Space Speculation is a research-by-design studio linked to the Laboratory of Urbanism, Infrastructure, and Ecologies (LoUIsE). The studio started from two convictions: (I) the capacity of cities to help us understand our present state; (ii) their socio-economic and ecological transition as the premise for a sustainable future.
To be able to accompany such transition, the studio invited spatial designers to move beyond the object-centered legacy of urbanism and towards a systemic understanding of cities, seizing upon flows, actors, and places for their proposals of urban transformation. The studio is looking at cities as complex and interactive ecosystems. Cities are woven into material and energy flows and stocks, and depend upon specific technical and socio-economic processes of production and consumption. The turbulent and unstable times we inhabit, are an invitation to go beyond the inventory of those flows and stocks, and to wonder how we can partake in those processes as spatial designers: How to incorporate the unsteady assemblages they trigger (or are the result of) into the design of physical places? And how can we render them more sustainable, more resilient, eventually more ‘circular’? Can circularity indeed become the next normative framework for the way we systemically ‘redesign’ those processes happening within cities?