GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2012

This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:54:06.

Courses taught by Luis Rodrigo Callejas Mujica

01211: Landscape Architecture III: Third Semester Core Studio (STU 0121100)

Landscape Architecture
Core Studio - 8 credits
Tuesday Thursday 12:30 - 6:00  

Pierre Bélanger, Philippe Coignet, Robert Pietrusko, Luis Rodrigo Callejas Mujica, Kelly Doran, Rosetta Elkin, Juan Rois, Niall Kirkwood

Course Description

Addressing the inertia of urban planning and the overexertion of civil engineering in the 20th century, this course focuses on the design of large, complex, contaminated brownfield sites with a regional, ecological and infrastructural outlook. Employing the agency of regional ecology and landscape infrastructure as the dominant drivers of design, the studio involves the development of biodynamic and biophysical systems that provide flexible yet directive patterns for future urbanization. Through a series of contemporary mapping methods, field measures, case studies, readings and design investigations, the course results in a series of collaborative exercises leading to a large scale design project and future scenarios. Drawing from canonical case studies on regional reclamation strategies from across the world, the studio is further enhanced by a robust, regional representation program. Focusing on the metrics of geospatial representation and remote sensing, two intensive workshops throughout the term of the studio didactically deal with the interrelated subjects of regional cartography and site topography as operative and telescopic instruments of design across scales. Contributing to a complex, multi-layered profiling of the site as ‘system’ and the reformulation of program as ‘process’, the studio establishes a base platform for engaging an array of complex issues related to site contamination, biophysical systems, regional ecology, land cover, urban infrastructure and economic geography. Precluding conventional forms of urban development such as housing or retail development, the penultimate objective of the course is to explore and articulate the potential effectiveness of broader and longer range strategies where biophysical systems prefigure as the denominator for re-envisioning public infrastructures and regional urban economies in the future.

Courseware site (Canvas)

09122: Plugged-in Territories I: Icelandic Energy Landscapes (ADV 0912200)

Landscape Architecture
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Monday 10:00 - 1:00   40 Kirkland 1D

Luis Rodrigo Callejas Mujica

Course Description

This advanced research seminar investigates the spatial and ecological implications of the recent shifts in the cultural perception of energy exploitation in Iceland.
The Icelandic landscape is facing increased pressure in a geopolitical situation where energy policies lead to infrastructural development and ecological adaptation. The opportunities to creates new forms of integration between energy exploitation and enjoyment of the landscape are unique to this geologically active territory.
Students will be developing research divided in two groups representing the apparent extremes of the polarized arena:

  1. Islands: Penetrable infrastructures.
    The environmentalist: They propose a radical reduction in energy exploitation and slowing down the insertion of new power plants. Their argument is mainly based on the fact that for a population of roughly three hundred thousand, the existent infrastructure is already more than enough to deal with local needs. The group will work on speculating new forms in which energy production, distribution and exploitation may be successfully linked to the intense tourism received by the island. The group will try to prove that the existing possibilities of tourist-based landscape events, may generate and replace the income produced by the future power plants located in highly sensible environments.

  2. Atolls: Belts for ecological integration.
    The energy entrepreneurs: They propose new hydro and geothermal plants in order to be able to increase the aluminum melting capabilities of the country and possibly an underwater cable to link the country to the European energy grid. These will require the construction of new mid and large scale infrastructure in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas in the country.

The group will try to prove that the current plans for new geothermal and hydro power plant infrastructure can be effectively linked to new forms of public realm with the capacity to act as buffer zones between exploitation and the delicate environments.
Relevant cases: Alcoa aluminum power facilities and Kárahnjúkastífla Dam.
The course will elaborate research in the form of two products:
  1. An online platform of interactive maps aiming to open up to the public the not so obvious implication of the insertion of the new energy infrastructure.

  2. An atlas of techniques of multiple scale, speculating the way in which landscapes designers and Architects can effectively create buffer zones located at the core sites of geothermal and hydro energy exploitation process, triggering new forms of enjoyment of such a unique and ecologically sensitive landscapes.

The course will also include the participation of relevant thinkers, designers and activists that are now investigating the intersections between energy exploitation, tourism and it’s particular cultural and ecological implications in Iceland.

Courseware site (Canvas)

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