design project of the Eilandje (islet) in the port area of Antwerp, 2014

In this semester, we focus on the relationship between space, movement, and narrative thus mobilizing spatial storytelling.
"As an art of viewing, the Italian veduta used particular codes in its description of the city. In the veduta, the portrait of the city was staged. Masters of this type of representation included Canaletto (1697–1768) and Giovanni Paolo Panini (c. 1691–1765). Working closely with topographical representation, this genre of view painting emphasized the drama of location; the portrait of the city in Italian vedutismo, that is, tended toward a narrative dramatization of sites, characterized by a heightened sense and a tactile texture of place. As they merged the codes of urban topography and landscape painting, city views also incorporated the cartographic drive, creating imaginative representational maps. The city was approached from different viewpoints. These ranged from profile and prospective views to plans, map views, and bird’seye views, which were often even combined. Factual accuracy was not the aim of these urban views, which exhibited an interest in rendering a mental “image of the city” and proposed not one “cognitive mapping” but diverse observational routes. Imaging a city involves a cluster of diverse maps that are inhabited and carried around by city dwellers within themselves. View painting inscribed this moving, inhabited, inner space within its mapping of the city."
This is the description of italian vedutismo by Giuliana Bruno and it outlines the ambiguity of all approaches to a city - visually and emotionally.

With this background, we will skip into a new method to design an urban project.
Students first embark on exploratory single work focusing on an emotional description of a outstanding urban situation they met in their life.
This will be followed by a theoretical research in exploratory group work on predefined themes.
The in‐depth studies contain a design project of the Eilandje (islet) in the port area of Antwerp, a project of urban regeneration, urban ecology and waterfront design. The syntheses of these studies will help students formulate individual urban design concepts, shaped into coherent and imaginative master plans.