4.163J / 11.332J
Urban Design Studio — Care-networks and the Urban Neighborhood Re-imagined

Permission of instructor
Required of: 
SMArchS (design)

As people increasingly live alone in cities and urgent social and environmental issues demand collective action, urban models of co-living globally emerge as an imperative to pool resources and strengthen social resilience. In addition, the current COVID pandemic has brought about changes in urban patterns of use and an ever stronger realization of the importance of local ‘networks of support’.

Co-living models often offer new ways of sharing at the scale of individual buildings but have not yet fully explored the potential of designing for collectivity at the scale of a neighborhood. This urban studio seeks to develop proposals for co-living neighborhoods designed around care-networks and spaces of sharing. Our design explorations will rely on an expanded language of “diverse economies'' as alternatives to what J.K. Gibson-Graham term a “capitalocentric” world-view.

Combining new construction with the adaptation of existing building types, the studio calls to reshape urban patterns and integrate neighborhood life with communal anchors that support care, local jobs, and education. Working together with local networks of care in two different North American neighborhoods we will explore potentials for physical and social change and imagine what it means to live, work, and convene within new spaces of collectivity.