Author(s): TESSIER Maëlle, ROLLAND Marie
Contributor: ENSA Nantes

Territories crossed

The master workshop, Territoires traversés, Paysages Inventés, (Territories crossed, Invented landscapes) of the ENSA Nantes broaches the issue of contemporary landscapes and territories through the contemplation of their complex realities, the interlocking of reflection scales as well as the sensible immersion and artistic transcription.

From September 2015 to January 2016, 30 students worked in the municipality of Bouguenais at the edge of Nantes, a metropolitan territory that questions the between-urban and classic dichotomies of the territory, the relations between city and countryside, the centre and suburbs, order and disorder.

The aim of this workshop consists in raising questions for unexpected answers, inventing new operating modes to create project without prejudicing their formalisation and scales in advance. It offers students the opportunity to develop a critical and singular space, avoiding the pitfall of a consensual and normative vision of urban realities, by questioning the spatial contradictions that our society produces.

Methodologically, the semester is structured into four Metropolitan crossings.

The “Sensible experiences” encourage a singular transcription of the locations encountered. The “Multiple situations” imagine a future bearing multiple questions. The “Cartographic explorations” work on understanding and exposing data whilst representing challenges. Lastly, the “Built situations” formalise a project that embodies the questions revealed by the previous crossings.

Two escapements broaden reflection; first a journey in another metropolis, another context, open to other problematic, this year Milan; a writing workshop allowing to grasp the creative process through the word.

In 5 months, 13 singular propositions for a common and heterogeneous territory emerged. Through their localisations, scales, sensitivities, tales that they imagine, these projects are sources of questioning, invention and transformation. Each in their own way, they all try to make possible places that do not lock away but integrate, that simultaneously allow to move and inhabit, that explore a future making possible other ways of living together.

These territories of the ordinary, which includes Bouguenais, are in reality kaleidoscopic, moving, difficult to grasp. Intervening in these territories requires commitment. The students of this workshop paced the streets of this commune many times. They tried, by amenity for the people, places and things, to design urbanities that would cover a social role, that would institute relations, shared spaces where the appropriation of citizens is possible.

Main topic : questioning the in-between cities