The Design of the Urban Fabrics graduation studio deals with the dynamics between the physical urban environment (elements, materials, form, scales, density and networks) and the psychological, socio-cultural, ecological, managerial and economic structures to foster a sustainable and liveable urban environment. The climate crisis and increasing social diversification and inequality are urgencies that ask for new urban transformation strategies. The studio engages design as a method of inquiry, generating hypotheses to investigate alternative futures.
During the academic year 2021/22, we chose the framing theme ‘At Home’, questioning how the future city will look. ‘At home’ thereby refers to rethinking the affordance of cities to integrate. The climate crisis and increasing social diversification and inequality are urgencies that ask for new urban transformation strategies.
The Green deal asks for a higher interweaving of city and landscape, leisure and food production, and rethinking urban mobility. Many cities also experience an increased inflow of new inhabitants, causing a diversification of a city’s inhabitants, also related to international migration. Therefore, achieving social cohesion is an important task and requires adapting urban space to fit different needs. Rethinking the urban plan and fabric means also rethinking how we will live and work in the city. An increasingly diverse range of ways of living asks of the urban plan to also provide a diversity of spaces for various types of work. Finally, integration means also co-creation. The increasing complexity of urban development has to consider processes of different speed, actors with different interests and power, which asks for the application of multi-actor and multi-disciplinary methods in urban design. Hashim Sarkis (2021) pointed out in his opening to the Venice Biennale 2021 titled ‘how will we live together’: ‘We need a new spatial contract […] We continue to inhabit houses and cities built on outmoded ideas […]. The architectural resilience of these spaces may have adjusted to our changing needs over time, but by now they have reached the limits of their elasticity.’ In this sense, we are looking forward to working with you on transformations for the future!
The Urban Fabrics studio brings together mentors from urban design, urban studies and landscape architecture. This year, we provide the option to link to concrete projects: Societal Progress and Resilience for Healthy Individuals and Generations, Avenues, the inseparable connection between trees and road, Diverse cities and Productive urban landscapes. All projects allow the students graduating related to them the possibility to engage with local actors and institutions. More details about the projects will be published soon, following this link.
Your can find information about the studio’s approach with this link.