TU Dresden | Sommersemester 2023

Envisionig postgrowth urbanism

Our present global environmental crisis puts into question the model of sustainability used in architecture and urban planning.

The ideal of green growth, which assumes a technological discourse, has been put into question recently. But while a plethora of academics and activists, like Architects for Future, reject the green growth paradigm, there is no alternative urban development imaginary replacing it. This favors the appearance of green washing urban proposals, which use green growth strategies while appropriating the language of radical environmentalism.

This course explores how spatial interventions can truly embrace a radical environmental agenda. To do this, students will explore how architectural and urban projects can describe a radical environmental alternative for cities.

The course will depart from key texts reacting against the green growth agenda to critically discuss the potentials, reach and shortcomings of radical environmental propositions in architecture. Based on this, students will portray radical environmental strategies that can be used in architecture culture. To provide conceptual input to students, the instructor will lecture and discuss with students about green urban growth, degrowth, and critical cartography.

The course will contribute to chapters of the monograph “Sufficient Urbanism: An Urgent Plea”, to be published by Jovis. In this context, students’ work will be credited.




Throughout the semester, students will build a visual argument persuading an imaginary audience of the need to build minimal urban interventions. To do so, they will analyze an existing project with a radical environmental agenda, to create a visual narrative that persuasively renders the positive aspects of the project. This will require a critical and creative interpretation of architectural projects and their representation.

Students will use text and visuals to portray the value of such minimal projects. The representation system developed by students should be simple, consistent and rich.

Project I

Each student will choose a case study among a pool of projects provided by the instructor. After performing a background research, they will explain how the chosen project leads to a radical environmental agenda. They will develop this graphic analysis by incorporating text and images into a page template provided.

Project II

Students will critically re-edit the narrative of the Project I developed by one of their colleagues.

Project III

Students will re-edit the narrative of the Project II of one of their colleagues and elaborate a standardized book page format analysis.


03/04   Introduction

   Introduction to course content, instructor presentation and group discussion

17/04   Topic presentation and discussion

   Topic: Appeal, shortcomings and alternatives to green growth

24/04   Individual desk-crits

08/05   Individual desk-crits

15/05   Project I presentation           

22/05   Individual desk-crits   

05/06   Individual desk-crits    

12/06   Project II presentation

19/06   Individual desk-crits

26/06   Individual desk-crits

03/07   Individual desk-crits

10/07   Project III presentation



The grade distribution is as follows

Project I        15/5         1/3 of final grade

Project II       12/6         1/3 of final grade

Project III      10/7         1/3 of final grade

The grading will take into account the graphic and written quality of students argumentation, as well as the relative effort put by each student given the different representation methods chosen by each student, and the availability of data for each case, and the input received from a previous student.



Bibliography: Information about possible case studies and theoretical references will be placed in Opal.

Graphic Standards: Students will initially use an InDesign page layout provided by the instructor, as well as some references for text quotations. Additional details regarding the outline of their assignments will be provided by the instructor.

Language: The course is offered in German and English. Students can speak and write in their preferred language; and instructor will suit to the need of students in each language.

Display more information
Loading Assessment overview
Loading overview