Course #: DES-03338


Tue 1:00-4:00 7 Sumner 104


Chris Reed

Course Description

Carbon C is ubiquitous—it is one of the primary elements supporting life on earth, the fourth most abundant element in the universe, and it makes up 18.5% of the human body. Global economies have increasingly relied on carbon-based resources since the industrial revolution (fuel, plastics, paving, building materials, etc.), and its steady increase in release into the atmosphere is one of the major contributing factors to climate change. From the EPA: “Carbon dioxide is naturally present in the atmosphere as part of the Earth's carbon cycle (the natural circulation of carbon among the atmosphere, oceans, soil, plants, and animals). Human activities are altering the carbon cycle—both by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere and by influencing the ability of natural sinks, like forests, to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. While CO2 emissions come from a variety of natural sources, human-related emissions are responsible for the increase that has occurred in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.”

Within the discussions on sustainability, energy neutrality, etc., few have probed the relevance of or development of a carbon-based framework for framing and informing individual projects or—more appropriately—the broader projects of urbanism. Our work in this research seminar will do just this:
· what are the implications of a carbon-based future?
· how do we define and measure such a thing?
· what are its implications for how we live? and for how our urban systems and networks are conceived and realized?

The work in the seminar will be very much research-oriented, student-project-based, and both analytical and projective. Initial seminar sessions will focus on broad-based topical approaches to urbanism, infrastructure, ecology, and landscape, and will be supplemented by workshops and tutorials on dynamic modeling software.

The primary thrust of the seminar will be student-generated research projects based around a topical interest, an in-depth study of the carbon- and infrastructure-based systems of particular representative places (Dallas, Miami, Barcelona, etc.), or the representation and digital modeling of those systems and dynamics. It is anticipated that some of the work may also be included on a new research website and/or public exhibitions that will be underway in the fall.

Students from MDesS, architecture, landscape architecture, and UPD are all encouraged to participate.

Academics: Courses: Carbonurbanism /Fall 2014

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