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Performative Patterns of High Density : Sustainable visions between architecture and landscape (SUTDxAalto)

April 15, 2022

Today, more people live in urban areas than in rural as our planet has gone through rapid urbanization in recent decades. This process of urbanization is affecting not only our condition of living, the social, the economic, the political, the cultural, but also the environmental. Traditionally, urban life has been perceived as an escape from natural conditions, the urban in opposition to nature. We are increasingly becoming aware that urban development has to be understood as a development within nature and in interaction with nature. This requires a rethinking of the design of our future cities. The urban as land-scape, as prosthetic nature.

Such a perspective understands nature as a complex collection of environmental operations that the city has to support or to substitute like the filtering of water and air, the provision of ecological niches, the growing of food and many more. By viewing the city not anymore as a collection of independent objects of attraction but rather as a systemic network of relationships in modulation of microclimatic conditions, we can develop new approaches to our future challenges related to urbanisation. This approach aims at improved resilience of our urban environments and the activation of cities as active generators of a balanced habitat.

The presented design speculations result of an ongoing research and teaching collaboration of Prof. Dr. Pia Fricker, Prof. Dr. Toni Kotnik (Aalto University) and Prof. Carlos Bañón (Singapore University of Technology and Design-SUTD). They are driven by thinking in structures and systems, informed by the underlying flow of various data streams and translated in a pattern of order and interactions. However, the goal is not a technological mimicry of nature and the urban as simulation of the natural surrounding but rather a creative investigation into natural patterns of interaction, into patterns of regularity as driver for design interventions.

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Pia Fricker, Toni Kotnik, Carlos Banon

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computational design methods, data-driven design, sustainable design