on Friday November 13th in Den Haag. Interested to join? find more information here:


Poster Workshop

Thesis presentation PuiYi Kong 29 October 12:15

ringzone adam PuiYi

Common Ground. Bridging polarities in the ring zone area of Amsterdam

PuiYi Kong

Mentor team:  Birgit Hausleitner, Egbert Stolk

The city center of Amsterdam is growing. The Ringzone in particular, will function as the extension of the city center. In this context, the aim is to find a transformation strategy that allows the change of program and change of use of space; a strategy that bridges the urban with suburban, while sustaining existing spatial qualities and catering for needs of user groups.

Do you like to join my thesis presentation?

date and time: 29.10.2015  12:15-13:30

location:  Zaal P



Thesis presentation Andrea Aragone 29 October 10:45

12_enclosed green_project Andrea

Migrated Space Contrasts

Andrea Aragone

Mentor team:  Egbert Stolk, Birgit Hausleitner

“Migrated Space Contrasts” focuses on the relations between social groups and their everyday life in the public space, understanding the socio-spatial potentials of the public realm through the influential processes that occur between the different communities in the Matonge district of Bruxelles. The research outlines a more socially balanced relation between the contrasting groups through a design that roots in potentials of the social and spatial features of the district.

Do you like to join my thesis presentation?

date and time: 29.10.2015  10:55-12:00

location:  Zaal P

World Habitat Day 5 October 2015: Public Spaces for All

Happy World Habitat Day!

The purpose of World Habitat Day, October 5th 2015, is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. This year the United Nations chose the theme ‘Public Spaces for All’ as very relevant for the Habitat Agenda.

Urban October 2015

Objectives of World Habitat Day 2015

  1. Raise awareness about the need for well designed and managed public spaces and streets.

Great to see that one of the key themes of our research group takes centre stage also for UN Habitat.

Find more information here:  or download: the UrbanOctoberBackgroundPaper


Thesis presentation Dries Zimmermann 30 June 9:15

Dries Presentatie-01.jpg

A world of acquaintances; how spatial patterns on various scales can form an integrated strategy to facilitate collective efficacy in Beverwaard

Dries Zimmermann

Mentor team:  Maurice Harteveld, Machiel van Dorst, Egbert Stolk

My graduation project tries to find a spatial answer to a society shifting from the welfare state towards a participatory society. How can we as planners and designers facilitate participation on various scales?

Do you like to join my thesis presentation?

date and time: 30.6.2015  09:15-10:00

location:  Zaal C