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Fall 2021
Cultures of Assembly: The Esch Clinics

Chandigarh © Aglaia Konrad, 1994

A heterogeneous social reality demands corresponding spaces of social interaction. Urban regeneration is deeply rooted in the social sphere. No architect, planner or city authority can ever generate an urban equilibrium through purely physical change. Regeneration is about how people are encouraged to interact with one another. Therefore, sustainable regeneration necessitates communication on equal terms, including diverse stakeholders.

In the context of platform-building by the Chair of the City of Esch / Urban Regeneration, the 3rd semester asks the students to investigate questions around governance, agency, assembly, trust, and community on an architectural scale in the city. They will choose and work in a specific neighbourhood in Esch, learning from it while defining a locally relevant methodology and responding to its socio-cultural and physical fabric.

As a mode of identity building, the students will devise strategies for a new movement of neighbourhood enabling in Esch. The brief asks to consider the conceptualising, framing, implementation, and communication of a local amplifier, an integrated, decentralised, and distributed citizen assembly, which sets up a physical and virtual interface for local communities. Which programmatic items would be of relevance in the chosen territory? How does one learn from the immediate and broader environment? How does this manifest itself in terms of architectural language?

The course explores the relationship between the social phenomenon of human assembly and how (spatial) design may arguably have the ability to effect and affect everyday urbanism situations. It investigates the correlation between habitus, spatial policies, and design practices to place the student as a critical mediator at the intersection of the different local actors.

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