It’s a Wild World: Future Scenarios for Feral Landscapes

The urban wild, as a classification of open space, typifies the polyvalent factors at play in city transformation.  As both a misunderstood landscape and an elusive term, the urban wild is often described by what it is not—a park, a natural landscape, or a wilderness—rather than what it is—a successional piece of land, shaped by ecological drivers in response to anthropogenic action.  The word wild alone is explained most clearly by antonyms, defined by a series of ‘uns’: uncultivated, untamed, uncontrolled, undomesticated, and uninhabited. The wild is seen as other, and the urban wild, itself, is an oxymoron. A succinct definition of the ‘urban wild’ has been difficult to achieve.

Yet, the wild is fundamental to the urban experience.

In this seminar, we will interrogate the wild urban landscape, its evolution and its place within changing cultural and ecological climates. Each student will adopt a wild, and through numerous modes of study and research, will use this landscape to:
1. develop a working definition and etymology of the wild over time;
2. capture it through various media and points of view (aerial, grounded, singular, multiple, static, dynamic);
3. project a imaginary future for the wild.

The seminar will be organized into three modules with lectures, guest presentations, case study analyses, readings and discussions. Each module will end with a pin-up of and conversation about student work. In the end, this highly visual work will be curated and presented as a small guide. Each guide will be unique but together they will present a larger foray into understanding and imagining wildness.

The course has no prerequisites and is open to anyone interested in wild places, urban exploration and visual experimentation.

This course will meet for the frist time on Tuesday, September 5th, 6-7:30 pm, in room 124. This is due to no classes being offered on Labor Day and course selections being due on Wednesday, September 6th.