Workshop of Distances
A workshop held in May 2023 saw students from three design departments come together to explore different modes of observation, mapping and interaction with real data in Timișoara.
Over the course of five days, students from the Faculty of Architecture at Technical University of Timisoara (RO) probed Timișoara’s industrial cycles, Studio Technogeographies from Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) probed Timișoara’s weather, and Borders and Territories from TU Delft (NL) probed Timișoara’s resource extraction practices.
Reporting back to each other and allowing their inquiries to cross-pollinate, the students found a common interest in the tension between interconnectedness and separation within each of these sectors. The tension was quantified as ‘distance’, both as an objective measure and subjective experience impacting perspectives, tools, interactions, geographies, and communities in Timișoara. The broadest parameters and conditions defining distance were considered: from its geographical factors such as latitude, altitude, and time, to its emotional qualities, and from human to multispecies and technological perspectives. The exploration of different media, tools, and languages of representation was also facilitated.
The workshop served as a platform for collaboration, fostering the exchange of ideas and innovative approaches not only between students but also between educators. The provocative outcomes demonstrate the power of education and design to experiment with novel ways of understanding the complex urban systems of Timișoara differently. By embracing pedagogy as a means of engaging the public and positioning the projects as contributions to the city, the Bright Cityscapes program seeks to bridge academia and the broader community of Timișoara.
An upcoming exhibition from 22 September to 4 November, titled Atlas of Distances, presents the outcomes of the project. A conference on 23 September will further facilitate a conversation around developing radical pedagogical approaches and education’s contribution to the urban ecology of Timișoara.