Insights on the role of architectural design in the transformation of landscapes under pressure.

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Water as a protagonist of the architectural intervention at the intermediate scale.

The research focuses on the role of architectural interventions in challenged landscapes, addressing their multiple transformation processes. Contemporary landscapes deal with enormous pressure of external factors, the most important one being water-related. Analysing different conditions of the transformation of waterscapes to study coherent architectural design approaches, the research will be divided into three storylines: water as a stimulator for civil awareness of climate change (track A), the role of water in the ‘strip’ metropolis (track B) and water as a base for new productivity (track C).

This PHD is a research on architectural design in times of change and within a broader context of intervention. Also, the influence of the changes within the market, government and civil society will be linked to the role of the designer. The main research question is: ‘How and to which extent can a designer -through an architectural design- respond to a specific context of landscapes under pressure?’ Through exploring opportunities of challenged landscapes, the question remains if it is possible to bring the power of market forces, the efficiency of the government and the urgency within civil society together in an architectural intervention. In each storyline and related case studies, water will play the role of an accelerant to transform those pressures into opportunities for a new resilient (urban) landscape. The relation between these storylines and its interpretation will allow to pronounce a discourse on the role and meaning of architectural interventions and their inherent design processes in contemporary challenged landscapes.

PhD project, Sis Pillen (prom. prof. Dr. Kris Scheerlinck, co-prom. Prof. Dr. Erik Van Daele)