SCHOOL | Harvard GSD

YEAR | 2010

COURSE | Design Studio

PROGRAM | Master of Landscape Architecture III

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 ecology and infrastructure as dominant drivers of design, the studio involves the development of biodynamic processes 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 that addresses a range of geospatial scales. Focusing on the metrics of mapping and modeling, 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 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, longer range strategies where biophysical processes prefigure as the denominator for re-envisioning public infrastructures and regional urban economies in the future.

POSITION | Lecturer

TEAM | Julia Watson with Pierre Belanger, Niall Kirkwood & Christian Werthmann

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