GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2012
This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:54:06.
Courses taught by Jana Cephas
01501: The Good Old Days: Design for the Age-Friendly Environment (STU 0150100)
Urban Planning and Design
Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
Wednesday Thursday 2:00 - 6:00
Thanks to longer lifespans, lower fertility rates, and the aging of the baby boomer population, the United States is getting older. Already, there are more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history; between now and 2020, the population of persons 65 and older will increase by 50 percent, a rate 10 times the Census Bureau's projected five percent increase in those aged 18 to 64.
How will our cities and suburbs manage this massive demographic shift?
This studio considers a model that the AARP recently called "the most dormant and overlooked form of senior housing:" the NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community). A NORC is a place (a building, a development, a neighborhood) with a large senior population that wasn't purpose-built to be a senior community. Once designated a NORC, a place becomes eligible for local, state, and federal funds to retroactively provide it with the support services seniors need. Since an overwhelming majority (89 percent, by one measure) of seniors today would prefer to "age in place" in their neighborhood or home, and since as few as nine percent of seniors say they want to live in an age-segregated community, NORCs present an attractive alternative to purpose-built retirement communities.
But as former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros recently put it, seniors who want to age in place "are aging in traditional homes, neighborhoods, and communities that were designed for yesterday's demographic realities." In New York, for example, most NORCs are in places that were explicitly not designed to be senior communities. In New York City, 33 of 42 NORCs are in Corbusian "towers-in-the-park," and some of the first suburban NORCs in the country have popped up in postwar suburbs around Levittown. While both typologies have demonstrated a certain amount of resiliency, both present unique challenges. In Long Island's suburbs, for example, a lack of housing and mobility options has resulted in many seniors being isolated in houses they can't maintain.
"The Good Old Days" is an interdisciplinary studio that challenges students of all departments to come up with creative ways to help seniors in NORCs in New York City and Long Island age in place. After visiting a sampling of NORCs in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island, students will meet with seniors, NORC directors, healthcare professionals, medical researchers, and representatives from New York City's Department for the Aging, Housing Authority, Department of Transportation, and others involved in the city's pioneering "Age-Friendly New York City" initiative in order to better understand the challenges and opportunities that come with aging in place in New York. Students will then draw on this research to creatively identify opportunities for architectural, planning, or landscape-based interventions.
Note therefore that there is no one site or problem in this studio: deliverables are expected (and encouraged) to be diverse. Helping seniors age in place requires different types of interventions at a range of scales, from apartment to neighborhood to city and region.
Field trips are planned to New York City, Long Island, and Central Florida, where we will tour The Villages (the world's largest retirement community) and other fantastical experiments in retirement.
Goal: To help seniors age in place in environments that weren't designed for seniors
- To learn how to understand and design for the specific needs of a user, in this case the senior citizen
- To understand resiliency and adaptability of architectural archetypes, in this case the tower-in-the-park and the postwar suburb
- To learn how to identify opportunities for creative interventions
- To learn how to propose ideas that will resonate with a target audience
- To learn how to visually and verbally communicate ideas in a way that ensures they will resonate with a target audience
03372: The Subject and the City (DES 0337200)
Urban Planning and Design
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Wednesday 10:00 - 1:00 20 Sumner 1C
This seminar takes as its premise that a history and theory of the city cannot be known without an accompanying history and theory of the urban dweller. We will begin by interrogating the subject - the urban dweller as subject and the city as subject. Subjectivity is typically understood as confined to and determined by the physical, psychological, and sociological structures of contemporary life. Here, however, we will interrogate the subject not as a transcendental universal consciousness but as a body and being co-produced by urban social environments. Drawing initially on theories of subjectivity articulated by Bourdieu and Foucault, we will articulate a theory of reflexive spatial practice which we will then examine in various urban environments. Reflexive spatial practice is a dialectic between the subject and the city that reveals new understandings of both the disciplinary practice of space and the practitioners of space.
Topics to be covered in the course include: definitions of subjectivity; techniques of the body; maps, memories, and other forms of spatial recollection; theories of spatial practice; the role of private bodies in public spaces; urban morphology as cultural history; the rhetorical city versus the city's historical reality; the "after" city; the romance of resistance narratives; and the persistence of urban myths, legends, and rumors.
Close analysis of theoretical readings is essential to the course. Additionally, a theorizing of spatial practices will emerge from critical reflection of contemporary modes of inhabitation, urbanism, and modern living. Thus discussion and critical engagement with one's peers are also essential to the course. Students are required to present on the readings throughout the course, in preparation for developing a research paper on a related topic. Grades for the course will be assessed from class participation, the presentation of the course readings, and the final paper.
03474: Conservation History, Its Canons and Institutions (DES 0347400)
Architecture, Urban Planning and Design
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Tuesday 3:00 - 6:00 40 Kirkland 1D
This course analyzes the canons and institutions that have traditionally guided the parameters of conservation and preservation practice. As such, the course situates conservation and preservation practice within the larger field of planning, its historical origins, and the broader economic and political context. In addition to a broad overview of conservation history, the course critically examines both the governmental and private sector tools and resources available to conservation practitioners at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels. Students will analyze institutions such as the Getty Institute, the World Monument Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Docomomo, and documents such as the UNESCO heritage charter, both to gain understanding of the standards associated with conservation practices and to become aware of the limits imposed by such canons and institutions. Class sessions will center around presentations from institutional experts.
Students are required to complete the weekly readings along with a written assignment in preparation for each class. Readings will cover aspects of conservation history as well as the founding documents of prominent conservation institutions. Additionally, students will research a site for conservation based on the institutional standards and practices presented throughout the course. Grading for the course will be assessed from class participation, the weekly written assignments, and the final project.
09304: Independent Thesis for the Degree Master in Design Studies (ADV 0930400)
Research Seminar - 8 credits
Neil Brenner, Jana Cephas, Diane Davis, Gareth Doherty, Richard T.T. Forman, K. Michael Hays, Michael Hooper, Timothy Hyde, Joyce Klein-Rosenthal, Sanford Kwinter, Miho Mazereeuw, Panagiotis Michalatos, Kiel Moe, Christoph Reinhart, Holly Samuelson, Andrew Witt, Allen Sayegh
A student who selects this independent thesis for the degree Master in Design Studies pursues independent research of relevance to the selected course of study within the Master in Design Studies program, under the direction of a GSD faculty member. This option precludes taking any other independent study.