Architecture or Poverty: The Challenges of Social and Economic Development from 1945 to the present

Is poverty an architectural question? When does it emerge as an ethical concern for the architect? How have modern architects historically addressed the problem of social and economic disenfranchisement? (e.g.: Le Corbusier, Hassan Fathy, John Turner, Giancarlo de Carlo)? Within their doctrines promoting social reform through architecture (e.g. \”Architecture or Revolution\”, \”Architecture for the Poor,\” \”Technical Assistance\”), what forms of agency have they assumed? How have they reflected back on the nature of poverty and how have they accordingly recast the formal concerns of architecture?Working from a series of primary texts in philosophy and social development (e.g. Jacques Ranciere, Amartya Sen, Jeffrey Sachs), from architectural treatises on design and social engagement, and from a series of contemporary case studies, the course assesses the ways in which architects have been envisioning their role vis-a-vis poverty. Critical of the historical segregation of design from social development, this course proposes alternative ways in which architecture could engage the question of poverty more effectively without abandoning their disciplinary and professional positions. This pro-seminar course is primarily for students working on related topics for their thesis projects or dissertations.