Dissertation and Exhibition introduces students to the diverse realm of landscape architectural research. The unit is structured into two distinct elements: the Research Methods workshop and the individual dissertation.
This year’s Research Methods Workshop explored a relationship long overlooked in landscape and architectural theory: that of infrastructure and the city. Using infrastructure as a lens, the workshop aimed to address the processes that take place for infrastructure to be placed within, adapted to, and co-exist with its urban environment. We understand landscape and cityscape through their coexistence, both shaped by non-human and human forces: water, vegetation, energy, transportation, buildings, creating and created blue, green, and grey infrastructures; both visible and invisible. We called for new contributions that address landscape and cityscape not as backdrops for infrastructural production and appropriation, but as the very focus of study.
Following weekly exercises in which landscape and architecture students worked together, students chose a theme to focus on further and to develop and expand on it using any of the methods discussed in the seminars. As their final output, they delivered an empirical portfolio containing both narrative and visual presentations and analyses, documenting the production or maintenance of one chosen type of infrastructure and its networks. The portfolios explored and problematised the relations between infrastructure and the city: their co-existence, co-evolution, and their many negotiations and contestations.
Building on the methods learned in the Research Methods workshop, students develop and define their own research question, methodology and analysis of their chosen area of interest in their individual Dissertations. The projects are supported by a series of interdisciplinary methodological lectures and a series of landscape focussed research talks delivered by invited guests.