The Bartlett
Autumn Show 2023
About the show



Design Studio 6

Flowing Between

Tutors: Matthew Butcher, Tiffany Kaewen Dang

In this era of the Anthropocene – the current ecological epoch in which humans have irreversibly altered the Earth’s planetary systems – designing for a world in which human-made infrastructures coexist with natural ecological systems is a significant concern.

Design Studio 6 has set out to explore the landscape-architectural practices that can exist in the interstitial space between large-scale infrastructure projects and natural ecological systems. Key to this study is consideration of natural environmental systems as forms of life-sustaining infrastructure. We are also interested in reconciling the practice of landscape architecture with the growing recognition that environmental systems must be allowed to thrive and heal in the face of the Anthropogenic climate crisis. This includes looking at the extent to which landscape architecture can simultaneously alter natural systems and implement social impacts.

Over the course of the year, the studio has been guided by four key questions:

  • How do natural ecological systems function as infrastructure? · How do these ‘landscape infrastructures’ interplay with human-built infrastructure?

  • How can landscape architecture influence social infrastructures?

  • How do the formal, material and spatial languages of design manifest in landscape infrastructure?

To ground our study, we focused on the territory of the Rhine River
Flowing through six European countries, from the highest glaciers of the Swiss Alps to the logistical spectacle of the Rotterdam Europoort, the Rhine represents a complex geopolitical, ecological and cultural context for our investigations. As environmental historian William Cronon put it, ‘different visions of what makes the Rhine “useful” and “beautiful” have competed with each other for at least the past two centuries’.

This year’s projects have been inspired by the rich histories of the Rhine Valley – from the Roman period, which saw the Rhine act as a boundary to the civilised empire, through the Industrial Revolution, when it developed into one of Europe’s most important industrial corridors and became the subject of Rhine Romantic landscape painting and literature. Finally, we reached the present day, where the severe droughts and floods of the last few summers have served as a dire warning of the future of the climate crisis.


Index of Works

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