Course Syllabus

HACKING THE URBAN EXPERIENCE II

John Locke (jhl2142@columbia.edu / 310-735-3333)

10/23 - 11/27, Fall 2018

Ware Lounge, Tuesdays 7-9PM

 

 

 

OVERVIEW

 

“It’s easy to say we need recyclable, sustainable technologies, old and new - pottery making, bricklaying, sewing, weaving, carpentry, plumbing, solar power, farming, IT devices, whatever. But here, in the midst of our orgy of being lords of creating, texting as we drive, it’s hard to put down the smartphone and stop looking for the next technofix. Changing our minds is going to be a big change. To use the world well, to be able to stop wasting it and our time in it, we need to relearn our being in it...”

-Ursula K. Le Guinn, Deep in Admiration (2017)

 

“Number one: Architecture  by doing is architectural beta testing.”

-DUS Architects, Momentary Manifesto (2013)

 

This semester we will continue to collaborate with the UNI Project (www.theuniproject.org) - a non-profit that creates learning environments in public spaces across New York City - to design, build, deploy, test and defend a 1:1 scale prototype intervention intended to facilitate interactive participation in public life.

 

What can architecture accomplish? Is it merely the competent combination of a client’s given program, site, and budget? Are we merely the credentialed executors of assignments? Or worse yet, is society at a point in which it no longer expects anything from us? Do we now have the courage to leave the safety of the assignment and transform ourselves into entrepreneurs and producers? Our goal will be to reclaim the mantle of empowerment. We will form new alliances with groups outside of the architectural aficionado, and imbue our work with dignity and worth to appeal to the non-architect, the average citizen, the neighbor.

 

Building off the skills and experience gained in the first half of the class, this second session will look deeper into the possibilities of public fabrications to functionally alter everyday urban encounters. What do common materials mean to people? What impact can form have on the reading of a project?

 

The goal will be to create a proposal for a mobile installation that can accommodate future progress and participation - a malleable first draft that allows a feedback loop with the neighborhood to give back and evolve together. We will push the notion that learning occurs through making, doing, and interactivity; while giving primary focus to the designing of experiences in lieu of objects. How can you engage with a pluralistic public to have them become a partner in your work? How does that experience become fun, easy, and understandable?

 

 

 

GOALS

The temporary final intervention should give you an opportunity to upend the distinctions between public and private. You can temporarily disregard social hierarchies, and choreograph a temporary experience that provides for alternative social encounters and shared urban encounters. New York is a palimpsest of change on top of change, but your temporary work should guide the permanent into more democratic, open, and acerbic directions.

 

You will learn to collaborate with outside groups, in a project for real people, re-defining notions of authorship in architectural work. You will explore new models of practice, and leave the course with an understanding of how your own form, program, and material assemblages can change urban experiences.

 

 

CLASSES

 

Date 181023_Class 07 Democratic Materials                                                                                                            

 

Topics:

1. Review project programs from Session A

2. Select path to move forward

3. Session B Mobility Program review with Uni Project

 

Reading:

1. “Things Fall Apart”, The Atavist Magazine, Allyn Gaestel (2017)

2. The Inflatable Moment: Pneumatics and Protest in ‘68. Introduction. Marc Dessauce (1999)

 

 

 

Date 181030_Class 08 HtUE: Lightweight Urbanism                                                                                            

 

Topics:

1. “Mobility” as a driving force

2. Alternate programs in public space

3. Designing or social interaction

4. Designing for temporary use

 

Reading:

1. Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. William Whyte (1980)

2. Incivility: The rude stranger in everyday life. Smith, Philip, Timothy L. Phillips, and Ryan D. King (2010)

3. Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City. Annette Miae Kim (2015) Chpt 1: Seen and Unseen: Ho Chi Minh’s Sidewalk Life

 

 

 

Date 181106_Class 09 HtUE: NO CLASS: ELECTION HOLIDAY                                                                                          

 

 

 

Date 181113_Class 10 HtUE: Living in the Nomadic City                                                                                    

 

Topics:

1. Finalize project site and program

2. Engage with neighborhood groups and users

3. Introduce Stranger Experience 3

4. Continue material fabrication

 

Reading:

1. The city as interface. Digital Media and the Urban Public Sphere. B.G.M. de Waal (2012)

2. Volume 14: Unsolicited Architecture, Rem Koolhaas, Mark Wigley, Ole Bouman (“Bootleg PDF Version”)

3. Reassembling the Social. Bruno Latour. (2005)

 

 

Date 181120_Class 11 HtUE: Resist the Smart City                                                                                               

 

Topics:

1. Continue installation build

2. Review schedule

3. Material workshop and fabrication assistance

 

Reading:

1. 4D Hyperlocal: A Cultural Toolkit for the Open-Source City. Lucy Bullivant (2017)

2. Against the smart city (The city is here for you to use Book 1). Adam Greenfield (2013)

 

 

 

Date 181127_Class 12 HtUE: Active and Engaged Citizens                                                                                 

 

Topics:

1. Review Intervention on Site

2. Test Run

3. Choreograph final activation with Uni Project

 

Reading:

1. The Architecture of Neoliberalism: How Contemporary Architecture Became An Instrument for Control and Compliance. Douglas Spencer (2016). Chpt 6: Neoliberalism and Affect: Architecture and the Patterning of Experience

2. Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture. Rory Hyde (2012. Chpt 12: The New Amsterdam School: DUS Architects

 

 

 

Date and Location TK_Class Final Review HtUE                                                                                             

 

Final Deliverables:

1. Activated installation with Uni Project

2. Final Stranger Experience

 

 

 

 

Course Summary:

Date Details