Design Research Studio, Melbourne, Australia

The beauty of the unexpected........
This Dutch / Australian studio at RMIT focused on the subject of ‘planning the unexpected’.
Historically, cities have been developed for centuries and are ‘layered’ by the landscape its culture of living, its individual choices, and its accidents, its tensions of structures and changes over time. Can we authentically design landscapes that will be developed in a short period of time that can continue to hold the qualities of these historically grown cities? In response to the (over) planned and static suburbs of many western countries, this studio discussed how we can utilize ‘change’ as a basic ingredient to deal with the dynamics of the contemporary metropolis.

The aim of the studio was to ‘educate’ students on how to deal with changes and so called ‘accidents’ that occur in the design-process in order to produce designs with an accumulated wealth and a broadened dynamic way of (bottom-up) planning. Usually, such accidents are the result of changing political ideas, economic influences or technical developments in a plan process. While these accidents can pop up from the outside, it’s also possible to start designing them by planting them into the plan as a minor yet a high-precision landmine. The students had to produce strategies that incorporate the unexpected in their plan. Additionally, ‘unexpected influences’ were utilised as a basic ingredient throughout the process of the studio.

OUTR in collaboration with Karres en Brands and Bridget Keane