The studio aimed at re-designing, re-programming, and re-inventing an innovation zone for the re-establishment of a new model for a harbor city, designing beyond the land and the water.
Rijeka, as the center of shipbuilding in the Adriatic Sea, is known to be a harbor with a city. This studio is proposing the design of a coastal paradigm for the Mediterranean and generating an alternative city development model for Rijeka, the European Capital of Culture 2020. Rijeka is a city on the border between Italian and Slavic spheres of influence. This valley was, over centuries, the natural division between languages, nations, and political systems. Setting borders and shifting borders will be a design strategy for the studio, proposing a Special Cultural Zone bridging both sides of the river in Školjić. The zone was the source of energy, drinking water, and work, intensively used by industry. Today the area is very close to the city center, providing a unique opportunity for developing Rijeka’s urban qualities. Students came up with design solutions by prototyping the process for a new urban paradigm in the context of environmental, social, and governance issues. We provided the base for each student to develop her/his multi-disciplinary approach that builds urban design projects upon common ground. Students were encouraged to interpret the United Nations (Sustainable Development Goals) SDG’s, articulating an individual and critical position on the potential role of the architect to guide a design process within broader social, political, and economic systems. Informed by the chairs ongoing research in the Balkan region, starting in Athens, Sarajevo, this semester, engaged in Rijeka, Croatia, with teaching, making, and researching the city.