A Spatial Approach to the Polycrisis

A Spatial Approach to the Polycrisis:
Applying an Intersectional Theory of Change

Seminar, TU Munich WS 2023/2024

Module level: Master students from Architecture, Urbanism as well es Technology & Politics
Language: German/English 
Credits: 6 ECTS 
Total hours: 180
Independent study time: 120
Classroom hours: 60  in a blocked workshop format, with partly hybrid inputs
Lecture Time: 16.10.2023–09.02.2024

The seminar examines the complex challenges of the polycrisis, including climate change, rising tendencies of fascism, and intersecting socio-economic issues such as inequality and climate (in)justice. Through an intersectional feminist lens, participants explore how architecture and spatial interventions can influence, transform, or improve these multifaceted dimensions. In the first block of the seminar, participants develop a fundamental understanding of the systemic connections of today’s crises. The second block contextualizes the polycrisis in a spatial framework, analyzing it from an architectural perspective with an intersectional feminist approach. In the third block, participants develop their own positions and a collective vision for spatially addressing the polycrisis.

Theory of Change is explored as a framework for strategically designing spatial interventions and responses. Students learn to formulate specific goals for socio-economic change, analyze case studies, map stakeholders, and translate their transformative approaches and demands into actionable steps. They deepen their strategic decision-making abilities, critical awareness, and communication tools to articulate their own positions and effectively engage stakeholders. The integration of intersectional feminist thinking aims to clarify one’s role and responsibility in the process of societal transformation and foster understanding of various struggles within the social fabric. The interactive teaching format encourages independent reflection, knowledge construction, and the development of collective understanding. Students gain a deeper understanding of the potential impacts of architecture and its role in the process of societal change.