GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2011
03581: MDesS Research Methods in Urbanism (DES 0358100)
Seminar - 4 credits
Tuesday 3:00 - 6:00 40 Kirkland 1C
Charles Waldheim, Jason Rebillot
This seminar traces the breadth of approaches to urban research across the disciplines represented at the GSD. It surveys the complex, and often contradictory ideological and methodological assumptions attendant to various forms of scholarly and disciplinary research. From humanities-based urban history on the one hand through quantitative social science analysis on the other, the seminar will expose students to divergent paradigms of urban research. These paradigms include the projective tendencies of the architectural discipline, the empirical impulse in mapping and geography, the narrative tradition of urban writing, and the recent tradition of the 'retroactive manifesto,' among others. The seminar will invite selected DDes students and all incoming MDesS students in the Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology concentration area to identify a disciplinary basis and body of knowledge from which to articulate their own methodological agenda for research.Each participant in the course is expected to complete readings, participate in discussions, and complete a fully considered research proposal, with particular attention given to the methodological approaches and analytical goals that the participant seeks to accomplish during the course of their MDesS degree completion. This semester-long, multi-layered investigation will involve the production of verbal, visual, and textual components.