The work of alumni Jasmeen Bains (MLA 2013), Matthew Blunderfield (MArch 2014), Javid Alibhai (MArch 2014), Robin Heathcote (MLA 2013), and Benjamin Matthews (MLA 2013) was recently featured in an article written for the Journal of Architectural Education. The article, titled “Grounding Diaspora”, was based on work done for a Fall 2012 option studio taught by Alison Hirsch, Aroussiak Gabrielian, and Andrea Mantin.
Students were asked to reconsider concepts of democracy, justice, citizenship, and multiculturalism (multi-ethnic, multi-racial) in city planning and urban & public space design. Instructors Hirsch and Gabrielian used the student concepts and designs to write an article focusing on the method of instruction used in the course, the global dynamics of migration and settlement, and the cultural practices of ritual and everyday expression in Queens, New York.
“The term 'diaspora' connotes a dynamic social formation—a process of settlement and a tenuous sense of belonging based on the negotiation between the collective memory of home and responsive adaptations to host locales. While a global phenomenon, the local impact of shifting patterns of settlement in the multicultural city transforms urban spaces through the varied and overlapping inscriptions of new and adapted rituals. Using a Landscape Architecture studio conducted at the University of Toronto as the experimental means through which to investigate diasporic and transnational urban settlement and its implications for design, this paper focuses on final proposals for the case study site—a particular area of contestation in Queens, New York—as well as the pedagogical methodology used to generate them.”
To view the full article, visit the Journal of Architectural Education.