Fall Term 1
Urban Design Studio I
Working both collaboratively and individually, students will pursue the design of an autonomous city in an abstracted setting. The studio-utopian in mood-investigates principles and practices of city design at regional, urban, neighborhood, and architectural scales and engages a wide variety of analytical, representational, and expressive media.
History of Urban Space I
An overview of the general process of modernization implicit in histories of city planning. The class traces the transformation of pre-modern "cities of faith" from a variety of cultures into the proto-modern cities of the Renaissance and the more controlled expressions of Baroque and Enlightenment urbanism. It examines the rise of the "city of machines" of the nineteenth century and concludes with the rise of the modernist urbanisms of Ebenezer Howard, Le Corbusier, and others.
Reading the City I
A reading course devoted to close analysis of a series of major texts in urban theory. These readings are broadly drawn from the fields of urbanism, geography, cultural, studies, cinema studies and other disciplines. The course aims to show both the range and nuance of styles of reading the city as well as the presence of the city as a shifting trope in larger formats by which we understand and reproduce contemporary culture.
Urban Ecologies I
An investigation of the place of the city in a variety of planetary and natural systems that seeks to define the limits of.urban sustainability. Using the concept of the urban "ecological footprint", the course examines the practical boundaries of urban growth, the interaction cities and the environment, the cycles of urban respiration and development. and the fundamentals of a sustainable urban economy.
Spring Term 2
Urban Design Studio II
The second urban design studio will incorporate strategies and methods developed in the first semester in the investigation of a large urban site in New York City. Drawing on a variety of "real world" influences and sources, students will produce viable designs that investigate the interplay of scale, site, program, and vision.
History of Urban Space II
A survey of urban design since 1945 in the context of post-war American suburbanization and the reconstruction of Europe. The course examines the impact of the growth of the globalized economy on urban form and development. It also considers theoretical styles-collagist, deconstructivist, phenomonological, etc.-and their impact on attempts to understand the contemporary city of fragments and layers.
Reading the City II
Drawing on insights and methods of the first semester, the course examines specific strategies for reading and analysis of urban sites. These will be used to reveal both the limits of different techniques of observation and the ways in which the contemporary metropolis overlays many social and imaginative spaces in the same physical place to produce the multiple and fragmentary territories that characterize the contemporary, plural metropolis.
Urban Ecologies II
The second semester of the ecology sequence is focused both on ways in which the city provides a setting and a medium for a variety of human interactions and organizations and on the ways in which the city collaborates in the invention of "people" and in teaching them how to be, how to exist, in the modern world. It explores some of the basic forms of metropolitan life-the crowd, the street, the park, the mass transit system, the store, the office, etc.-as well of forms of loneliness, mass-association, art, entertainment, and politics-via a variety of imaginative and critical texts.