Cheryl R Gilge
Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics for each quarter vary, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter.
"Provisional, informal, guerrilla, insurgent, DIY, hands-on, unsolicited, unplanned, participatory, tactical..." These are words of the opening salvo of a recent architecture exhibit at the 2012 Venice Biennale. This course explores the intersection of the urban environment, the creative spatial practices that materially affect it, the citizens that inhabit it and their role within it. Tracing out a series of interventions, strategies and tactics, we will investigate the ways in which the creative design disciplines positively impact the city, expound on the importance of the ‘minimal gesture’ and most importantly, locate ‘agency’ for the individual inhabitant. Throughout the course, we will continually draw from scholarship from the design disciplines, the humanities and social sciences as well as the material practices that emerge, with an emphasis on the role New Media can play in facilitating such engagements. Each week, we will focus on particular thematic spatial condition through a series of case studies and relevant scholarship. Throughout, we will explore notions of subjectivity and agency through philosophical texts in order to locate ourselves within the larger conversation of what it means to ‘be’ in the world today. The primary goal of the class will be to formulate notions of praxis: engaging theory and material practices, in order to sustain an informed discussion and lively debate about our role in society as actors and agents facilitating change.
Student learning goals
Learn various strategies for engaging the Built Environment through conceptual framework, rather than disciplinary perspectives
Deepen knowledge of historical trajectory of urban interventions
Develop understanding of theoretical perspectives of agency
Exploration of texts that engage socio-cultural and philosophical implications that often result from spatial practices
General method of instruction
Course meetings will be divided up between lecture component and general discussion of case studies and readings.
General interest in the built environment, desire to affect change, and curiosity about pursuing alternative, creative strategies to achieve it.
Class assignments and grading
Active participation is key; reading responses for each class meeting; collaborative blog; group project that proposes intervention based on themed topics.