The Design of the Urban Fabric graduation studio 2023/24 deals with the dynamics and interplay between the physical urban environment (elements, materials, form, scales, density and networks) and the psychological, socio-cultural, ecological, managerial and economic processes to foster sustainable and liveable places. The climate crisis and increasing social diversification and inequality are urgencies that ask for new strategies of urban transformation. The studio engages design as a method of inquiry, generating hypotheses to investigate alternative futures.
With this year’s framing theme, we question how the future city will look and work. We acknowledge the plurality of people, processes and functions tightly interacting in dense urban environments and we explore how the urban design project can shape porous spaces that can accommodate those in a sustainable and liveable way.
Focus and approach
Graduating as part of this graduation studio implies you will start designing early in the process, as we consider design to be an excellent tool for doing research. Thus, students’ projects will begin with reading a concrete place to understand its actual urgencies, potentials and constraints. The urban impact of new technologies and developments are explored, which provides feedback on and gives insight into future challenges and possibilities. We promote two alternative starting points, both involving iterating phases of imagination and evidence:
-Design & data. In this case, data are used to identify driving forces, uncover latent patterns and processes, and make data-driven projections. Data is also employed in the assessment of design alternatives.
-Design & experiment. In this case, design experiments are used to explore potentials beyond the common practice and data-driven projections, and thereby potentially breaking path dependencies. The emphasis is on the disruptive function of design.
Studio coordinators: Claudiu Forgaci & Birgit Hausleitner