2024 Spring International Design Studio

In Spring 2024, we are hosting two International Design Studios taking unique approaches to architecture’s role in addressing major issues.

One studio, led by the Spain-based TAKK (Mireia Luzárraga and Alejandro Muiño), titled “KIN INFRASTRUCTURES Interspecies Alliances within the 6th Massive Extinction Era”, will focus on beneficial coexistence between humans and other species in the context of the ongoing biodiversity extinction crisis. Students will research existing cases of threatened interspecies relationships, map the systems involved, and propose designs that rebalance ecological conflicts through cooperation rather than further disruption.

The other studio, guided by the Belgium-based OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, titled “A Very Big House”, will explore new concepts for urban housing typologies within the extreme density of Tokyo. Pushing against typical residential scale, students will design timber “big houses” that test the limits of domesticity through repetition, exaggerated shared spaces, or other means of achieving an intentionally amplified presence. The aim is to inject new models of urban living into Tokyo’s urban fabric.

While TAKK’s studio operates at the scale of ecological systems, looking at architecture as a support for interspecies symbiosis, OFFICE’s studio zooms in on challenging traditional notions of the single-family house within hyper-density. Both studios position architecture as a key tool for shaping more equitable and sustainable future environments, albeit through very different lenses and methods.

By providing this diverse range of inquiries, the International Design Studio program encourages students to think critically about architecture’s potential impacts – from the most intimate domestic sphere to the largest environmental scales.