Berlin, Leeuwarden, New Delhi

Berlin, Germany

Studio leaders: Michael Roper and Catherine Duggan

Unliveable Berlin is a University of Melbourne design studio, organised and run by Melbourne‐based architects, Michael Roper (Director, Architecture Architecture) & Catherine Duggan (Senior Associate, Peter Elliott Architects). This studio proposes taking a group of architecture, landscape and urban design students to the ANCB Metropolitan Laboratory in Berlin where they will investigate and respond to a range of architectural and urban conditions.

The city of Berlin has undergone several periods of significant trauma and transformation. Growing out of two world wars, living through three decades of east‐west division followed by re‐unification, rebuilding and more recent bankruptcy, Berlin is riddled with the scars of its history: abandoned trenches, unfinished infrastructure, bullet‐ridden buildings, unrealised grandeur. Politically it is caught between socialism and capitalism. Physically, between the destruction of war and urban regrowth. Culturally, between division and unity. This is a city still coming to terms with its physical and cultural territories yet revelling in the uncertainty of its future.

More than most, Berlin has a pronounced history of social exclusion and ideological seclusion. In this context we ask, how does a city express its hostilities and how, as architects, can we foster cities of inclusion? Over three consecutive years, Unliveable Berlin will explore three distinct historical periods: 1920’s pre‐Nazi Berlin, 1970’s divided Berlin, and 2020’s liberated Berlin. With the German capital as our ever‐willing laboratory rat, students will be asked to consider what it means to accommodate the excluded, and to redress cultural hostilities through architecture and urban thinking.

The travelling studio encourages students to explore urban opportunities with fresh eyes. Stripped of well‐worn reference points, the foreign city is laid bare. They come to sense the city’s unconscious – its undercurrents – developing instincts for the manifold cultural forces that drive a place. Through the travelling studio, we aim to foster broad, global‐thinking problem solvers. At the conclusion of the semester, we expect our students to be versed and agile in the physical mechanisms (infrastructural, geographical) and cultural forces (political and social) that underpin urban existence, training them to look both to their subjective experience as well as outside themselves, to challenge the urban systems within which they operate.

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Studio leaders: Professor Christopher Ryan and Dr Michael Trudgeon

The Victorian Eco Innovation Lab [VEIL] has been commissioned by the Dutch city of Leeuwarden [Lwd], the European Cultural Capital for 2018, to develop an Eco‐Acupuncture future visioning design proposal for the city. We are opening up this process to 16 MSD students from architecture, landscape and planning to participate in this design project. Students will take part in an international studio in Leeuwarden in collaboration with students and academics from the Technical University of Delft and the Alto Design Factory in Finland.

The Leeuwarden Travelling Studio will focus on 2‐3 urban sites, selected by the city. Students will design interventions to transform the existing built environment and systems of provision (energy, water, food, transport, information) for a sustainable, low carbon, resilient future. ‐ What steps must be taken today to get there? The aim is to identify opportunities that can become sites of design intervention to shift the path of innovation on a new trajectory: towards sustainable, resilient conditions.

To understand the strategic objectives of this Travelling Studio [TS] it is important to emphasise the objectives and strategies laid out in the successful bid of the City of Leeuwarden for EU Cultural capital 2018. Their emphasis is on building from a long history of innovation to: "demonstrate that culture can be at the heart of transformation in the strengthening of the social fabric and human potential of Europeans ‐ through an interdisciplinary approach [that harnesses] energy and creativity necessary to address our core themes from multiple perspectives." "In addressing our themes, we involve [local, national and international] artists, scientists, citizens and institutions alike." Their themes address ecological and economic sustainability in three domains: Nature and Culture; City and Countryside; Community and Diversity. During 2018, along with arts and cultural events that include Energy and Water as major themes, Lwd 2018 will set up a Leeuwarden living lab [LAB Lwd] for "testing new ways to involve citizens in the process of redesigning their cultural and natural environment."

The collaborative objective of this TS (in relation to Lwd 2018) is to demonstrate the process and value of the VEIL Eco‐Acupuncture approach in achieving the Lwd 2018 objectives. (VEIL is currently in discussions with the city and the Lwd 2018 team about providing on‐going support and training in the year following the TS so that the 2018 LAB Lwd can include Eco‐Acupuncture activity.)

The complexity of the challenges requires a multi‐disciplinary perspective. The studio brings together students and professionals of architecture, landscape architecture, building technology, urban design and planning from Australia and Europe. It builds on VEIL’s well established academic and professional network.

Through workshops, students will develop a general understanding of Leeuwarden's’s current situation and the challenges facing the city. They will then develop a design vision for a sustainable Leeuwarden in 2040, focusing, in smaller groups, on specified sites as potential locations for this round of Urban Eco Acupuncture interventions.

New Delhi, India

Studio leaders: Associate Professor Piyush Tiwari

A number of large new greenfield townships are being developed on the fringes of megacities in India to accommodate new demand for space that the fast paced economy is generating. The complexity of these townships development, often as part of large infrastructure projects on public private partnership basis or as part of economic growth policies such as special economic zones (SEZs) that promote ‘enclaves’ of export oriented industries, offer opportunities to critically analyze them from multi-disciplinary perspective. Taking one such megaproject on fringes of Delhi (e.g. Jaypee Greens Sports City, which is part of 11,000 acres development of Yamuna Expressway development comprising 5,000 acres of expressway and 6,000 acres of real estate development spread over land between three cities: Noida, Aligarh and Agra), studio participants will study how these projects are conceptualised, designed, planned, developed, phased, financed and marketed. The studio brings together students and professionals of property, architecture, landscape, building technology, urban design and planning.

Through a series of workshops, pre, during and post visit, and interactions with range of professionals students will develop an understanding of mega township development drivers, processes, challenges and outcomes on fringes of Delhi. Specifically participants will explore land acquisition processes/challenges, urban design outcomes, planning processes, financing mechanisms, market assessment, construction project management, environmental impact assessment/sustainability, marketing of such projects to users and investors in an emerging economy context. They will then develop and propose alternatives for development that is efficient, socially equitable and sustainable and creates value for investors and users.

See all past travelling studios

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