Prof. Vanessa Miriam Carlow is invited to review the BA Thesis presentations at RISEBA University in Riga.
Jan 29 from 9 am at RISEBA Architecture and Media Center H2O 6, RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design, 6 Ūdens Street, 3rd floor design workshop.

BEYOND “CAPPUCCINO CITY” – NEW TACTICS FOR URBAN RENEWAL IN POST-INDUSTRIAL RIGA
Urban theorist Krzysztof Nawratek in his reflection on Riga’s urban development after financial crisis in 2008, is using a term fantasy of “cappuccino city” in order to describe de-industrialization processes in post-soviet Riga, that was followed by several rather ambitious large scale projects that had no substantiation.

As Nawratek is pointing out, Rem Koolhaa’s and OMA’s Andrejsala is one example of such a “cappuccino city” project, where there were planned luxury apartments for 30 thousand inhabitants (Riga during this time had been losing 10,000 residents per year) supplemented by a modern art museum. However, the financial crisis of 2008 made this plan irrelevant. This was a typical “cappuccino city” project, targeting the urban middle classes, and expecting them to magically appear in a post-socialist city.

RISEBA Architecture program was established in 2011 as an international study and research platform for students and teachers of architecture, united by an experimental spirit, the desire to search for new architectural teaching concepts and gain knowledge and experience. For three and a half years school has developed and grown rapidly acquiring an important place in professional and architectural education scene in Latvia. FAD realises the education at the highest standards with a curriculum that combines its main fields of study – architecture, urban planning and design, – with an understanding of the social sciences and business skills.

Since the establishment of FAD (Faculty of Architecture and Design) in Riga, under leadership of Oskars Redbergs, there has been carried out substantial research in these areas, searching for the alternatives to the neoliberal Riga city model. In January 2015 the first FAD graduates present their final Bachelor thesis. The student works are showing new approaches to Urban renewal, bringing the architectural discourse beyond the idea of “cappuccino city”.
The BA Thesis presentations and defense of the first fifteen graduates of the academic bachelor program „Architecture“ at RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design will take place on Jan 29. Following FAD graduates will defend their thesis in order to receive Bachelor degree of Engineering Sciences in Architecture: Aija Bēliņa, Alise Jēkabsone, Igors Malovickis, Dāvis Markus, Rūta Meiere, Kārlis Mičulis, Kārlis Narkevičs, Madara Pildava, Kārlis Prolis, Kristīne Purvlīce, Saliņš Reinis, Edgars Rožkalns, Daila Sloka, Sabīne Vecvagare and Fricis Vilnis. In the final semester students focused on the restoration of their home city – Riga. Bachelor works closely intertwine theoretical researches and practical part of the project proposals covering diverse range of the subjects – the transformation of the former industrial and cultural heritage sites, reconstruction of the manufacture and industrial buildings, analysis of the building regulations and restrictions in Riga Historical centre and its protection zone and their impact on potential urban development, building proposals in the dense central areas of the city, Old Riga as well as remote neighbourhood – Purvciems, the exploration of the manifestation in the urban space, studies on short-term architectural structures, capabilities of the resilient architecture in the city and research about architecture on the water and coastlines.

Bachelor’s works will be judged by the State Examination Commission (Jānis Lejnieks, Oskars Redbergs, Inga Karlštrēma, Dina Suhanova, Didzis Jaunzems). The Commisison will be chaired by former FAD teacher, Prof. Dr. Vanessa Miriam Carlow.

Information: architecture.riseba.lv

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