Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 2023-2024 — Altered Nature. Poetics of Change


Urban Design
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin (studio lead/ coordination)
Luisa Calabrese (coordination)
Nikos Katsikis
Victor Muñoz Sanz
Elena Longhin
Irene Luque Martin
Geert van der Meulen
Raquel Hädrich Silva
Johnathan Subendran

Spatial Planning & Strategy
Diego Sepulveda Carmona

Landscape Architecture
Denice Piccinini
Laura Cipriani

Environmental Technology & Design
Fransje Hooimeijer
Luca Iuorio
Francesca Rizzetto

Applied Geology
Joep Storms

Graduation Sections/ Chairs:
Urban Design
Environmental Modelling
Spatial Planning & Strategy
Landscape Architecture
Applied Geology

Joint Design Studio
Academie van Bouwkunst Amsterdam
Transforming Tata steel to Tata City

Under the framework of


Transdisciplinary Lecture Series ‘After Territory’ curated by Nikos Katsikis (jointly with Laura Cipriani, Section of Landscape Architecture) and ‘Cartography’ + ‘Motion’ Masterclass Series Program.


Image: Sanika Charatkar—TT 2022-2023, A New Material Reading.
Graduation Thesis ‘De-Landing Growth: Framing Alternative Perspectives to Evolution in Mumbai’

The Transitional Territories Studio is a critical design and theory platform that explores the dynamic relationship between altered natures, post-carbon form and the future of cities and territories. It operates on the premise that our current urban development and resource consumption systems are unendurable. It develops alternative/radical projects that question current material practices and ecological biases. To do so, the studio takes a transdisciplinary approach, bringing together experts from – among others – (landscape) architecture, planning, engineering, earth sciences, humanities and arts. The diversity and richness of perspectives enable us to push disciplinary confinement’s boundaries. The climate crisis, biodiversity loss, scarcity of resources, the unevenness of their share and the intersectionality of subjects and histories call for a U-turn: a shift in mindset and actions from viewing the land as a passive backdrop for human activities to recognizing it as an active and dynamic force that shapes intergenerational life.
The studio focuses on the transitional nature of the urban project – its spatial, material, and ecological implications. The notion of ‘territory’ is applied in the studio as a field of design praxis related to land (the socio-cultural and politico-economic) and the terrain (the architectonic -environmental and ecological). Projects develop across three leading scales: the subject/object scale (material/ artefact/ body/ site), the ensemble scale (living habitat/ community/ fabric), and the territorial scale (co text/ framework). Our approach is sensitive to the site’s plurality of life, matter, and histories. In this context, we see the agency of Urban Design as fine-tuning the  everchanging interrelations between societal practices, natural processes, and (geo)political frameworks. The studio structures the work around three working modes: archive, laboratory, and atelier. Documentation, analysis, synthesis, and narrative exercises support the development of interventions acting on the nature and causes of the urban and its externalities. During the graduation year, students are guided to construct and apply a theoretical, analytical, and conceptual framework at the interse tion of urban design, landscape architecture, and political ecology to study systemic relations leading to the state of scarcity. Critical thinking, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods and approach, and the search for novelty in design found our studio. Students are encouraged to fo mulate their thesis subject and own critical position on the future status of the urban project.


For the academic year 2023-2024, the studio start a new 3-year cycle on the topic ‘Altered Nature – Poetics of Change’ with a focus on (the state of) altered nature, raw resources scarcity and its dynamic relation with the built environment. The ‘poetics of change’ relates to the projective exploration of these transformations in nature and the built form. It involves representing and designing with the themes of impermanence, ephemerality, growth, and decay. In the new cycle, the studio lines of inquiry examine the current status of altered landscapes and matter and their impact on future inhabitation, production, and care forms. 
The studio programme starts by studying plural histories of urbanization and their spatio-temporal implications on resource depletion, land and water scarcity, and habitat status. Objects, including inorganic matter, are not simply passive entities but actively shape social interactions and power dynamics. In this context, the contemporary critique of the urban project invites us to consider our socio-ecological reality and the dynamic and performative nature of materials, identities, systems, and relationships. The leading question is how understanding the altered status of matter, land and water systems help us to construct alternative forms of life in a post-carbon future. To this end, the studio offers a rich program of lecture series, workshops, fieldwork, exhibitions, and symposia to collectively investigate new, experimental, and transdisciplinary approaches to design across scales and subjects.


See program pdf for details:

Reporting ‘space, time and everyday life’ in the Delta