Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Territory as a Project—Parliament of the North Sea
One-day Symposium and Exhibition

Invited Speakers
prof.arch. Lars Lerup
Rice School of Architecture / University of California at Berkeley

arch. Luis Callejas
LCLA Office / Oslo School of Architecture

Design Critics Dirk Sijmons
H+N+S Landscape Architects / TU Delft

dr.arch. Hamed Khosravi
Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture


Special Guests
North Sea Foundation

Exhibition curated by
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio

dr.arch. Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
ir. Filippo LaFleur
ir. Geert van der Meulen

The symposium is organised by Transitional Territories Studio 2018-2019 — North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence, under the framework of Delta Urbanism Interdisciplinary Research Programme and DIMI Delft Deltas, Infrastructure & Mobility Initiative, NEXT-EXTREMES Project.

Everything leads us to believe that, in the light of complexity and the integration of functions within the various national or regional communities, there is in Europe a general desire to stand back a bit in order better to understand the order of the questions, or at least a vague need to understand how this physical and mental entity called the land was formed and in what it consists. Many now perceive it, and rightly so, as a large ensemble enjoying specific properties, whereas an even greater number see in it a kind of panacea.

Such attention payed to a class of more general phenomena – the transformation of earth into land – could help to eliminate a problem born of urban development in the 13th century and become classic with the advent of the industrial civilisation: the town-country rivalry. I said eliminate and not resolve: by rephrasing the statement. For this rivalry is as false as the idea that an island is limited by water and defined by it, a landsman’s thinking which has no meaning for fishermen whose unending coming and going between the land and the sea breaks down the barriers between the elements to create a necessary unity of two apparently incompatible domains. The rivalry between town and country, which has for so long paralyzed the land, is also, and above all, an urban concept. Like the preceding one, it appears with the evidence of a figure inscribed on a background.

(…) It is not enough simply to declare that the land is a result of a series of more or less coordinated processes. It cannot be simply broken down into a certain number of dynamic phenomena of a geo-climatic type. As soon as a group of people occupy it (either in a light manner, by gathering, or heavily, by extraction mining), they establish a kind of developmental or planning relation with it, and the reciprocal effects of this coexistence can be observed. In other words, the land becomes the object of construction. It is a type of artifact. From then on it becomes a product as well.

The dynamism of the phenomena of formation and production is continued in the idea of a continuous perfecting of the results until everything is combined: more efficient grasp of what is possible, more judicious distribution of goods and services, more adequate management, innovation in institutions. Consequently, the land is a project.

This necessity for a collective relation to be experienced between a topographic surface and a population established in its folds permits drawing the conclusion that there is no land without imagining a land. A land can be expressed in statistical terms (expanse, altitude, average temperatures, gross production, etc.), but it cannot be reduced to the quantitative. As a project the land is semanticized. It can be parsed. It bears a name. Projections of all kinds are attached to it, transforming it into a subject.

*Excerpts from ‘Land as Palimpsest’ by André Corboz, École polytechnique fédérale, Zurich. Published by Sage on behalf of International Council for Philosophy and Human Studies, January 1983.


Welcome by Taneha K. Bacchin
Transitional Territories Studio / DIMI NEXT-EXTREMES Research Project Leader
Delta Urbanism Interdisciplinary Research Program, TU Delft

Short Pitches Graduation Projects (Conceptual Phase) Transitional Territories Studio 2018-2019
Design Critics – 1st Geography

Short break

Short Pitches Graduation Projects (Conceptual Phase) Transitional Territories Studio 2018-2019
Design Critics – 2nd Geography

Lunch Break
‘Parliament of the North Sea’ Exhibition Opening
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 2018-2019

Short Pitches Graduation Projects (Conceptual Phase) Transitional Territories Studio 2018-2019
Design Critics – 3rd Geography

Lecture by Luis Callejas
LCLA Office
Associate Professor Oslo School of Architecture

Short break

Key-note lecture by Lars Lerup
Harry K. and Albert K. Smith Professor of Architecture and Dean Emeritus Rice School of Architecture
Professor Emeritus University California at Berkeley

Discussion and Final Remarks

Closing/ Drinks


Lars Lerup
“After the city: Enhancing the urbanisation process using assemblage thinking”

“Forever transforming, the mirrored human trace is, in its built materiality, blind to its surroundings and open to endless interpretation by its occupants. Just as the frame “knows nothing” of the door it facilitates, the city, driven by millions of assemblages, all operating as scenes in some kind of unison, acts — perplexingly in part and in whole — autonomously. Each component in the urban assemblage is a “selfish gene” on its own errant, yet somehow it is not quite independent: gas explodes when ignited; sun, soil, and climate both help and hinder tress in their work as solar pumps; the frame, the door, and the wall separate and join spaces. A bewildering mix of design, evolution, and circumstance. All these “objects” roam across our landscape, both constituting and occupying the city.  The continuous city undermines any notion of grand design; we contemplate a jerry-built and brittle world, reluctantly held together by abstruse affinities. 

The apparent interdependency of the city’s assemblages leads us to think  in other than binary terms. Binaries, such as nature/artifice, ignore and quash any region of affinity between stated “opposites”. A more productive way to think of opposites is to envision a force field differentiating and connecting apparent polarities. This opens the heterotopic potential — the differing placements or capacities — of an otherwise supposedly inert condition. When seen as a field of vectorial intensities, our urban condition swells with newly apparent hybrid assemblages. (…) The city becomes a hybrid ecology, its physical contiguity and diversity both source and potential for a better future. But here lies a final obstacle: the examination of any assemblage in need of energy follows a trail that currently leads back to petroleum. As we mine our future, we must live with our past. The continuous city is our geology, biology, archaeology, and destiny.”

 *Excerpts from ‘The Continuous City’ by Lars Lerup published by Park Books, Zurich, 2017

— Lars Lerup is the Harry K. and Albert K. Smith Professor of Architecture and the Dean Emeritus at Rice School of Architecture, Houston Texas and Professor Emeritus of University of California at Berkeley. He was awarded Doctor honoris causa in technology by Lund University, Sweden in 2001. He was the Harold W Brunner Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome 2009-2010. Lerup holds a teaching and research appointment at Humboldt University’s Hermann von Helmholtz Center for Cultural Techniques in Berlin. Lerup has written several book: Villa Prima Facie 1976, Building the Unfinished: Architecture and Human Action 1977 (also published in German by Vieweg), Planned Assaults 1987 (also published in Chinese), After the City 2000 (also published in Italian 2016 by LIST Lab), One Million Acres and No Zoning in 2010 and The Continuous City in 2017. Currently Lerup has an exhibit of objects called Parque Movil at Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain.



Luis Callejas
“Islands and other derivative territories”

“How can the smallest possible entities (…) become the most powerful tools for reclaiming sovereignty over an oceanic archipelago? How could a series of tactical interventions to the lighthouses and navigation beacons become the key elements to protecting the ecologies of the Archipelago, and finally trigger an understanding of it as an oceanic territory of a country? How can small-scale interventions to the structures change the cultural perception of the seemingly unoccupied landscape that so many fishermen depend on?

The projects contained in Islands & Atolls are a collection of works that share these questions. In all projects there is an interest in how architecture might critically repurpose its traditionally limited disciplinary tools to have an impact at a territorial scale and ultimately instigate how the territorial effects might be categorised by appropriating the term landscape.”

 *Excerpts from Pamphlet Architecture n.33 ‘Island & Atolls’ by Luis Callejas LCLA Office published by Princeton Architecture Press, New York, 2013

— Luis Callejas is director of LCLA OFFICE and associate professor at the Oslo School of Architecture. After completing large public projects in Medellin and Bogota Luis Callejas was awarded with the Architectural League of New York Prize for Young Architects in 2013 and selected as one of the world’s ten best young practices by the Iakov Chernikhov International Foundation in 2010. Callejas was nominated again in 2012 and 2014. In 2016 Callejas was one of the three finalists for the Rolex mentor and protege arts initiative. In ten years of practice Luis Callejas has received diverse recognitions in twenty design competitions and his works exhibited in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Callejas is the author of Pamphlet Architecture 33 (Princeton Architectural Press, NY). The competition for PA33 asked previous authors in the series to nominate the architects and theorists whose work represents the most exciting design and research in the field today. Previous appointments as visiting faculty include Harvard University GSD (2011-2016), Escola da Cidade, RMIT Melbourne, the University of Toronto and the 2016 Patrick Geddes fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

After Territory Symposium / Inland-Seaward End-of-Cycle Exhibition – Transitional Territories Studio and Research
Section of Urban Design/Transitional Territories Lecture Series—After Territory—Session 3