Urban Design Contexts and Operations

The course focusses essentially on modern, including contemporary, contexts and operations that have emerged during the past 100 or so years. Here urban design is broadly regarded as a concern for the ‘thingness’ of constructed environments above the scale of singular buildings and in response to resolving competing claims brought to bear through design. Contexts refer to particular situations and orientations taken in urban design, whereas operations refer to actions involved in specific work and practical applications. It is a seminar class where participation will be prioritized to those in the Urban Design Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, though students in other programs will be welcome. It is intended to satisfy this program’s curriculum requirement in ‘History-Theory’. Students will be assigned to make presentations of selected reading materials and one or more urban design projects beginning in the second week of class. The aim is to introduce them to important developments and literacy about the field, along with matters of on-going and current speculation. What follows is an outline of weekly topics along with a short reading list for each that forms a background for the lectures and later discussion. Apart from making specific assigned presentations in a given week, all students are expected to prepare and participate in seminar discussions. All lecture components for each week’s theme will be available to the enrolled class in asynchronous pre-recorded illustrated form.

First year Urban Design students have prioritized early enrollment in 4151 and 4496. The Histories and Theories of Urban Design lottery (HTUD lottery) will open on Tuesday, January 10 at 9 AM and close on Friday, January 13, at 9 AM. First Year UD students must submit selections by the deadline to ensure enrollment via this lottery.