Univer[X]ity. Exploring the spatial links between town and gown at Inffeld
In historical college towns, universities have very often shaped the urban landscape. In more recent university cities, the spatial relationships between university and city are less clear, even if universities play a key role in the urban knowledge economy. Universities have since the 1960s typically expanded to car dominated campuses such as the Inffeld campus of TU Graz.
In this workshop we explore the ‘external’ and ‘internal’ spatial links between the Inffeld campus and the city of Graz. The exploration of the ‘external’ links positions the campus by studying the interfaces with its surroundings, its position in the mobility and other technical or natural networks of the city. In the exploration of the ‘internal’ links we ask ourselves the question to what extent the campus space of research and study is also an urban space. This includes mapping the spatial qualities of buildings and outdoor spaces, via a predefined set of maps and schemes. Students are invited to question their own experience and use of city and university by mapping their daily trajectories and reconstructing those of Inffeld campus users (researchers, students, visitors, neighbors…) via brief talks and interviews. This should allow to understand if and how the city enters the campus. Students propose one precise intervention that is aimed at strengthening the spatial links between city and campus. The intervention can be aimed at the network, the interface, a building or the outdoor space of the Inffeld campus. Michael Ryckewaert is the program director of the Master in Urban Design and Spatial Planning at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He conducted various workshops on the planning of the campus and university quarter and participates in the coordination of the new masterplan for the Brussels Humanities, Science and Engineering campus.