Health + Cities: Health Acts, Types + Forms in Architecture + the City

History/Theory

Spring 2013

Hilary Sample, instructor

This seminar focused on the complex intersection between design and health by examining particular modern and contemporary architectural typologies and their urban contexts and infrastructures. Cities formed through the programmatic development of their public spaces often as a direct result of public health and the intertwining of urbanism and architecture. This seminar approached the history of design, architecture and technology through a close reading of select models of architecture, propositions for cities, urban infrastructures, manifestos and policies associated with general health and wellness. It aimed to encourage students to reflect upon innovative building types and unusual urban projects. At the heart of the seminar was the core understanding of modern and contemporary architects and the architecture and urbanisms they have produced with respect to health and environment. Students were exposed to such building types and the political, social and cultural manifestations that prompted their development, including a reading of their urban contexts from Post World War II to the present. The development of an architectural health type was explored through specific building types including but not limited to hospitals, sanatoriums, rehabilitation centers, clinics, senior housing, daycares, health headquarters, pharmaceutical companies and playgrounds. This seminar confronted historical, socio-political and cultural aspects of architecture’s progressive relationship to disease and health, trauma, wellness and globalization.