Cities, Territories and Infrastructures

Contemporary urban and territorial space is largely produced by infrastructures. Some of them, like railways, freeways, giant bridges, or power plants, are overwhelmingly present in the landscape. Others, from water supply to cables, are less visible. Using case studies borrowed from history as well as from the present, the seminar will envisage the relations between space and infrastructure. Emphasis will be placed on questions such as the logic that governs infrastructure growth, the nature of their impact on cities and territories, and the challenge they represent for urban design and architecture. The seminar will cover subjects ranging from the emergence of networks in the nineteenth century to the development of cyberspace. Aesthetic categories are often present in infrastructure planning and realization. Moreover, these categories have often influenced urban design and architecture. The seminar will also examine these influences.Aside from active participation in discussions, students will be required to give presentations on a subject related to the general theme of the seminar. At the end of the term, they will produce a paper based on their presentation and the debate it has raised.