Seminar Faculty: Willy Muller
Teaching Assistant: Jordi Vivaldi Piera

Three dimensional design of urban interiors. During the first decade of the XXI century we have witnessed one of the most singular demographic events of the last centuries: for the first time in history there are more people inhabiting urban environments than the rural ones. As a consequence, on the one side the exponential growth of many metropolitan populations is reaching levels of unprecedented social complexity, and on the other side the geographical environment in which societies are settled is every time more compromised, insecure and threatened: cities as Lagos, Manila, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Mumbai or Tokyo are starting to manage an unknown type of urban complexity, in which the grade and the type of metropolitan problematics is far from the traditional urban topics that we have been developing during the XX century. We are facing limit situations of obsolescence and change of paradigms, where the classical models of success will not be useful enough. 

This seminar works under the hypothesis that the shift of paradigms that this new conceptual space requires is emancipating us from the notion of “generic information” in order to move us towards a field characterised by paying big attention to the very “specific experience”. A specificity that is being developed in an hyperexpanded present, in which past and future have collapsed and blurred our capacity to think beyond the present.

Under this conceptual space, the theoretical frame in which we will narrow down our discussion will be based in the particular understanding of what does it mean to design public space in the emerging cities of the XXI century. Through this approximation we will develop an urban design of what we call Exteriorism, that is to say, the design of a public space which is not happening anymore in the exterior of the building, but in its interior. This theoretical reflection will be implemented in a specific and extremely peculiar territory of the asian landscape: Hong Kong. A city that will give us the opportunity to experiment and apply new urban tactics in order to design an active public space that completely subverts traditional urban binomials as public-private, interior-exterior, figure-ground…