Borders & Territories

Since architecture nowadays operates within highly complex and differentiating spatial conditions, Borders & Territories probes the agency of architecture through its spatial bordering practices in emerging territories. By studying these conditions, architects will gain insight into how borders are produced, controlled, coded and maintained within territorial entities, and how spatial sets of (cross-border) relationships thus also produce territories. Borders & Territories cultivates these architectural edge conditions with design experiments that challenge theoretical concepts, design procedures as well as representational techniques.

Focus and approach

Borders & Territories provides the environment necessary for students to pursue in-depth architectural investigations, while simultaneously encouraging a critical reflection upon the contemporary questions of the discipline. The studios adopt a broad view towards the notion of ‘architectural design’, with a strong emphasis on process-oriented (in contrast to goal-oriented) investigations. By tracing and mapping contemporary spatial conditions, the studios attempt to include adjacent, alternative and peripheral ideas into the design project. This approach stresses the importance of projecting the design process into tectonic, spatial, representational and verbal constructs, all of which are seen as important components in the development of an architectural project. 


MSc 1 studio
The MSc 1 studio of Borders & Territories will concentrate on Micro States - Andorra, Tuvalu (true microstates), Faroe Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands (dependencies), Trieste (Free Territory 1947-5) as exemplary examples of contemporary cities that were shaped by densification, trans-national infrastructure, spatial expressions of the nation-state and geographical limitations.

Programme MSc 1 fall semester 2022 (pdf)

MSc 2 studio
The MSc2 studio will focus on the relation between architectural research and architectural education by offering three parallel studios focusing on the main research themes of the chair, namely Border Conditions (ie spaces of conflict); Territory (ie architectural construct as territorial entity); and Mega-Micros (ie architectural operations in the post-urban, trans-territorial).

Programme MSc 2 spring semester 2022 (pdf)

MSc 3/4 graduation studio
The MSc 3/4 graduation studio will continue to investigate the New Silk Road, where the contemporary emergence of new(er) ‘Silk Roads’ will result, in the coming years, in an array of spatial transformations where different regimes of spatial planning, (inter-)continental infrastructural projects, political (dis-)agreements, border tensions, global capitalism, extra-state utopias and the like, will be re-formatting the territorial and urban landscapes along those lines connecting Asia with Europe. 

Programme MSc 3 fall semester 2022 (pdf)


Dr. Nishat Awan, dr. Negar Sanaan Bensi, Filip Geerts, Micha de Haas, Stefano Milani, Oscar Rommens, dr. Marc Schoonderbeek.

Additional information

Additional information about the projects and student work can be found here.

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the study guide:
MSc 1 (only in fall semester)
MSc 2* (only in spring semester)
MSc 3

* The MSc 2 semester of the Architecture track consists of 5 credits of compulsory courses and 25 credits of electives, of which an approved MSc 2 Architecture design project. See also the MSc 2 design projects page for an overview of MSc 2 Architecture design projects. 


Stefano Milani

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