Design Studio (Winter 2023/2024)

see better fields

Finding Fine Forms

Relevance. Germany has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as part of the European climate protection regulation[1]. The expansion of renewable energies (RE) is essential for this. The approaches are highly controversial and reflected in the resistance from the population and politics and resulting seemingly endless planning procedures. Changing landscapes are polarizing and time is short. 

Current planning practice is characterized primarily by stratifying procedures. Exclusion criteria and assessments of harm to different landscapes dominate planning processes. Spatial structural concepts are missing and synergy effects for the population and biodiversity are only marginally addressed. Within the semester project see better fields we ask ourselves: how can we as landscape architects help to shape the energy transition? How can we quickly develop new and creative solutions for a modern landscape that is not only economically and ecologically, but also socially and aesthetically good? How can RE plants even structurally enrich this landscape, create new contexts, but also allow for real diversity and differences (difference)?

LAREG has long been conducting research on how to better integrate wind energy and solar installations into the landscape. New opportunities to connect new technology and existing land use lie in agri-photovoltaics or floating PV. Again, we are now asking: what densities, textures, and proportions emerge when the design of RE is thought of from the current cultural-historical landscape with its individual requirements and characteristics?

 

Theme. The project studio focuses on the design and integration of renewable energy in everyday and culturally and historically significant landscapes. It will focus on both conventional technologies (wind turbines, PV) and innovative ones (floating PV, agri-PV)[2]. The project area under consideration spans from the Elbe Valley, Wörlitz and Wittenberg to Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the Dübener Heide and the Köthen farmland. This landscape is characterized by many identity-forming traces of different times, which result in a juxtaposition and overlapping of diverse textures: 

. Cultural-historical - The castles and gardens, the Mulde valley and the recultivated Elbe meadows of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz" point to the influences of the former principality of Anhalt and the Electoral Saxons.
. Industrialized - The once intensively used open-cast mining area around Bitterfeld and the accompanying influence of the chemical triangle[3] caused a strong change in the landscape.   
. Tourist - As a successor to the open-cast mining, a tourist lake landscape developed. Relics of the industrialization (e.g. city of iron "Ferropolis") point to the former use until today. 
. Dimensional - Traces of agricultural collectivization from the GDR era are expressed by large plots, which were created in the course of the consolidation of production areas (LPGs)[4]
. Productive - Today's intensive agricultural use takes up about 50% of the area. 
. Future? - Solar and wind farms represent an increasingly present structural generator and are accompanied by a fundamental change in the landscape.  
This leads to the current question: Which new landscapes, uniting all the different demands and structures, do we want to shape?

To address this fundamental question, we continue to investigate: How can we succeed in preserving historically significant world heritage sites on the one hand and the necessary transformation of the landscape and integration of new structures on the other? From a large-scale analysis to a design on a 1:1 scale, regional concepts are to be developed with a view to sustainable landscape development in the future. 

[1] Climate Protection Act (KSG); § 2 paragraph 4 sentence 1 KSG.
[2] LAREG is currently coordinating the research project "GrowFlowFly", which deals with the social acceptance of innovative technologies.
[3] Saxony-Anhalt state portal (2023): Economic structure.
[4] Kleinhardt, J. (2015): Administrative reforms and collectivization of agriculture in the young GDR. 

Master Integration

Master groups deepen their designs in the context of an additional practical elaboration. The focus will be on the construction and statics of innovative (agricultural) PV modules. The students can develop their own models and technical drawings. Furthermore, the deepening aims at developing realistic forms of representation that depict the visualization of the new modules in a multi-layered way (collages, 1:1 models, detailed models, 3D models, etc.).

Theory, Literature and Sources for Self-Study

  • Corboz, André. 1983. The Land as Palimpsest.
  • Rossi. Aldo. 1966. The Architecture of the City. 
  • Schöbel, Sören. 2018. Landschaftsvertrag. Zur kritischen Rekonstruktion der Kulturlandschaft. (Kapitel: Einleitung) [German only]
  • Henri Lefèbvres (Lefèbvre, Henri. 1968. Right to City.) positions about
    ... palimpsest and permanence
    ... cut and seam 
    ... nature and culture
    ... texture, tissue paysage
    ... landscape as work (oeuvre)

Schedule

Supervisions are always on Mondays, from 1.30 p.m.

Mon. 16.10. Bachelor project introduction (4 p.m.) and Master project introduction (4 p.m. or 5 p.m.)      

Tue. 31.10- Fri. 03.11.2023: Excursion (presentation of the papers on site)                  

Mon. 27.1. presentation design analysis (on printed plan)

Mon. 18.12. Presentation Concept (Pecha Kucha on beamer), Fireside Evening Renewable Energies: Research LAREG

Thu. 08.02. Final presentation

Thu. 22.02. Hand in integration (only Master) digital as upload