Should dwelling options be re-conceived in the city of the future? Are the urban fabric and its public spaces more fluid in the future thanks to the advantages of emerging and new techologies?
Sharon Wohl, assistant professor in Architecture and Urban Design at Iowa State University, examines the creation of housing as a more nimble, flexible component: one capable of deploying to different sites and atmospheres, while simultaneously providing more broadly distributed access to amenities that otherwise remain limited to the privileged few. These ideas are operationalised through a speculative case study: a mobile dwelling architecture that can be deployed to various sites across the city – each being characterized by particular ‘niche’ offerings. Here, rather than dwelling units being considered as static entities within the urban fabric, they are re-considered as nimble, deployable agents – able to relocate to different sites and settings in accordance with different parameters that are customized through individual cost-benefit analyses and feedback dynamics. Accordingly, over time, bottom-up, self-organizing ‘niches’ of fit inhabitation emerge. The talk associates this kind of designed urban environment with the dynamics of complex adaptive systems – where emergent global features arise from the bottom-up. Here, a new kind of ‘swarm’ urbanism is deployed: one adjusting over time in response to atmospheric variables.
(closed discussion in The City of the Future Lab, TU Delft)
Socio-Spatial Processes in Rotterdam
Challenging the City by means of Urban Design
Each year, collaboratively a mix of about 100 students have been challenged to improve the environment of people by strategically intervening in the urban fabric. They have been asked to do so in a sustainable and feasible way, and on a small scale. Next to a majority of urban designers and landscape architects, we’ve seen architects and planners joining the design teams too, and incidentally a social-geographer and a civil engineer. The multidisciplinary approach has added not only to the richness of the scope of solutions, but also and foremost to new understanding of the complex problems the city is facing.
On-Site Expo Hofbogen Project
Exhibition of Design Ideas for the Urban Area around an Abandoned Railway Line at
10th-12th April 2013
This expo exhibits a project focused especially on socio-spatial transformation of the city, as a base for the urban design profession. Nearly two hundred participants illuminate the particular level of scale of the urban project, the scale where urban design meets the human scale. As such, urban design is closely related to (landscape) architecture. By strategically intervening in the urban fabric urban design improves the environment of people in a sustainable and feasible way. These designers understand the design and use of public space in its conjunction to the built programmes, because in the end people make the city.
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