Urban Grids: Exploring its Design Potentials

The first meeting will take place on Wednessday, August 31st, 6 PM in room 510.

Framework:Within a larger research scope on \”Revisiting the urban grids in the XXI century\”, this seminar will focus on the investigation of recent urbanistic projects which use the grid and its multiple variations as their main structural device for the construction of the city. The ultimate objective of the course is to develop new understanding of the way we are approaching the design of the City by means of \”grids and networks\”: Exploring its design potentials.1.The historic evolution of the city can be tied to regular systems that have allowed for rational forms of development. Diverse cultures have provided varied interpretations of grid systems that serve as an active underlay for multiple urban domains; street network, private parcels, public spaces, diversity of grain, etc. Some previous Seminars taught along the last two academic years establish some categories and vocabulary for the current step.2.In the last few decades, urban interventions have reached an unprecedented level of complexity and ambition, increasing the need for rethinking the design operations, yet the value and metrics of the grid and network are more operative than ever, and in more inventive ways than in the past. 3.New spatial demands require more flexible and open ended systems. These new forms of urbanism favor loose or \”neutral\” yet efficient organizational systems that can accommodate diversity and change throughout extensive city densification and expansion.Research Topics:The research seminar will specifically focus on the following topics:A. reviewing conceptual framework: grid / block / mesh / matrix/ checkboard, etcB. research on seminal Projects (city fragments) creating new Design paradigms.C. Comparative studies between the various investigations in order to establish both individual research tracts and a collective agenda for the research group.Course Format and Method:Even though a few introductory readings will be handed out at the beginning of the course, the seminar will explore the topics primarily through the construction of analytical and operative drawings that may show \”Urban grids\” design potentials. The seminar is open to all students in GSD. Note that a high level of graphic skills is required.Evaluation is done after course contributions and final paper.The seminar will meet regularly both as a group and in individual meetings with the instructor. Students will work individually and in groups of 2.Number of students is limited to 13.