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TERROIR Studio at UTS

Gerard Reinmuth is to run a 4th year studio at UTS.  The project is set to re-imagine a vision of Sydney via its portal at Circular Quay.  The studio proposition is below.

Empathy, Ethics and Architecture

 

Empathy

Identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings and motives;

The attribution of one’s own feelings to an object

 

Ethics

The study of what is morally right and what is not

 

The physical evidence of cities - buildings and infrastructure - are the accreted outcome of the turbulent mix of systems and flows of which cities are formed and which encrust the topography of a place. Each city becomes unique by way of the particularity of this turbulent mix and particular topography.  In the contemporary city local and global influences form and reform in patterns of lack and excess, of redundancy and opportunity.

 

Traditional approaches to city planning and urban design, of statutory and land use planning and of streetscape and building envelope are meaningless and ineffectual in the face of this turbulence.  Planning mechanisms fail to design, clipping at the edges of the forming city, working toward a middle-road-mediocrity.  Urban design struggles to engage with the dynamic systems that shape cities.  Design-and-build packages re-package existing norms, the basic stricture of all commercialism, and invent very little.   

 

TERROIR understand the world as an ever evolving system - at both a spatial and ecological level - and which is subject to continual modification (from both natural forces and human intervention). Therefore, TERROIR is a practice constantly in search of frameworks than can provide focus for a specific project while negotiating the turbulence of our evolving world.  Our upbringing in a culture of contested wilderness areas, dam debates and world heritage listings has resulted in a preference for conceptual frameworks based upon empathy and ethics to underpin interventions in contested landscape and urban sites.

 

In this studio students can debate, position and then explore these issues with respect to a key Sydney site – the ferry terminals at Circular Quay.  In redesigning this critical element in Sydney’s transport infrastructure students will be asked to take a position in regard to the image and mechanics of the city at a key threshold point within the city structure.