Urban Prefigurations: New York / Global

Architecture + Urban Design

Fall 2012

J. Michael Conard, instructor

The accelerated rate of unprecedented urban change fueled by the proliferation of information technologies and service industries challenges traditional and theoretical Urban Design paradigms, pedagogies and practices. Conventional practice and normative conceptions of fabric are challenged in the context of variant conditions such as sprawl, generic landscapes, informal settlements, preservation districts, marginalized centers, disused industrial zones and the environmental questions of climate change, obesity and peak oil. Metaphors for chaos, complexity, bio-urbanism, junk space, fluidity, transparency and dynamism have flourished. Yet the ability of these constructs to engage the drivers of urban form and urban policy change remain unclear and suspect. The seminar introduced students to the logic of western market driven development; to the means and methods in which design in the contemporary city is conceived, created and regulated; and to historical and contemporary land-use controls.