GSD Course Bulletin - Spring 2014

This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:55:41.

Courses taught by Joan Busquets

01605: Barcelona's Grids: in Search of New Paradigms (STU 0160500)

Architecture, Urban Planning and Design
Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
This course has an IRREGULAR meeting schedule. Please see full course description.
Tuesday Wednesday 2:00 - 6:00  

Joan Busquets

Course Description

The construction of modern Barcelona can be seen as a laboratory of urban projects and planning strategies. This process spanning two centuries features a series of innovative experiments that correspond to different scales and explain the complexity involved in constructing such a singular capital city.
It is worth mentioning that, in this process, many of the city’s developments were based on regular forms of urban organization, principally grid forms.
The clear contrast between two forms of urban grids stands out in particular.
The first corresponds to the large scale, with Cerdà’s project of 1859 “to Extend the city across the Plain”, which used a regular isotropic grid with city blocks of 113 metres, laid out according to the lines of the coast and the Collserola hill range. This great plan for the city engaged with the broader territory by means of avenues: Diagonal, Meridiana, Gran Via and Paral·lel. Its gradual implementation meant that it was able to accommodate the Great Exhibitions of 1888 and 1929, and the Olympic Games of 1992.

At the same time, a series of grid projects at a smaller scale were implemented beyond Cerdà’s scope, in neighbourhoods such as Gràcia, Sant Andreu and Poble Sec. This involved the juxtaposition of small developments around a square that acted as a focus of services, responding to local demand for urban expansion of the towns in the plain before they were annexed by Barcelona.

But this reading can go further if we take into account the definition of infrastructural networks or grids comprising the layouts of over- and underground railways, energy and recycling networks, and motorways, which have created nodes in the uniform system of the grid. We could, then, describe other forms of underground grids, or networks of infrastructures that organize—sometimes with problematic forms compared to regular urban fabrics—and give form to the metropolis.

The Studio hypothesis will be to verify the capacity for transformation, based on initial models seen as designs that allow constant reinterpretation according to programmatic needs and capable of offering multiple urban forms. At the same time, it sets out to discover emerging forms of networks that can enhance the morphological reading of this contrast in urban grids, producing an urban project that also manages the territorial scale with a view to achieving more lasting, sustainable projects and strategies.

Students in the Studio will be highly recommended to take the UPD-3472 seminar on Urban Grids to complement the theory of this form of city design and apply it to the case of Barcelona.

IRREGULAR SCHEDULE: The Studio will convene twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 2 to 6pm. Eight of 13 weeks of the Studio will be directed by the main instructor and the rest supervised by the TF, following the established method for the Studio. Professor Busquets will be present on the following weeks: January 27, February 10, February 17, March 3, March 10, March 31, April 7, and April 22. Trip to Barcelona - February 16 - 22

GSD iCommons Website

03472: Urban Grids: Score for Designing the City (DES 0347200)

Urban Planning and Design
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
This course has an IRREGULAR meeting schedule. Please see full course description.
Wednesday 9:00 - 11:00   Gund 318
Monday 9:00 - 11:00   Gund - Gropius

Joan Busquets

Course Description


Within a larger research scope on “Revisiting the urban grids in the XXI century”, this seminar will focus on the investigation of recent urbanistic projects which use the grid and its multiple variations as their main structural device for the construction of the city.

The ultimate objective of the course is to develop new understanding of the way we are approaching the design of the City by means of “grids and networks”

The historic evolution of the city can be tied to regular systems that have allowed for rational forms of development. Diverse cultures have provided varied interpretations of grid systems that serve as an active underlay for multiple urban domains; street network, private parcels, public spaces, diversity of grain, etc. Some previous Seminars established some categories and vocabulary for the current step.

New spatial demands require more flexible and open ended systems. These new forms of urbanism favor loose or “neutral” yet efficient organizational systems that can accommodate diversity and change throughout extensive city densification and expansion.

Course Format and Method:
Even though a few introductory readings will be handed out at the beginning of the course, the seminar will explore the topics primarily through the construction of analytical and operative drawings.

The seminar is open to all students in GSD. Note that a high level of graphic skills is required.

The seminar will meet regularly both as a group and in individual meetings with the instructor.

Students will work individually and in groups of 2.

Number of students is limited to 26.

Class meets on weeks starting: January 27 / February 10/ March 3 / March 10 / March 31 / April 7 / April 21/ April 28. Individual research and meetings with TF the rest of the weeks.

GSD iCommons Website

09201: Independent Study by Candidates for Masters Degrees (ADV 0920100)

Independent Study - 4 credits

Beth Altringer, Neil Brenner, Joan Busquets, Felipe Correa, Diane Davis, Peter Del Tredici, Sonja Duempelmann, Ed Eigen, K. Michael Hays, Michael Hooper, Jane Hutton, Niall Kirkwood, Joyce Klein-Rosenthal, Sanford Kwinter, Kiel Moe, Richard Peiser, Robert Pietrusko, Peter Rowe, David Sanderson, Jorge Silvetti, James Stockard, Maryann Thompson, Bing Wang, Matthew Wilson, Cameron Wu, Ann Forsyth, Rahul Mehrotra

Course Description

Students may take a maximum of 8 credit units with different instructors in this course series.Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Candidates may arrange individual work focusing on subjects or issues that are of interest to them but are not available through regularly offered course work. Students must submit an independent study petition and secure approval of their advisor and of the faculty member sponsoring the study.

GSD iCommons Website

09302: Independent Thesis in Satisfaction of the Degree MAUD, MLAUD, or MUP (ADV 0930200)

Urban Planning and Design
Research Seminar - 8 credits

Eric Belsky, Joan Busquets, Luis Rodrigo Callejas Mujica, Jana Cephas, Daniel D'Oca, Diane Davis, Alex Krieger, Peter Rowe, A. Hashim Sarkis, Michael Hooper

Course Description

Following preparation in GSD 9204, each student pursues a topic of relevance to urban design or urban planning, which may include design or planning exploration, academic inquiry, or a combination thereof.

GSD iCommons Website

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