Student works on Havana

The aim of the term is it to unfold and document the traces of the described developments as well as the present transformation processes. Therefore the research work on site is crucial. We will undertake a two-week’s-journey to Havana (April 9-23, 2007) to depict the urban transformations in the city through observation, interviews and other forms of investigation. Throughout the semester we will be supported by a group of Cuban architecture students from the University of CUJAE, who will work in parallel on a similar set of issues. Specialists from scientific and urban planning fields will provide us with continuing support in approaching the urban reality of Havana, through lectures, podiums as well as city excursions. The work will be conducted in groups (‚micro-brigades’) each consisting of two students. Each group will examine a theme connected in part to a concrete location in the city.
After the field research in Havana, the results are processed together in the Studio Basel by means of maps, diagrams, texts and photographs into a series of ‘Urban Portraits’ in a form of a book. A target for each work is it to formulate a thesis regarding a particular research topic; to grasp and describe the specific issues related to a phenomenon in question. Together these theses will form a masterplan of sorts, reflecting the present reality of the city of Havana. This plan is at the same time a view on potentials for the further development of the city; Studio Basel therefore does not make a fundamental difference between research and design.

The proposed research topics are:
Habana Vieja
Tourism in Havana
99 Swiss In Cuba
Public Housing in Havana
Projects for the Public
City Re-Symbolized
Cuban Health
Shopping & Supply in Havana
The Absence of the Dominant
City of Cinema

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