“Water is constantly in motion, changing states, crossing borders, nourishing (and destroying) life. How can water and urbanism be considered together as a generative frame for urban design practice, social life, and ecological regeneration? ” - Kate Orff, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Water is the initiator of all primary civilizations. It was amongst the first reasons for agglomerations and settlements. The way a settlement would respond to the nature of a water body, gave a certain characteristic to its form. While the making of cities have been generally characterized by their association with river, there are other layers of water systems - including storm water drainage, water retention structures like lakes, stepwells, ponds etc, waste water management all of which are mostly neglected.
Cities today want to go beyond its water systems to reinvent their waterfront for shaping its future, driven by economics, politics, place making and imageability. The studio posits that water and cities must be understood within an expanded notion of a constructed ecosystem.