Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp MisselwitzHannes Langguth

Studio Rural+
Scenarios for the future of urbanised landscapes beyond the city

Studio Rural+ investigates global urbanisation processes beyond cities and focuses on former rural regions. Here, lifestyles, networks, economies and life expectations in villages and small towns barely differ from those in larger concentrations.

For planners and architects these new urbanisation patterns pose fundamental challenges: How can we imagine future small towns and villages in regions of demographic and economic decline? How can we face the enormous impacts of climate change effects on the built environment? How can we reinterpret the legacy of an agriculture-based rural culture? In 2014, the Habitat Unit launched a global research project “Rural+”, which addresses these challenges from the perspective of architecture and planning, linking disparate post-rural regions in the hinterland of the metropolises such as Shanghai and Berlin.

Studio Rural+ SS 2015 Poster

This semester, Studio Rural+ will focus on an exemplary post-rural region: Steinach in the south of the Free State of Thuringia. Based on the results of the previous studio “Urbanised Landscape” (Winter semester 2014/15) which identified various transformation trends for whole Thuringia on a meta level, the design studio will now focus on developing specific future scenarios on a micro level imagining a post-rural region in 2030. We will develop design proposals that mediate between different scales: from direct actions, the design of buildings, the rethinking of local economies to regional development strategies. A joint field trip to Steinach and the surrounding region, hosted by local mayor and civil society initiatives, will launch the semester and will provide an explorative approach towards a common understanding of urbanisation processes within the examination area. 

The studio will be combined with an integrated PIV “The Politics of Practice (Orientation)” (seminar and international conference). The studio will be conducted in collaboration with the IBA Thüringen (International Building Exhibition) and the municipality of Steinach. The results of the studio will contribute to an exhibition during an International Summer School in September 2015. 

Course Information+

Design Studio, 3 ECTS
MA Arch: Arch M WP(3) HAB.06

Teaching day
Thursday, 10 am, A 202

First meeting
April 16, 2015, 10 am, A 202

Open Studio
April 7, 2015, 4 pm, A 202


Hannes Langguth

Room A 621 
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830 
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907