What Are We Up To?

Course is offered as part of the Paris study abroad.Enrollment in this course is no longer open as it is part of the Paris Study Abroad Program.What are we up to?Conversations about the immediate future of architecture, landscape and infrastructural designThe growing importance of environmental concerns and the dramatic enlargement of the scales of territorial design are currently requestioning the tools, methods, references, and the very notion of urbanism itself. To address those concerns, architecture, landscape, and design in general must simultaneously open themselves to new questions, new disciplines and new synergies, and reconsider their own traditions and jurisprudence. In other words, the ecological crisis that surrounds us today is putting architecture on the mat, asking for a renovation and for a theoretical renascence that will explicitly transform it into an \”art of the environment\”.Through a series of conversations with architects, urban and landscape designers, and informed observers of contemporary mutations, our seminar will try to survey some of the ways and directions in which this renovation is currently undertaken.The questions we will address include the following:Is the \”large scale\”, that of landscapes and territories, more relevant to deal with today\’s urban and environmental challenges?Must we still consider the city and the metropolis as the major scene and subject of \”urban design\”?To what extent are environmental concerns currently transforming the stakes, tools and methods of urbanism?Should the dialectics between architecture and urbanism be modified in this new context?Can architecture and design disciplines still ambition to produce or stimulate diversity and identity?Are contemporary problems in cities and territories calling for more rules in architecture and urban design or for a significant deregulation?To what extent should we revisit the history and theory of architecture (its jurisprudence) in order to tackle the contemporry environmental challenges?What other disciplines, what kind of other knowledge\’s and synergies might become particularly relevant or necessary for architecture and design today?Which ideas,concerns and hopes about the world and the future do we actually invest in our work as designers? What are we up to?