17 May 2019
The concept of “climatic heterotopias” is an elegant concept for developing a teaching, which aims at conjugating the architectural substance and this real social need that aims at mitigating the effects of “climate change”. The pedagogic challenge was the following: how in 72 hours of face-toface teaching we can manage to produce an absorbing and thought full account of how architecture and urban design can create possible dialogues between man, city and nature within an historical site. The perspectives of this architectural design studio are not just for architects and engineers. They help to reassess agendas for entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers, since instead of providing well-designed solutions the students were invited to question the needs of contemporary and future society within an ever changing climatic environment by re-inventing the relationships between urban ecosystems, contained and wild nature. Finally another pedagogical challenge characterises the present pedagogical project. The students disseminated the output o f their work publicly in front of a high quality international panel of architects, researchers and practitioners. These and many more issues are raised in this book and are explicitly discussed in the following pages.
Dr Lazaros MAVROMATIDIS
Associate Professor INSA Strasbourg
The speculative topic placed under a broad concept of climatic heterotopias invited a diverse array of reflections under the provoking mentorship of Lazaros Mavromatidis. Challenging students to program scenarios for an undefined space in the Rotterdam neighborhood of Strasbourg, the notion of possible dialogues between man, city and nature were explored. Speculation on possible futures, where new realities are created by collaging atmospheres, opened up discussions on urban ecosystems, relationships between contained and wild nature, exposing nature as a didactic instrument, but also contemporary spatial manifestations of community needs, the spontaneous appropriation of public space and introducing specific environments as an antidote to anxiety, or cure for the ailments of the future urbanite. The thematic direction of the assignment, as well as its openness, placed the student in the position to question the needs of contemporary society rather than merely providing a well-designed solution for a given problem in whose discovery he/she was not involved. This awareness of uncertainty, the responsibility of problem statement followed by authentic discovery, is a didactic showcase in itself, standing alongside the quality of the projects presented. The openness of the process was followed by the presentation of the projects, in which the student groups were confronted with an international group of discussants from France, Netherlands, Turkey, Croatia and Portugal. With their own reading of the asked question, they entered into a speculative dialogue that surpassed the usual final design criticism. This in itself was a display of a possible future of a diferent kind, as the varied cultural and educational contexts of the professors engaging in discussion once again challenged the student’s hypotheses and sparked a debate among themselves, making a case for keeping the educational process an open (and open-ended) one.
Dr Mia ROTH-ČERINA
Associate professor University of Zagreb
Member of the Council of the European Association of Architectural Education
This work is a high expression of willingness to learn and of an ongoing discovery… The 17th of May 2019, at the School of Architecture of INSA Strasbourg an open to the public International Jury composed by 16 members coming from 5 diferent countries and representing 7 educational and research institutions has been held in order to evaluate the students projects elaborated during the architectural design studio titled “Climatic Heterotopias”, conceived and coordinated by Assoc. Professor Lazaros MAVROMATIDIS. The jury gathered a variety of profiles (planning, landscape, sociology, engineering) exploring conceptual and theoretical thinking on the assigned topic. The academics and practitioners were from: TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Ankara,Turkey), UniZG-University of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia), TU/e Eindhoven University of Technology(Eindhoven, The Netherlands), ULHT Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias (Lisbon, Portugal), Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Istanbul, Turkey), INSA Strasbourg (France), European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) The jury had the chance to evaluate 2 categories of projects: architectural nodes and ‘landscaping architecture’. All the projects were shown through very good graphic presentations and the crafing of some models was excellent. Students presented many innovative ideas that focused on diferent interrelated topics. Most of the design proposals explored the concept of ‘park’, while some of them delved into the notion of “wilderness” and architecturally re-building it as a “controlled nature”. At the same time, a rich program of activities underlay the idea of domesticating nature. Central point of the students’ proposals was individuality and individual appropriation of space, especially around the objective of “sensing the site”. Various design forms expressed these goals in the projects: leading paths through places of diferent experience; flexible spaces for many diferent activities, available to all users; and dilatations and distortions of linear forms that created new spaces for individuality. To this aim, some projects developed ‘a world of its own’ within the site, while others conceived dynamic architectural spaces for self-exploration, introspection and reflection: a horizontal heterotopia that was in contrast with the existing site. Finally, the majority of the projects employed sophisticated architectural topographies so as to create an intermediate scale between the ‘void’ of the given site and its context. As the president of the jury, I would like to express many thanks to the students and their tutors for the intense work, dedication and enthusiasm. The work is a high expression of willingness to learn and of an ongoing discovery. For all of us, it is an incredible source of inspiration!
Dr Irene G. CURULLI
Assistant Professor TU/e-Department of The Built Environment
The international jury organised in Strasbourg on May 17th, 2019 has been a pillar in bringing all the project partners into one scene to discuss another threshold in architectural education, that is, the architectural design studio o f the 4th year entitled by Lazaros Mavromatidis as « climatic heterotopias ». There are three issues that make this studio distinct from other architectural design studios: (1) the diversity of the students’ background (architects and engineers); (2) the students work in groups during the whole design process; (3) students work towards their designs only in studio tuition hours.
Dr Işil RUHİ-SİPAHİOĞLU
e-FIADE project coordinator