Brazil, Java and Leeuwarden


Studio leader: Associate Professor Masa Noguchi

Sustainable housing development is a major challenge in Brazil and it is experiencing a severe housing shortage of 5.4 million units, which 90% of the homes are aimed to accommodate low‐income families. In 2009, the Brazilian government launched the family financial support program called Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My House, My Life), aiming to reduce the housing shortage. To date, the program had delivered 3.4 million housing units over the last six years yet it is still in progress. This Travelling Studio will explore a wide spectrum of hopes and fears around the design and construction approaches being applied to low cost social housing developments in Brazil. In order to transfer the local knowledge, this studio will be carried out in collaboration with students and professors at the Federal University of Parana and the University of Sao Paulo and the State University of Londrina. The previous studio activities were documented and can be observed on the ZEMCH website.

ZEMCH is an acronym of ‘Zero Energy Mass Custom Homes’ that reflects global needs and demands for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable housing and the community development. This project will aim to demonstrate how Brazilian ZEMCH movement initiated in 2011 can be applied to the improvement in their low‐cost mass housing developments so as to enhance the level of sustainability, which embraces housing economy and adequacy beyond the legitimacy in which the quality barely coincides with individuals' various needs, desires and expectations. In response to growing global warming issues and the constant increase of energy prices, low cost housing in Brazil needs to be designed, constructed and operated more responsibly to secure the low to zero energy use and carbon dioxide emission.

This ZEMCH Travelling Studio will investigate a set of architectural, building and planning solutions that can be applied to the delivery of socially, economically and environmentally sustainable homes in Brazil and the local community development and evolution. It will provide students with opportunities to visit some social housing developments in Brazil, attend joint lectures to be delivered by renowned local scholars, and experience a ZEMCH design development workshop at the Federal University of Parana, where students, teachers and industry representatives will join together to maximise the interdisciplinary R&D activities for people and society.

Java, Indonesia

Studio leaders: Dr Gideon Aschwanden and Adrianne Joergenson

The studio is built on an interdisciplinary teaching and learning approach, bringing together the staff and students from the Melbourne School of Design, Institute Technology in Bandung and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore to visit the centre of Java.

Java is an island of extremes: a rapidly urbanizing population of 150 million, a climate and topography borne from volcanic activity, and a rich agricultural climate that provides up to three harvests per year. The struggle between these three forces has led to a multifaceted set of unique architectural and urban solutions. This studio investigates this rich history by following the routes of the 19th century German‐Dutch explorer Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn who studied the geography and nature of Java. The renderings he sent home in his 1843, the ‘Java Album,’ contributed to the European perception of Java as an ‘Exotic Island’ and has defined tourism in south east Asia for the last two centuries. Students will investigate how tourism has changed the island and its self‐perception over time.

The students will learn the importance of ‘genius loci’ – defined as the prevailing character of a place but which also encompasses the inherent constraints and resulting opportunities of that place. Students will investigate the current status of development on the island as well as propose future developments that respond to the sense of identity that Junghuhn’s images contributed to.

This highlights the importance of traveling for architects and urban designers as a two‐way fertilisation. Architects and urban designers are exposed to different approaches and designs that influence their work in the future.

This studio is taught in collaboration with ‘Footnotes from Java,’ a multi‐ disciplinary project based on Junghuhn’s journeys at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and the ITB Institut Teknologi Bandung. This studio will benefit from ongoing research and provide opportunities for a cross‐ fertilisation of ideas and research methods between the two institutions.

Leeuwarden, Amsterdam

Studio leaders: Professor Christopher Ryan and Dr Michael Trudgeon

Students will take part in an international studio in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in collaboration with students and academics from the Technical University of Delft and the Alto Design Factory in Finland.

This studio will address the strategic objectives laid out in the successful bid by the City of Leeuwarden for the EU Cultural capital 2018. Their thematic emphasis is on building from a long history of innovation to: "demonstrate that culture can be at the heart of transformation in the strengthening of the social fabric and human potential of Europeans - through an interdisciplinary approach [that harnesses] energy and creativity necessary to address the core themes from multiple perspectives." "In addressing our themes, we involve [local, national and international] artists, scientists, citizens and institutions alike." Their themes address ecological and economic sustainability in three domains: Nature and Culture; City and Countryside; Community and Diversity.

The Leeuwarden Travelling Studio (TS) will focus on 2-3 urban sites. These sites have been selected by the city as key sites for the European Cultural Capital program and now require master planning and design development with the intention of realising projects on these sites for 2018. The students will develop design interventions to transform the existing built environment and systems of provision (energy, water, food, transport, information) for a sustainable, low carbon, resilient future. - What steps must be taken today to get there? The aim is to identify opportunities that can become sites of design intervention to shift the path of innovation on a new trajectory: towards sustainable, resilient conditions.

To understand the strategic objectives of this TS it is important to emphasise the objectives and strategies identified by the City of Leeuwarden. This set of objectives will be presented to the students through lectures and publications. The collaborative objective of this TS objective is to demonstrate the process and value of the VEIL Eco-Acupuncture approach to achieving the Leeuwarden City objectives for the EU Cultural Capital exhibition and beyond.

The complexity of the challenges requires a multi-disciplinary perspective. The studio brings together students and professionals of architecture, landscape architecture, building technology, urban design and planning from Australia and Europe. It builds on VEIL’s well established academic and professional network.

Through workshops, students will develop a general understanding of Leeuwarden’s current situation and the challenges facing the city. They will then develop a design vision for a sustainable Leeuwarden in 2018, focusing, in smaller groups, on specified sites as potential locations for this round of Urban Eco Acupuncture interventions.

There will be an emphasis on physical model making in this studio and we will hold an introductory session in the MSD Fabrication Lab.

The studio will travel to Copenhagen for a 2 day architectural and design study tour.

See all past travelling studios

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