Reading New York Urbanism

Architecture + Urban Design

Summer 2012

Michael Szivos, Liz Barry + Phu Duong, instructors, with Brandt Graves

This seminar focused on three critical questions embedded in the title: What is reading? What is New York? What is urbanism? The intention was to develop an understanding of New York by exploring its urban patterns through a cinematic lens. Students were asked to capture and represent their nuanced understanding of New York City’s urbanisms. A cinematic approach framed the course to look beyond spatial or formal conditions: to view the city as network of dynamic forces, pressures, intensities and flows. Students built the capacity to engage audiences through short format videos that employed narrative-based film sequences and motion graphics. ArcGIS Suite instruction introduced in RNYU provided students with a foundation for interrogating and extracting urban data. This process involved identifying a system’s logic, its working pieces, its changing uses and the livelihood or conflict it presented within the context of the post-industrial city. RNYU seminar culminated in a ninety second videos composited with Adobe AfterEffects to demonstrate the dynamic effects that render physical, temporal and experiential design dimensions.