Volos in the Extremes
urban design masterclass
26 – 31 October 2013
“Volos in the Extremes” was an international urban design masterclass open to students towards the end of their studies, recent graduates, and professionals in architecture, urban design, and related design/project-oriented fields concerned with the study of the city and urban intervention. The masterclass was organised through the collaboration of an international team of professionals and academics, and it was hosted by the Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly, in Volos.
The point of departure for this master class is the challenges faced by the city in response to the global economic crisis. As the predominant model of development, in Greece and around the world, is severely challenged, we are presented with a unique opportunity to re-invent it: to shift from growth to sustainability, from market-dependency to self-sufficiency, from individually-motivated consumption to publicly-useful production, a whole new paradigm is longing to emerge. How will the city respond to it? And how can urban design and programming contribute to this very emergence?
Through a 6-day programme of group work, site visits, lectures, and social events, the master class, organised into units, produced a set of urban design proposals for different areas of Volos. Units focused on different geographies of the city, ranging both in scale and location, from building typology to the structure of the urban grid, and from the city’s water edge to its peripheral ‘strip’ extensions. Seen in its entirety, this set of final projects constituted an extensive and thorough urban intervention proposal for the whole city.
Considering the crisis as a trigger to the re-invention of the city itself, we invite participants to use the tools of city-making in proposing radical urban scenarios for an uncompromising future.