Urban Grids: Open form for City Design

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.

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.
2. In the last few decades, urban interventions have reached an unprecedented level of complexity and ambition, increasing the complexity level of 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.
4. Seminar will focus on “seminal-projects” that will provide basis for comparative reference.

Research Topics:
A. Reviewing conceptual framework: grid / block / mesh / matrix/ checkboard, etc
B. Researching seminal Projects (city fragments) that suggest new design paradigms. Study in quantitative features to understand qualitative values,
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
The seminar is open to all students in GSD. Note that a high level of graphic skills is required. Students will work individually and in groups of 2.

Number of students is limited to 26.

Note re Schedule:
Class meets with main instructor on weeks starting: January 25 / February 8/ February 15/ February 22/ March 7 / March 21/ March 28/ April 11 / April 25).
Individual research and meetings with RF the rest of the weeks.