Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transdisciplinary Lecture Series—5 Conversations on the Present (state of)—Session 10 (Project)

Within the framework of:

Section of Urban Design
Delta Futures Lab
Delta Urbanism Research Group
Graduation Studio—Transitional Territories
(Joint Studio with AA, Diploma Unit 9, Third Territorial Attractor)

Dalhousie University
Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning
Graduate Design Studio—Facts or Fictions: Cities on the Sea

Hosted by:

Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Section of Urban Design—Delta Urbanism, TUDelft

Catherine Ann Somerville Venart
School of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Planning
Dalhousie University

Luisa Maria Calabrese
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Section of Urban Design—Delta Urbanism, TUDelft

Isabella Coutand
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science
Dalhousie University


Image by Bas Princen



Two view points on the subject, followed by a short discussion on overlaps, differences, provocations, oppositions.


17:00—19:00 CET / 12:00-14:00 Atlantic
Hosted on Zoom by TUDelft, to register please write to t.bacchin[at]



Rethinking the Urban and Territorial Project
The session explores the shifting horizons of urban and territorial design in the face of intertwined climate and biodiversity crises, and other challenges posed by urbanisation processes. From the perspective of transdisciplinary and transscalar design practices, linking the urban, the landscape and the territory, the two speakers will address and debate the changing design paradigms and the contours of urban and territorial project(s), that may result from them.
Part 1
Milica Topalovic
“Project on the Hinterlands”
The talk presents an exploratory analysis of hinterland geographies of Singapore, involving ethnographic fieldwork and novel cartographies, as a way to rethink and reassemble these extended territories of urbanisation beyond-the-city, as specific historic, material and social configurations at various scales. A comparison between sand and food hinterlands will be discussed, in order to learn from different cases, and to formulate a critical agenda for urban scholars and design practitioners.

Milica Topalovic is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Territorial Planning at the ETH Zurich Department of Architecture. Her work is concerned with territories beyond-the-city and urgent transformation processes they are exposed to, through the movement of capital, social restructuring, and environmental change. She undertook a range of territorial studies around the world, in remote regions, resource hinterlands, and countrysides, in an effort to decenter and “ecologize” architect’s approaches to the city, the urban, and urbanization. In her recent work, she looks at regions whose social and environmental qualities have been degraded through unsustainable agriculture and resource harvesting practices, with intention to design their transitions toward territories organized around the principles of agroecology.


Part 2
Tanja Herdt
“Two Challenges that Change the Idea of Urban Design”
The lecture discusses the question on how urban design as an interdisciplinary practice may contribute to successful urban transformation. It will address the challenges caused by urbanization and urban growth and its effects on accessibility, affordability and inclusiveness. By doing so, it poses the question of rethinking the design project, its processes and action and opens the discussion on what urban design may contribute in the future.

Tanja Herdt is Associate Professor of Theory and Methods of Urban Design and section leader in the department of Urbanism at TU-Delft. She is both an academic and a practicing urban designer with an emphasis on urban transformation, methods of urban analysis, and history and theory of the city. Tanja Herdt studied architecture and urban design in Germany, and received her doctorate from the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. Before joining the faculty at TU-Delft, she worked at the research centre ETH-Wohnforum, ETH-CASE, as the head of research for sustainable settlement design. Her work on the British architect Cedric Price and the changing legacy of modern functionalism was published under the title The City and the Architecture of Change at Park Books, ISBN 978-3-03860-045-9.


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