Transitional Territories

Transitional Territories studio deals with the changing nature of the territorial project in lowlands regions (maritime, riverine, and/or delta areas) and the strategic role of Urban Design and Spatial Planning in fine-tuning the ever-changing interrelations between natural processes, societal practices, and (geo)political frameworks. The studio approaches design as a mean to research, disclose, represent and question the various processes leading to the present state of criticality and risk.

Reclaimed Power Altered painting by Peter Balke. Author: Boaz Peters, TT Studio 2018-2019

Focus and approach

Transitional Territories is a research & design studio focusing on the most critical aspects and the changing nature of the territory as a constructed project. The understanding of our research and design task is embedded in the projection of future ecologies, forms of living and productivity, spatial planning and urban design that are informed and formed by notions of risk, sensitivity, failure and emergence as instances of urbanisation. The leading hypothesis of the studio is that the territory is a project – independently from scale – that must evolve vis-à-vis with the complexities, magnitudes, contradictions and indeterminacies of present day local and planetary urgencies. The agency of design in disclosing new spatial relations, narratives and values is at the core of our research and design agenda. 

Water-related territories - at sea, delta, and/or riverine landscapes - are increasingly becoming the arena of radical climatic changes, resource depletion, political/economic instability, and socio-spatial inequalities. Their fragile state requires the envisioning of an interdisciplinary design knowledge that mediates form, performance, and representation under the influence of various states and scales of control. Within this context, the central question of the studio is how biophysical, socio-economic, cultural and political changes - and related risks at sea, riverine, and/or delta areas - can be addressed by Urbanism and Architecture in the face of present days planetary urgencies.


Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary design studio for the Urbanism track - working in close collaboration and informed by landscape architecture, hydraulic structures and flood risk, and policy analysis fields. The studio has a strong emphasis on the translation of research findings into design.

Within the scope of the studio, students formulate their own design projects based on their strong personal motivation. The projects can vary from public works to urban areas, landscapes and regions. Departing from a solid theoretical framework translated into a set of explorative representation techniques, students learn how to use research findings to underpin their project and get in control of complex design assignments across scales, domains and actors.

The studio contributes to the collective research of the Delta Urbanism Interdisciplinary Research Program. Students take position on the future of urbanised landscapes, exploring the programmatic dimension and the changing nature of the territorial project. Throughout the studio, students discuss their observations and statements with both teachers and external invited experts.

The Transitional Territories MSc ¾ graduation studio is only offered in the fall semester.

Additional information

More information about Delta Urbanism can be found on the Delta Urbanism website.

Contact Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin