‘To produce knowledge not only for its own sake but more so for its practical usefulness in changing the world for the better.’ Soja (in Myers. E (2014)
Unit 15(X) Radical Landscapes contributes to the transformative pedagogy in teaching of architecture in the GSA in three ways. Firstly, it challenges students to explore ethical practice of architecture, urban design and landscape design by introducing them to contexts that are termed as being dynamic, fluid, informal, invisible, and marginal, normally laying on the periphery of the city contexts, physically, but yet play a vital role in the economy of formalized sections of the cities. In exploring their projects students are encouraged to work across the traditional disciplinary boundaries (architect, urban designer or landscape architect) in order to discover alternative ways of thinking about design. Secondly, Unit 15(X)’s approach allows students to embark on a search-for-their-project by identifying the “forces”, (the X In the name of the Unit) that shape and form public space, architecture and landscape. This process allows student to develop an emotive connection to the project that is necessary for developing alternative design interventions or strategies that we term – the Radical. Thirdly and , Unit 15(X) adds to the repertoire of the GSA Units by exploring issues of design that address the post-colonial and post-modern developmental challenges of cities in Africa in order to contribute to design of future African cities.
The site of investigation of Unit15(X)’s theme of Radical Landscapes in 2018, were the peripheral wetland settlements on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala, Uganda.