Landscape Architecture IV

Near-Future City

Urban Assemblages Encoded for Change

This is the fourth and final semester for the core Landscape Architecture sequence. It questions ways in which we can design urban assemblages for the city during moments of deep and rapid transformation. The assemblages are explored as a basic “DNA” of the city in which urban, landscape and ecological elements are intertwined to imagine new ways of habitation for both human and non-human constituencies. 

This is an opportunity to speculate on a ‘Near-Future City’ that considers the city as a thick ground condition, one that describes a set of complex systems characterized by gradients between the static and the dynamic. Students will develop an understanding of the city and how it can adapt to future conditions.

The semester is structured around three phases of work: 01. metabolic flows and material processes, 02. urban assemblages for the near-future city, and 03. deployment and disposition of the assemblages.  The semester will begin by interrogating a particular set of systems at play in the urban environment and identifying key constituencies to be addressed. From here, the development and encoding of an urban assemblage is rigorously explored as an intertwined agglomeration of urban elements. Finally, in the last phase, students negotiate the formation of their assemblages in a sector of Boston.

The work will be guided by workshops, lectures, readings, discussions, and presentations. It will operate as a design laboratory through which different models will be tested and iterated. The work over the semester will culminate into a final exhibition and conversation surrounding the immediate proposals and the directions necessary for the responsible and ethical making of the Near-Future City.