IAAC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
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IaaC Research - Students Research - Emergent Territories // Intelligent Cities

Emergent Territories // Radical Region 2013-14

Director: Willy Müller, Pablo Ros

Tutor: Jordi Vivaldi

In Collaboration with: Hernan Diaz Alonso, SCI-Arc – Los Angeles

The IAAC works beyond the conventional scales of territorial design, town planning, building or fabrication in designing a multiscale habitat. As in the design of ecosystems, each level has its own rules of interaction and relation, and at the same time must comply with certain parameters that pertain to the system as a whole. The Emergent Territories group works on projects that range in scale from the territory to the neighbourhood.

The idea of Emergent Territories is related to two issues: On the one hand, the IaaC is interested in understanding those countries and cities around the world with emerging economies and cultures that, by virtue of their regional or economic position, can contribute value to the planet as a whole. In recent years we have studied Brazil, Croatia, Taiwan, Romania, Colombia and Tunisia, or in the near future will be studying India and the countries of North Africa, the Persian Gulf and Sub-Saharan Africa. The work done in these countries seeks to identify the particular urban and territorial values of these places in order to construct more intelligent territories anywhere in the world, moving on from the Western idea that there is a single model of city (be it European or American) to work on the basis of more complex and more open values.

The other issue related to emergent territories has to do with the creation of intelligent territories that function in a multiscalar way, in order that the relationship between natures, networks and nodes can foment the ‘emergence’ of an urban intelligence.

To this end we are interested in pursuing what we call ‘Hyperhabitat’ research as aprocess of developing a general theory of the multiscalar habitat that can be applied anywhere in the world and at any scale, as a basis for the construction of complete complex ecosystems.

This group also focuses on Barcelona as a site for ongoing urban experimentation, with a view to contributing to the discussions and refl ections in relation to the urban progress of the city.

Emergent Territories 2012-2013: Radical Region

Faculty: WILLY MÜLLER, HERNAN DIAZ ALONSO

Assistant: MAITE BRAVO

Guest Tutor: Peter Trummer

What constitutes a radical region? Which design strategies will redefine cities as hybrid terrains embracing the whole built environment, merging traditional boundaries existing between architecture, urbanism, landscape and infrastructure? Can site specific environments be formulated through associative design strategies to increase the relevance of architecture at an urban scale? Could dislocated territories be repositioned as hybrid terrains offering unexpected relationships and fields of experimentation?

Within a highly experimental framework, this studio seeks to radicalize the discourse around the role of architecture as a subversive strategy to redefine the role of segregated territories and ageing infrastructures at the urban scale. The objective is to work with concepts around means of connectedness at a territorial scale,

emphasizing aspects of mobility, infrastructure, environmental strategies, placemaking, energy efficiency and landscape terrains.

Within the regional area of Barcelona, the Besós represents one of the main rivers crossing the regional area of Catalunya, flowing 40 km from the interior to the Mediterranean Sea. Once a productive ecosystem on the outskirts of Barcelona, the intense rate of urbanization in the Regional Area has placed enormous pressure to the Besós Area in terms of pollution, mobility, ecology, to the point of the river currently it appears not only crossing, but severely segregating the territory. However, in recent years the lower Besós underwent an “environmental recovery” with a water treatment plan, and the purification of polluted areas along the river.

Despite all these efforts, the Besós it’s today a complex segregated and fragmented territory, presenting complex problems, such as acute crime and social heterogeneity, diverse morphologies of grids and meshes colliding, a multiplicity of uses, and complex mobility networks.

The area offers distinct zones, such as the Forum, La Mina, or Collserolla Park, and it’s currently agglomerating 4 Municipalities, making it an excellent testing ground for the study of new ideas, models, strategies and radical transformations.

The studio will develop tools for analysis, diagnosis and strategies at a territorial scale, to later formulate proposals on specific points. Students will identify and explore diverse scales, from urban formations to the definition of singularities such as buildings, units, or components that may create new conditions of urbanity for the 21st century.

Therefore, students will work at an urban, building, and a smaller scale, to finally develop physical prototypes of components.

Directed by a some of the most radicals voices of our generation: Hernan Alonso(SciArc LA), Willy Muller (Iaac Bcn) and Peter Trummer (Innsbruck, Austria), this studio will be held concurrently with students from SciARc.

Emergent Territories 2011 - 2012: Urban Metabolisms - From Data to Architecture

Faculty:  Willy Müller, Maite Bravo
Technical Experts: Alex Posada, Luis Fraguada, Edouard Cabay, David Dalmazzo

The scale, complexity and relevance of problems affecting contemporary cities of the 21st century are bringing forward new levels of urban interventions that arguably constitute the most significant design agenda for architects of this century. Within this context, the territory of architecture could be redefined as a hybrid terrain embracing the whole built environment, merging the traditional boundaries existing between the disciplines of architecture, urbanism, landscape and infrastructure.

Emerging design agendas today are able to explore the symbiotic relationship between buildings and the urban environments they in-form based on fields of fluctuating data, developing morphologies capable of adapting to real time information. This studio brings forward fundamental concepts related to the importance to propose symbiotic systems of organization based on real time data, that can be further articulated into responsive systems and metabolic organizations, where small decisions can have a large impact at urban scale. The need to investigate the capacity of the city to interact, give and receive information and invent new devices capable of monitoring in real time what is happening in the city in terms of traffic, waste, CO2 emissions, and energy use, it’s being investigated by a science that combines urbanism and robotics: Urbiotica. The fluctuating data collected thru sensors provide detailed information of minimums and maximums, instead of the traditional rigid design approach based on averages. This information may be used to design adaptive systems able to create a relationship between programmatic, formal, spatial, and structural decisions.

According to these parameters, projects will be developed on a varied urban scale, from large interventions to intelligent buildings to small devices or components that may create new conditions of urbanity for the 21st century. Students will identify and explore diverse scales, from urban formations to the definition of singularities such as buildings, houses, or components. Therefore, students may decide to work at an urban scale, or maybe at a building scale, or perhaps into a smaller component scale.

Emergent Territories 2011 - 2012 Projects Archive

Emergent Territories 2010 - 2011

Faculty: Willy Müller
Assistant:
Maite Bravo
Guest Tutors:

Michel Rojkind, Architect, Rojkind Architects, Agent,México
Alberto Villareal, Designer, Agent, México
Antoni Brey, Engineer, General Director, Urbiótica
Luki Huber, Industrial designer

During this studio we will be working on large infrastructure areas in Barcelona called ´Rondas´, a network of mobility and its surroundings, consisting of different large scale projects. In these we will investigate the relation between the programmatic decisions, both formal and spatial as well as structural, in relation to their capacity to interact, give and receive information and the need to invent new devices.

Devices that become part of the urban design and are capable of monitoring in real time what is happening in the city as far as waste, CO2 emissions, traffic, and energy use are considered. In these areas of mobility is where the major logistic concentrations such as the airport, the Zona Franca, the new and old port , the Olympic port, the beaches, the Marine Zoo and the Forum are found; all the large urban scenes of Barcelona in the last years. Nevertheless it is exactly there where we will be able to investigate and regenerate a ´re-informed city´, introducing new concepts of design that could bring in ´small intelligence actions´ capable of acting in three main concepts of a city of zero emissions:

- what the city spends
- what the city saves on
- what the city produces

According to these parameters we will try to develop projects on a varied urban scale, from small devices and street furniture to intelligent buildings and big interventions that intend to create new conditions of urbanity for the 21st century.

Emergent Territories 2009 - 2010

Faculty: Willy Müller
Assistant: Maite Bravo

The idea of Emergent Territories is related to two issues:
On the one hand, IaaC is interested in understanding those countries and cities around the world with emerging economies and cultures that, by virtue of their regional or economic position, can contribute value to the planet as a whole. In recent years we have studied Brazil, Croatia, Taiwan, Romania, Colombia and Tunisia, or in the near future will be studying India and the countries of North Africa, the Persian Gulf and Sub-Saharan Africa. The work done in these countries seeks to identify the particular urban and territorial values of these places in order to construct more intelligent territories anywhere in the world, moving on from the Western idea that there is a single model of city (be it European or American) to work on the basis of more complex and more open values.


The other issue related to emergent territories has to do with the creation of intelligent territories that function in a multiscalar way, in order that the relationship between natures, networks and nodes can foment the ‘emergence’ of an urban intelligence.

Emergent Territories 2008 - 2009

Faculty: Willy Müller
Assistant: Maite Bravo

The idea of Emergent Territories is related to two issues:
On the one hand, IaaC is interested in understanding those countries and cities around the world with emerging economies and cultures that, by virtue of their regional or economic position, can contribute value to the planet as a whole. In recent years we have studied Brazil, Croatia, Taiwan, Romania, Colombia and Tunisia, or in the near future will be studying India and the countries of North Africa, the Persian Gulf and Sub-Saharan Africa. The work done in these countries seeks to identify the particular urban and territorial values of these places in order to construct more intelligent territories anywhere in the world, moving on from the Western idea that there is a single model of city (be it European or American) to work on the basis of more complex and more open values.


The other issue related to emergent territories has to do with the creation of intelligent territories that function in a multiscalar way, in order that the relationship between natures, networks and nodes can foment the ‘emergence’ of an urban intelligence.

Emergent Territories 2007 - 2008

Faculty: Vicente Guallart
Assistant: Daniel Ibañez