Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transdisciplinary Lecture Series—5 Conversations on the Present (state of)—Session 2 (Matter)

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

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



17:00—19:00 CET / 12:00-14:00 Atlantic
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Joep Storms
“Transitional Landscapes in Transitional Territories”
This lecture will discuss interactions between landscape dynamics and populated areas. We will look at past and present-day interactions between build-up areas and their substrate, surface dynamics and the atmosphere and learn from them for future lessons.

Joep Storms is a Dutch earth scientist (PhD 2002) working as associate professor at Delft University of Technology (Geoscience and Engineering Department). His background is in sedimentary geology and current research focusses on the impact of past, present and future climate change, sea level rise and subsidence in coastal and riverine landscapes.


Michaela Büsse
“Cheap, Precious, Risky. Singapore’s Nation-Building and its Relation to Sand”
In my presentation I will focus on land reclamation as the material practice underlying Singapore’s vision and, at the same time, being emblematic of its understanding of nature as resource. I will touch upon key ‘cosmogrammatics’ such as the concept plan and its executive counterpart – the master plan, which further details Singapore’s vision into urban development. Furthermore, I will introduce the Foreshores Act as the legal enforcement of the spatial planning, allowing Singapore to turn sand from anywhere into state-owned territory. While Singapore’s relationship to ‘nature’ is exploitative per se, the accelerating economisation of sand puts the development project at risk. With sand becoming ‘scarce’ and the environmental effects of extraction and reclamation leading to international tensions, sand today is becoming contested ground and a matter of national security.

Michaela Büsse is a design researcher from Germany currently based in Basel, Switzerland. Her interest spans design and material cultures, STS, anthropology and political ecology. Michaela’s interdisciplinary practice is research-led and involves writing, filming and curatorial work. Since 2017 Michaela is a PhD candidate at the Critical Media Lab where she explores how design comes to govern social, material, political and economic relations by tracing sand’s becoming land.
She is part of the editorial board at Migrant Journal which recently got nominated for the Swiss Design Awards. Michaela has hold fellowships with NTU CCA Singapore and MCAD Manila (“Acts of Life“ – On Nature and Urbanity, 2018) as well as Strelka Institute for Media, Design and Architecture (“The New Normal” 2017). From October onwards Michaela will be a visiting researcher at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

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