Let’s Walk Urban Landscapes

I have just returned home from the design research symposium Let’s Walk Urban Landscapes held in Hannover on Sep. 1st to Sep. 3rd where I had the great pleasure of meeting old friends from Germany again.

The symposium was arranged by Studio Urbane Landschaften and, as the title of the conference suggests, was based on the engagement of the symposium participants in order to discover and discuss new pathways in design research and practice. Divided into six different workshops we were encouraged to co-create the symposium by walking different areas of Hannover in teams.

I had the daunting but surprisingly wonderful experience of walking Roderbruch, an urban district in Hannover namely dubbed Roderbronx, with a team run by Emanuele Braga from Landscape Coreography. Braga took us for a collective, and intuitively coreographed, walk through the urban district of Roderbronx with the aim of discovering, and conveying, forgotten, hidden or otherwise unnoticed spatial relationships in the urban fabric of the Bronx.

Despite (probably) looking ‘out-of-place’ from an outsiders perspective we encountered microworlds of water fountains, hidden creeks, invisible boundaries and in-between spaces by immersing ourselves ‘in-it’. Encounters that could have been ‘overlooked’ if we had used other, more traditional, mapping techniques.