• The symposium "Let´s Walk Urban Landscapes" sought to explore new pathways to transform urban landscapes through innovative design research approaches.

    For this purpose, the STUDIO URBANE LANDSCHAFTEN as the organizer of the symposium had invited an interdisciplinary, international group of 174 people who are engaged in the fields of urban landscapes and/ or design research approaches. These participants came from universities, practice, PhD and Master programmes.

    On day one people were prepared for a specific way of exploring urban landscapes by introductory lectures and workshops on innovative design research methods.

    The format of the symposium was experimental, as on day two the core of the event took place 'in the field'. All participants were actively involved in exploring one of six different areas of Hanover´s urban landscapes through walking. Directly after returning to the Herrenhausen Palace, each participant was asked to present their findings in a collective pop-up exhibition (“Meshwork”) in the ballroom of the palace. Hence, all participants were active contributors to the symposium by integrating research and practice.

    The focus of day three was reflecting on the exhibition outcomes from different disciplinary perspectives. The symposium ended with the plenary discussion “Walking towards the future”, proposing scenarios for transformative design research in urban landscape design.

    In summary, the experimental approach of actively integrating every participant in a knowledge creating process proved to be successful. In addition to general knowledge about design research, each participant acquired specific methodological design research tools. Through walking, they engaged physically, mentally and emotionally with an urban landscape in Hannover and entered a creative process of understanding which was represented in the projects of the meshwork. The reflection of the meshwork made clear that methodological design research tools which particularly include active engagement with an urban landscape are an excellent foundation for producing new knowledge.