Designing Urban Landscapes

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Prominski

We understand urban landscapes as a complex mesh of people, animals, plants, water, artifacts or minerals. We design these "andscapes" (Prominski 2014) beyond the dualism of nature and culture, which has lost its meaningfulness in the Anthropocene. The entire territory has become a design task, and our goal of designing is to create diverse (super)living opportunities for all earthlings (Latour 2018) against the backdrop of climate crisis and species extinction.

We understand designing as part of knowledge production. Designing, unlike other scientific methods, is able to deal with complexity, uncertainty, uniqueness or value conflicts. With its creative and projective potentials, designing can create new knowledge for the study of urban landscapes. By representing complex contexts, design is particularly suited to promote understanding between science and local actors in transdisciplinary research processes (e.g., reallabs).

We continuously investigate developments in design theory and develop our design practice in teaching and research on this theoretical foundation. We intentionally use intuitive, emotional, or body-based approaches to perceive and explore urban landscapes alongside rational and cognitive methods to understand place. This multi-dimensional "understanding" (von Seggern 2015) forms a basis for design ideas that are capable of responding to the specific conditions of places. Against this background, we design territories from large-scale development strategies to small-scale interventions.