RURBAN: Resilient Practices and Networks in the Contemporary City (Canceled)

The studio addresses the recent calls for collective urban action to confront challenges such as global warming, depletion of fossil fuels and natural resources, economic recession, population growth, social and ecological justice etc. While governments and institutions seem to be taking too long to reach agreement and act, many initiatives have started at the local level.

“Resilience” is a key term in the context of the current economic crisis and resource scarcity. In contrast to sustainability, which focuses on maintaining the status quo of a system by controlling the balance between its inputs and outputs, without necessarily addressing the factors of change and disequilibrium, resilience addresses how systems can adapt and thrive in changing circumstances

We need to become resilient: to adapt to change without collapsing and without changing our structural values. A city can’t become resilient without the involvement of its inhabitants.

How can we, as designers, support such involvement? What new roles should we play? What tools and means can be used at times of crisis and scarcity? How do we reactivate and sustain cultures of collaboration and sharing? How can progressive practices be initiated while acting locally and at a small scale?
The studio will research on bottom-up frameworks for resilient urban regeneration, based on the setting up of local ecological cycles that activate material (e.g., water, energy, waste, and food) and immaterial (e.g., local skill, socioeconomic, cultural, and self-building) flows between key fields of activity that exist already or could be implemented within the existing fabric of the city.

One of studio’s main references is the existing R-urban project initiated by AAA and partners in Paris and London ( This project will be critically analyzed and knowledge will be transferred in other contexts explored in the studio.

The studio will be located in New York. Students will design urban systems and agencies to build resilience capacity at different scales and across key fields of urban activity such as economy, habitat, transport, urban agriculture, culture. Each student can choose to focus on a specific scale and activity.

Irregular Schedule:
Doina Petrescu and Constantin Petcu will hold studio the following dates: August 29, September 2, 3, 16, 17, October 14, 28, 29, November 12, 18, 19, and December 2 and 3. An additional optional studio session will meet on Thursday, November 13. The studio will travel to NYC September 29 through October 1. In addition, Doina and Constantin will be available for desk crits on October 10, 13, November 14 and 17.