Cybernetic Urbanism in the Future London

CYBERNETIC URBANISM IN THE FUTURE LONDON Images and MapsCOURSE DESCRIPTION: The studio is intended for Urban Design, Planning, and Architecture students working at appropriate urban scales.Introduction: \”Press for Change!\” A London social issues magazine called The Big Issue ran an advert declaring: \”we\’re going to press for change!\” This phrase neatly suggests the overlap of meanings abundant in any city. Containing at least six distinct connotations, \’press for change\’ is a programme for action and a process all in one: \’press\’ and \’change\’ slip meanings and multiply variations on a theme. We consider the process of meaning slippage and overlap to be the \”crux of creativity.1\” Likewise, the \’active brief\’ of an urban condition should be as multifarious as possible, at one level an ambiguous stage for daily routine, and at another level a highly specific accommodation for a sequence of objects and actions; for example, the opposite of providing a sill or step and then neutralizing its implied brief with anti-sitting metal spikes. London is a laboratory for improbable urban and architectural experiments, an experimenter\’s plaything with enormous potential for alternative scenarios. The studio will focus on the Borough of Southwark, one of London\’s hottest development zones. Sponsored London Research Trip The studio will commence with a sponsored research trip (Flights and Accommodation paid by our sponsor; drinks in pub paid by students) to London and especially, Southwark: It is of significance to Harvard students that when John Harvard set sail for the new world he departed from Southwark when the area was only a village. Southwark has continued to be a \’poor relation\’ to the wealthy City of London through the intervening centuries, but lately, in the 1990\’s the area has finally been \’discovered\’. Now it is one of Europe\’s most valuable urban areas.Multi-million pound projects are reconfiguring Southwark socially as well as physically. The Tate Modern, a wildly successful modern art museum by Herzog /de Meuron opened in 2000, bringing thousands of visitors to the area. In 2001, another project nears completion: the new Greater London Authority (GLA) headquarters, by Lord Norman Foster. Southwark will refer to all London, just as Westminster, home of Parliament, refers to the whole nation. Near Southwark Cathedral, between the Tate and the new GLA is the vital area around London Bridge including the new Underground station on the Jubilee Line of the Tube network. Our sponsors, Bentley Systems, will provide software and internet capabilities to allow Southwark Council and citizens to participate. While in London, we will visit other new projects, such as the British Museum Great Court and the Millennium Wheel, guided by its concept engineer, Jane Wernick. Studio Issues First, a multi-level city is emerging around Borough High Street where the world\’s oldest railway viaducts were the primary infrastructure before 1850. What proposals will integrate the complex new levels of London with the High Street scene? Second, how can the global capital that finances big sites use cybernetic means to act beneficially in a low-capital community. (We define cybernetic as \’the addition of \’give-take\’ information cycles to a human-unintelligent object system through use of an \’intelligent\’ non-human interface.) The studio will address Southwark\’s role within London, a global city; its local and metropolitan networks, and its citizens, who are served by or excluded from it. The studio will culminate in cybernetic systems that record and facilitate a GSD-Southwark relationship. We emphasize professional practice as long-term research, not restricted to academic portfolio-building: colleagues at Arup, and Southwark, are long-term collaborators. I. Active Brief Brief, or to use the American term, \’program\’ is the key to Lo