Urban Ecology

Course Name: 
Stadtökologie SE
Winter Term 2018
Course Number: 
Course Type: 
ECTS Credits: 
Acacdemic level: 
Study Program: 
Architektur (443)
Repeats every week every Tuesday until Tue Jan 22 2019 except Tue Oct 23 2018, Tue Nov 06 2018, Tue Nov 13 2018, Tue Dec 18 2018, Tue Dec 25 2018, Tue Jan 01 2019, Tue Jan 08 2019, Tue Jan 22 2019.
Language of Instruction: 

// Brief 

Architecture traditionally has approached ecology as a "mother nature"(1), understanding it as harmonious, cyclic and balanced background, only perturbed by humans. Today we see nature as "twelve-thousand-year-old human product"(2) - catastrophic, imperfect, manipulable and holistic. Understanding that nature and artifice are hardly differentiable leads us to a new relational model between design object and environment, biological and technological systems. Interaction of these systems becomes an ecology itself. Contemporary cities, in this scenario, expand to synthetic ecosystems. Design object - to a technologically integrated bio-artificial design system. Bio-computation and bio-digital fabrication become instruments which implement design processes and integrate material behaviors into design form.

// Method

Incorporating bio-digital fabrication strategies and material studies, seminar will be investigating new aesthetical logics for a production of synthetic design solutions. Exploring capacities of a composite material to construct a structural growing system, projects will aim to implement a new design logic for urban interventions, as well as to study the relationship between biological and artificial materials, digital and biological fabrication. Research will be focused on large scale 3d printing and bio-artificial material system development. Students will study a 3d printing technic and develop a composite bio-artificial material system which will be tested in 1:1 scale structure, developed for an exhibition at the center Pompidou in Paris, describing a relational system between environment and design object.

Intensive research will follow the steps:

- bio material (algae): growth, research, microscope studies, documentation.

- bio-artificial material system development.

- 3d printing technic.

- inoculation methods.

- monitoring and documentation.

- theoretical reflection. (TBC)


// schedule

Session 1: Tuesday 2nd of October 17:00 – 20:00


// bibliography

  • Gregory Bateson, “Steps to an Ecology of Mind”
  • Timothy Morton, “Dark Ecology”
  • Timothy Morton, “Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics”
  • Slavoy Zizek “Living in the end times”


// Notes

(1) Slavoj Zizek, "Examined Life: Philosophy is in the Streets". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_K_79O21hk

(2) Timothy Morton, "What is Dark Ecology?"

Maria Kuptsova
Terezia Greskova