Landscape Architecture IV
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.