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International event held at the Faculty of Architecture challenges conventional urban planning paradigms

G.M. Cantacuzino Faculty of Architecture and Vice-Rectorate for International Relations at Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iași hosted ERAMUS+ BLENDED INTENSIVE PROGRAM “Liminal Spaces of Living | Inhabiting Liminality” during 5 – 12 September 2023 (online) and 25 – 29 September 2023 (physical).

The project offers an engaging and transformative learning experience designed for students pursuing architecture. The aim is to investigate the transformative potential inherent in urban fractures and neglected terrains within cities. The event organisers seek to challenge conventional urban planning paradigms by exploring the multifaceted layers of these spaces, inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s vision of “experimental utopia”.

Lectures and panels at the event:

  • Liminality and transformation: exploring the transformative potential of urban voids, terrain vagues, interstitial spaces, non-places
  • Reimagining urban narratives: challenging the dominant narratives of the city
  • Collaborative design processes, collective action, revitalisation / reinvigoration of spaces through common / collective usage, urban gardening, housing/ artistic squats, etc.
  • Urban ecology strategies
  • Crossing urban thresholds: the significance of urban thresholds as transitional spaces that mediate between different environments, cultures, and experiences
  • Decent housing solutions for the homeless

“Lefebvre’s vision encourages us to seek the extraordinary within the ordinary, to find beauty and potential in the everyday experiences of urban life. It reminds us that our cities, like living organisms, are in a constant state of flux, evolving through cycles of growth and regression. Our event seeks to challenge conventional urban narratives, unveiling the hidden stories and unrealised possibilities within these unconventional spaces. We will explore how these areas, often overlooked and underappreciated, can become the catalysts for transformation and positive change within our urban environments.”

said Carmina Gheorghiță, event organiser

“From the beginning of this event, I was deeply impressed by the ability of students from various countries to communicate effectively in a common language, especially regarding the technical aspects of architecture. It is remarkable how we have the ability to establish common ground despite our diversity of origin and cultural experience”, said Gabriela Mateies, third-year student at the Faculty of Architecture and BIP Buddy for the integration of international students.

“Although I am not an urban planner, I have a great passion for cities and this invitation was a welcome one, even if it was unexpected. Yesterday I had a presentation about Chișinău, my topic was the evolution of the last 40 years and how the big transformations in the city took place. It was very useful, because many students and foreign guests gathered and this allows to create a network based on discussions related to the cities, both theirs and ours, where the problems are shared.”

Vasile Ernu, writer

“It’s a very interesting topic and a very important one, since we are studying urban voids and here there are a lot of these spaces and they can be really important for the development of the city. During the workshops we are trying to understand what we can do with these spaces”, said Lorenzo Stefano Iannizzotto, PhD student in the doctoral program Achitecture of Contemporary Metropolitan Territories at ISCTE-IUL (Lisbon)

"Gheorghe Asachi" Technical University of Iaşi
TUIASI este printre primele instituții de învățămînt superior de profil tehnic din țară și se încadrează în categoria universităților de cercetare avansată și educație.