Gamboa / University Campus between Urban Resilience and Typological Innovations

University Campus between Urban Resilience and Typological Innovations Research by Design on “Ciudad Universitaria” of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá

Author: Pablo Gamboa, PhD Candidate AUID Program Politecnico di Milano, Associated Professor, EAU Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Bogotá

Supervisor: Andrea Gritti, Professor Dr., Associated Professor DAStU Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: intermediate doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract

Affiliation: Politecnico di Milano

DDR Statement

The PhD research approach understands design as an investigative act in architecture and urban design that starts by using the drawing as a means to study, observe, compare, and comprehend an object that already exists[1]. However, the project exploration’s final objective is to transform and change this pre-existing object in a resilient way. The method proposed is based on a critical reinterpretation of the Saul Wurman method to analyse and understand fundamental aspects of form and scale, as well as the Joan Busquets drawing approach used to study city grids. This, in order to apply those observational techniques to the study of the university campus as a settlement type and, additionally, to survey innovative contemporary projects on the subject[2]. Then, these processes of observation and understanding will be used as part of the project’s experimentation research since they both focus on the comparison of formal aspects found in a significative amount of study cases to deduct general features using a qualitative approach.

Then, those formal aspects -which are directly related to the design of the university campus, its buildings, and its relationship with the city as well as the landscape- will be used in the project experimentation by applying them to a concrete place. At this stage, a practical approach, rather than an observational one, will give way to new possible ways to transform and maybe change the campus in question[3]. Finally, to evaluate the project’s results and its performance in the different steps of the design process as well as its final stages, a circular post-design reflection space will be opened to discuss its initial goals.


[1] Schoonderbeek, Marc (2017), A Theory of “Design by Research”; Mapping Experimentation in Architecture and Architectural Design, Ardeth, 01, 2017.

[2] Wurman, R. Saul (1974), Cities: Comparisions of form and scale, Pensylvania, Joshua Press; Busquets, Joan, (2020), Urban Grids. Handbook for Regular City Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Oro Editions.

[3] Burdick, Ann (2003), Design Research – Methods and Perspectives, Cambridge, London, MIT Press.