GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2011

This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:52:56.

Courses taught by Gareth Doherty

03503: Urban Design Proseminar (DES 0350300)

Urban Planning and Design
Lecture - 4 credits
Wednesday 3:00 - 6:00   Gund 112

Instructor(s)
Rahul Mehrotra, Eve Blau, Gareth Doherty

Course Description

The proseminar is a forum for conversation on contemporary urban design. It is structured around three overlapping discussions: the formation of the discipline, critiques of urban design, and projections and speculations on the future of the discipline. Theory and practice are contextualized in a way that is not limited to the study of the physical city but includes operations made on the city as well as topics in related fields. The course examines the contested terrain of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design, with engineering, geography, sociology, and scientific, cultural, and historical disciplines. Although all the mechanisms for considering the city cannot be covered within the constraints of the proseminar, the focus will be on developing a critical perspective that comes from a deeper understanding of theory, practice, and speculation. Presentations by guest GSD and Harvard faculty, together with site visits, will contextualize urban design today and its range of opportunities and potential. The proseminar requires active engagement with discussions and assignments, and provides a foundation for further course and studio work at the GSD. EXPECTATIONSThe emphasis of the course is on engagement: with the readings, the guests, and with the discussions. 1.Questions for class: Seminar participants will be expected to submit a series of questions, before class, on the required weekly readings. The aim is to critically engage with the readings as a way of developing individual positions on the issues that they raise.2.Assignment 1: In the first weeks of the seminar, and by way of introduction to each other, you will be invited to select an urban design project from a city you know well, such as your hometown, that you consider a good example of urban design. Tell us why you consider it urban design? Why is it successful? What are its weaknesses? The presentation should take a critical approach, and must be limited to five-minutes in duration. 3.Assignment 2: At the end of the semester you will be asked to make a second 10-minute presentation that uses issues raised in the course to reflect critically on the previous presentation.GRADING1.Class participation (30%)2.Response Papers (40%)3.Assignment 1 (10%)4.Assignment 2 (20%)Late assignments will not be accepted unless agreed in advance with the instructors or, in the case of illness, accompanied with a medical certificate.


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03541: Proseminar in Landscape Architecture (DES 0354100)

Landscape Architecture
Lecture - 4 credits
Tuesday 11:30 - 2:00   Gund 318

Instructor(s)
Gareth Doherty, Charles Waldheim

Course Description

This course surveys multiple definitions of landscape architecture. Rather than seeking a singular understanding, the seminar postulates that landscape might be understood in relation to other terms across an expanded disciplinary and professional field. The course will pursue multiple provisional working definitions of landscape as a method to describe landscape architecture as a contemporary cultural form. The first of these definitions distinguishes between landscape as medium, secondly we will address landscape as discipline, and thirdly landscape as profession. Beginning with the course introduction and inquiry into the origins of the word itself, the seminar is organized into a series of weekly rhetorical questions. These questions are built upon Garrett Eckbo's 1983 essay entitled "Is Landscape Architecture?" Following from Eckbo's rhetorical questioning, we will ask similarly charged questions weekly in order to unpack landscape's luggage.Over the semester members of the seminar will be introduced to a range of ideas, authors, agents, and actors shaping the contemporary field of landscape architecture. Members will also come to know the research and creative practice of many faculty members currently constituting the Department of Landscape Architecture at the GSD, as well as a range of leading figures nationally. Through a series of readings, seminar discussions, and presentations by visitors, members of the seminar will be introduced to the study of landscape architecture at Harvard and be invited to articulate their own academic experiences, intellectual commitments, and professional aspirations.


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09341: Preparation of Design Thesis Proposal for Master in Landscape Architecture (ADV 0934100)

Landscape Architecture
Seminar - 4 credits
Thursday 8:30 - 11:30   Gund 318

Instructor(s)
John Beardsley, Gareth Doherty

Course Description

A weekly seminar required for MLA candidates electing to pursue a design thesis. The intent of the course is to define the parameters of the design thesis and frame the individual candidate's thesis statement. The first half of the course addresses a series of broad themes essential to developing a cogent thesis topic: disciplinary frameworks; identification of precedents; methodological concerns; means of representation; questions of site and program; research resources; and relevant literature. The second half focuses on practical necessities, including writing a thesis statement and abstract; site selection; base documentation; and data collection and analysis. The course will meet weekly for three hours; it will include group discussions of readings and precedent studies and individual sessions with a focus on writing and representation. Course requirements include class attendance and participation; brief weekly writings; the preparation of a thesis proposal document for which detailed requirements will be provided; and a final presentation of the proposal, both in class and to outside reviewers. Students will also be expected to identify and secure a thesis advisor during the semester.


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