4.185
Architectural Design Workshop — Architecture + the Spatial Infrastructure of Identification in the City

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor
Enrollment: 
Limited to 12

While disinvestment characterized the Twentieth-century city; the early Twenty-first century is characterized by reinvestment in cities. From the premise of the City as (playing) field, students will explore methods to reconsider urban structures beginning with the analysis of power structures in Twentieth-century cities as characterized by spatial segregation of groups defined by class, race or ethnicity. How can more equitable cities be produced? And, by looking critically at this process, how can we influence the framework?

Societal patterns produce spatial relationships, buildings, and cities; they are given form in urban systems and structures. The workshop explores the interplay between dynamics and constraints—strategies of dominance, tactics of subversion, the flipping of situated and/or relative attributes—to impart an understanding of how ideological narratives are indexed and represented at multiple scales.

Students will gain an understanding of how cultural phenomena may be spatialized by examining the effects of rules, codes, and customs on the visible structures of cities. Both analytic and prescriptive, the explorations will engage the debate on the degree to which the structures of buildings and cities reflect the social structure of the inhabitants.

The intersections of societal difference, architecture and the city will be explored through game and simulation studies, prototypes and analogous readings. The explorations and results may range from card games to board games to models and simulations that deconstruct and build architectural and urban forms. The challenge of the course is to advance a disciplinary language and tools to address the social dimensions of architectural and urban forms.