Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya, Africa

Gunnar Ploner was assistant supervisor of the diploma project Dadaab Refugee Camp at the Institute of Design – Prof. Stefano de Martino at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Innsbruck. Students: Benjamin Eberl and Andreas Hertscheg. The project seeks to improve living conditions within the Dadaab refugee camp – the largest refugee camp in Africa. The work critically investigates the present situation and develops an urban design proposal based on establishing a productive landscape strategy. For further informations please contact dadaab-refugee-camp_development_gunnar-ploner_04 dadaab-refugee-camp_development_gunnar-ploner_02 dadaab-refugee-camp_development_gunnar-ploner_05 dadaab-refugee-camp_development_gunnar-ploner_03 dadaab-refugee-camp_development_gunnar-ploner_01

Proposal for the redesign of an urban neighborhood in Izmir, Turkey

izmir_urban-development_gunnar-ploner_web Together with a group of international students of the AA Visiting School LURG´s Gunnar Ploner investigates critical conditions of the urban fabric of Izmir and develops urban design strategies for the redevelopment of a socially fragmented urban neighborhood.

LURG @ AA Visting School Mittelmeerland Izmir


Gunnar Ploner is invited visiting teacher at the AA Visiting School Mittelmeerland in Izmir, Turkey from 29th January to 8th February 2015. For further information please also see here.

Visiting critic at Studio1 Prof. Stefano de Martino – master presentations/ work in progress


Gunnar Ploner has been invited as guest critic for the work in progress master presentations at Studio1-Prof. Stefano de Martino at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Innsbruck. Also see for further information.



The AA Visiting School Mittelmeerland 6 – Izmir will take part from Thursday 29 January – Sunday 8 February 2015. For further information see the post below or send email to Direct application via the homepage of the Architectural Association School of Architecture here.



Gunnar Ploner has been invited to teach at the AA Visiting School in Izmir, Turkey. The Project Mittelmeerland has been initiated by Medine Altiok and Stephanie Tunka.

The focus of the project lies on the investigation of the urban development of the metropolitan region of Izmir and its relation to Mediterranean Sea and other Mediterranean port cities. The project will study the dynamic territory of Izmir’s coastline, the renewal of the current industrial port, the planning of the new port and the mutual dependencies of land and water along the coast. The project analyses existing conditions and seeks to generate a snapshot of the current urban landscape.
The Mediterranean Sea is not only situated between continents, but also acts as a historical and contemporary centre and border zone. The social, economic and political dynamics of this zone are complex and diverse. The port of İzmir is the biggest container port of turkey; with its central location between West Europe and North Africa and strong hinterland, it is not only the agricultural and commercial centre of Aegean Region but it also plays a very significant role for Turkish export products. The current container port reached its capacity; the construction of the new port is in conflict sensitive sea ground. How will Izmir act in the Mediterranean context? What does changing and shaping mean for the 1:1 everyday spaces and uses?

The investigation comprises different areas along the coastline analyzing existing conditions and future projections, utilizing small-scale phenomena, translating found conditions into large-scale landscape ecologies and envisioning urban changes. For more details also see

LURG investigates abandoned site in Montenegro




The abandoned Hotel Fjord was built during the Yugoslav period and is the most visible big structure that in Kotor.  Next to it there is at least four major sites and structures in a wide range of different material conditions, but all in a state of minimal use, which can be described as a programmatic void in the center of Kotor. The site is now waiting for more intense use again. Gunnar Ploner has been invited to visit the the Kotor APSS symposium which discussed new urban strategies for this abandoned site in Kotor.

Upcoming brochure: Hydro Energy Landscape



In a first, experimental approach form and method of collaborating and interacting between the disciplines architecture and geography are tested in a two-week workshop. In the first part of the workshop (GIS Week) students learn the basics of geospatial processing to produce new forms of knowledge in support of ideas about urban planning and design. As the amount of collected information increases rapidly the availability of precise data enables new possibilities in researching and planning urban environments and landscapes. Geographic information systems (GIS) integrate, store, edit, analyze, share, and display geographic information for informing decision making. GIS gives data meaning through place and allows to observe how cities function. GIS exposes complex processes and dynamics (social, political, economical) taking place in the city. If built physical form is the hardware, GIS and geospatial data reveal the software that operate it. This first part of the studio provides students with the graphic and technical skills needed to reflect, design and communicate urban processes with geospatial data.

The second part of the workshop (Hydro Energy Landscapes) is a spatial investigation of the contemporary hydro energy network in Europe. Hydro power infrastructures are a common feature within the modern alpine landscape. Although often far away from urban regions these infrastructures are crucial components of the European urban network and serve the energetic needs of the modern city. By practically applying geospatial information software students reveal diverse components of the hydro energy network and explore its spatial appearance and relation to urbanism. They investigate spatial, cultural, social and economic aspects of the environment these infrastructures are operating in and discuss the role these infrastructures play in a local, regional and global scale. Issues ranging from production, distribution, organization and consumption of energy are discussed.

The outcome of the workshop, the present brochure, gives the reader an overview of the contemporary condition of the alpine hydro power network. It identifies specific network components by investigating diverse landscapes elements, infrastructures, distribution systems, organizational structures and the economic aspects. It should form a basis framework to ask further questions related to the contemporary role of hydro energy and the modern urban landscape and to develop future ecological design proposals.

Course Instructors: Gunnar Ploner (Arch.), Andreas Mayr (Geo.)
Students: Jaime Avila, Marina Duenser, Max Duensser, Noora Lahdenperä, Stefan Steidl, Andreas Steinlechner, Sara Trixl, Manuel Wukowitsch
Platforms: Established by LURG the Geodsign Lab is a collaboration between the Institute of Design Studio1 Prof. Stefano de Martino and the Institute of Geography at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck.


LURG establishes interdisciplinary collaboration: The Geodesign LAB


The Geodesign Lab is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Architecture and Geography focusing to integrate geospatial information systems (GIS) into the analysis and the design of urban landscapes and urban environments. Challenges and questions of the built environment have rarely, at any time, corresponded to traditional disciplinary or professional boundaries. Through linking different disciplines the Lab aims to develop new possibilities for design proposals that go beyond the traditional border of architecture.

The Geodesin Lab workshop was initiated by Gunnar Ploner and Andreas Mayr at the Institute of Design Studio1 – Prof. Stefano de Martino at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Innsbruck.

Lecture: Interdisciplinary Strategies for the Urban Activation of Brownfield Sites


Lecture by Gunnar Ploner at the Department of International Urbanism/ University of Stuttgart: “Interdisciplinary Strategies for the Activation of Urban Space at the former Industrial Site ‘imWERK8’ in Stuttgart.

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