ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Public Spaces for Prishtina

A bright yellow sculpture that makes up the word

The Newborn monument unveiled at the celebration of the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence proclaimed earlier that day, 17

Studio research will contribute to the 14th edition of Manifesta (, a biannual European art exhibition that will be held in Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo, during summer 2022. As part of its public mission, Manifesta supports interdisciplinary studies of host cities and aims to create new public spaces that will endure long after the exhibition has ended. Manifesta's investment in public space is particularly important in the context of Prishtina. Like many formerly communist countries, urban development in Prishtina has privileged private space and capital at the expense of the public realm, especially after the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999. This studio contributes to Manifesta's architectural programming by analyzing and proposing strategies for the creation of new public spaces in Prishtina. The studio project will be the design of a new public building for Prishtina.

Students will determine the program for the building based on research about the material, spatial, and socioeconomic conditions of contemporary Prishtina and the surrounding region. Using circular design strategies—wherein materials maintain their value indefinitely—we will develop approaches that traditional linear thinking is unable to conceive of. The underlying proposition of the studio is that more intelligent material flows allow for designs that improve the way we organize, finance, adapt, and transform our built environment, now and in the future. Design interventions may involve different scales of space and time but will center on the rehabilitation of an abandoned brick factory near the historic city center. Though well suited to public programs, the brick factory site is currently cut off from the city center by highways and has long since disappeared from urban consciousness. Its history as a site of material manufacture and its centrality in Prishtina suggest potential synergy between material flows and public life.

Manifesta introduced architecture and urban studies to the curatorial process of Manifesta 12 in Palermo (curated by Rem Koolhaas) and Manifesta 13 in Marseille (curated by Winy Maas) to understand the cities that it takes place in and leave a tangible legacy behind. Manifesta 14 has invited Peter van Assche of the Dutch Architecture firm bureau SLA to collaborate on an interdisciplinary study of Prishtina as part of the architectural agenda of Manifesta. The study will serve as a platform to develop artistic and cultural interventions during the biennial and will result in an iconic pavilion that will remain after the event. Studio research will be part of the Manifesta 14 exhibition and published in a book, both of which will be launched in July 2022 in Prishtina.

Visiting critic Peter van Assche ( will be in Ithaca from September 10–25, October 25–November 5, November 25–December 11 (approximate dates). Visiting Critic Curt Gambetta ( will be present on a full-time basis in Ithaca. Guest lectures will include Bekim Ramku (Kosovo Architecture Foundation), Annebé Brouwer (Chipperfield Architects), Hedwig Fijen (director of Manifesta), and others.

View a PDF of this class description.


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