Osaka – World Expos as Transformative Engine: Potentials for the Regular City

This studio focuses on the capacity of big urbanistic projects to direct the growth and transformation of large metropolises. It takes the example of Osaka and its different expos and investigates their potential for creating one or several centralities in this diverse, dynamic city. Osaka, a large and well consolidated city, is the subject of study, which will focus on select infrastructures that were created for expos in the 20th century: an example of a multi-expo city in 1903, a Metabolist paradigm in 1970, and the use of well-differentiated locations in 1990. 

The proposed new World Expo in 2025 offers an opportunity to rethink some of the city’s metropolitan axes as it prepares to host this big event. It is also a chance to explore more sustainable systems of urban mobility, prioritizing the Osaka Metro as the most efficient option for urban flows, with spaces designed for pedestrians, cyclists, and other alternatives to automobiles.

It is important to understand and decipher the complexity of urban form as a catalyst for other variables, including the program’s economic and social content, which are both evolving at a very fast pace.

The studio is part of a wider research project on “Revisiting the Urban Grids,” which may serve as a basis for the research of the studio. Students in the studio are recommended to enroll in the seminar DES 03472, “Urban Grids: Score for Designing the City,” which provides a complementary theoretical approach to this form of city design that can be applied to the case of the Osaka Metropolis.

The studio is open to students from Urban Design and Architecture. It will require a high level of representation skills and design ability. A visit to Osaka, Japan, is planned.

Note: This studio will meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Joan Busquets will be in residence on January 28, 29; February 4, 5, 11, 12, 25, 26; March 3, 4; April 7, 8, 14, 15. Dingliang Yang will be in residence on February 18, 19; March 10, 11, 31; April 1, 21, 22. This studio will travel to Osaka, Japan.