Contemporary Urban Spaces
The city, basin and peripheries of Athens have been in constant transformation since its modern foundation. The Athenian landscape, environment, society and urban fabric comprise a frantic, diverse and complex laboratory of change – designed, informal, democratic, entropic, catastrophic, top-down and bottom-up. Here the immense pressures, challenges and opportunities for the contemporary Mediterranean Metropolis and other global cities may be elucidated and projected upon in medias res, against the ancient walkscapes, vibrant commons, human scale, deep palimpsest, horizontal density, living typologies, enclave nature, waste landscapes, water networks, migration patterns, crisis conditions, civitas and public space of the contemporary city.
This analysis and representation seminar will examine the role and potential of Urban Planning and Design and the challenges of endemic and upcoming (climate) Change in ten specific zones, areas or urban enclaves of Athens – all exemplary locations of resistance, flux or genesis of urban transformation. How do contemporary theories of urbanism measure up against these places? What can design do to affect a city’s future? What new spaces, architectures, structures and environments emerge at the edge of the crisis and the wake of even greater challenges?
The course will be structured in lectures, student presentations and a number of walks. Students will document their research in papers, maps & media. The seminar may also be complemented by an independent design studio component (U372).