Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 2020-2021—NEW three years cycle.

Image: The Reflecting Pool, 1977-79 [Le bassin miroir]. Bande vidéo en couleur, son mono, 7 minutes. Performeur: Bill Viola. Studio Bill Viola.

TT 2020-2021
Inland, seaward. The trans-coastal project.

As a modern project, territory was synonymous with the colonization of nature. Contemporary urbanism faces the aftermath of it: sea-level rise, climate crisis, displacements, soil exhaustion, ecological decay. The urban project is increasingly mediated by the frequency and distribution of extremes – i.e. flood, drought, coastal erosion, saltwater intrusion, subsidence – and the passive (eventually active) spatio-morphological, socio-ecological and political changes that follow. There is consensus on the need to be responsive to a new instability of nature/culture and the self, and yet a sense of interruption, of distance, remains at sight. A disorientation of space, time and identity (Latour, 2020). Partial adaptation, restoration strategies (bouncing-back tactics) deliberately deviate the attention and gaze from what lays underneath the surface: the uncertainty about and the form of inhabitable land under the new climatic regime. What is the status of the territorial and urban project defined by emergence, juxtapositions and transitions in water regimes, soil, weather and forms of inhabitation? What are the material and ecological practices needed to design withinstead of againstthe states of crisis? Hence, the central question is how an informed and radical re-organization of water, land/soil, built environment and societies ought to contribute to a new condition of living.

The object of the new three years cycle of Transitional Territories Studio is the de- / re-territorialization of places, structures and cultures between land and sea. Four extremes geographies and four lines of inquiry will guide our research and design practice, wherein the specific project location of each thesis is of choice of each individual student.  ‘Inland, seaward. The trans-coastal project’ aims at developing practical approachesby designto socio-ecological coherence and equity by working across fields of knowledge, scales and subjects, endogenous and exogenous forces, inside-out and outside-in.

Latour, B. (2020). Critical Zones: Observatories for Earthly Politics.