ED 202: MUD Advanced Design Studio
Macrolotto Uno: Retrofitting an Industrial Enclave
Tuscany is famous for its historic centers and rolling hills, but most Tuscans live in the campagna urbanizzata, a patchwork of agriculture, factories, and homes, an Italian version of suburban sprawl. This studio redesigned Macrolotto Uno, a planned industrial polygon outside of Prato, Tuscany’s second largest and most important city. This one square kilometer area is Europe’s largest fast fashion district, mainly run by Chinese entrepreneurs. Both rents and social tensions are high. Students traveled to Prato and Florence where they met with local administrators and researchers and studied and documented the site. Their projects took different approaches in transforming this single-use industrial quadrilateral into a real city, adding services and facilities, living spaces, and a system of interconnected public spaces.
Associated Instructor: Visiting Professor Giulio Giovannoni, University of Florence, Italy
Rethinking the Shopping Mall: Creating New Paradigms
One quintessential but rapidly declining component of the exiting urban model are the numerous insular, auto-oriented, retail malls and shopping centers that dot our built fabric. As a product of a series of demographic, economic, and behavioral shifts, and the convenience of e-commerce, shopping malls have suffered. This studio asked if these large swaths of land and gigantic, empty structures serve a more meaningful purpose to address the pressing challenges faced by cities and counties? Can transforming retail malls trigger a new way of thinking about the future of the urban communities and exemplify environmental, and social responsibility? The teachers asked
students to envision a future for declining shopping malls in the Bay Area using the lenses of equity, climate resiliency, net-zero carbon, and new mobility ecosystems. Students developed innovative design strategies based on research and analysis.
Associated Instructors: Geeti Silwal, Peter Pfau, Yao Lu, Oblio Jenkins: Perkins&Will, San Francisco office. Ettore Santi: UC Berkeley
Designing the Valley: A Rural California Studio
This studio will expose students to the key design challenges posed by rural California in its ongoing transformations, including agro-touristification and territorial branding, water scarcity and ecological change, Indigenous politics, immigrant labor and homelessness. A sponsored trip to the Salinas Valley, “the salad bowl of the world” will be the starting point of the design exploration. During this immersive field experience, students will meet with relevant actors (landowners, growers, governments, NGOs, workers, tourists, etc.) and define their own sites in relation to the existing regional and transnational systems. Their work will advance original and transformative proposals that collectively reimagine the future of the California Valley. Expanding the focus of urban design toward the rural environment, this studio will train students to address the key socio-ecological changes they will face in the decades to come.
Associated Instructors: Ettore Santi, UC Berkeley.