The early 21st century is defined by the information age, and characterized by a shift from traditional industries into a knowledge-based economy. This phenomenon forms the basis for the future “Frontier City.” An innovative society connected to the global market and surrounded by high-tech incubators, creative environments, start-ups, flexible workspaces, the arts, R&D technologies and mixed used living environments. In this context, the common ground of the public realm becomes staggeringly important for the contemporary worker, who seldom stays put. Nimble 21st Century enterprises are taking ownership of unoccupied, vacant, or inhospitable sites, formerly home to industrial economies.
Since your home is a hotel, a meat locker became a slick apartment, Starbucks became the office, and Uber the new method of transportation, we need to re-evaluate the concept of the City. This new union of economy and technology has resulted in a social reorganization, information and online communication is now the driving force of social evolution. It makes the transformation of an industrial district into hip-cool environs feasible.
This studio will focus on the creation of a new urban landscape by envisioning a Frontier City on the Boston Waterfront. We’ll ask the students to
reconceive of the city as an adaptive, proactive urban infrastructure based on the dockland warehouse typology, complete with reimaging urban streetscape and resilient landscapes. Interfacing with the landscape of the Boston Harbor, the new district should be defined by the form and function of its public space, accommodate future growth, and stimulate an urban renaissance within the City of Boston. Guidelines for architectural character, the development of the urban grid, block typologies and street profile will integrate a resilient landscape, and create an opportunity to invent a new nature, a second nature.
It will be like living in a “New Frontier” enclave on the Boston Harbor.
Frontier City: Strategies for Boston Harbor