End of term Review 28th March Architectural Association

AALU End of Term Review


28th March 2014


32 Bedfore Square, 2nd Floor Back


Architectural Association


Print


With Judith Reiser, Independent Journalist, Urbanist and member of ISOCARP


Gabriela Garcia de Cortzar, AA PHD candidate


Constanza Madricardo, AA Landscape Urbanism,


AALU continues to shape an European Atlas of Radical Cartographies. Work in progress will be presented by each of the teams working on different landforms around Europe and informed by  its social formations. All welcomed.



End of term Review 28th March Architectural Association

Critical Cartographies Lecture by Teresa Stoppani 20th March 2014

Critical Cartographies


Teresa Stoppani , 20th March 2014, Soft Room, 6 PM


Architectural Association



[M]apmaking conventions are based not only on a sensible view of the world but on themselves, on their own historical sense of what counts as a legitimate view of the world. As the geographer J. Wreford Watson writes, “The geography of the land is in the last resort the geography of the mind.”

Catherine Ingraham, Architecture and the Burdens of Linearity, 1998.


Simryn Gill_Four Atlases of the World and One of Stars_2009


The use of the grid in mapmaking offers a rational instrument that is based on conventions in order to fix and to communicate information. At the same time the cartographic grid produces an intentional opacity that can reveal the “project” of mapmaking, otherwise concealed in its apparently objective and impartial presentation. From the impossible bird’s eye views of cities presented as city portraits, to the measured space of the map, the conventions and the “lies” of cartographic representation reveal that the map is in fact a project, that is, the production of a never-neutral critical space. Always partial, mapmaking establishes a relation of difference and of excess with the territory that it re-presents, thus becoming a generative system that is able to produce and incorporate those interpretations, intentionality and transformations that characterize the process of the project. Examples, stories and images drawn from architecture and the visual arts accompany this exploration of critical cartographies.




Critical Cartographies Lecture by Teresa Stoppani 20th March 2014

AA Landscape Urbanism New Website

We are launching our new AA Landscape Urbanism website. It contains the new agenda “A Pan-European Atlas of Radical Cartographies” including the programme research developed over the last years as well as work by current students:


http://landscapeurbanism.aaschool.ac.uk/


 


j+e_sandbars_energy_A0_1


It also works as an AALU online resource and centralised all the social networks the programme is constantly updating. Have a look and please follow us on: Facebook,Twitter, Issuu, Blogger

For the latest news, reviews, events, students thesis and articles and publications by staff and students.



AA Landscape Urbanism New Website

India's Infrastructural Metropolitanism 2012-2013

PROTOTYPICAL URBANITIES: India’s Infrastructural Metropolitanism


 


India’s urban population explosion in the last few years has propelled the emergence of a conflicted/chaotic rapid urbanisation in the subcontinent as well as the implementation of major civil works intending to cope with a growth which needs to be founded both on the creativity of its entrepreneurs, but also on the grounds of its spatial infrastructures.


Landscape Urbanism will engage both critically and opportunistically with the newly planned Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor starting from the North region close to New Delhi. We shall explore the generation of ‘proto-strategies’ for new large-scale agglomerations as a means of critically addressing the phenomena of mass-produced cities. The students will be asked to identify the conditions for their own projects in such a way that they can thread spatial, social and environmental discourses linked simultaneously to the large scale government led idea and the localised response emerging from the found territorial conditions. The whole group of student projects shall conform an alternative mode of spatial development, where the character of transnational infrastructures is used to ground and root a socio-technical alternative for a brand new urban nature.


Check these projects: THE RURAL NEXUS, TOURIST URBANSCAPE



India's Infrastructural Metropolitanism 2012-2013

Beijing Metropolitan Area 2011-2012

PROTOTYPICAL URBANITIES: Towards an Interstitial Ecology


 


China’s economic boom, combined with migration from the countryside to the cities, is boosting a high-speed urbanism that produces new cities in the shortest imaginable time and is completely changing the faces of the older towns. This directional urbanisation, propelled from within the coastal zones into the countryside, has brought even the smallest villages face to face with the phenomena of globalisation and its foreign capital and generic architecture.


 


Building upon a body of research established over the past four years of work in this field, LU has maintained its focus on China’s ambitions to build four hundred new cities by the year 2020 — with 12 million people expected to move from rural to urban locations — as the basis for its brief.  Far from resisting this development, we have engaged opportunistically with the generation of ‘proto-strategies’ for new large-scale agglomerations as a means of critically addressing the phenomena of mass-produced urban sprawl. Our test-bed for this year has been the urban agglomerations around Beijing metropolitan area.


 


Check these projects:



Beijing Metropolitan Area 2011-2012

Yan Tse River Delta 2009-2010

AGENDA Building Building upon a body of research established over the previous two years of work in this field, AALU maintained its focus on China’s ambitions to build four hundred new cities by the year 2020 — with 12 million people expected to move from rural to urban locations — as the basis for its brief.  Far from resisting this development, AALU engaged opportunistically with the generation of ‘proto-strategies’ for new large-scale agglomerations as a means of critically addressing the phenomena of mass-produced urban sprawl. Our test-bed was the urban agglomerations of the Yangtze River Delta — including Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Ningbo — with students focusing on the emergence of three benchmark issues in this area:


• Metabolic Rurbanism: the emergence of ‘desakota’ (urban villages) in which urban and rural processes of land use are combined, and the potentials it presents for the origin of industrial ecologies.

• Tactical Resistance: where generic, top-down masterplanning collides with informally developed urban cores, the potential to locate the fault lines of this dynamic as a space from which a tactical urbanism that is qualitatively informed and territorially specific, might be produced.

• Material Identities: the inadequacy of attempts to provide new urban settlements with an instant ‘identity’, through the application of either vernacular or western styles of building, in the context of ‘post-traditional’ urbanization.


Check these Projects: Dredging Identity, Pro Multiplicity



Yan Tse River Delta 2009-2010

Pearl River Deltal II 2008-2009

Building on previous year’s body of research, LU took again China’s ambition to build 400 new cities by 2020 as the basis for its brief. According to this plan, 20 new cities are to be built each year to contain the huge numbers of people – around 12 million annually – who are leaving the countryside for urban areas. Far from resisting this development, we opportunistically generated ‘proto-strategies’ for new large-scale agglomerations as a means of critically addressing the phenomenon of mass-produced urban sprawl. Our test bed was the Pearl River Delta, where students focused on the emergence of four benchmark conditions identified by our previous research: the underlying dysfunction and creative potential of industrial ecologies in the rapidly urbanising rural hinterland; the rapid deindustrialisation and disintegration of second-cycle city cores; the emerging resistance of traditional and informally grown urban cores to top-down planning procedures; and the terms by which a new sprawling state engages with existing agricultural land. We operated critically, seeking to produce alternative templates of urbanisation based on strategies that stemmed from embryonic processes seeking the integration of cultural tradition, regional ecological systems and economic globalisation.



Pearl River Deltal II 2008-2009

Pearl River Delta 2007-2008

AGENDA China’s economic boom, combined with migration from the rural areas, is fuelling a high-speed urbanism that is producing new cities in the shortest imaginable time and completely changing the face and character of the country’s older towns.

This directional urbanisation, propelled from within the coastal zones into the countryside, has brought even the smallest villages face to face with the phenomena of globalisation, foreign capital and generic architecture. At the same time, the pace and scale of development, particularly in the mega-cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan, has highlighted the interrelated problems of mass migration, pollution and the loss of arable land. The lack of an overarching urbanisation policy means that there are no mechanisms of negotiation between economic interests, cultural traditions, developmental pressures and existing ecologies. At a larger scale, China risks seeing its urban identity swamped by a generic pattern of indiscriminate urban sprawl.

400 NEW CITIES In 2000 the former civil affairs minister, Doje Cering, formulated a plan to build 400 new cities by the year 2020, to accommodate the migration from the countryside into urban conglomerations. According to this plan, 20 new cities need to be established each year. LU took this formulation as the framework for the year’s research, testing the applicability of our methodology to the limit, then adjusting and reformulating it. The resulting work generated ‘protostrategies’ for new large-scale agglomerations as a way of critically addressing the phenomenon of mass-produced sprawl urbanisation. The test-bed for the year’s project was Pingshan and the brief was the documentation recently provided by Chinese planning authorities, requesting its change of status from county to a new city. We operated critically, seeking to produce alternative templates of urbanisation based on strategies that stemmed from embryonic processes seeking the integration of cultural tradition, regional ecological systems and economic globalisation.


Check these Projects: RURBAN GROWTH, INTERCROPPING CITY



Pearl River Delta 2007-2008

Middle East Agenda 2006-2007

AGENDA The tight relationship between the environment, its natural resources, and the modern history of the Middle East is unavoidable; this simple, albeit powerful equation has, over the past fifty years or so, fuelled a series of major developments with implications ranging from the global to the regional and the local scales. In this case it seems appropriate to extend the characterisation of an ‘extreme environment’ – often assigned to the desert – to embrace and describe also local economic, social and political conditions, resulting in a concoction whose degree of excess and intensity generates an acute state of fragile equilibrium. Despite the environmental implications, human dependence on non-renewable energy resources continues to increase. In the UAE, for example, the oil consumption (per capita) is 1.21 barrels per day per 10 people (ranked 6th of 2070), a growing dependency that has largely annihilated the further development of alternative industries. At the same time, a high population growth, together with the rising participation of women in the labour force, is translating into a rapidly growing national labour force, which, given the limited room for further employment in the government sector, is generating an unemployment trend that has started to increase in most GCC countries. The governments, not oblivious to this fact, are engaging with a sustained pick-up in non-oil growth, exemplary of which is Qatar, committed to invest over $15 billion in R&D.


Check these Projects: RESPONSIVE COASTLINE, LIVING MINE



Middle East Agenda 2006-2007

Sri Lanka Agenda 2005-2006

At 00.59 GMT on 26 December 2004, a magnitude 9.3 earthquake ripped apart the seafloor off the cost of northwest Sumatra. Over 100 years of accumulated stress was released in the second biggest earthquake in recorded history.

It unleashed a devastating tsunami that travelled thousands of kilometres across the Indian Ocean, taking the lives of more than 200,000 people in countries as far apart as Indonesia, The Maldives, Sri Lanka and Somalia. This year we focused on the development of the studio’s work in Sri Lanka. Rebuilding and reoccupation of these areas required careful determination of potential hazard zones to avoid future loss of life and property. At the same time the new sociopolitical configurations generated as an immediate consequence of the local death toll called for a reinterpretation of the traditional pattern of spatial inhabitation, both at the macro and micro scale. The new ground configuration – partly artificially generated by new policies which are responding to the pressure and perceived need to develop tourism – enforced the regional dislocation of underprivileged communities, in the process causing serious concern for their economic future and drastically changing the local human urbanism. We sought to seize the opportunity which presented itself: that of engaging foreign capital while negotiating the needs of the local population to improve their conditions in what ought to become a sustainable regenerative process.



Sri Lanka Agenda 2005-2006