An International Urban Design Workshop

29 August - 4 September 2016, Chania, Crete, Greece

the city as a laboratory

Exploring Chania as an urban laboratory on the sea edge the workshop brings into focus a number of issues common to medium-scale coastal cities in Greece, the Mediterranean, and beyond: abandoned places and urban voids, disputed edges where the ground dips into the sea, sites of remembered histories and forgotten stories, contested interfaces where the public meets the private, hybrid spaces where the physical merges with the digital, urban disorders regulated into grids and zones, local communities transforming within an international tourist market.

At times clearly delineated, at others blurry, and always in flux, it is the edge that is this workshop’s primary matter: the edge between abandonment and occupation, memory and oblivion, public and private, physical and digital, land and sea, spontaneity and regulation, community and market. Making use of design and policy tools for shaping and managing space the workshop aims at a series of urban design proposals for specific sites in the city where these phenomena are most strongly manifested. The selected sites in each of the 7 units of the workshop thus function as a lens through which an exploration of broader issues can be embarked upon and brought to a productive design-oriented conclusion.

On the Sea Edge immerses participants into an intensive 7-day programme consisting of design studio teamwork, fieldwork research, and lectures, complemented with parallel public and social events. Each workshop unit welcomes 7-9 participants; it is lead by one guest and one host tutor, pairing international expertise and methodological approaches with local knowledge and lived experiences of the city. Final proposals are presented and debated in public in the presence of a jury composed of key representatives from industry, academia, and local authorities.