Design Studio Required Elective at semester(s) 5, 7, ECTS: 12
Dogma, A vision for Bruxelles: imagining the capital of Europe
[Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation]
The Studio is focused on challenging the fragile territories of contemporary cities and on developing a critical reading individuating circumstances, constitutive elements, voids, relations among parts, scale and dimensions. This initial investigation and then the further stages of the design process will open a critical understandingof the relationship between architecture and the city. Scope of the design studio is to examine and rearrange how urban space is organized.
The project should strive to re-assemble existing urban materials and to re-elaborate elements, fluxes and connections with the scope to produce confrontation and coexistenceamong urban elements. The matter is not how to define the shape of a stratum by an ordinate and controlled urban process or design idea, but rather how to continue processes of accumulation and stratification. Architecture can be used as a method of investigation to conceive questions and to make hypothesis for future transformations of the city.
The design studio deals with the remnants of the transformationsof the contemporary cities. The given assignmentrequiresto design new collective residences together with public spaces and public facilities with an understanding of the specificity of the place and the understanding of local circumstances. The proposal should envision new relationships with the existing buildings in the surrounding area, as well as a reprogramming of the urban surfaces to generate new public spaces. The design will explore the impact of large-scale and medium-scale interventions and their consequences on the urban landscape, creating a transitional stage between the small scale of existing buildings and the large scale of public facilities.
The course is organized in four phases and it includes a final presentation. For each phase a brief will outlines the purpose of the design and the requirements for the interim presentations so that students are facilitated on understanding the changing of scale of the project for each phase.
The first phase relates to the urban analysis. It aims to help students to understand the scale of the city, the challenges of urban design, and the importance of architecture in relation to the city and the environment. This first phase includes a workshop entitled "Urban Brico(l)lage". The workshop will provide a first contact with the understandingof the scale for an urban designproject. It will build on the importance of using precedents tounderstand basic principles for the composition of a urban design projects. During this first phase, students will create a .dwg file, a three-dimensional modeland a virtual model to support the design process at each stage of the course.
The second phase aims to propose an urban strategy. Strategic planning is based on the urban analysisand its goal is to envisiona scenario for the future of the area of study that should include social housing, public buildings and public spaces. The key objective is to find creative and sustainable ways to achieve a comprehensive approach that encompasses environmental, infrastructure, cultural and other urban dynamics.
The third phase focuses on urban-scale development. Urban design follows the guidelines of strategic planning. The purpose of urban design is to understand the potential of the area with a clear outline of the urban design proposal, that is, a clear definition of the distribution and morphology of buildings and public spaces. This phase also aims to understand the typologies of buildings, the architectural ideas and the archetypes that assists the design process.
The fourth phase relates to the architectural design of a selected buildingor a small group of buildings within the Masterplan proposed during the previous phase. It will focus on the design of social housing and it will include public facilities and public spaces. With regard to housing, students should choose their number and size, determine their variety through different typologies, and test the combination of units, the distribution and the final morphology of the building. The selected area should include an adjacent outdoor space, which should be designed according to the circulation, program and initial concept of the design.
In the final presentation, students should present their entire work, namely Strategic Design (2), Urban Design (3) and Architectural Design (4). The aim of the final presentation is to narrate the vision for the future of the city.
Each phase will be introduced with a lecture providing theoretical and practical support for understanding the course requirements. Lectures will include a reference bibliography, examples of possible intervention strategies, videos, and interviews. The purpose of the lectures is to present the theory of architecture and the city and to ask questions about the problems and issues of modern cities in relation to history, geography, ecology and democracy. The lectures aimalso to present design and representational techniques.
Students will work in groups of no more than two. The final grade will be based on exercises, on periodic evaluations and on the final presentation. Attendances in class are required and crucialto follow the course program.
Total assessment 100%:
- Urban Analysis 5%
- Strategic Design 15%
- Urban Design 20%
- Architectural Design 20%
- Final Presentation 40%
(The previous grades are usually considered indicatives to check students' progresses during the course. The final grade may be different from the arithmetic sum of intermediate grades)
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