Course Syllabus

2207021_22SM AAD Moon Syllabus.pdf 

Speculative City: Projections on the 7 Line

The studio outlines changes in the discourse and practice of architecture following the seminal events of 2020 and their influences on speculative architecture and urbanism. The years leading up to 2020 were compounded by disrupted economies, contested political grounds, and increasing realizations in climate change that culminated in social and political turmoil - instigated in part by a global pandemic and racial injustices. As a point of inflection, the studio will study architecture in the wake of these seminal moments as an opportunity for transformation in the typical processes in architecture and urbanism, and will question equity in public and shared realms, top-down and bottom-up hierarchies, and other norms. The studio will study the current practices of the architecture of crisis and disruption while referencing the historical significance of previous post-traumatic yet productive periods from the post-war periods i n the U.S., the nadir in New York in the late 70s, and other seminal moments that projected and shaped the modern environment. 

Engaging a portion of Flushing Corona Meadows and Willets Point as a testing grounds, the projects will address the year-wide theme of entanglement at the center of Queens. The former site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fair, and originally the grounds of Algonquian Native Americans, Flushing Corona Meadows Park is surrounded by diverse communities serving as home to one of the largest Asian populations in New York in Flushing, with vibrant Latino, African-American, and Italian communities in Corona existing to the west. Once an ash waste dump known as the “Valley of Ashes” until a park and highway plan was released by Robert Moses in 1930, the site has had a long history evolving into a complex convergence of city infrastructures, institutions, and large scale constructed ecologies. With recent controversies in its rezoning, concerns of lost marshlands, gentrification, and environmental racism, students will posit alternative futures for the site at varying scales, selecting their own priorities through the exploration of a new program of their own choosing (with approval from the instructor) that speculates on the potentials of an architectural response post-2020. 

The class will consist of readings and research, towards the production of a studio design project. Students will investigate architecture in the current context of shifting demographics and social tensions, privatized collectivity, growing migrant populations and diaspora, and heightened ecological and environmental concerns. Students will engage with local community organizations as well as invited guests in the support of a productive dialogue that informs their progress throughout the semester. The course will be held online with site visits and outside meetings as conditions permit.


Course Summary:

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