Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN ΙV-VI I: Designing Emergency: Post-disaster relocation of human settlements in the Thessalian Plain
Design Studio Required Elective at semester(s) 6, 8, ECTS: 12

The flooded areas pf Karditsa and Palamans in the Thessalian Plain in September 2023.

Climate change has brought to the fore how the balance between natural and built environment is fragile and constantly under risk. In September 2023, the Thessalian Field saw an unprecedented flooding that has affected production, infrastructure and life of people, creating anxiety for an uncertain future. It is urgent to look for sustainable solutions for the management of future disasters re-negotiating the relationship between people and their environment.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Thessalian field has been characterized by a diffuse network of small-size grid villages located in areas with a fragile environmental balance between rivers, mountains and human presence. At the same time, repetitive floodings have questioned the efficiency and security of existing urbanistic models.

This is the occasion to re-think the spatial organization of the human settlements of the region by envisioning new, flexible, scalable, holistic and inclusive strategies to revitalized traumatized communities and create alternative socio-economic models. The course will focus on the design of small communities, focusing on long term post-disaster relocation in safer positions in continuity with the existent.

The studio includes a daily trip to the flooded region of Palamas and Metamorfosi, in the Thessaliko field, close to the city of Karditsa, and meetings with the local community.

Agricultural City, 1960 by Kisho Kurokawa in response to the devastation of agricultural towns in Aichi by the Ise Bay Typhoon in 1959.



The studio is focused on the entwining relationship between architecture and urban design in the framework of a project that includes the design of public and green spaces and public facilities in an area of the city of Volos. Students will investigate proposals that will challenge a variety of stakeholders and scales. With the conclusion of the course, students will:

know basic techniques of urban analysis thought the use of photography, cartography, diagrams and collage;

  • understand the basic urban, planning, historical, environmental conditions that characterize an urban area;
  • understand the multifaced problems that affect contemporary cities and the local circumstance and restriction as resources that inform the design;
  • learn to analyse, to understand and to use historical and contemporary case-studies;
  • know the panorama of urban theories referred to contemporary cities and urban design;
  • investigate the role of urban design as a tool to serve collective interests;
  • use physical models at the scale of the city and of the building;
  • use various methods of representation at the scale of the city (maps, diagrams, images, collage);
  • investigate various proposals at the same time; evaluate and judge their work and the work of other students in a sort of horizontal teaching environment.
  • evaluate and judge their work and the work of other students in a sort of horizontal teaching environment.


The course is organized in three phases, and each phase will be completed with a presentation of students’ works, a discussion and an evaluation:

  1. Urban analysis and Strategic Design: In this phase, students will analyse the geographical scale of the city and the territory, the many questions that urban design should take into consideration and the role of architecture in relation to the city and the environment. Students will work with maps, diagrams and collage though some exercises. This phase will conclude with the definition of a strategic design that will trace the guidelines of the following phases.
  2. Urban Design: Aim of an urban design project is the transformation of an urban area with a scheme that includes the design of open spaces, new buildings and the creation of a set of actions and activities for the future transformation of the area. Urban design should create a vision for the future of the city΄
  3. Final Presentation: it refers to the design on buildings and public spaces inside the framework of the masterplan. At the final presentation, students will narrate the scenario that they envisioned for the future of the city.

Each unit of the course will be introduced by a lecture in order to define the framework of the investigation and to understand the objective that students will pursue. Lectures are grounded on the bibliography, case-studies, similar urban strategies, video, interviews. Aims of the lectures are to present the theoretical framework of the subject of the course to open reflection about the condition of contemporary cities with a focus in history, geography, ecology, health and democracy, disaster and reconstruction.


Students will work in groups of two. The final grade will be based on exercises, on periodic evaluations and on the final presentation. Attendances in class are required and crucial to take the courses program.

Total assessment 100%:

Urban Analysis 10%

Urban Design 30%

Final Presentation 50%

Participation in class/ initiative/ improvement 10%

(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)

Every student must register to the e-class: Εγγραφή στο e-class στον σύνδεσμο:


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