CHAIR OF ARCHITECTURE
AND URBAN DESIGN —

PROF. KEES CHRISTIAANSE

ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
ONA G41 – Neunbrunnenstrasse 50 – 8093 Zurich
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URBAN POTENTIALS AND STRATEGIES IN METROPOLITAN REGIONS



This research platform explores ways of employing urban design in qualitative research on polycentric metropolitan regions. Besides developing the means to understand, describe and further design these, the goal of this initiative is to analyze the performance of the relevant planning strategies and instruments. Following this line, design projects do not only serve the identification and creation of urban resources, they are also employed as methodological tests: Designing is conceptualized as a use-test-entity that has a productive and an inquiring dimension. On the one hand, it projects contingent possibilites to illustrate differences to actual reality. Therefore, designing can be understood as a tool for producing (new) recources in order to achieve the projected difference. On the other hand, designing can be seen as an inquiring qualitative-heuristic (thought) experiment that investigates the qualities of actual reality. By relating these two dimensions of the same single action with the different interdependent aspects of the design process, the design process can be extended beyond the mere creative act to a more extensive formation of thought and, therefore, the work of the designer can be better connected to other intellectual virtues. This investigation is based on theoretical reflections as well as on findings that have been collected via the specific potentials of the (urban) design during the actual designing. The research is rooted in reflections on the design courses, in interviews with practicing actors and in transdisciplinary workshops.

 

 

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