Projective Cities Programme Guide 2014-15

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PROJECTIVE CITIES MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design

Projective Cities is a 20 months, full-time postgraduate programme at the Architectural Association School of Architecture dedicated to research and design at the cross-section of architecture, urban design, and planning. The programme prepares students for a long-term research trajectory through a rigorous methodological framework and supervision. Conceived as a stand-alone MPhil degree, the training in research methodologies and thesis work provides students with a structured taught programme that leads many into advanced PhD studies.

Architectural Association School of Architecture

TEACHING AND LEARNING MODEL The taught MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design raises the question of what kind of project and research arises from architecture and architectural urbanism in relation to urban design and territorial planning. It sets out to define the status and methods of design research. This is understood both as an intellectual problem, exploring the relationship between theory and design for knowledge production, as well as a practical problem, of the way that design research can affect practice. Thus equal importance is given to written and designed work. The ambitions of Projective Cities are framed by the following methodological and pedagogical propositions: That the contemporary city can be read as an architectural project and the city as a projection of the possibilities of architecture. That the urban plan and its cultural, social, political, historical, and economic contexts are defined by architectural design operative at different scales. That typal and typological reasoning make available alternative but complementary disciplinary frameworks to understand and project the synthesis of the city and its architecture. Type and typology are never understood through purely formal symbolisations but rather through a conceptual mode of thinking in which reason acquires its critical and conjectural structure. That architectural and urban plans are intelligible as formal and theoretical products of disciplinary activity as well as the collective outcome of sociopolitical forces. That design and research activities are inseparable in architecture and urbanism, and that knowledge production (theory) and formal production (practice) are methodologically linked. That architecture and urbanism are symbiotic modes of enquiry driven by relevance and agency within a field and not novelty for their own sake. This field is defined in terms of a series of distinct diagrams that are always social and spatial.

Campus as City: Proposal for the ETH Campus Hรถnggerberg, Zurich, Switzerland. Marcin Ganczarski (2014)

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE Projective Cities is divided into a Taught Year 1 and a Research Year 2. All students work individually throughout the entire programme, with two-thirds of the time spend working on the dissertation and its proposal. In the Taught Year 1, consisting of three academic terms, thematically and pedagogically integrated design studios, seminars, and workshops introduce students to the analytical and research methodologies required for the formulation and completion of an independent research project. The two design studios, ‘Analysis of Architecture’ and ‘Architectural Urbanism’ respectively focus on the study of architectural case studies and relevant urban plans. Part of the studios are intensive production and skill workshops. Closely related to the studios, two seminar courses, ‘Architectural Theories and Design Methods’ and ‘Theories of the Contemporary City’, examine the relationships between theory and practice, and conceptualisation, representation, and realisation. They discuss architecture and its histories and theories within the context of the city in relation to different conceptual frameworks and methodologies. Supporting the studio work and seminars, a weekly course introduces students to architectural and academic writing. The Thesis-Studio in the last term of Year 1 is a combined design studio and seminar course in which projective ideas of the city are discussed and developed. Framed by the different research methodologies from the first two terms, students define their unique research interest and formulate a formal research enquiry and topic. Once consolidated, this becomes the Dissertation Proposal. Research Year 2, consisting of two longer academic terms, is structured according to individual research plans. The Dissertation Proposal is developed into a final designed-and-written Dissertation. Throughout their research, students are closely guided by their dissertation supervisors. A final Dissertation, consisting of a comprehensive design and fully integrated written research is submitted at the end of the programme.

Year 1 / Term 1

Architectural Analysis, Theories, and Design Methods The subject of the design studio ‘Analysis of Architecture’ is architecture’s formative diagrams and the methods of comparative, historical, and structural analysis. The studio begins with the definition of a research interest that frames the individual work during the first two terms of the Taught Year 1. Students select an architectural type, a number case-studies, and identify a series of urban plans or proposals that have a direct relevance to the type. The analysis of types and their related formative diagrams of building typologies require the abstraction of shared traits. They define typicalities both in a formal and socio-cultural sense. The commonalities and transformations evident in a group of building types convey a collective form, structure, and organisation. Type however is never a formal concern of classification, which is a typological problem. But if type and typology are considered together, non-linear yet complementary spatial and social forms emerge with specific diagrammatic qualities. While typal and typological studies always refer to a historical disciplinary knowledge and thus to a problem of historicity, this is also their reason for sustained relevance and the need for a continuous effort to overcome pre-taxonomised solutions. Based on the studied type, analysed formative diagrams, and abstracted typological transformations, a short design proposal is developed by each student. Parallel to the studio, the seminar ‘Architectural Theories and Design Methods’ discusses different concepts of type and their role in the systematisation of disciplinary knowledge and methodical design in architecture. It examines how the modern reasoning of form emerges from concepts of type and typology that establish architectural histories and theories as a discursive field of knowledge and provide a collective framework for architectural speculation. Type connotes a conceptual thinking that anticipates and precedes problems of architectural formations. And type negotiates the possibilities of the generic, the typical, and the specific that become articulated in design through typological analysis. Typal and typological function is therefore essentially diagrammatic. Any architectural diagram consequently can be said to be typo-diagrammatic.

Post-urban Economy: The Transformation of the CourĂŠe Typology, Lille, France. Simon Goddard (2014)

Congress Centres Guillem Pons (2013) To congress means a formal meeting and discussion. Buildings that host them provide large-span spaces and good access and circulation both within and the urban context. Congress centres have always been places for different kinds of meetings with the aim to share knowledge, discuss current issues or show new discoveries. Because of this diversity, congress centres are exemplary flexible and multi-purpose spaces. The comparison of four case studies shows their differences and similarities. The most distinct element, and at the same time the least specific, is the exhibition space. The flexible space has increased over the last thirty years to more than 50% of the total floor area, making the building typology ambiguous and arguably turning it into a large-span shelter. Case Studies: a. Palazzo dei Congressi, Venice – Louis I. Kahn (1972) b. Palazzo delle Poste, Rome – Adalberto Libera (1938-1954) c. KKL, Luzern – Jean Nouvel (1995-2000) d. Congrexpo, Lille – OMA (1994)

a. b. c. d.

Site Plan main hall secondary hall gallery / exhibition auxiliary room staircase elevator

a. b. c. d.

a. b. c. d.


Programme 1. main entrance 2. secondary entrance 3. hall

addition / substraction unit whole

a. b. c. d.

a. b. c. d.



a. b. c. d.

a. b. c. d.


Section addition / substraction unit whole

a. b. c. d.

a. b. c. d.

Hierarchy and Layering

a. b. c. d.


a. b. c. d.



Year 1 / Term 2

Architectural Urbanism and Theories of the City The basis of the design studio ‘Architectural Urbanism’ is that architecture does not just exist as a specific object at one scale, but as a generic possibility at many scales. If urbanity then can be said to be the synthesis of formative types and their diagrams, the basic organisational, structural, and tectonic elements of the city, it presents with typology both practice-driven formal solutions and equally a sociopolitical and cultural content—the necessary parts of an urban plan. Studio 2 focuses on the analysis of urban plans and introduces the conventions of urban design. The studio explores common design and planning criteria in specific urban proposals. Following the analysis of a large-scale plan, the relationship of building types to the conceptualisation and formation of a city and its plans are studied. Specifically, it looks at how the generality of type adapts to socio-cultural, economic, and political contexts. Within this study, emphasis is given to the question whether a typological conflict results from the insertion of a type into an existing context, necessitating a typological transformation—even if only projected—or how strategic arguments can be made for a typological transformation and its possibilities within a context. As in Studio 1, a design brief written by students is developed into a quick proposal. Complementary to the studio, the seminar ‘Theories of the Contemporary City’ looks at how the contemporary city has been theorised in the recent past through critical writings and projects that challenge the traditional history of urban planning. A history that emerged with scientific urbanism in the late nineteenth century and became formalised by the Modern Movement. The seminar discusses modernist theories on the contemporary city that developed with a fascination with town planning, and twentieth-century theories that largely defined themselves in opposition to modernist doctrines and led to the invention of the urban design discipline. The seminar proposes that the city has increasingly become a critical field of theory that attempts to reconnect architecture with the challenges and questions raised by the contemporary city and prolific urbanisation.

The Administrative City: Proposal for a New European Quarter, Brussels, Belgium. Guillem Pons (2013)

Tertiary City Lille France. Simon Goddard (2013) This work examines how the development of Lille’s tertiary economy has affected its urban form, and vice versa. While projects such as Euralille have cemented its status as regional capital, international significance (and with it investment) still alludes the city. Lille’s transformation has not been a resounding success, but nor is it a failure. In many cities the import of foreign capital through the relocation of businesses is a major focus. The availability of Greenfield and ex-Industrial land is often a prerequisite. This places cities in a race to the bottom to provide the most business-friendly environment. In Lille this phenomenon has resulted in new business clusters that are largely incongruent with the existing urban fabric. What if Lille swallowed a rather bitter pill and accepted that at an international level it is not a hub, but a periphery: the city-suburb of not one, but three European capitals. Given current trends in the workplace, it appears that Lille’s tertiary economy depends more on attracting individual workers than corporations. Vie Quotidian over Ville Radieuse. Lille Region Lille Pre 1968, Pop 190,000

Lille Métropole d’équilibre Post 1968, Pop 950,000 TOURCOING


Lille Roubaiz Tourcoing


Paris Strasbourg Nantes Saint-Nazaire


Lyon Grenoble Sainte-Etienne


Euralille, Business, 14000 employees


Haute Borne, High Tech, 6000 employees

Aix-en-Provence Marseille

Eurasanté, Health & Biotech, 2600 employees Euratechnologies, IT, 1600 employees

Métropoles d’équilibre

L’Union, Textiles & Graphics, 1300 employees

Métropoles d’Équilibre

Architectural Diagram

Architectural Diagram

Architectural Diagram

5 ‘Sites d’Excellence’

Architectural Diagram

Tower as part of large scale modernist ensemble.

Fragment of historical Lille.

Inhabitation of the interior of the block. Figure/Ground

Urban Diagram


Urban Diagram


Urban Diagram

Urban Analysis of Existing Types


Urban Diagram

Lift core as linking element of striated space. Laid on side.

Couree is widened, and the central space is programmed.

Horizontal core activates low-cost interior.

Central space becomes space of interaction and collectivity.

Typological Transformation

Building conforms to planning code.





BELGIUM Amsterdam2h45

London 1h20

Köln 2h30* Brussels






CDG 55mn



01. Ville de Lille 226,827 inhab. 35

02. Lille Métropole 1,091,438 inhab. 615

03. Département Nord 2 576 770 inhab. 5 743


04. Nord-Pas-de-Calais 4,107,148 inhab. 12 414

05. Eurométropole 1,905,000 inhab. 3 550

06. Lille Métropole ADU 3,800,000 inhab. 7 200

07. Euralille SPL 100 000 000 (300kms) 4 000 on site

Lille: French or European?

Agrarian, Early Industrial, Industrial and Tertiary City

Micro Block

Crédit Lyonnais Office 14,600 sqm 1460 workspaces* Portzamparc


Building 12, Parc Horizon Technology Park Office/Lab 1242 sqm (GFA) 120 workspaces* Architect Unknown

Micro Block Proposed Housing 200 apartments Gehl Architects


Courée in Wazemmes Housing ca 1900 1870 sqm (GFA) 26 families Architect Unknown


19.5m 32.3m




8.6m 1.4m

Circulation 314 sqm 17%

Circulation 12 sqm 2%

Circulation 90 sqm 5%

Circulation 474 sqm 38%

Living space 1640 sqm 95%

Living space 743 sqm 60%


Workspace 938 sqm 50%

Plan Footprint 1886 sqm

Site d’Excellence studied in detail Site d’Excellence not studied in detail Housing studied in detail


Workspace 583 sqm 90%

Plan Footprint 650 sqm

Footprint 2500 sqm

Footprint 1255 sqm


3 Case Studies in the Inner City

Existing Types: Office Tower, Dom-ino, Micro Block andCourée

Proposal: The Disaggregated Office

Application to Existing City Fabric

Year 1 / Term 3

Thesis Studio: Diagrams of the City The Thesis-Studio is a combined design studio and seminar course in which students develop their Dissertation Proposal. The premise of the programme and the Thesis-Studio is that critical and speculative projects on the city, whether practice or theory based, manifest an underlying ‘idea of the city’. These ideas can be considered as defining a particular relationship between architecture and the city. Some of these ideas and different epistemological perspectives of the city are discussed in seminars: exemplary proposals, representations, theories, and reflections on the city. The seminar examines how diverse readings of the city promulgate specific diagrams and define formative elements of the city. Most of these readings have a medium specificity and a clear methodology through which an urban thesis becomes related to a process of conceptualisation and representation. Often speculative—un-built or unbuildable—these urban projects remain in the realm of projection but have an enduring effect on our (disciplinary) understanding and knowledge of the city. The ideas of the city in that sense are diagrammatic and open-ended in their possibilities but consistent in their relations and construction. In the concurrent studio work, students clarify their research interest and define a theoretical and physical context in which this is situated. Students are asked to formulate a research problem with relevance to a larger disciplinary discourse, and research questions that are architecturally specific and relate to a distinct urban problem. A clear relation but also difference needs to be established between the architectural and urban research questions. This requires methodological clarity, the definition of a site and context (physical, historical, theoretical, and speculative), and the writing of a preliminary design and research brief. To clarify the object of research, a number of questions and problems are explored through writing and drawings. This is as much an analysis of, as it is a speculation on, the formation of the city and its different organisational diagrams that provide the grounds to hypothesise new multi-scalar relations between architecture and urban plans. These idea(s) or diagrams of the city are one important means to develop the object of research through drawings. They are further the basis to write a preliminary design brief and develop a first design proposal that elaborates the research through a series of design speculations.

The Administrative City: Proposal for a New European Quarter, Brussels, Belgium. Guillem Pons (2013)


“The problem is that even the best national states in the world cannot control these global problems. We need something bigger but the big countries do not like something bigger, so no one is designing something bigger, and ... I think that is the challenge.” Luis Moreno Ocampo, first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

Luis Moreno Ocampo The Post-Civic Condition The Hague, Netherlands. Naina Gupta (2014) The post-civic condition is a political condition in which non-representative international organisations are increasingly powerful political agents. Examples of these are intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations like the United Nations, International Criminal Court and the Open Society Foundation. These organisations are increasing in number since the 1970s and greatly influence international policy. They share an ambiguous relationship with the state, functioning as both a civic and private organisation. As they claim to work on behalf of all people, they change the relationship between people and state, transforming the nature of the city as a civic space. The research is situated in The Hague in the Netherlands, where 160 non-governmental and 10 intergovernmental organisations are located that specialise in security and justice. The city is consciously creating an urban environment that attracts international organisations by providing an International Zone. The Hague is also the administrative centre of the country and an important city in the South Randstad, which makes it a space

Political Constituencies in The Hague of many political constituencies. Currently in The Hague there is no clear understanding of the political relationships between an international organisation, the state and the people. This ambiguity is deliberate, and the administrative district, cultural square and the International Zone are all planned as discreet urban spaces linked by neutral ‘public’ plazas that are framed by entertainment functions and galleries. In fact, the city has simply become a place of entertainment. The research criticises the creation of the International Zone as a process of ‘de-politicising’ the city. It will attempt to explore the spatial relationships existing between international organisations, the state(s) and the people in order to understand what post-civic space is. Problem Definition In 2009, the city of The Hague began a project called the International Zone. The city has a long-standing association with international organisations since the construction of the Peace Palace in 1905 for the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The International Court of Justice is located in the Peace Palace. The project is a retroactive consolidation of existing international organisations within the city, which include

The Post-Civic condition is a political condition in which institutions that are non-representative and international are increasingly powerful as political agents. Architecturally they adopt a civic stance to gain legitimacy from the people but in reality they have an ambiguous relationship with both the people and the state.


3 2



19 25

18 7 17 5 6

16 15





10 11


UN Headquarters

1. Ministry of Finance 2. Royal Academy of Art 3. Royal Theatre 4. Representation of European Comission and European Parliament 5. Dutch Parliament and monistries 6. Ministry of Defense 7. De Resident (mixed use) 8. City Hall 10. Hotel 11. Church 12. Filmhouse 13. Spuiforum 14. Spuikwartier (mixed use) 15. De Kroon 16. Ministry of Interior & Kingdom Relations 17. Ministry of Security & Justice 18. Ministry of Spatial Planning and Justice 19. Ministry of Education, Culture & Sciences 20. Den Haag Centraal

A New Centre: A Project of Culture and Administration





Peace Palace - International Court of Justice Architect: Louis Cordonnier - 1905


International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia Architect: Adrianus Van Steur 1951-1953


Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Architect: Kallmann, McKinnell and Knowles - 2000




40 0

National Security Education and Policy think tanks International Business Embassies

Europol Headquarters Architect: Quist Wintermans Architects - 2011



International Criminal Court Architect: Hammer Schmidt and Larsen - 2015

Eurojust Architect: Mecanoo - 2015

The International Zone: The Post-Civic Condition

Intergovernmental Organisations in The Hague

diplomatic missions, policy think-tanks, IGOs and NGOs. The main enabling urban intervention was regional connectivity through a high-speed motorway linking the zone to Schiphol airport.

the state are unable or unwilling to form relationships at an architectural or urban scale. It is thus timely to define their space in the city and their relations to the citizens and the state. The new centre is an ideal site to test and define these relationships. By transposing the International Criminal Court into a site that is perhaps the most civic in the traditional sense yet also post-civic in reality, the research will explore the postcivic.

The International Zone is one project aiming to create a knowledge economy based on security and justice. Another is the new centre. The various proposals for the centre have been changing since 1945, with visions ranging from an administrative to a cultural centre. Today the new centre tries to connect The Hague with other knowledge centres in the South Randstad via the Prins Clause Plein, strengthening the economic role of the city. The new centre contains the Turfmarkt, which houses the national ministries, and the Spuikwartier with the city hall and a cultural square. Many buildings within the site are owned by the Government Building Agency, part of the spatial planning ministry that maintains the various sites for government operations. The International Zone is characterised by security disconnection. The organisations are loosely arranged separated by setbacks, landscape fences and moats. International Zone is a compromise, as the organisations

International Court of Justice: 1946

and and The and

Research Question What is the post-civic condition? What are the spatial and structural relationships between international organisations, different states and the people? How do these relationships transform civic space in a post-civic era? Urban Question What is the role of urban design in staging public-political encounters in a post-civic condition? Architectural Question What is the role of architecture in defining the relationship between the paradigmatic International Court and the city? How is an International Court different from a national court?


International Criminal Court 2015


International Courts

Proposal for a New Centre in The Hague


Year 2

Dissertation Research The Dissertation is concurrently developed through writing and design. Theorydriven and practice-driven researches are complementary and define different aspects of knowledge production and disciplinary discourses in architecture. Both the theoretical and design research are to be considered within a general and specific context, in which the relevant histories, theories, and practices related to the dissertation project can be discussed. The methodological emphasis on intersections of design theory and practice is reflected in the assessment of the Dissertation as one submission. Thus, the Dissertation must include a comprehensive design proposal based on a defined design methodology, and an integrated theoretical proposition based on a stated research method. This requires students to reason the overlaps and limits of writing and design in their Dissertation. The Dissertation must demonstrate a research problem of disciplinary relevance that contributes to knowledge. The Dissertation should articulate a specific research agenda dealing with the multi-scalar relationships between architecture, urban design, and planning by proposing research questions and hypotheses that deal with specific architectural and urban problems. The Dissertation is to demonstrate a clear methodology to analyse, interpret, and generate design propositions. This should be done by studying the relations of specific spatial and social diagrams. The Dissertation is in parts a design research, a projective proposition, but its speculations should be re-assessed in terms of the potentials and limits of design to research. Design proposals should not be understood as conventional final master plans but as speculative frames that diagrammatically discuss the possibilities of design. Thus, the results of the primary design-research should be considered as typological guidelines, opening up a discursive debate on the role of design and urban plans to the discipline and knowledge of architecture and urbanism. Typological guidelines define a framework of spatial and material organisation, policy-making, and implementation, rather than a literal design or proposal.

Hukou Reform As Urban Reform: Cellular and Infrastructural Development, Shanghai, China. Cyan Jingru Cheng (2014)


Hukou Reform as Urban Reform Shanghai, China. Cyan Jingru Cheng (2014) In the two decades to come, Chinese cities will be confronted by a reform of the hukou (housing registration) system and consequently by new challenges of urban growth and densification. The hukou system is used by the central government as an administrative instrument to control labour mobility and social welfare distribution by dividing Chinese citizens into rural and urban households. The forthcoming reform will abolish this fundamental rural-urban dichotomy, permitting a floating population of 250 million to legally move to Chinese cities and access public services. The reform will thus change the social and spatial stratification in China, resulting in urban intensification and increased demand for social welfare. The expected urban growth will further dissolve an already lacking urbanity and exacerbate urban sprawl; a sprawl greatly caused by the reliance of development on the mega-plot in which urban intensification is achieved through the repetition of modular units. Given this history, the hukou reform will result in a homogenous urbanisation without differentiated mid-sized and large urban centres. It will turn one third of the Chinese territory into a continuous urban region.

Although the hukou reform is foremost social and political, the overlap of different urban, social and political agendas makes the reform also a fundamentally urban one. Thus, how will this affect Chinese cities? How do we have to reconceptualise urban planning in China to consider the challenges posed by the reform of the hukou system? The history of Chinese planning is one of cellular development and a repetition of modular urban units, which represent changing ideas of collectivity and autonomy in both sociophilosophical and spatial terms. Examples of this are the courtyard house, danwei and mega-plot. While these models assume a coherent social structure, the increased mobility and mix of urban populations resulting from the hukou reform will undermine this very assumption: the idea of a stable and clearly defined social group. While initially enforced by the hukou, the two fundamental concepts collectivity and autonomy will eventually disappear – destroyed by the reform. The social and spatial relations between collectivity and autonomy historically created self-sufficient governance and urban development at a relatively large scale and made minimal formal planning possible. In fact, the parcellation of land became the most important precondition of development.

Capacity of Social Welfare


Porposal: Infrastructural Network and Nodes

Nodal Points: Urban Atria

Urban Formations - Historical Periods

Urban Formations - 1950s

Urban Formations - After 1980s

Social Tie - Historical Periods

Social Tie - 1950s

Social Tie - After 1980s

Cellular Urbanism: Courtyard, Danwei and Mega-plot

Social Ties: Kinship, Work Unit and Consumerism

This made the diminished the need for large infrastructures, as the autonomous units of a modular urban formation did not rely on them.

welfare and an increase of large-scale infrastructure, what is this infrastructural logic? How will the hukou reform radically change the nature of Chinese cities from a cellular to an infrastructural organisation?

When the Communist Party of China took power, they used this spatial order and the hierarchical cellular organisation to govern the vast population of China of 1.37 billion through a chain of command. Labour mobility did not exist in the family occupying the courtyard house and only limited in the working unit of the danwei. However, the current model of the megaplot has seen the emergence of serious urban conflicts caused by increased labour mobility and mixed urban populations. Given that on the one hand the economic and spatial strategy of the mega-plot is no longer viable and that labour and social mobility is controlled by the central government through welfare distribution, an alternative provision of social welfare is required. The current social welfare distribution in spatial and social terms is closely linked to the hierarchical Communist Party structure and follows the cellular logic of urban planning. Consequently, the bottom-tier agencies of the existing welfare system, the residents’ committee and community activity centres, are largely undifferentiated and repetitive. Accepting that the hukou reform will demand a new distribution of social

The New Masterplan for Shanghai

This project speculates on how an infrastructural logic will end the existing unspecific distribution of social welfare, creating a differentiated system of distribution that can coincide with spatial infrastructures and an emerging networked urban organisation. Developing three related design schemes, an infrastructural network based on the existing metro system is proposed in the centre of Shanghai. The proposals are overlaid onto the existing cellular urban structure. Where these two urban models interact, an urban atrium is created to articulate the nodal points of the new network. This atrium, which provides the necessary social welfare programmes but also an educational hub, bundles a large amount of activity and becomes the possibility for existing and new urban constituencies to meet. The urban atrium is the strategic instrument through which the nodes of a new network are defined and different scales of infrastructure are connected. Thus it becomes the means to reshape and regulate the existing cellular urban structure.

Proposal: Collective Daily and Special Events

The Social Housing Centre: Type, Urban Form, Policy-Making, and Standards Santiago de Chile, Chile. Alvaro Arancibia Tagle (2013) This dissertation project challenges the current state of Santiago de Chile’s social housing and its dependence on the private housing market. The close relationship between policymaking, minimum housing standards, and urban form, have limited social housing to a traditional row-housing model. This allowed for large-scale and fast provision of housing. However, the success of the housing policy is questioned when its substandard design is exposed, which fails at several scales. The main failure is the inability to procure adequate locations. Recent projects could only afford plots in rural peripheries. This has in social exclusion, as these sites have no access to basic infrastructures and the city centre, the largest source of employment, services, and opportunities. In order to rethink the problem of social housing, this project proposes a new domestic-economic centre. A radical reconceptualisation of the current housing model that is based on four key transformations: 1. A non-profit (municipal-driven) procurement that creates

a new system of incentives. It attempts to increase the social housing budget by incorporating private and public funds. 2. A new territorial management that creates large administrative entities and infrastructures connected to the urban and economic centres. 3. A typological transformation of the CitĂŠ, a typical earlytwentieth century housing solution. Through a differentiation of this street-based type, a new relationship between type and urban form is developed with a clear definition of open spaces - a constant and controversial issue for most housing developments. The 4. transformation is concerned with re-thinking the idea of housing standards. Beyond the problem of how to define space standards, the project proposes the decompression of the dwelling unit and the distribution of diverse and associated economic programmes within the city. However, this does not mean a singular scalar shift from the unit to the city, but rather a multi-scalar system of relationships that create different spheres of collectivity and intimacy. Thus, the new social housing standard is linked to the possibility of both achieving an autonomy from the existing urban centre and a simultaneity of domestic urban episodes, which are manifested in the proposed social housing centre.



The Chinese Unit: Persistence of the Collective Urban Model Beijing, China. Yuwei Wang (2013) The new Chinese leader Xi Jinping referred to the ‘Chinese Dream’ on many occasions. The Chinese people always had the dream of a Great Harmony of all ‘under heaven’, longing for a society of noble virtue, material plenty and equality, in which all belongs to everyone for the common good. Over the past thirty years, China has transformed from a command to a market economy of state capitalism. State-owned enterprises account for about 60 percent of China’s GDP. But the viability of state capitalism relies on a virtuous government that stands for public interests. As a socialist country, the project argues, China should have an advanced social welfare system that matches its economic prowess. Social welfare becomes the basis to envision a new collective idea of the city, as the government realises a ‘people’s republic’ in which state capitalism benefits all. But in this socio-political context, what is the idea of the city? The urban conflicts arising from China’s reforms are evident in Beijing. While until 1978 its urban structure was based on notions of collectivity, it transformed from the specific blocks of the Si He

Yuan and Danwei to general circulatory systems and megaplots. This not only changed urban morphology but also the way people live in the city. With growing urbanisation, the population, urban structure and social relations were re-organised by a market economy, with the people redefined as consumers. This led to problems of congestion and social cohesion, fragmenting traditional social events and ties such as kinship or friendship. Spatially, it was exacerbated by the urban block becoming simply a container of population. The project criticises this notion of urbanisation and the way it has defined citizens. It revisits the relationship between architecture and the city as a social space defined by the state and its citizens in China. By examining historical urban models, a re-assembling of typical and collective events that create commonalities is proposed. The transformation of the utilitarian block into a collective social space, however, is only possible with the support of the state in forming a new live-work place structured by a new social welfare system. I thus propose not urban planning but a new megaplot model to rethink current urban conflicts and form a new Chinese urban unit with the possibility to rebuild ideas of collectivity.

Application Projective Cities invites graduates and practitioners intending to develop a substantial and original piece of research. The programme seeks exceptional thinkers, gifted designers, and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities. Based on individual research, the programme demands a high level of self-motivation and critical thinking. To apply to Projective Cities, candidates must have completed a four or fiveyear degree in architecture (BArch, Diploma or equivalent degree) by the time of entry. On successful completion of the programme, they will be awarded an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design.* Conceived as a stand-alone degree the programme also offers a structured way into a PhD. As part of the entry requirement, candidates have to provide evidence of their final project(s) and paper(s) that were completed in fulfilment of their previous degree. A full year of study at, for example, BArch, Diploma or equivalent degree level will satisfy this requirement. Previous high academic achievements are a prerequisite to enter the programme, and it is recommended that candidates have work experience of at least 1-2 years. Applicants must submit a portfolio consisting of around 40-50 pages (no larger than A3 format) that provides evidence of their previous learning (thesis/ degree work), as well as other relevant academic projects. In addition but not as substitution, professional practice work may be included. The portfolio should demonstrate the range of abilities and emphasise the design process and reasoning that has informed the work, i.e., should convey pursued research

questions and explain the design development through study drawings/models, case-studies, texts, etc. Samples of writing in English, especially academic papers, should be send with the application. A research proposal is not required at the application stage and will be developed during Year 1 of the programme. Further details on the application process, admission requirements, fees, and the application forms are available from: Graduate School Admissions Coordinator Architectural Association School of Architecture London WC1B 3ES United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 7887 4007 Email: Web: More details on the programme can be found on its microsite:

* The AA is an Approved Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of The Open University (OU), UK. All taught graduate degrees at the AA are validated by the OU. The OU is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA.

Programme Staff Dr Sam Jacoby (Programme Director) is a chartered architect with an AA Diploma and a doctorate from the Technische Universität Berlin. He has worked for architectural and planning offices in the UK, USA and Malaysia, and trained as a cabinet-maker in Germany. Teaching at the AA since 2002, he has also taught at the University of Nottingham and the Bartlett School of Architecture. Dr Maria Shéhérazade Giudici (Studio Master) earned her PhD from Delft University and holds an MA in Architecture from the Mendrisio Academy. She is currently a Diploma School and First Year tutor at the AA and has taught design studios at the Berlage Institute and BIArch Barcelona. Maria has also played a role in developing large-scale urban projects in Asia and Eastern Europe with offices Dogma, Donis and BAU Bucharest. Dr Mark Campbell (Studio Tutor) has taught history and design at the AA since 2004. He completed his PhD and MA as a Fulbright Scholar at Princeton University and undergraduate BArch and BA at Auckland University. He is the founding director of Unreal Estates and has served as the managing editor of Grey Room and the Cooper Union Archive. Dr Adrian Lahoud (External Thesis Supervisor) is an architect, researcher and teacher with a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney. He is Programme Leader of the MArch Urban Design at the Bartlett and was previously acting director of the Centre for Research Architecture Goldsmiths and director of the MArch in Urban Design at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Architectural AssociaƟon, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES T +44 (0)20 7887 4000 F +44 (0)20 7414 0782. Architectural Associa on (Inc) Registered Charity No 311083. Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No 171402. Registered Office as above. © 2014 Projective Cities

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