GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2008 - ADV-09206-00


09206: Curating Ecological Urbanism (ADV 0920603)

Landscape Architecture
Urban Planning and Design
- 4 credits
Friday 1:00 - 6:00  


Gareth Doherty

Course Description

This seminar is organized around the premise that there is a lot of focus recently on the sustainability of buildings and objects but not enough focus on the larger scale of dense urban conditions. To this end, an exhibition and conference on Ecological Urbanism / Sustainable Futures will be hosted at the GSD by the dean, Mohsen Mostafavi, in early April 2009. As well as bringing international practitioners and theorists together, this far-reaching event will connect the GSD with the wider Harvard community, including the Center for the Environment, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for the Humanities with their respective emphasis on science, healthy cities, and the ethics of sustainability.

The aim of this seminar will be threefold. Firstly, to examine the notion of curation. What is the point of an exhibition? What is the role of the curator and how does it extend beyond the exhibition walls? Secondly, on the level of content. And thirdly, in the design of the exhibition itself. All three projects will run concurrently throughout the semester.

The seminar is charged with assisting in the curation of the exhibition. Sessions will be part discussion and part review of work in progress. Several guests will visit the seminar to discuss the various aspects of curating an exhibition. Some field trips may be arranged as necessary. Each participant will be expected to engage in discussions, in the sourcing of projects, and in intermittent presentations of work in progress. Essentially, each participant will become an advocate for a particular project or theme which will be developed in consultation with the instructor. It is expected that the nature of the work will unfold as the semester progresses. Underpinned with a strict theoretical inquiry, the emphasis of the seminar will be on the graphic and intellectual challenges that the exhibition presents.

Important Notes: This course is not sponsored by any one of the academic departments; rather, it is offered as a cross-departmental course offering. The course enrolment is limited to 6. This course will not be part of the limited enrolment course lottery. Students interested in taking this course should see Gareth Doherty after his presentation on September 10th at 5:30, email Gareth at, or attend the first course meeting on Friday, September 19th from 2-5 PM in room 510. The course schedule may change if those students interested in taking this course determine that another time during the week is more preferable.

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