Urban Theory + Design in the Post-Industrial Age

Historic Preservation

Summer 2012

Noah B. Chasin, instructor

The Urban Design Seminar 1 was intended as an introduction to the theoretical, critical and formal vocabularies of postwar urbanism throughout Europe, the U.S. and beyond. The class was arranged thematically and, in a larger context, chronologically. The rise of a new urbanism as a result of rapidly proliferating technological and industrial advances was seen as the backdrop against which various urban design strategies were deployed. From suburban sprawl to the Team 10 critique of interwar functionalism, from megastructures to semiotic models, from New Urbanism to X-Urbanism, students measured the merits of various paradigms (and their critiques) against one another in an effort to understand the processes that provide the structures and infrastructures for built environments. Of particular concern was, on the one hand, the paradoxical nature of designing for an unknown future population, and, on the other, the role of self-organization as an increasing viable source for urban morphology.