contemporary, modern and traditional European and Mediterranean urban structures (fabric, networks of public space, urban objects) as they relate to existing and emerging cultures
representation and insight; analysis and communication; mapping and thinking; forming and communicating urban/architectural vocabulary and design strategies
place, culture, identity; transformation & sustainability; globalization and local particularity
One of the great opportunities of living and studying in Europe is to examine different patterns of social life and urban structure. This means not only the traditional European model (center-periphery, urban fabric and morphology, networks of public space, etc.) but also contemporary ideas of pluricentric and hybrid cities, explorations of a periphery that is no longer peripheral, gray-scale figure-ground, reclaiming disused industrial areas, protecting or creating networks of green space, infrastructure as architecture…
While the quality of the final product is important, we stress the importance of understanding the process: how what we make is bound up with how we think and make. This refers both to how the student can establish a reading of the context, experiment with design possibilities, formulate a design strategy, then articulate and follow a design trajectory, but also the material processes of making that are engaged in generating and concretizing design ideas.
The eye, the hand, and the mind are the architect’s, and the student’s, most powerful tools. One of the most valuable lessons of studying in Genoa and Italy is the direct experience and close examination of architectural structures and urban spaces, and analyzing them through drawing to extract possible lessons. Drawing becomes a tool for a process of decoding/encoding that both informs and participates in the design process. The drawings move from specific example, through diagram to general spatial motifs, into a design vocabulary to be explored in new contexts.
Approached in another manner, context may refer to the position the design work occupies, consciously, in the tradition of architecture or the tendencies of the times. With a critical reading of context and the concept of “context”, the project offers a different sort of opportunity for reflection and speculation.
The social and cultural context, how various groups live in this place, may be examined so that the design goes blond the student’s design habits or cultural values.
Standard courses for the semester long architecture program:
Typically included in a full semester program for architecture students: