Tusinean / Approaching Industrial Ruins in a Post-communist Landscape

Approaching Industrial Ruins in a Post-communist Landscape

Author: Monica Tusinean, TU Berlin

Supervisor: Ignacio Borrego Gómez-Pallete, Prof. Dr., TU Berlin; Jürgen Weidinger, TU Berlin

Research stage: Intermediate doctoral stage

Category: Paper


This ongoing research aims to find approaches to resist the widely occurring process of cultural amnesia triggered by the systematic erasure of former industrial sites in the Transylvania Region of Romania. By engaging design-based analysis and solution proposals, the goal is to counteract the growth of urban and peri-urban decay, which in turn has catalyzed the emergence of necrotic, uncontrolled landscapes in the immediate proximity of metropolitan centers(1).

The design-driven process aims at a course of action that offers an impulse towards a softer approach to the decaying bodies of industrial ruins, framed not as “urban development assets” but as entities whose ties to a shared past have to be nurtured. This process entails the retrospective investigation of the failures (and successes) of a first, built, case study, the speculative re-design of a second and third hypothetical case study, and the framing of this recursive process within the cultural context of post-communist society, alongside its grotesque perception and reception of industrial ruins.

Keywords: Industrial heritage, ruins