RS.1 Research Studio
Mexico City

Senior Faculty: Willy Müller
Faculty: Jordi Vivaldi
Computational Expert: Jose Carlos Cervantes

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. In the Studios of last years, we have been working in cities like New York, Rio de Janeiro or Hong Kong in order to understand how do they manage an unknown type of urban complexity. In this scenarios, the grade and the type of metropolitan problematics is far from the traditional urban topics of 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. These circumstances are placing in the centre of the contemporaneous urban debate a new conceptual space that we are defining as Extreme Urbanism, an anomaly caused by atrophy, deformity, obsolescence or catharsis that we urgently need to study.

Mexico City “Segundo Piso”

This studio 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.

Rim Youseff, Madhurya Bayyapuneedi

Under this conceptual space, the theoretical frame in which we will narrow down our discussion will be based in the emergence of 6 new modes of urban mobility: the Unprogrammed Mobility, the Km0 Mobility, the Induced Mobility, the Hiper-connected Mobility, the Autonomous Mobility and the Nogistical Mobility. These new modes of Mobility will operate as the basic hypothesis under which we will unfold two design exercises: on the one side we will explore how to design ex-novo micro-cities, and on the other side we will apply this formal research on a real case study: Mexico City and its brand new mobility infrastructure called “Segundo Piso”. The city will give us the opportunity to design not only new urban tactics but architectural projects, paying close attention to emergent design processes associated with Data Collection, System Optimisation with Genetic Algorithms, Permutation of solutions through Parametric Systems and Generative Systems Design Language. A multi-scalar strategy will be proposed along both terms, which will cover the range from the infrastructural scale to architectural scale, with a research-trip that will give the students the opportunity to deeply study and analyse its territory during at least one week. In order to do so, the Studio will also count on several means of support, based on digital instrumental activities and theoretical masterclasses.

Dynamic Mobilities, José Carlos Cervantes

Learning Objectives 
> Capacity to establish a long term urban mobility strategy
> Urban analytical capacity
> Expertise in the operational use of design digital tools
> Capacity to design a radical urban proposal
> Capacity to understand the cultural landscape in which the design project is placed

Faculty Members
Willy Müller, Studio Director
Jordi Vivaldi Piera, Studio Faculty
José Carlos Cervantes, Studio Computational Expert

Studio Support Seminar
The design needs asked by the Studio require the use of some of the last design computational tools. Because of it we will count on the presence of one of the most prominent European figures on this field, José Carlos Cervantes, who will give a intensive seminar and general support on different design tools, including parametrics and digital simulations on Maya.

The seminar will take place at the very start of the Studio in January, in order to be able to improve your skills and have a strong impact on the development of your design project.

Research Trip dates and info
Mexico City, 8th-14th April 2019

The research-trip is a crucial activity that will allow students to articulate the abstraction of the first design exercise on an ex-novo city to the specificity of a particular location. In this case, the site will be Mexico City.
During the trip, many activities will be unfolded. Academic visits will be important in order to present our work in mexican academic environments, but we will have the opportunity as well to present our work in political and institutional locations. Beside these activities, it will be crucial for the students to investigate the different sites in which they will be working during the last term. We will probably keep 1-2 days for these activities, understanding them as the starting point of the last term.

Finally, we will have the chance not only to visit some of the great architectures of Mexico city, but also some of the amazing landscapes that surround the city. We will consensuate these visits during the first term of the Studio.