The urban condition has become “a space of spontaneous self-organization and emergence, it is inherently dynamic, connected, interactive, a messy assemblage of networks, systems, ecologies, all competing with and contaminating, each other” (Furján 2008, 52). While these conditions and phenomena are experienced by many, they pose particularly acute problems for those in the design fields charged with the design of urban spaces. While it is clear that singular and/or holistic “masterplans” are inadequate operational strategies, there are relatively few alternative techniques that have supplanted them.
This paper proposes design strategies that are similarly charged, promoting the development of new urban forms more responsive to the conditions that define the contemporary city. Methodology: 1) Prepare multiple layered analyses of formal, social, infrastructural, and ecological flows of an urban area; 2) Design one or more interventions, interruptions, and/or catalysts that operate within these fluid fields; and 3) Alternatively shift amongst a range of scales in the design process, from micro to macro, district to building, and/or migratory pattern to door handle. Design work engages a wide range of media, including physical models, two- and three-dimensional drawings, video, etc. as both analytic and synthetic design tools.
The work seeks to develop urban proposals more closely aligned with contemporary urban conditions, both in the forms that these proposals ultimately assume but also in the design strategies used to arrive at them.
Keywords: Urban, Flows, Architecture, Pedagogy
Reference: Furján, Helene. “Cities of Complexity.” In Models: 306090 11, edited by Emily Abruzzo, Eric Ellingsen, and Jonathan D. Solomon, 52-63. New York: PA Press, 2008.
This research is to be presented at “Spaces and Flows: Fourth International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies” at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 22-23 November 2013.