Foundation Studio II: The Waters of Roman Soil

Foundation Studio II: The Waters of Roman Soil
17. February 2022 Silvia Converso

Agro Romano. Pierre Louis Dubourcq, 1850

Rome’s identity is connected to its food, and the water needed to produce it. How will that identity evolve in the face of increasing water scarcity?

In this studio, we ask the students to propose alternatives to the existing extractive land use pattern by designing land management practices that respond to the particularities of the Roman climate, topography, and soil. On top of a close reading of the Roman environment, these proposals will integrate with, build on, and transform the urban systems of Rome’s constructed landscape, while being inspired and influenced by Roman culture: its cuisine, its people, and its history.

Through the use of traditional and contemporary regenerative practices that pay close attention to the logics of living systems, the students will propose rule-based design strategies for integrating these techniques into the city, creating new kinds of urban relationships and spaces that collectively transform the urban fabric of Rome. The integration of thoughtfully designed regenerative strategies into Rome’s peri-urban condition will increase the capacity of soils for water and microbial life exactly where it is most needed. By cumulatively augmenting the hydric capacity of l’Agro Romano’s highly porous substrate, these systems can contribute to aquifer recharge and increase resilience for Rome in the coming decades of water scarcity.

Through regenerative practices of landscape management that produce productive, beautiful, and complex urban spaces, Rome can enter a new era in the long conversation with its periphery and l’Agro Romano in the 21st Century.

  • Course 061-0142-22 U
  • 16 Lessons per Week
  • 12 Credits
  • Language: English
  • Prerequisites: Enrollment in MScLA Program