Envisioning architectural ecologies
The studio focusses on designing ecological architectures. The students will be designing visions for possible ecological futures. Such holistic approach combines buildings and landscapes. The fields are not seen as separate, but as a continuum of degrees of shelter. The clients will be the entire local ecosystem, the human and other-than-human inhabitants. They will investigate how the life of humans and those of plants and other animals can relate ecologically, how architecture can nurture and express ecological processes.
This is an aesthetic as well as an ethical question. They will be developing proposals that are both powerfully poetic and resilient.
Suburban permaculture visions
Suburbia is generally seen as an unsustainable mode of urbanism, highly reliant on car travel, with low levels of biodiversity. Yet the abundance of land is also an opportunity for food production, rewilding and renewable energy production. This year, we will look at how low density urbanism can become ecological.
We will be working in Northolt from Retrosuburbia , a recently published book written by David Holmgren, one of the fathers of permaculture, which summarises his research on applying ecological principles to existing suburban development.
We challenge the students to imagine what forms could suburbia take if it was based on permaculture principles. How could people live in a symbiotic relation with the ecosystem they are part of ? What are the other possible architectural languages to that of the Do It Yourself (bricolage) quality shown in Holmgren’s book? The projects will be ‘the proving grounds for remaking sustainable relations between humans and nature.’ (Tsing 2015).
You can find more information and see some of the students’ work here.