Territorialism: Inside a New Form of Dispersed Megalopolis

Starting from a reflection on the infrastructural system (water and iron) in the Boston region, the approach of the studio is to use design as “a knowledge producer”, as a specific and critical tool to understand the contemporary territory, its landscapes and ecologies.

Topics to be Covered:
The design Studio will explore the form of dispersed megalopolis described by Jean Gottmann 50 years ago, so importantly affected by changed ecological, economic and social conditions. The Boston metropolitan area is at the edge of this complex landscape and it will be the territory of the research by design. Starting from its main supports and infrastructures, rivers, ponds and canals in their conjunction with the iron network of railways, the focus will be on recycle the leftover of several economic and ecological transitions.

Key words:
Dealing with ecological rationality requires an enormous conceptual shift, in order to integrate ever-changing biotic relations, energy and water management with design and use it as an active research tool to increase spatial and environmental justice. Life-cycle, embodied energy and inclusion are the main keywords of the design course.

Course Objectives and Outcomes:
Objective of the studio is a reflection on the experimental character of contemporary territorial design; on the need of an innovative and critical approach and on the empirical character of any territorial research. The outcomes are expected in the field of design tools (operations of description, conceptualization and scenario construction).

Method of Evaluation:
The students will be organized as a team, working on a common research in which still individual contributions can be recognizable. They will be evaluated on the basis of the active participation to seminars (reading texts and projects); fieldwork (and re-elaboration with different media); design proposal (in the form of models, maps and texts).

A designer profile is requested. Special cases (students with social or natural science back ground) can be discussed.