Recalibrating Infrastructure

The first meeting of this course will take place on September 6th at 6 PM in room 510. Interested students should plan to attend. This is due to no classes being offered on Labor Day.

This advanced research seminar will probe the contemporary networked metropolis, using Los Angeles and its surrounding region as a springboard. Current modes of production and frameworks for exchange have a global reach, yet they have physical, social, and environmental impact when they meet the ground. They operate off physical and logistical infrastructures set up to organize and facilitate flows, yet these independent and autonomous systems often spawn their own set of unique ecologies and economies as they negotiate local and regional social, environmental, regulatory, and legal systems and structures. Our research will tap into the broader production and economic flows that both sustain and are generated by the metropolis-looking closely at systems set up for the production, exchange, and/or delivery of food, water, and energy. We will come to understand agricultural, hydrologic, and energy networks and infrastructure on their own terms-and then speculate on the opportunities to recalibrate the very components of these systems to other, more productive and more dynamic ends. And we will look at how the operational systems of a maturing, diversifying Los Angeles might be understood as characteristic of the emerging twenty-first century metropolis. Format: The course will be organized as a series of seminar discussions sessions around various topics of the contemporary networked city, including infrastructure, global networks, production systems, etc. Research will be presented intermittently for group discussion and review. Prerequisites: Excellent drawing and research skills required. Must submit a one paragraph statement of interest and a small digital portfolio of drawing and research work for review. Open to all GSD students; a mix of architects, urban designers / planners, and landscape architects is highly desirable.This course was offered as 9206LA in fall 2009.