London Study Abroad Seminar – London: Past, Present, and Emerging

London is a city with many people from different places defined by its openness (like no other Global city). Its people are united by mutual goals and they live work and play peacefully even though the city boasts over 300 spoken languages. This course takes place in 2018 a year when the “mighty tremble of brexit” and the sense of melancholy and ruptured relationship of its people to the city fades. The Seminar Course supplemented with classes with many of London’s great thinkers and players and delivered on a weekly basis will be at AKT2’s offices in Shoreditch, London. The course aims to provide additional information relating to the making of the built environment today in London. Our goal is to acclimatise you with the cultures that surround the real and imaginary discourses about Architecture throughout the semester. We hope to examine the design and development of the built environment of London, at this particular moment in time to help understand, inform and contribute to current conversations in the city. The course structure will work around weekly presentations by the selected experts covering a series of strategic topics from the past, present and future making of the city and its Architectures. The instructors will conduct class discussions on each session and where appropriate draw attention to particular aspects that affect design. Each student will be assigned one session after the first six presentations (mid semester) to focus on. Your task will be to produce a 1,500 word white paper with sketches or supporting material with a critique of the session you were assigned for grading purposes. The course is not optional and will help support, enliven and motivate the studio projects.

The seminar will be structured around two sets of presentations running in parallel. The first will take a critical stance on the themes listed above and set the terms for a discussion. The second will deepen the discussion with a detailed presentation of a building and show how responses to these themes influence the design of buildings. Most examples will be European from the recent past.