The thesis investigates the potential of using the heterotopic (other, different) grid as a conceptual and formal framework for a utopian vision - accommodating increasing growth of Scotland’s population in a concentrated and equal manner within a highly infrastructural Green Belt on the city edge of Edinburgh. ‘City edge’ is one of the designated sectors within the Glasburgh corridor – a speculative research area between Edinburgh and Glasgow, defined by the infrastructure of the motorway M8 and the Shotts Line railway.
The competition project ‘Exodus or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture’ and several works by Superstudio and DOGMA inhere heterotopic qualities by being able to create utopian visions and simultaneously reflect and redefine conditions of a real, existing society.
The thesis draws parallels between the cultural, social and political issues of the others on one side and the accompanying urban processes and the role of Architecture within them on the other. It also highlights a set of questions which interrelate with each other on the basis of the concept of heterotopia and the heterotopic grid.
How could the heterotopic grid intensify, diversify and in the same time preserve the Green Belt?
How could the heterotopic grid be able to accept and embrace different social groups within a homogeneity of housing context and create an egalitarian community?
How could the heterotopic grid operate as the catalyst of utopian visions?
The result is a formation which defines a clear edge to the city by framing the Green Belt around it. At the same time, it preserves what it frames and by being porous, it allows nature, infrastructure, and people to flow through. The singular unit of the heterotopic grid is a social condenser – a micro-city where the main urban components – enclave, armature, and heterotopia are condensed and manifested into one entity.
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