Selected Topics in Architecture History & Theory: Forming Middled Urbanisms
At about the same time that architects lost faith in their ability to form the city; the city began to lose its form. The 1970’s marked a decline in the formal determinism of Modernist planning, coupled with a shift in the socio-economic logic of cities and a subsequent loosening of their formal definition. Not coincidentally, it was empiricist urban thinkers, those more prone to observe than to take big action, who took up the cause of the city.
While these empiricist urbansims; that range from 1970’s contextualist ideas to more contemporary examples such as Landscape, Everyday, Post, Fast Forward and Micro; work well when analyzing and observing the contemporary city, few hold interest in giving form to it’s apparently shapeless state.
This seminar is about the possibility of middled urbanisms, or practices that work in between small scale empirical thinking and large scale deterministic logics. The intent of these middled urbanisms is to identify methods for imagining new shapes and organizations for the city at large.
In pursuit of these middled urbanisms, this seminar will have two parts: to survey more discursive and empirical urbanisms since the 1970s including Landscape, Everyday, Post and Micro; and then to study urban practices and theories that address the physical character and organization of cities in full, such as those of Albert Pope, Kevin Lynch and New Urbanism. The studio will culminate with speculations on negotiating these distinct logics to develop middled urbanisms, or ideas that combine an interest in both looking at and acting on the contemporary city at large.
Mondays 12:30 - 1:00 and Thursdays 12:30 - 1:00