Territorialism 2

Key issues: contemporary territories, ecological rationality, life-cycles, embodied energy, inclusion
Design operations: conceptualization and scenarios construction
Place: Boston Metropolitan Region/Greater Boston

I the interior peripheries of Megalopolis

The Option Studio follows up the work developed in the Option Studio Territorialism 1 (2012), in which the territorial scale and the form of the territory were fundamental basis to understand the contemporary city and the important modifications occurred in its spatial, economic and social structure.

The urban field is changing and ecological rationality can offer fundamental opportunities to intersect and integrate the various territorial layers. It is a means of directing or redirecting attention towards the territorial support in contemporary landscape architecture and urbanism. It focuses attention on time, impermanence and biotic relations which, through natural dynamics, can permeate all environments.

Reflecting on territorialism, as the Design Studio invites the students to do, means to reflect on the notion of territory at a high conceptual level. The territory, what we perceive as a territory, or as our territory, is above all a mental construction inside which territories can be created or erased.

Territorialism is also the appropriation of a certain territory from a species or a group that in this process defines its own territory and the self-limitation of movements inside a precise area. Process of inclusion and of exclusion are connected to the idea of territorialism. As well as boundaries and defensive strategy.

Dealing with ecological rationality requires an enormous conceptual shift, in order to integrate ever-changing biotic relations, energy and water management with design and to use it as an active research tool to increase spatial and environmental justice. How to recycle the leftover of the economic and ecological transition; how to rethink Megalopolis?

II framing the future: from modification to metamorphoses

After a series of N/S an E/W expeditions in the Boston Metropolitan area and until the Appalachian ridge, during Territorialism 1, the Studio has developed the hypothesis that revealing and discussing disconnections and fractures inside the “middle ground” of Megalopolis can construct a relevant point of view to frame its future. In particular the idea of metamorphoses alludes to a transformation after which the object has completely changed its nature.
By using couples of distinct and contrasted hypothesis, the ambition is to define a field where the themes proposed by the case-studies can be approached. The scenario construction is an attempt to frame the discussion on the future of these places and of Megalopolis.
The discussion about “Territorialism” will start from the “interior peripheries” of Megalopolis investigated through three keywords: life-cycles, embodied energy and inclusion.

III Design Studio
The design studio investigates the role of design as knowledge producer, as an active and research tool in the understanding and construction of the contemporary territory.

It will be concentrated on operations of conceptualization and on the elaboration of scenarios, crossing different scales (from the regional to the scale of strategic projects). The focus will be on the need of new spatial and processual concepts and tools to deal with time, new problems and perspectives.

The design studio is structured by the following operations:
Walking: the role fieldwork and description
Comparisons: how to interpret different situations
Images and concepts: the role of abstraction
Scenarios: exploring the future