Contenuto dei corsi del I semestre (DIA Dessau)

Study Content for Wintersemester 2012/2013 Dessau                           

"The Productive Landscape 2050: Saxonia- Anhalt as a Laboratory"

Place Matters


Classical Modernism assumed, that  the production of Architecture was independent of Place .
From this followed logically, that the application of ( building-) technology should 
consequently serve as a guarantee for such a ubiquitous quality.

The idea of being independent of place at any cost, be they financial, social or 
energetic, lasted as long as  the idea of unlimited growth prevailed within  a post-war, 
modern and technology-based Western Society.

By 1969, man had  finally set foot on the moon. On the one hand, this endeavour 
expanded the experience of „universe“ beyond  the limits of  a so far „man-made“
environment, bound to Galileo’s Globe.- It was an efficient achievement, reached by applying technology at any cost.-
However: Its basis was a belief in never-ending expansion.

Only with the First Oil Crisis, the statistical findings of the Club of Rome and  Norbert Wiener‘s 
1973 statement, that economic growth could come to a halt or even shrink, this dogmatic 
belief came to a halt: with it, the first (over-)optimistic epoch after WW 2 ended.

From then on, research into the environment was characterised by effectivity and no longer 
efficiency at any cost.
Optimalisation and not the maximisation of technology, process  instead of artefact, they became the 
keywords of the second post-war epoch. 
With it, the sense that Architecture and Urbanism which could deliver good solutions devoid of an inspection of location had to be abandoned.
As a consequence, our joint „Post-Mastercourse in Environmental Design“ is rooted on  the common assumption: 

Place Matters.

The  contents of study and research described here, are to be seen as a  methodological study, 
that in each of its parts will use its findings within its region, defining it as its field laboratory. 

Thus, as the first Semester of it takes place in Dessau (Germany), it will concern itself 
with issues of environments that prevail in this region.

Findings within  studios are therefore always related to location.- Using this methodology,
allows for another  broad study in the Second Semester, using Sardinia as a second field laboratory.

The disparities and similarities of new emerging infrastructures in Saxony-Anhalt and/or Sardinia 
 can then be brought together collectively by an  exhibition and a publication that will mark the end of the academic year.


The Prosumer


While existing fossil-based energy systems relied on the logic of centrality, tomorrow’s networks will have to increasingly decentralize, drawing their renewable energy from the region. 

In 1980, Alvin Toffler’s  Prosumer Vision imagined a producing consumer as an actor embedded in a highly saturated market place.

When producers and consumers converge, the proximity between the places of production, consumption, and storage need to be re-thought:

By trading and exchanging various forms and amounts of energy, the prosumer thinks lean by re- evaluating any form of waste (one’s output) as tradable commodity (someone’s input). 
With that thinking, Multi-sector integrated energy systems (so-called cells) of various prosumers start to emerge. 
These self-regulating cells, like natural systems, produce heterotopic networks of dependencies. Within this field of self-organization, the prosumer represents one unit of tomorrow’s energy landscape, a so-called energy organism, a unit that will probably be the most calculable.

In light of the looming energy turnaround, the emergence of such a Prosumer as a representative of the second generation of environmentalists, seems indispensable. 



Urban and Rural Transsect 2050 (10 CFU)


As explained above, the context of the design studios for the First Semester of the Course,
will be the City of Dessau and its immediate vicinity  under a scenario envisaged in 2050. 
The overall vision is divided into two distinctive zones of inspection: 

While studio 1 under the Studiomaster Joris Fach  will explore the impact of a prosumer lifestyle within the urban zones, studio 2 under Gunnar Hartmann  will investigate the rural prosumer landscape. 

As a basis, the  projections of visions contained within the International Building Exhibition 
"Less is Future: urban redevelopment of Saxony-Anhalt“, which was  prepared by the Federal
Bauhaus Foundation in 2010, are studied.
Along these lines, students are then asked to choose from a list of specific future scenarios.

Both studios combined will formulate „Urban-to-Rural Transects“, that define a series of conditions. 
Within a range, sparse rural farmhouses to dense urban center zones, including both  self-sufficient (off-grid) energy systems as well as smart grid networks, will be studied. 
The aim of the studios is to conceptualize the characteristics of future prosumer infrastructures in Saxony-Anhalt  in 2050, looking at them with the cutting edge expertise of today‘s Design. 




Studio Workshops

"Energy Organism"  with Andreas Kiessling 

"The Productive Landscape" with Lars Lerup 

Studio Seminars

Consultants and specialists for seminars incl. Umwelt Bundesamt. 
Participant Guests to be announced


Lectures (5 CFU)

(a) Theory of Architecture
(b) History of the European City

(alternating every week)

"OldNew: The Practice of Transforming Architecture"       

Joris Fach


"History of the European City"

Alfred Jacoby


Electives  (5 CFU)

(possible choices / for further electives consult the DIA Compendium) 


"Ecology + Architecture"

 Alfred Jacoby

"Architecture and the Digital“

 Arie Graafland

"Lets make better mistakes tomorrow"

 Gunnar Hartmann

"Data Mining"

Scott Maggart