Proseminar in Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology

This proseminar is intended for Master in Design Studies (MDES) candidates entering the Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology (ULE) stream as well as Master in Landscape Architecture candidates entering the post-professional (MLA II) Program.

The seminar advances design research as an emerging and innovative form of knowledge production to inspire both new practices of making cities and to initiate diverse forms of theoretical and empirical scholarship. After defining design and design research as contrasting and complimentary ways of thinking, the seminar introduces various modes of research on urbanism and urbanization and surveys a range of discursive and disciplinary models for the production of knowledge on cities.

Discussions and presentations of the theories and methods of design research will lead to the building of a critical research question in response to current challenges facing urbanization and the making of cities.

The seminar meets weekly for three hours, beginning with a presentation and seminar discussion, followed by individual student presentations and tutorial skill sessions. A fundamental task of the seminar is to introduce students to the research on urbanism and urbanization across the pedagogic and disciplinary agendas of the school. Individual GSD faculty will be invited to introduce and discuss their work. From seminar discussions, student presentations, and external input from the faculty, individuals will begin to fashion their own agenda for research at the GSD. By the end of the term candidates will present an initial draft proposal for their research topic at the school.