Embracing Plurality – Growing Porosity.

The Design of the Urban Fabric graduation studio 2022/23 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: Birgit Hausleitner and Claudiu Forgaci

Available mentors:

as second mentor only:

Urban Fabrics graduation start September 2021: mentors & studio approach

The studio topic is At Home, questioning how the future city will look like. The climate crisis and increasing social diversification and inequality are urgencies that ask for new strategies of urban transformation. The Green deal asks for a higher interweaving of city and landscape, leisure and food production, but also rethinking urban mobility. Many cities experience an increased inflow of new inhabitants, causing a diversification of a city’s inhabitants, also related to international migration. Achieving social cohesion is therefore an important task. Check out the sub-menus of ‘Education’ for additional information and further literature from July onwards.

Please find information about

  • the studio set-up with this link,
  • the studio approach with this link and
  • the studio essentials set-up with this link.

Following mentors are available as first and second mentors for students starting their graduation in September 2021. In case you have general questions, please contact studio coordinator Birgit Hausleitner.

The number in the bracket indicates availability as first mentor.

Graduation studio 2020/21: Urban transformation & qualities of density

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. You can find more information about how we work here.

The Urban Fabrics (UF) graduation studio focusses this year on the topic Urban Transformation and Qualities of Density 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 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.

Qualities of density have multiple aspects. With this link you find the context description of the Main Urban Fabrics topic, and you can read more about the challenges we will tackle here: challenges. The studio is subdivided into three trajectories, each starting with a different angle, putting a different aspect central. The three themes are:

    • Mix to the Max? The quality of mixed-use territories and the relevance of diversity in urban configurations. Read more here: Mix to the Max
    • Density, community and the future of housing and public space. Read more here: Density and the future of housing
    • Cultural identity (History and Heritage Vector). Read more here: Cultural identity


Interested in who the mentors are? Have a look here.

Our weblog will up updated with more information during the next weeks.