Learning from Venice - Anticipating a constantly changing landscape

Learning from Venice - Anticipating a constantly changing landscape 
We will have to accept that certain transformations will happen – they are in fact happening already; the only thing we can change is how we approach them, how we relate to them.

Can we learn from Venice, where the seasonal fluctuations of the water, so-called ‘acqua alta’, already has become part of everyday life and both ad-hoc and more permanent solutions are (ready to be) installed?

We have proposed to introduce our ongoing research project ‘Learning from Venice’ and our developed reserach method ‘on-site explorations’ at a semester studio at the Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst (RAvB). 

The focus of the course was on public space and its intersection with private space, accepting that we will have to find new ways to relate to a changing landscape, in which the existing urban context will (partially) disappear under water and needs to be rethought, both architecturally and in the urban scale.

Students have incorporated our experimental approach so-called ‘on-site explorations’ making the prospective transformation(s) visible and experienceable in the real scenario 1:1 (‘marking on-site’).

As a result of the course, students present their collective research and individual proposals as catalogue of new strategies and devices in an immersive exhibition – with different formats combining models, video installations and sound recordings, a.o. and concluded the semester with a round table discussion. 

Conversation and lecture series
Within the first and second block we have invited a multidisciplinary board of specialists for a conversation series and as guest critics for the mid-term presentations. With these guests we have focussed on the topic of climate change and on various techniques for exploring, marking on-site and communication, translating findings into experienceable installations and on how to mediate between present and future, between two realities that we have to consider at the same time.


Academic Year
2021 - 2022 

rotative studio

Alexandra Sonnemans, Caterina Viguera

Conversation Series Guests
Meteorologist, weather forecaster Estel Figueras 
Musician, composer Ramon Landolt
Theater director Suze Milius 
Architect Alberto Pottenghi, Monoatelier 
Architect Pavle Stamenovic 
Architect Daniel Fuchs  

Arianne Fleege Wessel Geysels Justus Schäfer Ronja Dmoch Milou van zomeren
Quirine Hoek Daan de Jong Esmee van Beekzuizen