Syntopia – Harvesting the Forest

Final review of the MoA Design Research Studio’s project titled “Syntopia—Harvesting the Forest.”

The studio focused on exploring how architectural structures can be created using materials collected from the forest, such as branches, leaves, moss, bark, grass, and soil.

The term “syntopic” (with the noun form being “syntopy”) was coined by Luis Rene Rivas in 1964 and refers to the coexistence of two or more related species within the same “macrohabitat.” It combines the Greek words “syn,” meaning together, and “topos,” meaning place. Developing Syntopia involves designing structures that are sourced from and situated within specific sites.

The MoA Design Research Studio was organized into three phases. Phase 1 involved speculative design focused on “Stories of Syntopia.” Phase 2 incorporated activities such as harvesting, analysis, creation, and documentation in the process of “Designing Syntopia.” In Phase 3, the studio shares its vision and designs with a broader audience through “Showing Syntopia” as part of the Rundgang 2023 at weißensee school of art and design berlin.