Habitat Unit

Design Studio SoSe 2024
Dr. Christian Haid

Spectral Natures
From queer ecologies to urban practice

Society and nature have too often been understood as separate - an asymmetrical and uneven arrangement of power between human and non-human realms. In the age of climate breakdown, technological fixes dominate and are regarded as the remedy to saving our rapidly crumbling planet.

In contrast, queer ecology is a growing transdisciplinary approach that challenges heteronormative, anthropocentric views on the (natural) world and seeks to transcend socially constructed binaries such as culture vs. nature, civilized vs. untamed, pristine vs. contaminated, urban vs. rural, male vs. female. Queer ecology acknowledges the fluidity and diversity of identities within human and other-than-human spheres. It celebrates the unusual, the odd, and the messy realities of cohabitation. It dismantles systems of oppression and shifts the marginal to the center. Its goal is to cultivate inclusive relationships with the environment and all living beings, honoring the widest spectra and the pluriverse, rather than limiting them.

Photo: © Filmstill Álvaro Olivera SPRING 2021 www.queeringspace.xyz

In this research-driven and explorative studio, we will collectively approach queer ecologies and spectral urban natures from multiple angles. We will analyze ecofeminist utopias and practices of care for the earth; we will learn from indigenous knowledge and bicultural diversity; we will garner knowledge from queer adaptation and community practices. In a collective effort and equipped with insights from case studies and transdisciplinary readings, we will develop strategies and formats for an alternative urban practice rooted in a queer ecology approach.

The studio is accompanied by inputs, field trips, lectures, film screenings, and workshops and will mainly take place at Floating University. Students should come with an open mind and bring enthusiasm for the topic, motivation for peer learning, independent critical thinking, and the readiness to freely develop projects of urban practice in small groups and as a collective.

Download poster here.

Course Information+

Design Studio
12 ECTS + 3 ECTS (PIV)
MA UD: PJ 1-3 EP
M Arch: EP Städtebau I
MA Arch T: PJ 1-3

Teaching Day
Thursdays, 10 am – 5 pm 
Floating University & IfA A201B

Open Studio
10th of April, 2024, 4 pm, Studio A201B 

First meeting
18th of April, 2024, 10 pm, Studio A201B

Teaching Staff
Dr. Christian Haid