The Bartlett
Autumn Show 2023
About the show



Design Studio 4

Frontier Schemata

Tutors: Katya Larina , Douglas Miller

In times of crisis, even our most concrete frontiers are called into question. Established datums are shifted, either by the need for adaptation or in the face of imminent erasure by new untold powers. Often it can seem that these shifts are moving backwards – closing, breaching or assembling barriers and blockades in a world of technological advancement that we are told should be more open and connected. However, within the context of landscapes, frontier systems are reacting to the pressure of crisis across a myriad of scales, often in unpredictable ways.

This year Design Studio 4 investigated the topic of frontier conditions, questioning changing territories and emerging borderlands. We began with a wide range of projects that examined the hidden complex ‘joinery’ behind landscape and social systems. London’s Old Kent Road became one site of personal exploration, with students tracking the history of the neighbourhood and suggesting community-centred interventions. Thousands of miles away, in the fragile permafrost of the Arctic Circle, maps and devices were deployed to record and ritualise a fading landscape.

Our trip this year took us to the Netherlands, where we encountered a highly orchestrated and technologically sophisticated landscape condition. The landscape, fed and held in place by pumps, dykes and careful ecological tailoring, is encountering changing priorities across the country. The country’s rigid defences are being reconsidered as a more thorough understanding of the landscape systems for flooding and protection comes into play.

Each project from our studio represents a student’s individual agenda: from an abandoned Welsh mine reclaimed for pumped storage hydropower to the canals of London, where the latent power of the boating community came together to regenerate forgotten waterways. In each project we learned to blend scale and sensitivity, actively engaging with issues of crisis and community on our frontier conditions.

Studio 4 Field Trip 2023 - Maker Wadden


Index of Works

The Bartlett
Autumn Show 2023
26 September – 6 October
Coming soon